My blog has evolved quite a bit since I started writing in January of 2012. What started out as “Mrs. Doherty Unleashed” has been shortened to the new phrase “Go Unleashed.”
What the hell does that mean?
Grampy, age 86, said it best when he read the title of my book “Go Unleashed…What the hell does that mean?” he asked. Maybe it’s time to talk about it. To me, Go Unleashed means embracing my crazy life and having the freedom to talk about it. I love to talk but I hate feeling restrained like I need to be careful what falls out of my mouth. Lord knows I could use a filter but filters are boring. Everyone seems to walk on eggshells these days. Women all over the country try to stuff themselves into some sort of suburban housewife mold. It’s like a right of passage after a family adds a child to the mix. There was a brief moment in time when I found myself falling into the misery of the suburbs. A part of me felt the pressure to be like the other moms but when it came down to it, I couldn’t conform. Now I look back and wonder why I ever tried.
After I delivered my first child, Flynn, I entered what I like to call “bragging parent hell”. Suddenly, everybody I met thought that their child was the brightest and most gifted one in the group. They would size up their competition with a series of pointed questions. The questions started off simple. “Is your baby talking? How many words can he say?” Then it got a little more competitive. “Is your 2-year-old in preschool? Do you have him in music?” I heard things like “My son listens to Mozart and we are working on potty training him.” I felt inadequate and questioned everything. What is wrong with my child? Is he behind? What should a 20 month old be doing? I had no idea. I watched him turn beet red as he crouched in a corner and pushed a poop into his diaper. The thought of music lessons was certainly not in his future and it felt like we were light years away from potty training. Maybe he would be an artist because he actually ate crayons and he pooped a rainbow of colors. Is pooping rainbows a talent? Why did I care if he had a talent or if he was gifted? He was perfect to me and that is all that should matter, right? Can’t he develop at his own speed without other parents scrutinizing his every move? Who was I trying to impress?
Then I had my second baby, Molly. I started to ignore the other parents and what they had to say. I had to keep 2 kids alive, that was enough for me. Then I had my third, Teagan, and it got worse! I started doing things publicly that horrified the Joneses. I fed my kid things off the floor and let her wear fairy wings to the grocery store. She fell asleep at the dinner table and wore PJ’s all day. I started leaving the house unshowered (GASP!) and plastic toys were strewn all over the house. I had more kids than hands and honestly; I looked like a hot mess most of the time. I got a lot of funny looks out in public. The “Honey? I don’t think you need any more children” look was my personal favorite.
I didn’t care. I loved my babies. They kept me on my toes. They grounded me and reminded me to live in the present. They forced me to laugh when I wanted to cry. I took one day at a time and did whatever worked to get us through the day. Then I had my fourth, Maggie. Maggie was a surprise and she taught me a whole bunch of life lessons. She was my NICU baby and she scared me to death. Let’s face it, life throws us lots of curve balls and Mags was no exception. She taught me that life is precious and every single moment is a gift. I love that! My house is insane! Totally and completely insane but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the whole world. I am proud of my family. Without a doubt, it’s the biggest achievement in my life. No matter how crazy my life gets I know that we can survive anything.
I’ve come a long way since I delivered that first baby. I don’t have the time or desire to impress other people. It’s certainly no secret that I like to swear. Call me a potty mouth but in my opinion, “my goodness” and “oh fiddlesticks” just don’t capture the raw emotions I often feel. I don’t care who judges me. Put on your big girl panties if you read my blog because I need to vent. I can’t keep that shit cooped up inside me. I gotta talk and I like to talk through my writing. It started off as a way for me to document all of the funny things that happen daily around our home and evolved into a supportive network of readers. I write about everything and anything. It is a way for me to mentally leave the house and unwind. It’s raw, honest and real. It’s a place where I can be myself. If my stories make someone laugh or if they reassure others that they aren’t the only one with struggles through life, then this blog is a success.
I don’t know what happens in your house but sometimes I feel like nobody in this house listens to me. There are moments when I feel like I am living on an island all alone. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of raising a family and lose your own identity. That’s why I like to keep it real and Go Unleashed!