I am one of four children raised by my adopted mother, the only mother I’ve ever known. Growing up, I couldn’t understand why she was so angry all the time. However, as an adult, I now understand the stress she was under with four kids and a lazy excuse for a partner she had chosen.
My mother was THE driving force in my life who made me feel destined for greatness. But she also made me realize how little choice society would give me to live outside of that reality. In her mind, I would either buy into higher education or become a teenage mom and a waitress to make ends meet. So I went on to complete four years of college in three.
On December 24, 2019, when I should have enjoyed Christmas dinner, I was in my 12th hour of labor. The nurse looked at me and said, “Push harder, or you will have a Christmas baby.”
My daughter was born 10 minutes later.
I had no expectations of what it would be like to become a mother to a pandemic baby. Yet, when I looked at my three-month-old to inform her she couldn’t leave the house, she didn’t seem to have any problem with that at all.
Me, on the other hand, well, let’s say I couldn’t tell the difference between pandemic-pissed and postpartum depression. My identity and energy were gone. Not only that, along with the rest of the world, I was pandemic disoriented.
After over a year of parenting, I called my friend and sister from another mister, Lyssa. I declared that we were starting a new community. A community to build up bad-ass, success-driven women where they could find support for the madness that we all try to stave off.
A community in every sense of the word.
Lyssa Ireland Thomas
Like most women, I’ve lived through many stages over my lifetime, from a naughty child (evil might be a better term) to a motivated college student and on to a career girl. But, deep down, I always hoped I would do something to change the world.
Instead, I worked twice as hard as my male colleagues to make half as much money. As a result, the men were promoted to their highest level of incompetence. Meanwhile, I was toiling in the trenches, making them look good.
After ten years of marriage, I became the mother to two of the best kids a gal could nurture. Yes, the first one was a baby assassin sent to murder me with a lack of sleep the first year. The second became the devil incarnate in her third year and displayed the etiquette of a dingo.
All the while, I juggled a career with dance, skateboarding, acting, and golf lessons. It was a busy, confusing, glorious time. I do not regret a minute of it.
Now, I have a sophomore in college and a senior in high school while being in the throes of menopause. My advice to you? Have your children before thirty-four or well after thirty-six. Otherwise, your nest will empty at the EXACT time that your hormones are raging.
When I should be proud of my children’s independence and accomplishments, I feel deserted by them.
In the interest of preserving my sanity, I have started the BadAss Betch Squad. I realized that my children are acting appropriately for their age. But then again, so am I. The problem is society doesn’t address menopause or any other stage of a female’s life enough.
It’s time to talk.