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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Wake up and smell the bull poopy, alternatively craptastic no more

You asked for it, warts and all...

I am quite literally a mess. Things have caught up with me lately and drug me down deeper than I've ever been before. I am weak, vulnerable, insecure. Issues I thought laid to rest years past are back, fierce and consuming. One (albeit enormous) event has opened wounds and reactions obviously less healed than I'd like to imagine.

Those who know me personally know my history. I've been through some tough shit and while I've forgiven and forgotten much, I struggle with the person it's made me. Or who it hasn't. With the girl who learned how to protect herself from a tyrant but never learned who she was meant to be. Always on edge- defensive, assuming the victim role because no matter how awful, it feels like home, it's what I know. Assuming that I must have done something wrong when the phone doesn't ring or my inbox isn't full to the point I make myself physically ill. And insecurities that cut so deep I am worthless, questioning those who have spent years doing nothing but consistently inserting their love and devotion.

There are reasons, obvious, glaring, neon reasons, but they ceased being excuses long ago. When I decided to become a wife, a mother, a friend I gave up the right to sink my own ship. And baby, this one's going down. Bottom line is I can put on a good act but it's not enough anymore. I am no fun to be around, I hear myself disagreeing with everything my other half says for absolutely no reason. I get frustrated with my baby rather than take a millisecond to realize he's two, and I actually real like two. I get two. I feel left out, left behind by friends rather than rejoicing in the fact our little family just keeps on getting larger. I create realities that do not exist. I idealize. I idealize. I disappoint.

I try to teach my son how to respect, and how to communicate and in it's midst realize that while I innately know how to teach him, I don't know those truths myself. I never learned. Or I did and lost it along the way. I have no self. No security. I have confidence in one area in my life. I am an awful wife, a crappy friend but I was put here to be a mother. So that's where I start.

I don't know how to rebuild, exactly how to forge ahead seems daunting at best, but if I can look at my ability to mother, how I just get that without foundation, and expound. If I can allow that to carry over, to encompass other aspects of my life I think I'll be ok. I think we'll be ok.

If I have let you down in recent days, or months or years, I apologize. If you're gone I probably had it coming. If you're still around you must be really awesome and definitely love me more than is deserved. If you're new to the scene it might be a little bumpy for a bit but you have complete permission to apply foot to ass as needed.

It's now or never and I have a whole lot riding on me.

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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    8:10 PM  

    Wow- well, all I have to say is, although I don't want it to come out wrong, I feel relieved! Like, hello- I am feeling just like that right now, too. I don't want either of us to feel this way- so let's get better soon. And I definitely don't feel like you've let me down in any way or that I even expect anything out of you for that matter. I take my friends over easy just as you come. But I love your honesty and openness about it. Can I just say that this made me feel better? I hope it does you even more.

    Love always-
    Steph top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    8:42 PM  

    I just emailed you a bunch of boring crap :) I'm glad you're able to get this out in the open. It's good for you to share. Love ya! top

  • Blogger To Think is to Create says so:
    9:38 PM  

    First of all, you are not a bad friend. I think your low view of yourself might tell you that, but it's simply not true. So stop listening to it! :)

    Second, I totally get where you are at, and being married to someone who (it sounds like, anyway) was raised by a tyrant from the same cloth, I can really understand what you have to work with every day. You weren't given much, so you find yourself having to figure it all out "late", at least it feels that way.

    I think it's huge the way you've realized that you are living in victim-land when you rest on your "excuses" or circumstances. Even though it's perfectly understandable, no growth can happen until we leave that oh-so-comfy place.

    You might not feel like your best "you" right now, but you have to see that you are still figuring things out, and that's ok. Not to be all "when I was your age" about things...but I think it's very "normal" to feel this way, and I know I did (and still do) when I was your age. The growth and learning doesn't really ever stop (nor would we want it to), but I do think that approaching 30 finds me feeling like I'm finally knowing who I am, and how I can be my best self. Now there's just the issue of being her...

    I know your friends disagree with you and I'm sure your hubby disagrees with you when you say you are bad at these things, and please don't discount our opinions. We aren't just being nice and wouldn't stick around if you weren't a thousand percent worth it.

    This is long now...more later... :) top

  • Blogger To Think is to Create says so:
    9:54 PM  

    Another thought...

    As we watch and see you grieving these past couple months or so, I think it's a GOOD sign that you've seemed more yourself lately, even if you've been feeling so inadequate. It's as if you've come to the acceptance stage (maybe? hopefully?) and now are ready to find your way back up to the surface. It might be a hard road, but you being willing is the most difficult hurdle to overcome (which you have already, go you).

    Also, I disagree that you are no fun to be around, but we certainly could use some more laughs lately. :)

    The last thing (for now!) is this, I've come to figure out that when I start getting a lot of insecurities about things and people, it's because I've been focusing on the wrong things. When I focus on God's love and my blessings, I don't have the brain space to obsess about myself anymore, and it's actually incredibly freeing. God really wants to bear those burdens for you, and even if you are struggling with that, it's ok and you can wrestle with God about it. Hopefully that makes sense. Even if you feel far away from Him, He's been there all along.

    Love you,
    `A top

  • Blogger GoodLittle says so:
    10:14 PM  

    Ashlee, this is gritty honesty, and as much as I hurt for you as I read it, I am grateful for your willingness to go to those depths and make yourself vulnerable. The best thing about the kind of hard work you're doing is not that it heals you, though it does. The best thing about it is that it heals others in the process. I've never commented on your blog, but I read it often. This post resonates with me and I want to honor you for it. Thanks for your words. top

  • Blogger Mama 2 Boo and Ya-Ya says so:
    11:07 PM  


    I wish that I had something profound to say but I find myself lacking the words.

    I will, however, keep you in my prayers.

    (HUG) top

  • Blogger Bloggy Mama says so:
    11:39 PM  

    I just didn't want to leave as an unknown URL that read your thoughts. I wish you well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    7:53 AM  

    First, kudos for being so open and honest. It's the first step to healing. Life sure is a roller coaster, isn't it?

    You will get through these emotions and grow. Be prepared to help others in the future because you'll know exactly what they need when they go through these same feelings.

    Thinking of you!
    Lori top

  • Blogger -ana- says so:
    8:34 AM  

    I wanted to ditto what a PP said. In my experience when I've felt overwhelmed with problems, pain (you name it) it was because I wasn't keeping my eyes on God. Not that I'm saying you aren't because I don't even know you, but I can definitely attest to the fact that the Lord carries my burdens whenever I ask him to. Thanks for you honestly and vulnerability...
    Matthew 11: 28-30 top

  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    9:02 AM  

    I thought of something else that I am not sure relates or not, but I felt compelled to say it. My Dad was raised without a father and mainly by his siblings in a not so easy home life. He had really no good examples to go by at being a parent or father, but he did a darn good job at it. I often look back and wonder how he did it. He wasn't perfect, but no one is. I just think that no matter where you come from you can make ANYTHING your own. We have a lot more to work with than we think, if we dig deep.

    Steph top

  • Anonymous judeswords says so:
    9:23 AM  

    A sense of "self" and "self-worth" is about the process (journey) rather than about the destination - that being said "YOU" are remarkable - whether you see it, or not.

    Grief (real and necessary) is clouding your view about yourself, what you are "really" - who WE all know you to be - by actions, words, deeds... The dark glasses you're looking through distort your sense of self and how your history has served to transform you - step by step, day by day, into "amazing".

    For all your history - I'm in awe that you chose (and choose) "how to become" rather than "what not to be like". In doing so, because you PLACE YOUR FOCUS ON FORWARD MOTION - on GROWTH-- the shattered pieces from the mirror of your past you've offered up, and as a result, God has used it all to create this incredibly beautiful mosaic -masterpiece we know as "you". Your wisdom - amazes me. Your grace is lovely. Your gentle/strong mothering instincts I admire and LEARN from. Your vision, creativity and talent are inspiring. What you are is beautiful. What you are is in transformation -moment by moment- into His image. (He, alone, is The perfect Parent, The perfect Friend)

    This season of pain, of grief, of recall, reflect, and regroup is just that: a "season". There is no time line on this season - one day it will pierce a bit less, bleed a bit less - little by little -but you must know it is a normal, ugly, necessary season. A season of raw. of real.

    These days of self doubt, remind yourself (sometimes for the next minute at a time) that your value is in Him. He deems you so valuable as to lay it all down for you. As much as we long for "humanity" and "community" to affirm us (God understood - He gave Adam family - Eve & sons) - we cannot base our value on lack of phone calls or responders or non-responders or empty/full mail boxes. Oh to see yourself through His eyes of unconditional,"you're worth it all" love. We (friends/family) all are swept up in our own universes of life/sometimes chaos... best not to mistake our failings, our "busy" as an indication of how or who you are.

    Please KNOW that there is NOTHING you could do, say, not do, be that would "fail" us any more or less than we fail you. Humanity is imperfect and we're good at it. Nonetheless, it is humanity that connects us- that draws us - for we are walking, breathing - yes imperfect- creatures that LOVE. we love. we long to be loved. even when imperfect...

    I'm so proud of you for dropping the wall. I'm so proud of you for choosing to fight through this thing.

    Oh, and for the record, you teach "respect", "communication" so effectively because, make no mistake, you KNOW - you KNOW the value of respect and communication - you teach him how you WANT to BE treated. That's what makes you such a wonderful teacher/mother/ wife/friend and daughter... you.

    I cannot thank you enough for partnering with my son and being such an amazing wife to him, cheer leading for him, helping him to see himself worthy of being loved by someone as gracious as you.

    Ultimately, I cannot thank our God enough for gifting you to our family - to our planet - even when you see "mess" - we see "gift"... top

  • Blogger Because Everything Matters says so:
    3:03 PM  

    Ash honey, you just let down a wall. A wall that you've built up for so many years. A wall of defense.

    You. Me. Us. Women. Together.

    Having a life that wouldn't make itself into a sitcom, for when I was growing up I escaped the harsh reality of what my life was and watched those sitcoms wondering why my life sucked. I turned to things that made me escape the reality.

    I still put up that wall. And as quick as I build it, I try and tear it down. I'm not always successful. Sometimes I'm a jerk. I am emotional. Cranky. Irritable. A not so patient wife, mother, friend. Person. Ugh! I sometimes loathe who I am. What I've become. How I look.

    Yet I know that I can just let go and Let God. It's tough. Dang, it's tough. Each task harder than the last, but I make it.

    I think you are wonderfully made. Rise above all the crap and junk that's been placed over and before you. Be strong!

    I tell myself this every time the sh*t starts to get too deep"

    "True strength is keeping yourself together when everyone else expects you to fall apart."

    You can do it. Don't run from it. Face it head on and show em' who's boss!

    Much love my friend. top

  • Anonymous Bea says so:
    6:42 PM  

    I read this thinking "did I write this?" I got a lump in my throat. We are sisters. I love you. I love you. that is all I know to say. top

  • Blogger Elizabeth F. says so:
    1:12 PM  

    I appreciate your transparency in this post. I'm sure it helped loved ones understand better what you've been going through. I also quite sure that you are not alone. Most of us feel inadequate in some area of our lives too.Things will get better. Just hug your baby tight and if you are a good person and mother to him that's the most impt thing anyway. top