she’s my Brandi

I have an amazing friend that I wish I could clone for everyone to have. She’s just so cool, honest, silly, and funny and can make anyone’s day brighter. I wouldn’t know what life would be like without this woman.

She was the room mom for my oldest son’s three year old preschool class and she was the queen of all room mom’s. I attempted to be as amazing as she was, at being room mom, a few years later but didn’t even come close. She has a teachers heart and a special love for kids that is inspiring.

When I met her, I had just given birth to my second son and was slowly falling into the world of losing who “Staci” was and becoming only a ‘mom’. Not that it is a bad thing at all to love motherhood, but life can become overwhelming and draining if you don’t take a break to really focus on who you are as a person without the kids and without the spouse. She helped me redefine what being a great mother was.

She showed me that we can love and support our kids 100% of the time but give ourselves a break to be a friend, an adult every once in a while. Taking time to be silly and catching up on things other than Power Rangers and super heroes is okay to do. And I love her for this because it’s so easy to lose your identity once you become a mom. You can easily find yourself being called the “cutest little red-head’s” mom, instead of simply being identified by your first name.

Judgie-Moms

Recently I was told that I should focus on my kids instead of blogging about my divorce. It stung, a lot, because it came from another hockey mom that I had once respected, and was stated as if I don’t focus on my kids which is sooo far from the truth.

My blog is my avenue to avoid costly therapy…and that’s okay because this is how I cope – this is what works for me. I share something and then move on…that’s it. There’s no further discussion about it after that. For someone to think that my kids aren’t getting the attention that they need and deserve is such a shortsighted judgement that is insulting. Everything I do is for my kids. Everything I fight for is for my kids. Everything that I push myself to achieve is for my kids. I’m doing an amazing job at motherhood.

But I have to admit…had I never been through a divorce I probably would have the same judgement. That’s one thing that I’ve learned through divorce is that you truly have no clue what is going on in someone’s home life, marriage, or relationships until you live it. Social media skews the truth so much, yet so many of us buy into what we see online as the complete truth about a situation.

This is the exact reason why I use this forum to be (almost) completely transparent about what I’m dealing with…because it’s not easy to admit any of this to anyone because people judge. And they’re mean, because they have no clue exactly what you’ve gone through. To admit that two marriages have failed, no matter who is at fault, is tough, but I’ve done it because when I went through my first divorce, I didn’t have anyone that truly knew or understood what I was going through. Many people sympathized, but no one really knew…which is why I blog – to make others feel not so alone.

I’ve chosen to leave some of the really bad choices that my soon-to-be-ex has made, out of the blog, in case my daughter should ever see these. Only I, and those closest to me, fully know the extent of hell that I’ve been put through. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone and those that question my decisions should also choose another path of ‘entertainment’ other than reading about how I’m coping with my current situation.

And for the strength to be able to say that, I owe it all to my silly, dinosaur costume wearing, scary movie watching, dance party hosting, best friend that has helped me to see who I really am as Staci…not just ‘mom’.

My Brandi

The funny thing is that in all of the world you won’t find two more people alike in the fact that we are HUGE people pleasers. If we’ve upset someone, we are nauseous about it, we stress about it, and focus on it waaay more than it deserves…but that’s who we are. She’s given me so much strength to be okay with who I am, flaws and all, and do my best to not care what other people and other moms think because she’s focusing on it too in her own life – she’s just a few steps ahead of me.

She’s my Brandi and I’m her Stephanie (#RHOD reference) – we can sit for hours and laugh until our stomachs hurt, tell each other the honest truth about what is going on in our lives – even the stuff we don’t want to fully admit to ourselves, tell each other the truth and be honest about if we think the other person should suck it up or belly-ache some more, then laugh some more, sing 90’s songs to the kids until we annoy them, and still want to do it all over again the next week. I’m so thankful that I have her in my life and I hope that everyone can have a ‘Brandi’ in their lives.

The key though is complete honesty with those that are closest to you. Those that truly care about you won’t judge you. If they do, walk away from them. You can’t have deep, meaningful relationships if you aren’t completely “You”.

brandi blog post 2

I wouldn’t love having her in my life if I didn’t feel like she loved me for who I was, down deep. If I had to put up a façade with her, it would be like so many other acquaintances that I have…and I have enough of those. I’m thankful that I have a friend like her in my corner that will shake me into reality when I’m throwing myself a pity party yet at the same time talk about our kids most recent bathroom issue, over a hurricane app that apparently everyone in Central Florida had downloaded and could hear us being silly on, during Hurricane Irma. (true story)

My challenge to you – be honest with those that are closest to you and grow those relationships and try your hardest to smile and be kind to those that have negative things to say, regardless of what their poorly based opinions may be. Only you have to be accountable for your actions – if you’re proud of them, then own them…if not, then change them.

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