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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Blogger:
Carri of Mommy's Little Monster Blake
"My New Normal"

My guest today is the bold and beautiful Carri of Mommy's Little Monster Blake. She loves horses, water skiing and vodka. I have yet to see a post where she has combined all three, but I wouldn't put it past her. She's pretty adventurous! Carri is your host for the Sunday Funday link up. Check it out, link up, make some new friends, and grow your blog presence.

Carri lives in Thousand Oaks, California with her husband of eight years Ken and two-and-a-half-year-old son Blake. They own two horses and a flock of chickens. You can learn more about Carri by reading her bio. You can even learn more about little Blake - he has his own bio!

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Let's get to know Carri better:

Favourite Time of Day? 
Nap time!
Favourite Treat? 
Ice Cream (I wonder if they make bacon flavored ice cream?)
Favourite Pastime? 
Sitting on the back porch and watching Blake play while I BBQ. Margaritas are usually in the picture, too.
Favourite Word? 
Cantankerous (I think it describes Blake perfectly.)
Favourite Family Outing? 
The park on a summer day.

My New Normal
by Carri of Mommy's Little Monster Blake

I never wanted be a mom.

To me, the word “mom” was never a positive one. As the daughter of a mother with bipolar disorder, “mom” was a word that I associated with anxiousness, hurt and abandonment. “Mom” was the person who gave birth to you but didn’t necessarily like you. “Mom” was not someone you could count on; she was not a person you could cry to; she was not your biggest supporter.

“Mom” was just the opposite.

She was unpredictable; she was mean; she was the reason your friends wouldn’t come over to play.

I never wanted to be that.

I never wanted to be a mom.

As I got older, I began to change. I slowly went from an anxious, depressed and self loathing teenager to a fun, confident, and witty young adult. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t held down or held back by my mom’s mental disorder and I didn’t let it define me. I refused to let it define me.

I was me. I was not her.

And then I became a mom. A real mom.

When my son was born, I made a promise to him that I would be a better mom to him than my mom had been to me. And even though post partum depression made the first few months difficult, I think I’ve made good on that promise.

We go to the park. We play “trucks”. We spend every waking moment together.

Blake is the happiest and friendliest little guy I’ve ever met, and he makes friends wherever he goes.

People can’t help but love Blake.

I can’t help but love Blake.

I love being a mom.


  1. Carri, thanks so much for being my guest today. I can relate to a lot of what you said. I was never going to have kids either, but eventually I warmed up to the idea and ultimately discovered it's the absolute best thing to happen in my life. Parenting is the toughest thing I will ever do, but I can't imagine life now outside of that role.

  2. As a RL friend of Carri, I never get tired of hearing her talk about the shift in her life... and how very much she loves being Blake's Mommy. It makes my heart happy to hear how she's found herself in the process.
    Go Carri! You're so not HER.

  3. Thank you for having me, Sue!!

  4. Such a sweet post, Carri. Sounds like we had similar upbringings. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I can't picture you as not-a-mom, Carri. It's fab that you got past the negative connotations of being a mom. YAY!

  6. And I love you! And I love the name Blake! Blake is lucky to have a mom like you. Seriously love you, lady.

  7. I just love this! I love how you decided to be the mom that you wanted to be! Your son is very lucky to have you as his mommy!

  8. Blake is lucky to have a mom like you! I am so happy that you have found who you are and haven't let the past define you. We love you for you!

  9. It's such a healing thing for me to read about other people who've experienced mental illness in their moms.

    I was the eldest, so my mom was loving, sane and lucid through my early years, despite the abuse she suffered at my dad's hands.

    Later, when she started evidencing a "colorful" side, it was rough at first. After a little while, I was able to divide that not-artsy "colorful" side from the artsy, loving, eccentric mom whose mission was to love and encourage her children through to lives gentler than the one she'd lived.

    I'm lucky to remember the good stuff. That good stuff--the feeling she left me with, back when she was herself--ended up being powerful, even in the face of the schizophrenia that mostly claimed her before cancer did. It was hell dealing with the schizophrenia, but I feel fortunate that I can remember the feeling of a time before. That there was one.

    I was terrified to be a mom. I was equally afraid of the potential for schizophrenia (courtesy my mom) and abuse (courtesy my dad). But then I held that precious baby and realized the defining part would be the love that I'd carried through all the years, and, indeed--it has!

    Those first few months were exhausting and hard, but they were also beautiful. And it's just gotten easier since. Hear, hear to that!

  10. Carri,
    You should be so proud of the words you put out there. Thank you for being real and wanting to share ( though I'm sure you struggled a bit writing it)
    Your words can certainly inspire someone else who may have felt the same way and need just a little push to put themselves out there. To realize that they are who they are because of them, not because their parents were who they were.
    Blake's so very lucky to have you as a mommy. Who, no matter what, will be giving him everything that a mommy like you can.

  11. Carri this is beautiful!! Through much struggle you have become an incredibly string woman and one hell of a mom!!

  12. Good for you Carri. I can't imagine what life was like growing up with a bipolar parent but I'm glad you made the decision to not let it define you.

  13. I love hearing the "personal" stuff. It makes you seem more real...not only the girl who can swig vodka from a plastic cup while getting sent to Twitter jail! You're awesome and thank you for letting us see this side of you. xoxoxox

  14. This just breaks my heart...terribly. I am bipolar and this is what I worry about. Know what the first question I asked my psychiatrist was? "How is this going to affect my son?"
    I know that I'm not perfect. I know that my illness makes me turn into a monster at times and I honestly cannot help that.
    I try though. I try so very hard.
    I don't want him to think of me the way you thought of your mom.

  15. Kimberly, my guest, Carri, may want to respond, but I want also to say something to you. (I haven't had any experience with bipolar disorder, but I have had experience with other illnesses that can have an affect on caregivers and dependents.) I hope you feel proud of at least this: You are aware, you are seeking and getting the help you need, and you are asking the right questions. The fact that you are questioning the effect of the disorder (which is not 'who you are' but a challenge that you face) on your son has to be at least half the battle. Take good care of yourself. That is your best gift to your son. ♥

  16. This is such a fabulous post, Carri! You're a great mom to Blake and he's so lucky to have you. :)

  17. Thank you, everyone.

    Kim, I know we've talked a little bit about this before but I'll say it again: You are doing everything you can to be the best mom to Chunky. My mom never did that. EVER. You are aware and you're doing what you need to do to say healthy. I have so much respect for you and I'm so glad that Chunky will not know the same mom that I know. xo

  18. I love this post. I never wanted to be a mom either. I was so terrified of becoming my mother who also suffers from bipolar disorder. At times I get tired of not being appreciated by my kids, but I can't imagine my life without loving them.