JUST TELL ME HOW TO HELP

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I haven’t really known what to say.

When I first heard, I was very angry. The bill was passed as I entered my third trimester of my second pregnancy and I was extremely sad and confused by who and what kind of people could choose to kill a healthy baby that they had been holding onto for so long. A baby that’s moving, hiccuping, seeing shadows, hearing your voice. Foolishly being soothed at any vibrations coming from your vocal chords. Even the ones declaring it is no longer wanted and no longer deserves to live.

As time has gone on, my anger has subsided, though my sadness still grows stronger. Every kick I feel from my own baby, I get a flash of what it must be like deciding to go through with a late-term abortion, having the injection, and wondering if every kick you feel from then on is your baby, who you’ve gotten to know so well, in agonizing pain. A kick that’s followed by silent cries of confusion and fear as their life slips away from them.

Every time I hear a story of women who have gone through with a late-term abortion. Telling their tale of their full grown, otherwise healthy babies being flushed down a drain or pulled from their body, limb by limb. Hearing of babies who are left in buckets, struggling for air, crying for help as medical professionals who have taken oaths to save every life, no matter what, watch these poor babies die. Unloved and unwanted by every person they’ve ever encountered for no other reason than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It really makes me wonder if the difference between life and death should really be a uterine wall.

I’m not trying to be morbid or fill anyone with guilt. This is literally where my brain goes. I just can’t help it.

***

I’m not a religious person. My values aren’t driven by a higher power. To me, it’s just simply be kind and treat everyone with respect because it’s the right thing to do. Because I don’t have the right to decide one person deserves kindness or respect over another.

So then that brings up the debate, when does life really start? Who really has rights and who really doesn’t? What is the fight that’s really worth fighting? Who’s baby is it really and who’s body is it really? Take religion out of it and you’ve still got a mess of opinions and bias to get through, regardless of any facts you can find on the matter. Opinions and bias that are shaped so early on by our own personal experiences, so in our core that at this point, you can’t convince me and I can’t convince you that anything we believe is right or wrong. And you know what? That’s okay.

I’m not here to try and convince a women who has come to the conclusion that her baby shouldn’t live that she is wrong. While I can’t understand what you have gone through to get to that point, I also can’t tell you that your life experiences and opinions are anymore or less significant than my own.

***

I guess at this point, I’ve reached the conclusion that open discussion is important. Not a bickering match about who’s right and who’s wrong based on XY and Z. But real discussions surrounded by respect for the fact that we are all different and have different opinions and somehow try to come to a middle ground of, at the very least, mutual respect and understanding.

***

Really, what it comes down to for me is that this has raised a lot of questions. It’s put a lot of light on society and it’s morals and values.

I’ve realized how one track minded adults can be. How difficult it is for us to step outside of ourselves and simply try to understand. It’s difficult, as someone who believes that every baby deserves to live and that every father (unless proven to be unsafe for mom and/or baby) has rights too, to understand all of this. It’s difficult for me to even want to understand sometimes.

But the bottom line is, if we truly want equality and we truly want a kind world, we have to be willing to hear and care for each other, whether we agree or not. We need to stop having discussions and making posts for the sake of convincing people we’re right. I think the only way to really help is to respectfully share ourselves and our experiences in order to help each other see every side.

***

I can’t tell you that all of this is right or wrong. All I can say is that it makes me sad for those babies and it makes me wish they had the opportunity to have someone who was capable of loving them the way they needed. The same way I wish every human could be given the opportunity to have someone love them the way they need to be loved.

I can’t say that the people who choose to terminate their pregnancies are bad people because I don’t know them. I don’t know what has brought them to that conclusion and I don’t know what it will do to them when all is said and done. I am very sure that the last thing they need, the last thing that will help, is for me to project my own opinion on them and their lives.

***

All of this being said, all I really can say to everyone is, I want to help. I want to give the world the love it needs. Yes. I am against abortions. I couldn’t choose to have one personally. It makes me incredibly sad thinking about this happening in the world. Thinking that there are babies who are happy, alive, and well who are killed for no other reason than being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

But I’m not against people. I want to help adults and babies alike, I just don’t know how. I don’t want to strip people of something they feel they need and deserve, but I also want to save the people who have no choice in the matter at all and I honestly don’t know how to do both. Short of offering to adopt every baby who’s mother doesn’t want them, I don’t know what to do.

***

For now, the best I can think to do is say all of this and to end it by saying, I’m here.

I’m here to listen. I’m not here to judge. I have my opinions. I have my feelings. I am a human being and I can’t help that my brain is a functioning one that feels and forms opinions based on my personal experiences. I can’t help that I have bias, but I do have the self control to not let that bias turn me into a cruel, close-minded person. I have enough self control to be kind and respectful and caring no matter where you stand. And I want to find a way for every human to have rights. For every person with a beating heart to get the love that they deserve.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

A few things I’ve learned about myself:

  • I’m definitely a morning person

  • I really value alone time

  • I crave peace in my environment and day

All pretty standard stuff I’d say.

Really what it comes down to is, I like for my day to be predictable. I like having a purpose behind the things I do. And I like feeling like I have the time to do everything I want to do.

I’m always working to create some kind of normalcy to the day. Our lives shift a lot with a toddler who has needs and sleep schedules that are constantly changing. We just moved into a new home and Ian has moved into a new position at work which means his schedule will change up a bit and our environment is totally different. Plus, we’re about to totally change up our whole dynamic with the birth of our second child.

With all of this in mind, I’ve been trying to add a few moments of peace to the day. Some kind of activity to look forward to. Having these little rituals helps to stay on some kind of schedule and keep our days fairly predictable. It’s nothing huge or complicated. Just little things to look forward to so we can all stay on track.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

I have discovered mornings are very important to me. I never realized how much I love starting the day all by myself. Recently, Ian and I started waking up earlier than normal so he can be ready for work at a good time and since alarms wake me up on the first ring and I can’t go back to sleep after that, I decided to try this early morning thing too.

This has given me about an hour all to myself while Ian gets ready and starts his work day and Oliver sleeps or talks to himself. It’s amazing and is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day.

GETTING READY

This part has stayed pretty much the same. I learned much later in life the value of getting out of bed and getting fully ready for the day, even if you plan on spending all day at home. It’s motivating being ready for anything. It gets me in motion, helps wake me up, and honestly give me an extra sense of purpose for my day.

Here’s how I get ready for my day:

  • Check my phone - weather, social media, etc.

  • Make the bed

  • Brush my teeth

  • Wash my face

  • Get Dressed

I try to not overload myself on getting ready. My wardrobe is small and my morning skincare routine is pretty simple so it doesn’t take me much longer than 15 minutes to get all of that done.

PREP

It may sound silly to “prep” for just 30 minutes of your day, but the last 30 minutes of this ritual are extremely sacred to me. I’ve recently learned the value in getting little things out of the way now so you don’t have to do it later. And that is the most important part of this little morning routine: starting my day peacefully. So this prep is pretty crucial to the whole system.

Prepping my morning:

  • Turn on coffee for Ian (prepped the night before) and start a pot of water for tea

  • Set up tea pot with peppermint tea

  • Empty dishwasher while water boils

  • Steep tea

  • Turn on diffuser (prepped the night before) - or light a candle when I’m in the mood

  • Open blinds to let in the sunrise

  • Share my first tea pour and the weather on instagram (I don’t know, I just like doing it)

Once the mood is set, it’s time to indulge in my favorite part of the morning.

My ME Time

Ah yes. This is what makes me hop out of bed every morning with urgency. Not stressful urgency, but excitement!

This is the part of my day that I have been missing basically my whole life. A peaceful, slow start to everyday. I’ve never been good about waking up at the same time everyday and once I started having kids I tried to take full advantage of all the sleep I could get. But this new routine has taught me the true value in going to sleep early and waking up early. It’s not for everyone, but for me it’s the perfect way to structure my day.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

Here’s what I do for me-time:

  • Drink tea

  • Journal

  • Spend some time drinking tea and coffee with Ian

For all the hype, it may seem simple. But it’s exactly what I need. A moment to reflect on life, how I’m feeling. To get my thoughts in order and get a good idea of what I have to do and want to do with my day and life in general. I can get out any negativity, let in some positivity and all while I sip on something cozy and good.

When I’ve finished my journalling, Ian and I will take a few minutes to talk about anything. What we’re doing that day, how we’re feeling, politics, current events, the drama from The Bachelor, you name it.

Around 8 - 8:15am I’ll start breakfast while Ian lets the dog out and gets the boy ready for the day (aka slippers and a clean shirt) and then we all have breakfast together.

It’s a quick little ritual. I don’t need much time, but I definitely have found this is something I’ve been missing from my day and I’m so glad to be making time for it now.

MONEY TALK: JANUARY DEBT DIARY

MONEY TALK: JANUARY DEBT DIARY - This Wild Home

January has been a crazy month. We moved, somewhat unexpectedly, which added a lot of expenses we wouldn’t normally have. But even in the craziness, I was able to get a good idea of where the bulk of our money is going on an average week which was my big financial goal for this month.

We wound up spending close to $1000 on extra expenses from the move. I wish I could say every single purchase was 100% necessary. I can at least say that every purchase was at least 60% necessary. In the name of comfort and ease, there were a few changes we knew we would need to make in our new place and we figured tacking all of our home purchases on at the beginning made the most sense.

Our main home purchases included:

  1. WASHER + DRYER | This was one of those things you don’t really expect to have to buy when you’re renting, especially for an apartment so I’m sad to say we had to charge this one to the credit card. We got the cheapest we could but we also looked at it as an investment since we can now take these bad boys anywhere. We looked into apartments that had washers and dryers that came with the unit, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend here in Amarillo. Of course, there’s always a laundromat or finding a place with a laundry facility. But I’ll be honest, with two little kids, I know I’ll never do laundry unless I can walk to it within my own home. Plus, when you think about the long term cost, it’s definitely better just having our own.

  2. DESK | We didn’t go all out and get something extravagant, but we definitely learned we needed a designated work space for Ian. Our last apartment was our first experience having all of us home all of the time. Ian got a position that is a work from home position. We thought we could get away with having him work at the dining table but very quickly learned we would need a desk because the dining table is used too often through the day and it’s not quite big enough for all of us to fit while Ian is working. So there you have it, a desk was purchased.

  3. RUG | For under the dining table. We moved from a full on laminate apartment to a full on carpet apartment. Given that we have a toddler and a baby on the way who will both eat very messily for the unforeseeable future, we decided it would be best to get a small rug for under the table because, in the long run, having a rug to cover the carpet in the dining space would save us from having to pay to replace the whole carpet if any stains or spills occur in our time here.

  4. VACUUM | We wound up getting a robot vacuum. It wasn’t a super fancy one. I found one that was about the same price as a regular vacuum and thought, “Hey, I need a vacuum anyway. Why not get one that does the work for me?” We only had a broom before which was fine to sweep a rug and laminate floors with, but for a whole apartment of carpet I knew I needed a little help.

  5. HUMIDIFIERS | The climate we moved to is much more dry than anywhere we’ve ever lived. That, along with the colder weather and a need for a heater 24/7 left us all with dry skin and bloody noses. So we got some little humidifiers to run at night in each of our rooms.

  6. EXTRAS | You know, move in fees, storage solutions, command strips and hooks, a plant or two because we had the room and I found a fiddle leaf fig tree for $16. There weren’t too many extra things we needed but I’m sure they added up more than I really know. There were definitely many trips to Target.

All in all, I don’t think we went crazy on home purchases. I tried to be as resourceful as possible and turn to what we already had before buying something new, but with a new home comes new necessities.

Other one-time expenses:

The second thing that added to our one time purchases was my birthday. I kept the budget low. My actual birthday was 4 days after our move so I just wanted to sit at home and hang out with my boys. My husband had a small budget for some decorations (because decorating the dining room for each other is a tradition) and I got Chinese food and watched movie. I was gifted some birthday money and I used that for a sweater and shirt from Target along with my official tea set up to get started on one of my new year intentions. I’m happy to say my tea pot and the tea I bought is getting used daily!

Otherwise, a lot of money was spent on fast-food, gas to get here, and restocking our fridge.

JANUARY FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

CHECKING

Made - 4612.21

Spent - 4346.1

  • one-time expenses (not including washer + dryer) - 968.5

  • rent - 999

  • groceries - 710.83

  • restaurants/coffee/fast food - 247.23

  • debt - 906.44

  • bills - 361.34

  • hobbies - 35.4

So this month my only real focus was simply getting a good look at what’s coming in and what’s going out. I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of wiggle room for adding more to debt this month, but a big part of being able to pay off debt is knowing how much you really have and where you can make cuts.

Obviously, there’s a big chunk from this past month that was just extra expenses that we won’t normally have now that we’re settled in which is a good feeling.

WHERE WE’RE OVER SPENDING:

Our food expenses. They may look a little worse simply because of all the eating out we did while transitioning from one home to another, but about half way through this month our spending regulated and I got a good look at what it looks like on an average week.

Just to give a little insight on an average two weeks:

  • groceries - 402.11

  • fast food/restaurants/coffee - 97.5

  • bills - 227.32 (power/internet/spotify)

  • loans/debt - 394.43

  • hobbies - 35.4

  • kids - 

  • home goods - 156.23

You guys. That’s an average of $500 every two weeks on food alone which is way too much for 2 adults and 1 baby.

So I did some digging. The nice thing about some of these order online places is that you get an electronic receipt, and since I never take paper receipts, this made it so I could go back and get a good look at what I was actually buying.

I think the kicker was our meal plan subscription. We signed up a few months ago to help with meal planning and found a fairly inexpensive service that we really love using, but at $40 a week for only 3 of our meals, we found that it’s just not practical right now. Besides that, there are definitely places in our groceries that we can cut back on. Namely fancy beer and those snacks that you buy on a whim because you really need to eat a whole birthday cake right now.

DEBT

While we did pay our minimums on everything, we weren’t able to make too many strides this month. After purchasing a few baby things in February I’m hoping to start putting more into the credit card!

GOING INTO FEBRUARY

Our plan for this month is pretty simple. The main focus is to cut our spending a little bit. We do need to buy a few little things to get ready for our son who will be born early March and we have some things to prepare for guests coming in town.

Otherwise, I’m going to keep doing my weekly reports for our bills. But I’m also going to start doing weekly reports on food and groceries specifically to really get a good idea of what we’re buying and what we may be able to cut back on.