Author: Jessica Hendrickson

Letting Go of the Negativity

Insecurity. Self-doubt. JEALOUSY. Anxiety. Resentment. They are all such heavy, negative emotions. At the same time, they are natural, innate, and above all, powerful. They have the ability to overwhelm and take over. They have the power to weigh you down, both literally and figuratively. Personally, I’ve experienced those feelings at different levels throughout my life. And at times they’ve consumed me. And during those times, I just gave in and accepted it: this was part of my personality; part of who I was. As time passed, I came to realize that is NOT who I am. Maybe it had to do with maturity, life experience, becoming a wife, a mother, I’m not sure. Maybe I just didn’t want to feel insecure and weighed down by heaviness of negativity. So I made a conscious effort NOT let those destructive words describe me anymore. The most effective step I took was choosing to surround myself with positive people. Positivity is contagious. When enveloped in that energy, it permeates, and you actually become happy by osmosis.  Sound corny? Let me tell you a story. One of the first 5Ks I ran, I ran alone. I was feeling super insecure that morning, surrounded by all the “real” runners in their fancy spandex and fluorescent sneakers. I stood to the side in my sweatpants and zip up hoodie. Everyone was so upbeat and chipper that I found...

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The Fear of Having Post-Partum Depression…AGAIN.

With my first son, I had post-partum depression. But that’s not what this post is about. To be honest, I’m not quite ready to write about that. This is about what happened the second time around.   First of all, I did not want to have another baby. Sure, I liked the idea of my son having a sibling (being one of four, I knew the significance of that experience). My husband wanted another child. But I did not. Why would I ever take the chance of going through that horrible nightmare again? Nothing is worth feeling like that. No, not even a child.     Well, the conversation inevitably came up and I gave my husband the same reply every time “I’m just not ready yet.” I used that excuse for about a year. Then in a weak moment (or maybe subconsciously I thought I was ready, I don’t know) I said “Ok, let’s do it”. So I went off the pill and started timing things. About two days later I freaked out: There is NO way I’m doing this again!              I don’t want to do it.                                       I can’t do it.                                                           I won’t.   Due to the fact that I try and avoid uncomfortable confrontations at all costs, paired with the knowledge my husband would be justifiably disappointed (and angry), I didn’t have the guts to tell...

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The Value of Time

I met a woman at a dinner party this summer and the topic of our children inevitably came up. She has two sons in college. I have two sons not yet in pre-school. As the wine flowed more freely, our trivial small talk took on a more somber tone. She admitted to me she just experienced one of the saddest moments of her life: dropping her son off at college.   That drive home – alone – symbolized the end of a phase in her life.   She wasn’t ready. Eighteen years wasn’t long enough. I am in a very different...

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Learning to Juggle

Remember those days when an alarm clock woke you up and you had that delicious option of pressing “snooze”? Yeah, I don’t remember either. Today, my day started at 3:26am (is that even considered morning?) with a crying infant who lost his pacifier. After plugging him back up I went back to bed and as soon as I drifted off……”MOMMY!!!! I want to sleep in YOUR bed! There are no monsters in YOUR bed!” My bed is invaded by a 3 year old little person, who, by the way, sleeps perpendicular to me, with his feet in my rib cage. Edging over to the very last 6 inches of bed space, I try and catch a few more precious minutes of sleep when I suddenly remember I have to bring formula to Daycare (how could I forget that?!) It’s ok, I’ll just pick it up on the way there, which means I have to leave about 7 minutes earlier. I can do that. Oh but wait! I need to get gas too….ok, add another 6 minutes….zzzz…   What feels like 4 seconds later, the baby’s crying again. It’s 6:00. Time to get up. I bring the baby in bed with us and the boys do their morning cuddle routine as I throw on clothes (do you think anyone will notice this shirt has a spit-up stain on it? Is...

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A Letter To My Friend: What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Mom

My Dear Friend,  In a few short months, you’ll meet that little person growing inside you and your life as you know it will be gone.  There will forever be two yous: Before and After.  You’re no stranger to change – you picked up and moved to Spain to teach English, you relocated to Chicago with only a couple of bucks and your clothes. You’re a brave, strong woman.  But this change is….different. Although nothing can really prepare you for it, here are a few things that I wish I knew before becoming a mom:   It is harder than you can imagine. When I was pregnant with my first son I thought: I’m in my thirties (i.e. not a kid), have a career (i.e. no major financial issues), a good marriage (i.e. no relationship drama), a house (i.e. enough room for a family), I got this. I’m ready. Ha-ha. Little did I know. It doesn’t matter how secure you are and how much support you have.  And despite what people tell you, you will NOT love every second.  It is harder than you can imagine.       You may not have an instant connection with him. You’ve heard about that “magical moment” when you first hold your baby in your arms, but it doesn’t always happen that way. With my first son, I didn’t experience an instant bond – he...

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