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Miami Vice — Vol 52
Living my best end of summer hot mom life this week 🍹
I only proofread this like once, so please excuse my grammatical errors and sentence structures. You will know why I didn’t fine-tooth comb today’s lunch after reading it.
As you are reading this, The Williams party of three are in the friendly skies heading to Miami for the week. This is JJ’s first airplane ride, so I’ll let you know how he did next time we chat.
In a few days, on 9/21, Julian and I are celebrating three years of marriage.
I am so ready to lay by the pool, drink Miami Vices (the only frozen drink I will order in Miami, and I will only order this drink IN Miami, it doesn’t taste the same everywhere else), eat at fabulous restaurants, steal a few quiet moments with Bae, and show JJ how the family vacations!
Some folks are like 😳 when we tell them we are taking our 7-month-old with us on our anniversary trip, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. If you only knew…well, you will learn a little in a few; keep reading.
If you’ve been a Monday Luncher, you know I dedicate every third Monday in September to my husband and me. I think marriage should be celebrated every single year. The celebration could be big or small, but there still should be some celebration.
Marriage is hard work.
Don’t you celebrate other achievements in life? So why not consistently celebrate one of the most important things two people decided to do in their life, commit to each other for-freaking-EVER!
I will do a little storytelling in honor of our three years together.
It hasn’t even been five years
I feel like Julian, and I have been together for much longer than we have. It hasn’t even been five years since we’ve known each other. This November will mark five years since we MET each other.
Life can change in the blink of an eye, and while I always knew that, I didn’t experience it from a positive lens until I met him.
I was absolutely that person who wanted to be married. Once I hit a certain point in my life (for me, it was right around 32, but it’s different for everyone, and it also has nothing to do with age for some), I decided I was no longer playing around with my dating life.
I stopped wasting precious time with folks I knew would not be for me. I stopped trying to make people for me. Instead, I actively searched for the person who was also searching for me.
The journey to my forever was full of twists and turns, dips and flips (most of y’all have read some of my terror dating tales, so many more to come), but the process was still beautiful, and it got me to my forever.
Let me stand on my soap box for a second for those folks in the way back.
Whether marriage or a long-term commitment, you MUST do the work if you desire a life partner. I don’t know why folks think their person is just going to drop out of thin air and land in their lap. If that’s the wavelength you’ve been on and it hasn’t worked yet, you need to change your approach.
If you’ve tried all the apps and put yourself out there, and that hasn’t worked, TAKE A BREAK! It’s a job, a full-time job at that.
You take vacations from time to time. Don’t you come back refreshed and rejuvenated (sometimes)? The same goes for dating. Dating is fucking exhausting.
Marriage is wonderful. It’s an unexplainable feeling knowing that two people have chosen to choose each other daily in a world full of temptation at your fingertips. Marriage is also hard work. So again, why do you think finding your spouse should be super easy? Makes no sense to me.
For some people, the love of their life did fall out of the sky and into their lap. But don’t let SOMEONE ELSE’S love story cloud your perception of dating and finding YOUR person. That is how THEY found THEIR person. Every experience is different.
I’m an advocate for dating apps. I even wrote a very in-depth online dating how-to guide to set up users for success. But for some, online dating isn’t their cup of tea.
So what is your cup of tea? Because it can’t be sitting in the house “complaining” about being single when you are not putting yourself out there.
*sidenote* if you boo’d up frfr, you can skip to the next topic cause imma be here for a minute. Or maybe you should screenshot and send it to that one friend we all got.
Putting yourself out there means so many different things. Most folks, especially women, cis-women, think that it means you have to approach the person you are attracted to. But ma’am, it doesn’t always mean that.
It means you need to position yourself and life to welcome the right person into it. It is removing the baggage of former relationships and people who no longer serve a purpose in your life—removing yourself from groups of people and environments that are not setting you up for success.
It also means occasionally approaching someone who you find interesting or attractive. Everyone likes to be approached and hit on. So why does it always have to land on the person you are seeking? Why can’t you make the first move?
I asked my husband out on our first date because his behind was dragging his feet. Talking about “oh, we should go here one day.” Bruh, when is that day going to happen is what I would be screaming in my head until one day I just said F it and asked him if he was free on a Tuesday, and the rest was history.
After I went through my first real heartbreak, a few months later, a great friend of mine recommended a four-part church series to watch by my then pastor. It posed a question that changed my entire outlook on dating.
Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?
Read that again.
After watching that series, I knew I was NOT prepared for what I wanted in life, so I had to prepare. And guess the fuck what? It took me a few years to get ready. Amazing and worthwhile things don’t usually happen overnight.
Less than five years ago, we were strangers. Things changed in the blink of an eye for both of us. We were on two separate journeys, and they happened to cross paths one Saturday morning via Tinder. And now we are both experiencing a beautiful life together, filled with everything we’ve ever wanted from a life partner.
Three years of marriage. Less than five years of knowing each other exists. Life will surprise you when it’s time.
One day at a time
Committing your time, energy, and life to someone requires patience. I thought I understood what patience was when I got married, and then we started trying to have a baby, then we lost a baby, then we started trying again, and finally, we were blessed with JJ.
My therapist told me when I struggled during our fertility journey that every day is a new day for a new result. Sometimes even taking it hour by hour. Instead of looking so far into the future and worrying, focus on what's in front of you now.
I’ve taken that advice and not only applied it to the journey to conceiving but also within my marriage and now being a new parent.
Becoming a parent and a mother has been a beautiful life-changing experience. But it has brought about so many moments where I had to tell myself, “one day at a time, Jemia.”
Now that I’m a parent, I think it is exceptionally WILD that folks believe a baby will solve their marital or relationship problems. Because from my experience, bringing a baby into this world creates a new set of challenges and difficulties that would have never existed if you didn’t have one or two or three or however many you are seeking to have.
Hell, maybe it does for some folks, but listen, I’ve never encountered the situations we’ve been in over the last several months. And I know for a FACT that I am not alone.
I felt like our marriage was and still is in a beautiful place when JJ arrived in this world, but we’ve been thrown into a very different world that brought us real challenges.
A few of our seasoned parent friends told us they barely had arguments until they started having kids.
As an inexperienced, naive person, I believed Ju and I would be OKAY. We have fantastic communication skills, are very truthful, and have no issues letting each other know when something is off or need help.
Even with having those excellent skills, we still struggle(d) with learning this new phase of life, and we’ve both realized that it’s OKAY! While it’s rather exciting to peer into the future, living in the moment and taking everything day by day keeps me grounded.
One day at a time. One day at a time.
I’ve been hovering over my keyboard for a few minutes, figuring out how to go here next. I am just going to rip the bandaid off.
Not many folks know details about what has been going on within our parenting journey. While it's been so rewarding, beautiful, and full of smiles and laughs, there have been tough moments. And I feel like I have finally gotten to the point where I am on the other side of the dark place I was living in for a couple of months.
Every baby is different. And every baby grows and develops differently. Some are well ahead of their milestones, many are right on time, and others just decide to take their time for various reasons.
During JJ’s 4-month check-up, his pediatrician had some concerns. That led her to give us outside referrals for neurology, ophthalmology, genetics, endocrinology, developmental peds, early intervention, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and to get a helmet for his flat head, medically called plagiocephaly.
Now imagine hearing all of that in ONE sitting.
I was not okay.
At that moment, my downward spiral began. While I knew JJ wasn’t on the “normal” development curve, I didn’t think he needed an entire staff of additional doctors to understand why he was having difficulty controlling his head and neck, focusing with his eyes, and screamed through tummy time.
I’m thinking, “Hell, he is only four months. What are you expecting him to do with four months of life?”
When we walked out of that appointment, I felt defeated, like I wasn’t doing something right or I did something to have my baby “behind.”
For weeks I cried at minor things. I would break down when I saw my friend's or colleague's babies doing things that JJ wasn’t and he was "supposed" to be doing them.
I was only sharing my emotions with Julian, so he was the only support I was getting. While his support was great, he also had to process things and couldn’t bear his weight along with mine 247.
So I finally decided to tell a few friends, crying on the phone with them or in their arms at a coffee shop. But I felt much better after sharing what I’ve been bottling up for what felt like forever.
Thank goodness I have been sticking with therapy because she has been heaven-sent during this time. And she reminded me of our conversation about taking things one day at a time and celebrating what is in front of you.
I was so focused on what JJ was not doing that I forgot to see all the beauty in the things that he is doing.
It took me almost two months to snap out of that dark place, and while I hated the feeling, I had to go through it to be better for myself, JJ, and our family.
We are one month into therapy, and he is responding so well to it, doing things he’s never done before and attempting the things he should be doing at this stage of his life.
We have also knocked two medical referrals off the chopping block, with results returning normal!
While milestone questions like “is he rolling yet” still send a slight shiver up my spine because we are a work in progress, it no longer triggers me to tears like it used to.
I used to respond with “not yet,” but now my new response is “we are figuring it out.” And it’s the truth; we are figuring it out. Just that simple change in language has helped me understand and process our son’s journey much easier.
If you remember from volume 39, Mother’s Milk, I shared how emotional I got when folks asked me how breastfeeding was going. Instead of asking a new mom that direct question, I said ask how feeding is going instead.
The same thing applies here. Instead of asking about a specific developmental milestone, ask what’s their new thing or what they have learned to do recently. It will be much easier for the parent to respond to those questions versus answering something their baby is being challenged with or, in some cases, might never do.
All in all, John-Joseph Marlowe is living his best life. He is smiling, laughing, and babbling more than ever. He LOVES to talk. He wake up with something to say, just like his mama.
Understand now why we are excited to spend five days away with our baby.
So I had one more story for you. But I don’t have time to tell it.
Transparency moment, it’s Sunday night for me right now, and RHOA reunion part 2, followed by Married 2 Medicine, is about to come on. I have to get my clothes out of the dryer and finish packing my bag for Miami. It took me two days to gather all of JJ’s stuff for this trip. He has more things than I do for this five-day trip. I had to go pick up this stroller we rented from this baby supplies rental store I found online. You know those one strollers that turn into a car seat with one button and then back to a stroller for a one-stop shop? The Doona. I rented that so we could hop in and out of rideshares in one quick swoop.
I also have to participate in my RHOA/M2M group chat. That group chat is always a good time on a Sunday night.
I’ll catch y’all next month!