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OPEN LETTERS

Was picking up after me too much?

Dear Cleaning Service,

I thought the last four years went okay. Sure, we took that year or so off from one another while a worldwide pandemic ravaged its way through our community, and I tried my best to clean my own house. I mean, I was home, and we weren’t supposed to be having other people in our homes. I did what I had to do.

I know our house wasn’t the cleanest you cleaned, but it wasn’t the messiest either, right? We have kids! It’s lived in! I always did a pre-clean before you came and picked the undies…


OPEN LETTERS

Please stop telling us about your poop.

Dear Four Year Olds:

I get it. You poop. I poop, too. I know it’s exciting for you, especially after all of that time you spent pooping in a diaper. I am sure it feels good to let it go free in the toilet now and flush it all away while you say things like, “see you in the river!” The first few times we talked about you pooping, I was excited for you. My joy was genuine as I clapped about your successful drop-off, flush, and wipe. It was exciting for me, too. No more messy diapers and wipes…


Or is this a lie women tell themselves?

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

A couple of months ago, I learned about Only Fans. I know, I was late to the party on this one. If you are late to the party, too, Only Fans is a social media platform where people can subscribe to follow a user to gain access to the content the user posts. The user then earns money from these subscriptions. Now, I don’t know what the original intent behind Only Fans was. Perhaps it was a way for celebrities and influencers that had large followings to earn additional money. However, I now understand Only Fans allow non-celebrity and non-influencer…


Please don’t yell or play Janet Jackson

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

What if you have experienced trauma but don’t meet the formal criteria for PTSD? Can you still have responses related to trauma in your life? Why, yes. Yes, you can.

My parents argued throughout my childhood. The mild fights were screaming and swearing at one another, while the scarier fights involved throwing and breaking things. The loud crashes I heard from my bedroom made my stomach hurt as I wondered what was happening. I learned to plug my ears so hard my fingers and ears hurt, and when that didn’t work resorted to humming to myself to try to drown…


Where I go when I find myself in an existential hole

Photo by Arun Clarke on Unsplash

What am I even doing here? What will it be like when I die?

On nights when I allow myself the space to think too much and too deeply, my brain digs itself into a deep existential hole. The hole comes through a series of questions, each question digging a deeper hole while making my chest tighter.

The questions follow a predictable pattern that looks something like this: “I wonder how I will die. Where will I go when I die? Will I know that I died? How is life going to turn out? How long will I make it…


I hope you’ll always like me

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash

To my sweet boys Maverick and Abel,

Maverick, you are 7, and Abel, you are 4. I am deep in the trenches of parenting you; of “mommin’ it hard” as I like to say to my friends. I am tired. Constantly.

Long ago I lost the ability to pee by myself or take a shower without interruption. I now relish waking up at the crack of dawn to have a quiet hour or two to myself, opportunities to hear myself think over a book and cup of coffee. I say things like: “Cut the attitude!” and “Those shoes give you…


Photo by dimas aditya on Unsplash

I walk into a box. It is too small for me. My shoulders brush the walls when I spin around. I can not make big movements. I have to shrink to fit and feel even slightly comfortable in this space.

I have been in the box for a while now. I adjust to the walls and the security they provide. The box may not be comfortable, but it’s predictable.

One day, the box feels less comfortable. Something has changed. I think the box is shrinking, or maybe I am growing.

Shrinking myself to fit inside the box becomes increasingly uncomfortable…


Bye.

Photo by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

I recently wrote a piece about how life changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how some parts of life will never be the same. I noted a change in interpersonal relationships and how the combination of a pandemic and a contentious election caused me to see unknown sides of people I thought I knew but turns out not as well as I thought.

Throughout 2020, I pruned my relationships with others. If the relationship wasn’t serving me, I let it go. I cleaned my Facebook list of people I knew from high school but would hide from if I saw…


Cereal Isn’t the Problem

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

“I don’t let my kids eat sugary cereals full of dyes and processed ingredients. They want to eat food that is good for them so they don’t even ask for the sugary cereals anymore when we go to the grocery store!”

I roll my eyes as I pass this Facebook post during my regular scroll. I am irritated, but not surprised. This post comes from the same mom that posts regular pictures of her kids eating salads and vegetables. …


There’s no coming back from a global pandemic.

Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

A year ago, the world was stopping and we were all freaking out. The uncertainty of what a global pandemic meant for us all was scary. Figuring out how to work from home, remote learn, and share the same space with every household member for weeks on end came with unexpected lessons. At that time, I wrote about finding peace in the slow down and enjoying finding joy in simpler things. Being forced to stop being busy allowed time for reflection, connection, and the ability to be intentional about what I spent time on. I read more books in 2020…

Nikki T

Midwest working-mom, runner, wife, friend, and sometimes yogi. Licensed counselor. I write about being a human in this wild world.

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