I’m not your average Stepford Wife. I’m really anything but. Sure I often cook and sometimes clean, but I put up a mean fight. My name is Deanna PT. It is my opinion that there is too much “Fake” out there. Too many moms pretending not to have challenges (or concealing challenges). Too many rules for us to follow. Too many of us being shamed for just being moms. I hope my Candid Conversations blog will help bring about some authenticity and help promote self-love and camaraderie on this parenting journey. To be clear, this blog is not an outlet to “air my dirty laundry,” but it is a platform that I hope to discuss challenges we may all be going through.
Here’s a bit of my story:
I’m a relatively new mom, my son is almost 2 and I have three girls from my husband’s former marriage, ages 15, 12 and 8 (as of 2018 – these numbers are always changing, I’ll be darned). Since becoming a mom of 4, I have truly struggled to work on myself. What do I mean? I’m so concerned with feeding everyone, making sure the house is clean, taking kids to activities and appointment, focusing on what’s going on in their lives that I forgot what it is “I’m here to do”. I’ve always been passionate about writing because I believe it connects us as people, moms, friends, sisters and brothers, and reading a passionate author’s work is almost always inspiring and life-changing.
Some of my favourite books aren’t the quick-fad reads (no offence – nothing against them, they just don’t seem to be page turners for me), but the classics and more recently, life about marginalized people in oppressive societies (non-fiction). I’m not here to rant about it, but truly those works are the most inspiring to me because they usually demonstrate how the protagonist overcomes all sorts of obstacles, and the best ones are where said people demonstrate the courage to forgive others (their oppressors) and live their life fully.
Education has always been a cornerstone in my eyes, for improving the quality of our lives. As such, I’ve spent much time behind the books and in a classroom learning about politics and the western canon of literature. For me, expanding my education has helped me “change” in a very positive way. Learning and writing has helped and continues to help me develop a clearer understanding of life and what I want to do with my life.
I came from a broken family. I was four when my father left my mom, my brother and me. My mom didn’t always have the best coping mechanisms, although she was a good mom who loved my brother and I unconditionally. My mom worked tirelessly to try to improve my brothers and my lives. She did succeed in providing us with many things, but there was an emotional gap that wasn’t filled. When I was 10, my dad moved to Texas and like many kids, we wondered how our dad could leave us. That pain was real and lingering. It felt like we were being ditched and that we weren’t loved. After this, my teenage years were filled with a lot of signs of “lacking self-love.” Like many kids that don’t feel love from their parents, they act out – and I did too. I stayed on a path of self-defeat for a long time, making friends with people who were also broken and trying to heal their hearts with social drinking and drugs. I’m not sure the exact moment on my path, but something inside me said “enough” and I started making some of the right decisions – at least what I thought was right. I started knuckling down at school because I knew I had to craft my own future. Although I said, “enough” to many things like partying, my heart still longed for love and affection.
In my mode of “seriousness,” I ended up in a serious relationship with a seriously bad person. For one reason or another, I felt like this was the only person I deserved because of some of the decisions I made in the past. I also didn’t think he was a bad person, at least not to me, I thought I was the exception to his wrath. I wasn’t. As time went on I was mentally and physically abused by him. He effectively isolated me from my family and friends, He made me feel like I was living in an eternal hell. It was at this point when I asked God to save me – I prayed deliberately and asked God to save me from the hell I was in. It was never easy to leave him without being pursued and followed. The thought of actually leaving was terrifying. And one weekend (not my first attempt to leave, though) my mom and brother came, I found an apartment within a day and two beautiful roommates who were welcoming and understanding of my challenges. I had sworn I would rather be single than to be in a toxic relationship.
A little more than two years went by after my “big leave” and I was helping a friend install flooring. It was Valentine’s Day. Her male friend was also there and was impressed by me and my “mad-flooring skills”. He ended up setting me and his friend up – Drew. Drew was a pastor at a local church and a life coach for homeless people. Because I had never been set up on a blind date, and only because he sounded like a nice human being did I agree to meet with him for dinner. He also had/has a career in real estate – flipping, rentals, sales and now development. He sounded like a dream, but I was apprehensive at first.
It took a little while of “us dating” to be sure I could meet his girls. We didn’t want to do an introduction unless we were both absolutely serious about each other. My heart was compassionate for the girls because their mom had left them. I knew the pain they must have felt, and I also thought that maybe I would have some valuable insights for them, having had similar experiences. When I finally met them, I remember how happy they were for a lady to be around and they ALL wanted me to do their hair. I was in love with everyone, not just Drew. Our youngest girl was the sweetest, our middle girl had just enough charisma (I refrain from using the word attitude) and our oldest was quiet, beautiful and smart.
Before I met Drew, marriage was never really an option for me, especially given how I really didn’t think there were many good men out there. If people are autonomous creatures and need agency to make their own decisions, then any marriage, if it’s to work, needs to be about choice and not control. But one year after I found Drew, he woo’d me and we tied the knot at a beautiful, vintage hotel in Niagara –On-The-Lake. Our wedding was small – 50 people. My step-daughters were my bridesmaids in our wedding.
Now that the honeymoon is over, so to speak, we are both confronted with many of the ups and downs that life presents to everyone. Together, we navigate through our lives of child-rearing, bringing out the best of ourselves and our family, ethics and blended families, and balancing work that can be all-too-demanding at times.
Now that you’ve gotten to know me a bit, you may be asking – what on earth does your blog cover? Truly, I want this blog to be a reflection of life: sometimes it’s messy, sometimes it’s planned and organized – my blog is a mishmash of motherhood and parenting . I want to readers to join me in exploring life, personal growth, parenting, and having fun. This life is big, this life is bold and there’s so much to explore!