So, here’s the thing about introductory posts… they terrify me. Hiding under the bed with every child’s imaginary monster and a hungry T-Rex sounds infinitely more comfortable than writing about myself.

These things are who I am: Leo, ENTJ, writer, forever Austin girl, humorist, persevering and loyal.

Mom to one extraordinary adult woman and Grandmom to one perfectly squishy baby boy. Notoriously clumsy but wears stilettos anyway. Excels at Words With Friends, Cards Against Humanity, wrestling, trivia night and outrunning bad life choices. Likes shenanigans, dirty jokes and smart conversations. Super not good at sports. Outdoorsy in that I like drinking coffee on patios. Almost 50, single and absolutely loving both.

I am a Veteran Mom, survivor of very bad things and all-around battle born woman; which brings me to my big ‘why’ do I write; and especially for Austin Moms.

I see you all out there with your shoulders heavy under the weight of pregnancy, miscarriages, babies, toddlers, teenagers, careers, infertility, divorces, households and husbands.

As if all of that isn’t enough to carry; you’re living in an era that demands Instagram perfect lives of you. There are so many single, married, divorced and widowed moms among you facing big life choices; painful, hard and impossible choices. Sometimes just what’s for dinner and who is driving carpool choices but still a constant expectation of you solving everything for everyone and no time left for you to pee alone and in peace.

In the world of Insta-perfect lives and filtered social media profiles; moms facing unimaginable battles, moms losing the war to exhaustion and moms losing their very selves are quietly backing further away from asking for help because they just don’t fit the perfect life narrative.

Everyone is telling you that motherhood is magical, beautiful and an abundant gift; it is most days but it is not every day.

There are days that motherhood is being on a roller coaster after you’ve had too much fried chicken and too much sweet tea and you’d really just like to get off the ride already and crawl into a dark corner to be alone and sick but you can’t because you’re supposed to be smiling and having the very best time ever and everyone is watching and judging you.

I nearly lost my breathe trying to read that last sentence aloud but there is a point in writing it panicked; like that sentence, you’re losing your breathe trying to be all to everyone.

Veteran Moms, like me, should be holding your hair back and offering a cold washcloth for your forehead on those ‘let me off this ride’ days.

We should be providing you a soft place to fall, a safe place to cry and reaching a hand down to lift you safely up and out of the trenches.

I hope to soften those punches with humor.

Give the grace you need to light your path to an authentically you life.

Be the proof your hearts need in order to believe that you will also survive to be a Veteran Mom. You will be okay because we will be here to help with the heavy lifting, share in your wins and hug you through the ugly cries.

New Moms, Veteran Moms, Prospective Moms…all of us are here for you. Come sit with me at www.catrainwater.com and bring wine!

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Cat is a writer, humorist, Junior League drop out, retired roller derby block er, coffee junkie and veteran mom to one 27-year-old. She is in a very serious relationship with Netflix and tacos. She is almost 50, navigating singlehood and really wishing her life had background music so she would know what the heck is going on. She loves not having an Insta-perfect life and her favorite music is the sound of her stilettos taking long brisk walks away from awkward situations. Follow Cat's adventures at www.catrainwater.com and bring enough wine for all of us!

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