2013-06-16  'Marinkovich Family'  001Welcome to Ain’t No Roller Coaster (ANRC); a blog about our family’s journey with prematurity and special needs.  I focus my writing on Celebrating each milestone, Healing each layer of hurt and Connecting with those on a similar journey.  

Much of ANRC revolves around Owen, who was born in April 2011 at 24 weeks 5 days gestation.  Owen had a complicated course that included 2/3 of his first year in the hospital.  He has come far and continues to work to overcome global delays, feeding issues (80-100% g-tube fed), multiple food allergiesPVL and severe chronic lung disease.  Supporting cast includes, 5-year old Kellen, who was a 34 week preemie; my husband, Kyle; and me, the mom who recently returned to work after two years home with Owen.  

I write to share my truth because I have a feeling that I’m not alone.  My symbol is the zebra whose black and white color signifies the duality of life; sometimes the most difficult challenges come with the greatest joys.  I love hearing your stories too, so please, feel free to share.


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Doing it All or Doing Nothing at All

Herlife Magazine, Twin Cities.  Mayy 2014 Cover.  Photo by Chris McDuffie.  Hair & Makeup by Julie Swenson.

Herlife Magazine, Twin Cities, May 2014. Photo by Chris McDuffie. Hair & Makeup by Julie Swenson.

This month I’m featured by a local magazine, Herlife Magazine Twin Cities, as an example of a mom to a medically complex child who transitioned her new-found-passion into a more caring career.

I’ll admit, on Mother’s Day when I went to the spa and found myself on one of the magazines in the waiting room, it was pretty cool…and a little intimidating.  Whew!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard variations of “you’re such a great mom!” in regards to this magazine feature.

To those who gave such high accolades, I give you a humble and sincere thank you.

And then there is that nagging part of my brain that screams, “am not. am not. am not!”  In truth, I often feel like I’m barely keeping it together.

This mom thing is hard.  This career person thing is hard too.  Throw in 2-6 doctors appointments – just for Owen (heaven forbid, I might go for an annual check up) – per month and there are a lot of days that I wonder if it’s even possible to be both.

Last week I sat on the floor for muffins and moms while wearing a pencil skirt business suit and 3″ heels.  As the festivities wrapped up, I ran out the door and drove (above the speed limit) 30 minutes across town and arrived 5 minutes before the start of our company’s board meeting at which I was one of the presenters.

Part of me was like, “see, I totally got this!”  The meeting went well, I made it on time and I didn’t miss out in participating in Kellen’s school program.  I can totally do it all.

A bigger part of me was sad.  The fact is, while I was running out the door, Kellen was tugging at my leg begging me to not go to work.  I also knew that I was l-u-c-k-y.  The Interstate 494 traffic gods were in my favor that day – very easily I could have been late, that’s one of the worse traffic stretches in our area.  That day, I did do it all – but it wasn’t without risk or cost.  And I still beat myself up about it.

Getting the balance right is a constant effort.  Some days the effort is so much that I just want to give up.  In truth, this winter…that Personal Polar Vortex was me giving up.  I emotionally stepped out of my life because doing it all is hard.  Honestly, I’m still working on staying emotionally present in my life.  The weather has warmed.  I’m doing so much better, but I’m still a work in process.

I haven’t shared my writing on ANRC lately – but I assure you, I’ve been writing.  I’ve been pushing to get to the root cause of my angst.  Do you know what I am starting to figure out for myself?  The saying is true, “I am my worst enemy”.  The more I pushed myself to get to the root cause of what I was feeling is that I felt like I was failing at everything.  I wasn’t the mom that I wanted to be.  I also wasn’t the worker that I wanted to be.  Those two summed into me not being the person that I wanted to be.

At the same time that I was coming to my personal realization, someone shared this post from Dr. Laura on Facebook.


Dr Laura, mom guilt


Now that’s perspective!

Basically, I spun myself into depression because I was afraid I was failing at doing it all…but when I put it into the perspective of the RESULT of what I am doing…



Content from Herlife Magazine, May 2014, Twin Cities

it’s pretty clear that the only thing I’m failing at is being fair to myself.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

Mom Guilt

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