Morning comes like rain, sometimes wanted, mostly not. This is a wanted morning. The kind where one is able to ease into the day right. No hitting the snooze five times for me! No, sir! I am ready to face the day. Even as a mom.

…but first, let me smoke one.

Most times, as a marijuana mom, I am prepared for the morning. Today is not one of those days. It’s early enough not to stress about being late, so I’m good. I turn on my coffee pot and set to work. Adding a little extra to my morning routine. I lovingly choose my nug of sweet mary jane, grind it, and roll it up.

Yes, today I will have a Randy with my coffee, thank you. As a mother, and all I do, I think I deserve it.

The kids are still sleeping. Sipping my coffee with all the extras, I head outside. There is nothing like a nice wake and bake. Watching the sunrise with my two favorite breakfast items is my kind of zen.

I turn my chair towards the sun and prop my feet on the table leg. My first sip of coffee warms my mouth. The aromatics of my breakfast overtakes me as I spark up.

Ah, I love these day. It reminds me you do not have to feel vindicated anymore being a mother that smokes pot.

Inhaling the first hit from my morning doob, I relax into my chair. Birds are chirping and the neighbor’s annoying rooster is vying for his place on the menu.

My friend once said, “you haven’t lived in (our town) unless you have had to yell at a rooster to shut up.” It doesn’t shut up said rooster, but it is funny!

My coffee and herb are almost as essential for me as air. Trust me when I say, it is a public service. I do not even like me when I have not smoked in a while. This happy mom has at least 2 joints in the morning…

The sun crests the copse of trees under which I sit. I give thanks for another beautiful day with which I have been blessed.

Cheryl Shuman is the President and CEO of Cheryl Shuman Inc., a full-service agency based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Cheryl Shuman is the President and CEO of Cheryl Shuman Inc., a full-service agency based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Life is good. I have a job I love and great kids.

With the first joint out of the way, I go to wake my kids. Not long ago this used to be a dreaded time of day. Now, with the proper mindset, I am able to head into every day with a much better attitude.

It wasn’t always so.

Gone are the days of slaving away for “The Man” and barely getting by.

No more angry and abusive housemate {husband) making life difficult. I no longer feel as if my smoking weed makes me a bad parent. It has made me a much, much better one.

Overworked, underpaid, and a general hazard to myself, I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for years. Substance abuse and self medicating has been a bigger part of my life than I would care to admit. I figured out that chemicals were very bad. So, I returned to smoking just marijuana.

At different points in my life, I have stopped smoking for one reason or another.

Usually it involved some self serving prick who thought that my smoking pot was the root of all evil. Come to find out, my smoking probably saved their lives in many an ill planned moment.

Have you ever tried to convince a chill person that unnecessary drama is a must? I am real quick to tell someone to cast off with their drama. Not so much when I have to be without herb.

If I was not as chill as I am, people would die.

I would have already used up my “Get Out of Jail Free” pass. My life would be very much not as it is. Ok, so maybe people would not actually die. I just would not be happy about their existence.

One day I decided that I had enough of being uptight. There had to be something I could do to relieve some stress. I tried yoga, meditation, medication, and several other so-so ideas. Nothing worked as well as I had hoped.

Yoga and meditation helped with the mental clarity. There was little to no likelihood I would be stopping -mid panic attack- to assume the lotus position or downward dog. Also, “cleansing breaths” while you are trying not to dismember some fool tends to come off kinda creepy.

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It did not take long for me to remember how much smoking marijuana had helped me when I was younger.

Putting aside my fear of being a bad mom, I decided that it was worth a try.

Finding herb is not necessarily a problem. A good, steady connection who will not rob you blind is not always as easy to find. Luckily, being a fairly well liked person (despite my best efforts) enabled me to quickly make a reliable connection.

The first few times I was a little paranoid and worried about being “busted.” My (now ex) husband was in no way ok with me smoking. This was bound to be an issue, and it was.

He did not seem to accept the fact that, while high, he was not able to rile me into an argument. In reality, I think he enjoyed the conflict.

The more frequently I smoked, the less irritable and panicked I became.

I was finally able to focus on what was important, not what was just in front of me. The feelings of foreboding and fear slowly ebbed into oblivion. I was returning to myself one hit at a time.

Fast forward about two years. The husband is now an ex and I am a full fledged hippie mom.

It took a while to get my life headed back in a mostly positive direction. Determination played a big factor in my success. Marijuana played a big factor in my Finding Inner Peace.

There is no excuse for one to be an ass hat for general purposes. Stress, lack of sleep, diet, and many other factors contribute to one being generally fouled. Instead of accepting irritability and anxiety as a part of life, I took back control.

It was not long before my ability to cope increased as did my productivity.

I was able to concentrate better and handle stress with a greater sense of calm. My life was far from perfect. I was finally able to slow down and appreciate all the great things with which I have been blessed.

The biggest plus I have noticed is how I have been able to develop more of a relationship with my kids. I am no longer as stressed out as I had been. Taking time to help with homework, going to practices, and general parenting are much more enjoyable now. My mind is no longer filled with the day’s stresses. I can be in the moment and not feel overwhelmed.

It is still a struggle to maintain sanity, don’t get me wrong…

Being a single mother is stressful. Having a pageant queen for a daughter and a future linebacker for a son keeps me busy. Now, instead of stressing over the things to come, I take a break and relax with a blunt. It takes the edge off and frees my mind.

Sometimes it is not always feasible for me to smoke, nor is it necessary.

It is just a luxury which I afford myself. I have earned it. My bills are paid. My kids are fed and happy. I do not drink. Well, I do love a good bottle of wine every once in awhile. There again, I have earned it.

I keep to myself and do not have a whole lot of friends.

This is partially due to the fact that, for the most part, people suck. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I have chosen to live a peaceful life. I do not let just anyone in.

People, as a whole, have degraded to a point where friendship is conditional. There are very few good people left in the world. I have learned that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I am, however, someone’s shot of whiskey. Besides, I would rather pick and choose than let my peace be disrupted.

So, I am civil to everyone, kind to some, and friends with few. My inner circle is small, but it is close. The people who stick around are those who understand that life is a journey best shared with those you love.

My kids, an 8 year old boy and a 17 year old girl, are both aware of my “lifestyle choice.”

I have not gone into detail with my son. Suffice it to say, he understands that what happens in my house does not leave my house. (“What happens in vegas stays in Vegas”) When he gets older we will have that talk. For now, he sees that I have not been nearly as stressed out or uptight in the last year. He sees that mom is enjoying life. When mom is happy, everyone is happy (-ier).

My daughter, my “female spawn”, is fully aware of my choice and supports me. She sees that I have worked my butt off trying to get us all to a place of contentment. She really is my best friend and my strongest proponent.

I ain’t got a dime, but what I’ve got is mine. I ain’t rich, but Lord, I’m free…

(Amarillo By Morning, George Strait)

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” (Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin)

I have lost everything and found that freedom is not free. All freedom comes at a great cost.

For me, being free is not about who uses which restroom. Freedom is about the ability to live as one so chooses. Freedom is knowing that one able to choose a path based on what one wants out of life.

I choose peace. Happiness. And I choose to smoke pot. That does not make me a bad person. It helps me be a better mother. My kids are seeing a happy, independent woman who loves her kids. They get a mom who wants to be a good mom.

If that means I smoke marijuana, then I am fine with that. Of all the things out there, I could do worse. I do not flaunt it nor do I hide it. It is part of who I am, and I kinda like me!

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