ihaveanopinionidliketoshare

thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Month: February, 2013

10 Things I Hate About You: Pregnancy Edition

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

As this pregnancy progresses, I’m finding myself more and more irritable.  Not just regular bitchy, because I’m not really known for doing the politically correct thing anyway.  But zero filter on my mouth kind of instant bitchy.  I used to operate at about a 10-20% filter most days, but now it’s completely gone.

So.

10 things I hate about you:

1. I hate you if you are drinking an alcoholic beverage.  Don’t offer me a mocktail.  Don’t offer me a de-alcoholized beer.  If people drank because they liked the taste, you wouldn’t need a wedge of lime after a tequila shot and you wouldn’t throw up after drinking too much.  I don’t care how fucking good that cake is.  I’m not going to eat it until I puke. But if it got me drunk, I might think about it.

2. I hate you if you can sneeze/cough/laugh/go up stairs/ trip/ or any other activity without pissing yourself a little bit.

Get.Off.My.Bladder.

3. I hate you if you are sleeping peacefully through the night.  Curling up in any position you want, without a little alien jabbing you to protest your current choice.  I hate you if you had a glass of wine to help you sleep.  Wait.  I already said that.

4. I hate you if you can still wear shoes that actually go with your outfit.  I will hate you less once it’s summer and I can wear flip flops too, but until then, I’m praying that you break your ankle in those heels, just so I’m not the only one hobbling around in sensible flats.

5. I hate you if you take up two parking spots instead of one with your big truck.  I’m really sorry for your other shortcomings, but I’m more sorry about the fact that now my fat ass has to walk further to my building on campus.

6. I also hate you if you park too close to me.  Have you seen the gut I’m sporting, asshole?  Do you think I can suck it in and squeeze in the 6 inches of space you’ve left between our cars?  That’s ok.  I’ll just wait for you to return to your vehicle before I can go home. Or I’ll ram my car door into yours extra hard to make myself feel better. Or I’ll slash your tires.   Whichever.

7. I hate you if you are eating a ham sandwich.  I know, I know.  I can heat the lunch meat in the microwave until “steaming hot” to ward off the Listeria fears.  But it’s not the same.  Sometimes, a girl just needs a trip to the deli.  Ya know?

8. I hate you if you are a stranger or acquaintance and feel like you can touch me just because I’m pregnant.  Remember what I said about zero filter?  I might have been able to restrain myself from punching you in the face before, but now, NO guarantees.

9.  I hate you if you are a man.  Because no person will come out of your vagina ever.

10. I hate you if you are able to keep yourself tidy down there. Shaving has already become a hope and pray situation.  Like crossing an intersection if you can’t see if there is oncoming traffic or not.  I can’t see what the hell I’m doing, so I’m pretty sure it ain’t pretty.  If you are a Slavic, no nonsense esthetician who wants to take care of that for me, give me a call.

I’m gonna go get myself a Blizzard now, while the rest of you bitches are watching your weight.  So there.

Fuck You, Meryl Streep

mo-pieplease.blogspot.com

mo-pieplease.blogspot.com

The other day I watched Kramer vs. Kramer.  I’ve seen it before, in parts, but this was the first time I sat down and actually watched it in its entirety.   It really was a great movie.  You know how I’m sure of that?  Because I kinda hate Meryl Streep right now.

You all must have seen it.   Or at least know the jist of it:  Traditional family in the 1970’s where the husband works too much to notice that his wife is unhappy.  She doesn’t (or can’t) tell him until she announces she’s leaving him.  And off she goes.  For 15 months.  To California.  The movie continues, telling the story of this father who tries to fill the roles of both parents and provide for his son.  The development of their relationship is a touching thing to watch.

Then the bitch comes back and wants the kid.  A nasty court battle ensues and custody is awarded to her.  At the end she realizes that’s bullshit and that the child is better off with his dad.

Ok.  Ready?

What in blue hell?  I’ll tell you why this made me so angry.  I don’t give a shit how pissed you are at your spouse or how lost you feel.  I’ve got a real good compass for you, you bitch.  It’s called your child.

Need to go to California to “find yourself” ?  You should have called me, I’ll tell you exactly where you are.  You are in the throes of motherhood.  You are in charge of someone else’s life.   So sorry if you find that inconvenient.

So Dad is such a distant jackass who can’t even pay you enough attention, let’s throw a 5 year old at him.  Cause that’s way less work.

Selfish,selfish,selfish.

Now, I know that this movies is 30 years old, but the current news talks about child custody battles all the time.  Whether it’s between parents that are splitting or children that are in the Child and Family Services system.  The courts still seem to favor the mother.  Because why?  Because tits make you a better parent?  I’ve got news for you, your tits are only good for the first year or so and even then you can get by without them.

Because having sex and giving birth automatically make you a better parent?  I forgot having a vagina is a qualification.

NO.  Nature hopefully helps you along, but clearly, instincts will not guide you through everything.

We have an inquiry going on in Manitoba right now about a little girl who was murdered by her mother and boyfriend and no one even knew about it for like 9 months.  The child had been in and out of foster care.  The parents were very obviously not interested in caring for or loving this child and this child suffered for 5 years, and then died a horrible death.

Because someone has decided that the best place for a child is with the mother.

I agree.

But what they need to define is the word “mother”.

What I’ve learned since knowing that I am adopted and since having my own child, is that family has nothing to do with blood.  It has to do with love and selflessness.  Being a mother is the most selfless thing in the world, you don’t get time to find yourself.  You get a short time to find a way to make your child’s life better.

Family are people who take time to make your life better without expecting things in return.  They love you, protect you, worry for you, and want the best for you.  They help you make the right choices and give you shit when you fuck up.  They say, “I told you so” so that you remember to learn the lesson.

Being a mother has nothing to do with giving birth or having tits.  It has to do with putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own for just about ever.

So yeah.  Fuck you, Meryl Streep.

Alexander the Great

I know he’s here.  Usually unseen, usually unheard, forever a part of me.

Before I knew him, my grandfather was a difficult man.  A raging alcoholic, youngest child of ten, product of the Great Depression.  He knew what it was to go without.

And yet, generations and situations apart, there was an unbreakable bond between us that I will always cherish.   We just sort of got each other, you know?

By the time I came around, he was sober.  I never knew the difficult man my mom tells me stories about.  Admittedly, some of them were pretty funny, but I’m glad they were just stories.

Anyway, right from the start, I’m told that he was always hovering over me, worried for me.  I think part of it was the adoption, that first year.   Back in the 70’s, I think the social worker was required to do semi-regular check ins and evaluations, and had up to a year to take the child back if things weren’t going well.  I guess this fear of having me taken from him made the connection stronger.

My fondest and earliest memories all involve him.  I always felt he was not only by my side, but on my side.  He was the most charming, personable man I’ve ever known.   I remember our annual trip to the Shrine Circus.  The lazy summer days playing cribbage at the lake.  How he used to make the fish talk and my Dad crazy as my Dad tried to filet them.  How nothing ever got done until he had a cigarette and a coffee.

Being especially happy when he picked me up from swim practice, because it meant we were probably going to Arby’s for dinner.  His creepy basement with the strange playroom at the far end.   His jars of coins hidden all over the house.  Him calling my pet ferret a ratfink.   Telling me I was a little “ruby” (chubby), but that it was ok with him.  Stopping for ice cream on the way to the lake and not telling my parents.  How he always threw the end of the cone out the window.

I remember every birthday and Christmas.  Learning how to drive on gravel highway with him trying to make light of what a shitty job I was doing, while holding on to the “oh shit” handle for dear life.  Never being able to go anywhere without him bumping into someone he knew. Picking mushrooms in the fall and being to chicken to eat them.

Those last few weeks when he was in hospital. The brief moment he came out of his coma when we were alone.  Those last moments when I told him to let go.  The phone call a few hours later.

I remember it all.

And I remember trying for what seemed like forever to conceive the Destroyer, and the dream I had a couple weeks before we found out she was coming.  He told me I was having a baby, and he told me it was a girl.  He was there the whole time, and he still is.

And now, knowing that my son will affect my life at least as much as this man before him, Grampy’s name will be passed to him as a middle name.  Knowing that he was such a huge part of who I have become, and that he will inevitably be a part of the son I will raise.

To make sure there is always a part of him near.

Alexander.

 

Watching the Oscars with the Plague

Oh Dear.  I have a severe case of the Mondays.  Actually, what I think I have is a case of the plague.  Being sick when you’re pregnant is the worst.  You’re already tired and fat and sluggish and then the plague zaps your energy.  There is really nothing you can take except tea and lemon and cinnamon and honey.  Oh.  And loads of raw garlic.  Yum.

So you suck it up, Buttercup, buy a whole bunch of spicy food to break up the congestion and settle in with your Bestie to watch the Oscars.

A Bestie who brings cheesecake lollipops on a stick.  But we’ll get to those later.

The Oscars are like the Superbowl, but for women.  An excuse to sit around in your sweats, pigging out and armchair quarterbacking every choice of every stylist out there.

Instead of individually berating some of the actresses, because really, Joan Rivers will take care of that for me later today, I have a few questions/comments.  Who am I kidding?  Let the berating begin!

First of all, why the hell do big girls always insist on wearing either a pastel, or a an ill fitting dress? Unless you’re Queen Latifah.  That bitch rocks anything she puts on.  Seriously.  If you are a big girl, and try to dress in little girl clothes, AKA anything pink, yellow, lavender or beige in a pastel variation, do you know what you look like?  Some weird version of cotton candy.  Fire your stylist immediately.

Why is Anne Hathaway allowed to exist?  Thankfully, they didn’t ask her to host again, but she just fucking irritates me.  And now you gave her an Oscar for a 5 minute song, so she will keep coming back.  Why, Hollywood, why?

I want to make out with Robert Downey Jr.  Do you think he’s down?

Channing Tatum had his clothes on for the entire show.  I thought this was all about ratings?

Kristen Stewart has to be the most awkward human being on the planet.  Why don’t we take her and Anne and lock them up somewhere far away where she can bite her lip and fidget and stutter, and Anne can open that horse mouth wide and sing for nobody, ever, for the rest of their lives.  For the record, Anne, your dress is not “business in the front”   and “party in the back”.  It’s off the rack from Buffy’s closet in 1999 when the backless thing was going on at every bar in North America.  I hate you.

I also want to thank Jennifer Hudson for singing the absolute shit out of that song.  For reals.  You’re skinny now, you don’t have to try so fucking hard.  Hollywood loves you Mrs. Weight Watchers, so relax.

Norah Jones, never, ever, come out from behind your piano again.  That was awkward and stupid.  Please don’t make me hate you that much ever again.

Barbra Streisand is the ultimate class act. All other singers please take note of her poise and ease on the stage.  She has nothing to prove, and was flawless.  I heart you.

I also wanted to thank you to the dude who accepted the Best Picture award for Argo.  For, you know, mentioning the word Canada in his speech.  Since the Canadians were kinda involved in freeing those Americans and all, but it didn’t seem worthy of mentioning in the film.  It’s funny that a film so horribly historically inaccurate won the best film of the year.  I guess that’s why it’s adapted screenplay.

I’m sorta sad that award season is now over.  I will have to look long and hard in the news for idiotic things that movie stars do now, rather than it all being condensed in one night.

Oh.  And the cheesecake lollipops?  They are frozen cheesecake balls on a stick covered in chocolate and salted toffee.  I ate 3.  Destroyer ate 2.  Then gagged herself with the stick and puked all over me, all over herself, and all over the new carpet downstairs.  It was a super end to the evening.

It’s not a party until someone throws up, right?

7 Things About Me/ Inspirational Blogger Award

very-inspiring-blogger-award1

Wow! So thanks to addieshutup for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!   Her blog is highly entertaining, written in an honest, interesting manner.  A great read!  I am thankful and honoured for the recognition of being nominated for this award.

There are some rules for this award – which remind me that we are paying it forward in our acknowledgement of those who inspire us.  Here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.

So.  Would you like to know 7 more things about me?

1. I hate to lose.  Not really in a healthy way either.  I am a highly competitive, throw a tantrum (in one way or another) live to win kind of girl.  I can’t stand to do something that I’m not the best at.  Anybody who has ever played a video game with me and beaten me has felt the “Cookie Just Lost” Wrath.

2. I’m adopted, and I only found out about it as an adult.  It started with a phone call from a social worker one morning, as I was having coffee and trying to pack for vacation.  Apparently my birth family was looking for me.  Pardon fucking me?  It’s 9 am and I’m adopted?  Excuse me while I go get a straw and a bottle of gin.  I’ll tell you all the whole story one day.

3.  Being a teacher is what changed my mind about having children of my own.  Weird, eh?  Most people say the opposite is true.  But for me, I get to develop meaningful relationships with each child and their family.  I get to watch them start out on their tiny violins at age 3 or 4, and turn into teenagers before my eyes.   I get to have an real influence in their lives not just by teaching them to be good musicians, but hopefully by being good people.  This is the Suzuki way.  And I thought one day, how can I not experience this journey with my own child?  And man, that instinct was right.

4. I am unusually drawn to water, and an incredibly good swimmer.  I suppose it’s because of all the years of speed swimming training as a child, but water is probably the most soothing thing to me, next to  a bottle with a 40% sign near the bottom.  A warm bath, or a day on the water at the lake can do wonders for my state of mind.

5.  Get this.  I am a fucking bird nerd. I’ve lost my touch in the past few years, because I haven’t had the time to get out and really bird.  But I fucking love strapping on a pair of binoculars, grabbing a field guide and stomping through trails in search of some new species I haven’t seen before.  Seriously.  you should try it.

6.  I can’t make Jello.  I’ve never been able to do it.  Not in a small batch, not in a large batch, not with tequila or vodka in it.  Jello hates me. Period.

7.  If I had it my way, and it was financially viable, I would live in the country, on a self sustainable farm, with a dog pack, a herd of horses, probably a few goats, a cow, some ducks…..you get it.  I like animals, and would be happy to have my own zoo.

Here are some reads that I have been enjoying over the last couple months:

15 Inspirational bloggers!

1. mylifeisthebestlife

2.donofalltrades

3. amberperea

4. hollisplample

5. carrieblueberry

6. insidelifesjourney

7. rosiesaysblog

8. formingthethread

9. 40minutes

10. pjandersonceramics

11.keepingupwiththeholsbys

12. ramblingsfromanapatheticadultbaby

13. fungirlslivebetter

14. sassandbalderdash

15. betweenloveandchaos

They Have Babies in Sweden, Don’t They?

blog.rdmediagroup.ca

blog.rdmediagroup.ca

I went to Ikea yesterday.  With my toddler.

And I just want to send a giant thank you out to whatever forces in the universe prevented me from drinking when I got home.  For reals.

Honestly, I haven’t decided if I hate Ikea or love it.  I’m finding the whole thing a little overwhelming.  Like Crocodile Dundee in New York City overwhelming.

I love the furniture, I love the prices.  I hate the crowds, and the by the time I got home I felt like I had been through hell and survived.

So me and the twee Destroyer parked in a reasonably close spot.  Good sign, I thought.  It must not be too busy.  I finally figure out the retarded cart and determined that you can, in fact, put a child in it.  In theory.  So once inside, we wandered around for a few minutes to find the elevator.  It only took ten minutes, so that puts me at about average perception and intelligence, right?

So now we’ve made it.  We’re in the actual showroom.  So I strip off our coats and hats and put them in the cart to get comfortable for a pleasant sight-seeing adventure while  I try to find some new bedroom furniture for her and some shelving to save the rest of the house from utter chaos.

Sightseeing.  Right.  Except everything looks like someone’s fucking living room, and the Destroyer cannot fathom why the hell she’s being contained in someone else’s house.

MIstake # 1.  I let it out.  And I hadn’t brought the leash.  And she hates holding my fucking hand.

So.  Off she goes.  Screaming through the aisles of Ikea.  Highly visible in her giant green tutu, thankfully, because the Destroyer has turned into a speed junkie lately.  At least I can spot her if she gets too far in that ridiculous getup.  As I waddled behind her, trying to keep up and not lose the cart, she was starting to evade me.  One kind old lady happily pointed out how hard she was to catch, as I panted and tried to hurry my fat pregnant ass up.  Thanks, you old bitch.  Maybe you could have grabbed her for me as she whipped past you, instead of narrating useless fucking information at me that I’m already aware of.

So I catch her, and put her in the cart.  Oh the horror!  So I gave her snack.  When it screams, feed it, right?

Right.  Just don’t feed it cheesies in Ikea.  They worked for about 5 seconds, until she dumped them all over the world.  Stuck in her tutu.  In the cart.  On the floor.  Please kill me.

So I did the honorable white trash thing and walked away from the mess, pretending it wasn’t me.  No one will notice my orange faced and handed child, right?

I let her out to run around again once we finally got to children’s bedding.  “NO” screamed the voices in my head.  But.I.Didn’t.Listen.

Little orange hands all over every bed linen in the universe. Which Ikea carries, apparently. Where is the exit?  OMG. There is no exit.

You want to know how come Ikea is so big and rich?  Because they trap you.  You are literally stuck going through every beautifully designed room just to try and find your way out.  Once you’re in, you’ve committed yourself to the minimum 1 hour long walk through the entire fucking store.  I hate you Ikea.  And so do mothers everywhere.  Have you ever been stuck in a store with a screaming child?  Pure torture.  Don’t they have babies in Sweden?

Miraculously, I did find a few things that I wanted to buy.  But they were from “self-serve furniture”.  Huh?  I have to go to the warehouse, find it, try to fit it in my cart with my toddler and all her shit, carry it to the car, try to fit it in the car, and then fucking assemble it when I get home.  Sober?  I don’t fucking think so.

Oh wait.  For 100$, they’ll do everything for you.  Except deliver and assemble it for you.  After you wait an hour in line at customer service to order this “service”.  With your screaming toddler.  After you escape the maze.

Fuck you very much, Ikea.   Fuck your video game-like store and your shitty service and your two cashiers on to serve half of Winnipeg.

I hate you.

Now I just have to figure out how to buy your cheap furniture without admitting it publicly or having a stroke.

Technology: Man’s Greatest Failure

This sweet blogger has nominated me for the “inspirational blogging award”.  Which is really great, I’m happy other people are finding me interesting and amusing.  I have a few things to take care of with regards to that, but I think I will have to do it on the weekend, because it involves ironing out some technical things.  Things that are probably simple for most, but near impossible for me.  So in the meantime, thank you to addiesshutup.wordpress.com for the recognition.

Which brings me to today’s post.  Which, ironically enough has to do with the evil beast that is technology.  And the downward spiral it is for all humankind.

“What?”  You might say.  “Technology is saving us!!”

NO.  It is stealing our humanity one step at a time. For reals.  All those apocalyptic movies about machines taking over the Earth are commentaries on this very thing.  I shit you not.

Let me start by admitting that I am slightly old fashioned.  I don’t online bank, I like to speak with a real live teller.  I can barely get something to print from the laptop.  If Husband ever left me, I would probably never figure out how to hook up a tv to watch ever again. I just learned how to text.

I remember once, while shopping for my father’s Christmas present, I walked into Future Shop with a list made by him and my violin strapped to my back.  I found a salesperson and robotically read the list of computer related crap out to him.  He then proceeded to try and upsell me on some doohickey or another.  As if we were speaking the same fucking language or something.  I have an idea.  Let’s pretend like you are a Chinese butcher.  I point to my list and you go get that exact thing, because I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.  Ok?  I have a fucking violin slung across my back and you think I know anything about all of this shit?  Not bloody likely.

So.  Maybe I fear technology, but my observations are that we rely on it more and more and less and less on our people skills.  It is turning us into rude little fucks.

When I phone a friends house and their kid answers, there is no “just a minute please”  no ” who’s calling please”  no ” my mom’s not home, can I take a message for her?”.  They just drop the phone and walk away, while you try to eavesdrop on the background noise and figure out if she’s even there.

When you have to interact with a stranger, they can barely look you in the eye and form a sentence if they are under the age of 25.  Never mind schools not teaching kids cursive, we don’t even bother to teach them manners.  Speak when spoken to, you little shit.  You cannot reply to me by looking down at your smartphone and typing some bullshit shorthand at me.  Open your fucking mouth and acknowledge that you heard me.

Texting and emailing have their conveniences.  Absolutely.  But I worry when it becomes the only form of communication we are interested in or capable of.  We are on a slippery slope to becoming Tom Hanks in “Castaway”  if we don’t teach the next generation how to interact with live people.

I wish for a time when things were less complicated.  I remember summers at the cottage when we didn’t have a tv or even a phone.  We played cards and went fishing and read books and had conversations.  We didn’t need electronic things to entertain us because there was this giant toy called “Outside”.

I hate that everything happens at the press of a button.  I hate that we try to eliminate hard work from everything.  Sometimes a little effort helps us appreciate things more.  Like building a house.  Or a relationship.

So today:  Put down that flashy thing with all the buttons.  Stop pressing them.  Talk in person rather than via text.  Sing a song or draw a picture.  Talk to an old lady at the store.

Don’t let the machines take your humanity from you.

Motherhood. It’s Just a Job.

goodwomenproject.com

goodwomenproject.com

I told myself I wasn’t going to write about this.  In fact, I’m still not going to go over the whole story, because it’s actually quite stupid and not worth recanting.

I’ve actually been dancing around the subject all week, which is something I’m usually not known to do.  Dancing, that is.  I’m a walk right up and bust your balls woman, because it’s over quickly and we can all move on afterwards.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I had a fight with a supposed friend this weekend.    Not a disagreement about politics or a tiff about being ditched for dinner.  An actual fight.   Kinda a one sided fight, actually.  The Offender was all hot on the titties about some bullshit or other that I actually didn’t care about.  In fact, I was a bit amused by the ire in this other person because it was so completely ridiculous and over the top that I thought I’d just let them throw their fit until the fire burned out.

And then they said something meant to piss me off.

And it sure did.

“Like being a mother is just a job.”

The moment where another person actually has the balls to trivialize the life of your child and imply that your role as a mother is meaningless.  As if it’s on the same level as being a dog walker or a librarian.  Watch out, prickface, cause now I’m angry for real.

The fight itself really doesn’t bother me.  It’s that comment and the implications in it that I have been thinking about over the past few days.

I have now been endlessly thinking about how totally and completely motherhood changes you to your very core.  About how you carry this life in you for 9 months.  You fucking make a human in your very own body.  And then one day, you have some pain, and you swear at your husband a lot and threaten some nurses.  And then a little while later, you see what you’ve created and you are forever bound to this life.   Forever.

Your job responsibilities include:  bodyguard, cook, maid, chauffeur, companion, nurse, teacher, playmate, entertainer, and all other duties the child sees fit.  You sacrifice all things about yourself and set aside anything that gets in the way of the best interest of your child.

Your overwhelming love helps you get through those tough days of exhaustion and insanity. You spend endless moments trying to catch your racing heart every time you think something may have hurt your child.  You miss out on social activities because you cannot bear to spend so much time away from them.

You know what it means to be completely selfless.

And for someone to imply that any of those things is even in the same universe as any job that pays you to show up is a total fucking imbecile.  Asshole.  Moron.  Piece of shit. And no friend of mine.

I’m so glad I got that off my chest.  My tits are heavy enough these days without carrying any extra weight.

Motherhood has changed me.  My Bestie told me that the biggest difference is that once you have a child, all the things you do are to facilitate the child’s life.  And she’s right.  My job is still important to me.  But mostly because it allows me to care for my child.

She’s one smart cookie, that Bestie.

So the next time you fight with someone, rest assured that there is one topic you should keep your trap shut about.  We’ll call it “The Abyss”.  Because once you go down that road, there is no turning back.  Some things are never appropriate to put on the table.  Ever.

There endeth the lesson.

The Voices In My Head

There is a saying out there that goes something like “the way you talk to your children becomes their inner voice”  ( Peggy O’mara)

I’m not usually the kind of girl who likes to read a whole bunch of parenting books and follow them like the Bible and condemn anyone else for not doing the same.  I actually have a very wise friend who once wrote to me “Do what works.  Don’t do what doesn’t work”.  It’s probably the best overall, straight up advice out there.  Thanks, Ken.

But this quote has a lot of power.  As an early years teacher, I am well aware that children’s brains are actually made up of swiss cheese.  There are a lot of holes up there waiting to be filled with information that we, as parents and teachers provide.  They have no reason not to believe us.  We are the providers of everything for them, in their most vulnerable time.  I wonder if you told a child for their entire childhood that they were a bird if they would try to fly?

As a child, I felt as if all adults were focused on my weight.  My parents.  My teachers. My friend’s parents. My coaches.  I was put on diets since the age of about 7.  Some of my friends parents would make fun of me.  To my fucking face, in front of a room full of adults.

And when I look back at those early years, when I was young and impressionable and totally trusting in the opinions and intentions of the adults in my life what I heard was this. ” You are too fat and unacceptable as you are.  You must change.”   The opinion that all those people had of me became the opinion I had of myself.  Because I didn’t know any better.  Because they taught me to be unkind to myself.

Now of course, I know it’s utter bullshit.  Now I do.   Most days, anyway.

That little voice still sneaks in now and then.  It has had a huge impact on my life.  Luckily for me, the voices in my life took some time out from trashing me long enough to also tell I was smart and talented, blah blah blah.  Thank God, because I clung to that like a life preserver, and it probably spared me from being a winged out asshole.

Even now, confident as I am, there are some days I still need to remind myself that it isn’t me who has to necessarily change to satisfy others. I need to remind myself that I should only change to satisfy myself.

So ask yourself:  What kind of inner voice do I want to create in my child?

What do I want to tell her that will play on repeat for the rest of her life?

You are capable.

You are beautiful.

You are a genius.

You are the love of my life.

You are imaginative.

You are everything I always wanted.

Don’t get me wrong.  Children still act like assholes sometimes, and we need to be there to correct them.  But correction and wanting what’s best for them doesn’t include attacking their core or their character.  It means addressing the problem so that their inner voice says “I’m too good to settle for that”  rather than “I guess that’s all I’m able to produce”.

We are their voice in the first few years.  Use this time wisely.

Say something useful.

 

Before and After

thelaughingstork.com

thelaughingstork.com

As I sit here this morning, watching the mini blizzard outside and having a coffee, there are a gazilllion thoughts swirling around upstairs.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life before.

You know, before I was responsible for someone elses life 24 hours a day.

And I thought about how much it really does change a person.  I mean, look at Rick on the Walking Dead.  He’s responsible for all those people’s lives.   And the Governer.  And guess what?  Crazy.  Both of them, of the batshit variety.  I sure hope that doesn’t happen to me.

Granted, there aren’t hoards of zombies trying to eat us, unless you count the crowds at Superstore on a Sunday afternoon.  Sometimes the lineups are so fucking long, I worry someone might get hungry and take a bite.  But mostly I just worry about a list of profanities coming out of my mouth towards someone bigger than me when I didn’t bring Husband along for backup.

Anyway.

What I’m really talking about is things like how relationships change.  Within your marriage.  With your parents.  With your co-workers. With your friends.

Within your marriage, you are absolutely solidified as partners from now until eternity.  At least if you know what’s good for you.  Because if there is any hint of a sniff of any division between you,  you are fucked.  Kids can smell that shit like a bloodhound on a deer hunt.  And they will divide and conquer.  So now, as parents, you must be on the same page even if you’re not.  Kapeesh?  Now I understand my father’s auto-response when I was a child “What did you mother say?”.  Men take note.

With your parents, it’s kinda like getting your wings.  Now that you have procreated, your relationship with them changes.  Why?  Because as grandparents, they no longer give a shit about you.  Your sole purpose now is to be the guardian of the new little love of their life.  As disheartening as this sounds, it’s actually kinda liberating.  You can do whatever you want now because they no longer notice unless it affects the child.  What’s that?  You want to go out and get loaded and arrested and spend the night in the drunk tank?  Super.  As long as they get to babysit.  The irony of course, is finding the time and energy to act like an asshole proves very difficult when chasing a toddler and carrying a tiny leprechaun in your uterus.

With your co-workers?   Yeah.  We’ve talked about this.  My priorities are at home these days.  But the advantage to that is feeling confident in the job that I do, without worrying so much about “moving up the ladder” right now.  I’ve eliminated myself from all competition and workplace bullshit.  Sometimes it’s nice to be able to accept your limitations and be honest about them, and work to live instead of live to work.  I’m sure that day will come again, and I’ll enjoy the gossip and catfights and all that jazz.  And I’ll pull out my claws and go a few rounds, just to watch someone squirm.  But right now, I’ve got Oprah episodes and Bell long distance commercials to cry over.  Fucking hormones.

And with friends.  I’m really lucky.  Most of my friends have kids, so the understanding that we keep in contact by phone and computer and see each other once a decade is sorta mutual.  I’m also lucky that I can cook.  Because then my single and childless couple friends are happy to come over here and drink my wine and eat my food once in a while.  Not that we never go out, but the dynamic changes.  Do you remember those days where if no one puked, it was a quiet night?  Or being able to nurse that hangover with McDonalds all day the next day?  Oh my God.  I don’t need a 26 of rum to feel hungover anymore.  Sometimes 24 hours alone with my child is enough to have me wake up feeling wasted the next morning.

Int the end, I’ll keep the after.  Because I can always remember the before.

And there’s always retirement. Right?

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Oldham

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