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thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Month: November, 2013

Performance Anxiety

I’m going to tell you a little secret.

I’m a musician who hates performing.  Just call me Barbra Streisand.  But God help me I do.

Last year, when I sang in this competition that I didn’t have a hope of winning at about 1000 months pregnant was the last time I actually enjoyed myself on stage.  Because I didn’t give a shit what people thought, and was able to let go of the anxiety and stress that usually accompanies the performance.  It was awesome.

I know what you’re thinking.  What the hell?  MOI?  Afraid of what people think?  Not usually, right?

But when it comes to having to step up in front of my colleagues, it gets really bad. This is when it’s the worst.  Not because I’m necessarily concerned about performing these easy pieces, but because I’m afraid of not doing a good job for my students.  Of someone thinking that maybe I don’t know what I’m doing after all.  And thanks to this mental distraction, I usually manage to screw at least something up every time. People can judge my playing all they want,  but I am fiercely protective of my skills as a teacher, and I don’t want someone to think that because I’m not  a symphony caliber musician ( which I totally am not, nor ever will be) that I am less a teacher.  Is that weird?

It bothers me a lot, because I really like what I do.  I love teaching. But I am one of those rare musicians who would rather hide in the four walls of their teaching studio and let their students be in the spotlight.

How noble, right?

A little, but mostly because I don’t trust myself enough to not fuck it up.

Yesterday we had the dress rehearsal for our program’s concert this weekend.  And right before my turn to lead, one of my strings pops out so bad that my peg goes flying.  Just in time to make me feel like a total douchebag.  Then I have to try and restring and retune and get up there in time to play this easy song with a thousand fucking notes to remember and all I can think of is “ugh everyone is watching me and I feel like a loser”.  And of course the string doesn’t hold its tune so I’m trying to compensate for my stupid string being flat. Easily the worst moment of my day, crying, clingy, non-sleeping baby notwithstanding.

Fuck. My.Life.

And the funniest thing is, in the classroom, I feel relaxed and happy and confident.  NO questions about who’s running that show.

But out there on the stage?

I want to throw up.

Every.Single.Time.

Anyway.  Glad to get that skeleton out of my closet.  Taking suggestions that don’t include alcohol or sedatives.  I need to be able to coordinate my left and right hands don’t forget.

Also, no picturing the audience naked.  These are children, for God’s sake!

 

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Torture for all Parents Who Thought They had it All Figured Out

vector-magz.com

vector-magz.com

We’ve been having a tough couple of weeks, me and Buddy.  My tiny bestie is driving us a little crazy at night.  I am near the point of delirium and not sure how much longer I can sleep this poorly and still speak in complete sentences.

With any luck, maybe I’ll get fired and then find a job where communication isn’t a necessary skill.

Anyway, parenting these days has a lot of fancy fucking terms.  “Wonder Week 19”, “4 Month Sleep Regression”, etc etc.  I actually don’t give a shit what you call it.  It doesn’t matter.  I just want it to go away.  I want to hear the term “5 Months Old is the Bestest, Easiest, Most Blissful Sleep Time For Every Baby And It Lasts Forever”.

Right?

That’s a thing, right?

My Buddy has been sleeping through the night since he was about 7 weeks old.  Like, 12 hours at a time.  I would put him down around 8:30, and not hear from him again until the next morning unless he got a little gas bubble trapped.  A couple of taps on the back, and right back to bed.

Until last week.  First it was teeth.  Now it just blows.

Sometimes it takes 3 hours to put him to bed.  I want to die.

So you know what I started doing?

I started fucking co-sleeping again.

Pardon me, because I am the biggest hypocrite asshole person to ever live.  First the non-circumcision, now the co-sleeping.  Someone call Dr. Sears.

Seriously though, I keep thinking of the best parenting advice I ever got, and it reassures me a little.  “Do what works.  Don’t do what doesn’t work”  ( Thanks Ken.)

And you know what doesn’t work?  Everything else.  I don’t even care, he can sleep in bed with me until he’s 14 for all I give a shit.  Because otherwise I am a recipe for crazysauce.

In other news, I know that once he gets past this, he will have gone through a hugely developmental stage, and I’m seeing all of those things happen daily.  But in the meantime, fuck my life.

Someone should rename it “Torture for all Parents Who Thought They had it All Figured Out.”  Because that’s what it feels like.

In the meantime, I’m going to insert an IV to directly caffeinate myself.  Oral doses no longer work.

Boys Have Penises, And Girls Have Ducks.

tibilis.com

tibilis.com

Sweet Jesus.

Yesterday I had to have my first “boys have penises, girls have vaginas” talk.  I am utterly traumatized.  It actually started out as peepers and boxes, but then I found my big girl panties, swallowed the giant lump in my throat and used real words.

I wanted to throw up.  There is something about having to say vagina out loud that is extremely horrifying.  But I did it, Bitches.  I choked out the words.

So this is how it all went down.  Although Buddy can’t quite sit up on his own, Destroyer LOVES it when we put him in the bathtub with her.  We just put him in that little insert thingy from his infant tub.  She splashes.  He laughs.  She laughs.  We all laugh.  It’s super fun, and even way cuter than you’re imagining it to be.

So yesterday, Buddy and Destroyer and hanging out in their tub when she stops in mid splash, grabs his peeper like he’s got a bug on him or something, and I think tries to fucking pull it off of him.

what’s THAT?”

“That’s Buddy’s.  Leave it alone!”

She frantically looks down at her own girl bits, wondering why his stick out and hers do not.

what IS that?”

I sigh, and try to explain girl parts and boy parts.

“That’s Buddy’s penis.”

She looks down again.

“You don’t have a penis.  Boys have penises. Girls have vaginas.”

This is totally, totally, why I drink.

She looks at herself one more time, and says:

“No.  That’s my duck.”

Seriously, Bitches?  Why does my child think her girl bits are called a duck?

There is Bailey’s in my coffee right fucking now.

Happy Tuesday.

I Know

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Hey!  It’s Hot On The Titties Friday!  Remember those?

I don’t have much of a rant for you today, but I DO have an opinion.

I am living proof that it is impossible to be a working mom and give it all to all the important things.  There is just no way to give your all to everything and not expect something to suffer.

Believe what you want to believe, Bitches, but it can’t be done.  Even if you manage to not miss any work, clean the house, feed everyone, spend time with your children ( and watching TV doesn’t count), something is going to suffer.  And that something will be you.

You will be so exhausted that you can’t even hold a conversation with your spouse other than “I’m going to make some tea and go to bed”

And you know what I’ve decided?  I have decided to no longer feel guilty when I say “no” to things that have nothing to do with my family.  “No” to more work.  “No” to that performance. “No” to anything other than the commitments I’ve already made to myself.

And you why?  Because I love my kids more than I love my job(s).  And I do love my job, but at the end of the day, it comes a far second to my family.

Sometimes, I’ve decided, it’s better to do with less in order to have more.

And I respect all the career women out there who work full time.  You do what you gotta do.  But if I was a gambling type of girl, I would bet that something is suffering in your life.

Maybe I just took on a few too many things this year.  Maybe I just would rather spend more time with my babies before they get too big too fast.  Probably a little of both.

But last night, my Twee Destroyer put it all in perspective once again.

I have been extraordinarily busy the past few weeks.  It’s looking to keep up a good pace until the Christmas break.  And I feel guilty, because the one who misses out on the most time with me is her.  Because Buddy is just so little and needy still.  She’s been acting like a little bit of an asshole, and I’m pretty sure it’s because she misses me since whenever I manage to spend some extra time with her, she becomes her delightful little self again.

So last night, I was extremely jealous of Husband who had put her to bed  (while I was busy trying to calm a teething Buddy) and came downstairs to declare that Destroyer had said “I love you Daddy”.

I was choked.  I was missing out.  I wanted to cry.

And then before I went to bed, I went in to check on her and make sure she was tucked in.  Wide awake, she let me snuggle into to bed for a moment.

I looked at her and said, “I love you, Baby D”.  Hoping to get the same response as Daddy.  Hoping that all the extra time away didn’t make her sad.  And she looked up at me and said:

“I know.”

Even better.

F You, Silent K

This is probably the most pointless thing I will ever write.  But seriously, I hate spelling in the English language.

As with other things in life that should be simple, we have this tendency to make things harder.  Like we just want to make sure the kids are paying attention sometimes in class.

Top Ten words that should not be fucking spelled the way they’re spelled:

1.  Knife.  Come on.  What the hell is the “k” for?  K is for Kidding.  As in, just kidding,  knife doesn’t start with an “n”

2. Dough.  Homer Simpson finally gets it right.  “Doh” makes way more sense.

3. Jalapeno.  I don’t give a shit if it’s Spanish.  It’s prnounced “h”.  Spell it with a fucking “h”.

4. Height.  It sounds like kite.  I vote for “hite”.

5. Jaromir Jagr.  So technically, this is a name.  He’s Russian.  So what.  The Y rule should win.

6. Knight and Night.  See number 1 and number 4.

7. Colonel.   It’s pronounced “kernel.  It looks like COLON-el.  Is this a round about way of calling military leaders asses?

8. Neighbor.  Also, Neighbour, if you’re Canadian.    Should be spelled “Naybore” unless you’re an asshole.

9.  Zebra.  Unless you’re British, where they don’t pronounce it Zeebra.  Also, the Brits can pretty much do whatever they want with that accent.

10. Vaccuum.  What the fuck, double, U?

In Love

dylricho.deviantart.com

dylricho.deviantart.com

I am the worst blogger ever.

But in my defense, I have been a little busy lately.

And just a little bit in love.

You know when you first meet someone, and you just feel happy all the time?  You can’t remember if you’ve eaten dinner, or had a shower, or bothered to call your girlfriends.  It happens to the best of us when there is a new man in our lives.  No matter what you’re doing, or how busy and long the day is at work, all you can think of is going home and gazing into the eyes of your new found love.

And that’s where I’m at.  I’m that annoying, lovesick, don’t want to go anywhere unless HE’s  invited  girl.  The one I used to always bitch about.  The shitty friend.

But.  I don’t care.

I’m so totally in love, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way too.

I’m a little old for him.  But if you looked into these eyes everyday, you’d feel just like me.

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Seriously in love.  My Buddy Boyfriend.

Can someone please give me something to go off about?  I’m going all soft and mushy and growing more feelings.  I don’t know what to do with them.

Help.

Taking topic suggestions, unless all you want to read about is happy things.  And there is NO fun in that.

BULLySHIT

social.cummins.com

social.cummins.com

This is not the first time I’ve written about bullying.  It likely won’t be the last.

Yesterday, I watched this documentary called “Bully”.  And honestly, I was a little shocked. Shocked at just how cruel kids are.  Shocked by the apathy that was demonstrated by school officials.  Shocked by the parent’s lack of knowledge.  And devastated about a young boy profiled who didn’t even realize that the other children choking, beating and name calling him were not his friends.  I remember being bullied from time to time as a child.  But never to the extent that we seem to be seeing today.  And I keep wondering why that is.

Why do you think?

When did being an asshole become an acceptable way to behave?

When did we start allowing our children to get away with everything?

This post has nothing to do with our kids.  It has to do with us.  The adults.  The ones who are supposed to fucking be in charge of shit.

Ask yourself this:  What would you do if your child was accused of bullying or harming another child?

Because honestly, in my opinion, that is where we are failing are children in this situation.  I have only had to deal with this scenario as a teacher, and not as a parent because my kids are too small still.  But this is what I said to the student in question:

” I got a call from Mr. Soandso saying that you had done XYZ.  This conversation is not about whether you did it or not.  I actually don’t care.  What I care about is that one of MY students, whom I expect to be respectful and polite would ever put themselves in a situation where their behaviour would be even be questioned.  This is the only time we will ever have this conversation.  In the future you will go out of your way to be nice and helpful and a good example of the wonderful person that I know you to be.  If I ever hear anything of this sort again, I will not only be deeply disappointed but there will be consequences.  The End.”

I have never, in three years, heard another complaint about this student ever again.

I need to teach my children what is right and what is wrong.  I need to teach my children to have empathy and be kind to others.  I need to teach my child that inflicting pain on others doesn’t dull their own.  I need to teach my children that the right thing to do is to help others in need.  To help someone up if they are pushed down.  To run for help when someone is in trouble.

And I am certain that no parent intentionally tries to teach their kid to be cruel.  But we can’t continue to stick our heads in the sand and assume that everyone else is lying if its our kid that’s being the dick.

It’s also not just up to the educators.  Their job is to teach academics, not how to be a human being.  We trust them to guide and protect our children in our absence, but it’s for us as parents to build their character ourselves.

I read some discussions where some jackass blamed the parents of the bullied children for raising pussies.  Funny.  That’s exactly what the kids say.

Way to go Mom and Dad.

I’m all for teaching independence and think that children need to earn trophies and learn to deal with failure.  But saying that a parent who stays home to be with their kids and focuses on their development is raising a bunch of weak kids who need to toughen up and tolerate bad behaviour in others is utter bullshit.

And still we wonder why the world is going to shit. Sigh.  What can we do?  What do YOU do?

Discuss.

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Oldham

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