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Category: parenting

It’s ok to butter the toast too.

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This morning my youngest asked me to make him eggs and toast. Since the frying pan was already out I decided to also have an egg. I popped two pieces of fresh french bread in the toaster, fried an egg, buttered my toast and added a drop of ketchup.

It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you have a history of disordered eating, or any type of unhealthy control issues surrounding food or body image, it really kinda is.

The simple act of just eating what you feel like eating without allowing yourself to negatively self talk is a huge deal for anyone who has historically or presently associated their self worth with what they put in their mouths, while trying to conform to a societal beauty standard that is unattainable or unsustainable for them.

The simple act of buttering my toast without feeling guilty about those “unnecessary calories” was, in fact, a really big deal for me.

Body positivity isn’t about celebrating fatness. It isn’t about giving up on taking good care of your body. For me, it’s recognizing that taking good care of my body begins with loving myself exactly where I am at and understanding that it is ok to be living in whatever skin I am currently in. It’s about not having to to justify the fact that I have soft spots and round spots by killing myself at the gym and constantly injuring myself by trying to push my body to places it doesn’t want to go.

It’s about taking part in things that make me feel good and strong and not feeling like changing the shape of my body is the ultimate accomplishment. I’m 43 years old, and am really, really tired of that narrative.

Since childhood, I have lived a life of restrictions around food. It came from doctors, coaches, parents, teachers. And I know that they all felt like they were doing what was in my best interest, but in reality, it damaged me. It made me feel like it didn’t matter what else I was good at, or even brilliant at, unless I could just not be fat. Their comments became my inner voice and it turned into a life long torment that made me feel like I was never really in control of anything unless I could control my body through deprivation or obsessive habits, and created the inability to ever feel like I was enough unless the number on the scale was deemed acceptable. It lead to avoiding doctors appointments because I didn’t want to see what the number on the scale was or hear the speech about healthy eating and exercising. It meant that running 5km 4 times a week still wasn’t enough. It meant not wanting to go out for dinner with my husband or friends because it wasn’t my “cheat day”. It damaged me.

Fast forward to the pandemic where we are all living some variation of our former selves. Like many of us, I wanted to find ways to “work on myself”. I dieted again. I ironically felt in control of things during a time where we didn’t have control over much, but realistically, food was controlling me yet again. Social media showed me pictures of weight loss programs and people who were celebrating their accomplishments and it just felt like an affirmation that I was unlovable unless I also attained such changes. But it made me finally decide that all of this bullshit was just enough.

I honestly don’t know who decided that thin was in, or that it was the ultimate goal for everyone, but I’ve honestly fucking had enough of it. People come in all shapes and sizes and I don’t know why we can’t just fucking accept that.

If there is part of the population who don’t fit into a “standard” airplane seat, change the standard, or make different sizes available. In the clothing store, we don’t need “plus” sections or “regular” sections. Just make the fucking clothes available to every body. Stop pretending that you did keto or weight watchers to “feel better and get healthy” because I’ve done them all too and that is a fucking lie.We did it because the world told us we were fat, and less than and we didn’t want to feel that way anymore. We wanted to shop in the same part of the store as all the pretty people do. And I get it. It feels GOOD for everyone to tell you how amazing you look- but why didn’t they see how beautiful we were before? Why can’t we see that our beauty exists in every shape?

So, yes, take care of yourself. Run the miles, take your vitamins, eat your vegetables to make sure you can poop, walk your dogs, swim the laps and pump the iron. But for the love of fucking GAWD, butter your toast too and remember that you are pretty anyway.

While we are busy with Healthcare being in the toilet, some of Manitoba’s teachers just got dealt another cock shot

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While the Conservative government in Manitoba is self destructing with a catastrophic situation in Healthcare, people dying in transport due to a lack of space in critical care and MLA’s sharing laughs in Question Period over it, public health compliance scandals, transphobic jokes and basically just a complete misfire on every fucking end of the governance spectrum that you could possibly imagine……there is still a fire simmering that we shouldn’t forget about.

The education system in this province is struggling. After years of chronic underfunding, the events of the last 15 months and the dark cloud looming that is Bill 64, the complete and utter burnout of staff, students and parents is a heavier burden that we are capable of carrying for long.

We all have our opinions on whether or not schools should be in remote learning. I personally believe that this was the right call and should have happened way earlier, despite the challenges and near impossibility of being a working parent trying to facilitate my children’s education at home even with the monumental efforts of our teachers. These past few weeks have been burdensome. Teachers feeling like they need to live up to the same standards they normally would, feeling the criticism of the chaos of last spring freshly enough to drive them to go above and beyond what seems reasonable or achievable today. Parents needing structure for their kids but struggling to keep up with all of their duties and responsibilities. Wanting desperately to throw in the fucking towel and just NOT.

These are trying times, and I will tell you from my personal experience that I am pretty much over it. The only thing keeping me from refusing to do a single thing more in terms of printing assignments and threatening the kids’ relationship with electronics FOREVER so that they do their work, and taking pictures and submitting and fighting is literally the utmost respect that I have for my fellow educators and the amount that they care about our kids and trying to give them some stability in all of this.

And that respect and knowledge about how hard teachers work has me shaking my fucking head about how underappreciated teachers are in this world.

“THOSE WHO CAN”T DO, TEACH.”

It seems to me that those who teach literally DO EVERYTHING.

And so now comes the extra what the fuckey ……

Teachers in Winnipeg School Division today finally got a contract. They have been negotiating for FOUR YEARS. They are finally getting a nominal raise that will back payed for 4 years. But there’s catch:

In order to pay teachers (almost) what they’re worth, the school division will have to cut 120 permanent full time teaching positions. Seniority will not be a factor, it will be cutthroat decisions based on how valuable you are. So teachers with highly specialized skill sets may be safe, but anyone else is fair game for a lay off.

From a teacher in WSD: “ Everyone loves us when it comes to babysitting their kids so they can go to work, but no one actually wants to pay us” (what we’re worth)

In all of this we keep referring to these people as heroes, yet we give them the choice of accepting less than they deserve for literally ever, since the beginning of time, or watch a bunch of their hardworking hero colleagues lose their jobs??

So, the next time Pallister or Cullen or any of the rest of those fucking assholes gets up and starts talking about all of the investments they are making in education, and when you all get your education tax rebate cheques, remember it is founded in bullshit and what it is at the expense of. People losing their jobs. Your children losing educational resources. Your children’s relationship with their teachers as class sizes continue to grow.

This province needs to stop congratulating itself on a job never done and top sucking their own dick in the media about how awesome they are.

If this is Team Manitoba, the stands are empty, revenue is in the red and the coach needs firing. Fuck already.

On the subject of appropriateness and other bullshit

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I read something this morning that hit the nail on its fucking head.

https://bcmj.org/presidents-comment/nature-being-professional

Basically, this doctor in British Columbia talks about how we have these standards of “professionalism” and “appropriateness” and I swear to fucking god this man nailed it so hard.

I’m not a doctor, obviously, I am a teacher. A parent.

Both of these titles comes with this list of expected and accepted behaviours that people like to hold over your head not because they mean anything, but because it makes them feel better about themselves if they can have some criteria to judge you by.

“Teachers don’t get frustrated. They don’t get angry. They are always calm and patient and never swear. They engage in professional, arms length relationships with their students and their families. They don’t share personal experiences or stories. They don’t reveal personal details about faith or family or belief systems.”

“Parents have endless supplies of energy and selflessness and love. We shouldn’t yell, or consider ourselves. We are capable of knowing when library day is and whose laundry basket is full. We keep track of what time is swimming lessons and soccer practice and what day are we meeting friends at the park and who needs a new jacket and did you brush your teeth today and we’re almost out of ketchup. Our energy is endless and we take the time not to discipline our children but just have meaningful conversations with them and it’s ALL FINE ALL THE TIME HERE IS A NICELY EDITED PHOTO FPR SOCIAL MEDIA.”

It’s all fucking bullshit. They are impossible standards that are built on a mountain of lies we tell ourselves that do nothing but hide the truth about our personhood and all the beautifully real and messy thing that go along with being human.

Here’s the thing. The second you stop pretending that you need to live up to any of these standards is beyond liberating.

I literally break every rule, every fucking day.

Like Dr. Chow in the above article, I refuse to live behind a set of barriers between myself and my students and my children. I wear leggings and messy buns. I share my struggles and successes as a musician and a parent. I ask about their day and their feelings and I actually listen to them. I give them a safe place to fall without judgement.I say fuck in front of my kids and in the company of adults. I fuck up and get mad and take ownership of myself and say I’m sorry. I tell the truth about who I am every single day and in return, people feel like they can tell me the truth about who they are.

And while I may not be everyone’s favourite flavour at the ice cream shop, at least you know I’m not full of shit. Professionalism? No thanks. Realism? Yes please!

In return I feel an enormous sense of community around me. When my mom died two years ago, my students’ families took care of me, because I at some point had taken care of them. They fed me and cried with me and took care of my kids. When my dog died and my students came for their lessons, they hugged me and forgave me for being the worst teacher ever that week. When my students became teenagers and they needed an adult to be on their side when they made bad decisions and to give them advice, I was there. When they were hurt and needed help, they asked me. When my families were struggling as units, they shared their hardships with me and I loved them anyway.

When I was a terrible parent and was exhausted and shitty to my kids, the other moms reassured me. When I couldn’t find a solution they offered advice. They didn’t judge me. When they saw me failing or bitching or asking for help, they shared their own problems and complained in solidarity. We supported each other.

And honestly, I think being real and transparent and sincere is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other.

Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the details, as long as you own yourself. Being real and authentic can’t live in the same house as “appropriateness”.

And yes, I get it- there are obviously situations where we respect the boundaries and limitations of others. That’s a given. I’m just saying you can’t exist authentically in a bubble blown up on the expectations of others without being in fear of it popping all the time.

BE MESSY. BE HONEST.

Throwing shade at parents who can’t afford to “make sacrifices” to do a School Trustee’s job for free is Pallister’s latest gross thing

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“A great many Manitoba parents who are heroic in their behaviour make the decision to back their kids in their pursuit of a better life through education…….made sacrifices to make sure they were involved in their children’s education, read to their children, made the sacrifice of learning themselves…..”

These are the words our Premier chose to use when asked about how parents facing various social barriers to becoming members of school councils are going to have equitable voices with the proposed changes of Bill 64. As Dougald Lamont so eloquently pointed out, many parents don’t speak English, or work long hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet, and the reality is that communities lower on the socio-economic scale will be disproportionately challenged to find enough parent resources to take on the new responsibilities proposed in Bill 64.

The statement above is insulting at best and shows a complete lack of understanding of the struggles of many people in this province. Coming from a place of extreme privilege and refusing to see this Province through anything other than is his narrow field of vision, the Premier seems to be only capable of speaking from his own life of comfort without expressing any empathy or understanding for those who do not.

The average price of a house in Winnipeg is almost $300,000 and the average cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in Winnipeg is almost $1,300/ month. Minimum wage is $11.90. From my calculations, if you work 40 hours a week, your gross income is about $1,900/ month. Even if there are two parents in the home, working full time you are grossing $3,800. BEFORE tax.

Let’s assume that the parents have 2 children. According to http://www.numbeo.com, the average cost of living per person in Winnipeg NOT INCLUDING RENT is $1,137.22. Multiply that by 4, and add in rent, and you get $5,848.

Tell me, Mr. Premier, which part of their well being should the parents “sacrifice” so that they can do the job of trained professionals for free, because you think that we are all just lazy fools who don’t love our children? Should one parent quit their job to “back their children” and either forgo food, shelter, heat, clothing or transportation?

Tell me again, Mr. Premier how two parents working multiple jobs in order to just be able to scrape by are supposed to sacrifice anything else than they already have to prove your ideals?

On a personal level, I have struggled with being a working parent. My particular field of work involves almost exclusively annual contracts that are not protected by labour laws and have no guarantee on renewal depending on individual clients, the economic climate and funding. I acknowledge that this comes with the advantage of being able to decide how much work to take on and being able to schedule ( to a small extent) around my husbands rotating shift work. But it also means I have no sick time and any work I do not complete has to be made up or refunded. We were extremely fortunate to have incredibly supportive family (parents and chosen) that minimized our childcare costs, but most people are not that fortunate.

And you know what? We still struggled financially at times, even with both of us earning decent livings. We still made sacrifices. I worked a part time job on the weekends as a bartender just to help things along. Doesn’t leave much time for developing public school curriculum and disciplining teachers for poor performance, despite my efforts to be a “heroic” parent and do it all.

And even though I said a million times that I would have loved the opportunity to stay home with our kids, there was absolutely no way that was financially viable without tossing us into a situation where we couldn’t pay what is considered a very modest mortgage and living expenses.

We are now middle class, hard working parents, live full and busy lives, give our children every opportunity we can afford, and the AUDACITY of this Premier to insinuate that we aren’t prepared to make enough sacrifices to enable our children’s ability to thrive by doing the work of paid experts for free is absolutely ABSURD.

Some of us can’t afford to turn down a shift, or not accept a new client, or take an unpaid day off to do the job of a public education trustee or superintendent because our premier wants to throw ignorant insults at us. For the kids who are not thriving in the system, it isn’t because their parents aren’t willing to make sacrifices for them, it’s because we live in a province where our Premier is actively stacking more barriers in front of them. All while he insults their commitment as parents and gives the same old “family values, pull up your bootstraps” speech every right winger likes to throw at anyone who has ever struggled with something other than deciding which Caribbean Island to buy a vacation home on .

This has got to stop, Mr. Premier. You are way out of line, and should be ashamed of yourself and your absolute arrogance on topics you seem to know little about.

A step by step review about the Better-Education-Starts-Today report: It mostly sucks, but has some valid points

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So, after reading through the “Better Education Starts Today” report I have a few comments. This whole thing has really chapped my ass if I’m being really honest, and I’m fairly sure I have only scratched the surface of the details. Not all of the changes are as fucking terrible as I thought they’d be, and a few actually make a bit of sense. Others are terrific conversation starters.

Really, that’s what this report should have been. A conversation starter. Instead, we have a Premier with an agenda that seems to include dismantling and privatizing a whole bunch of things before he retires. The scary thing is that for someone who we know is not actively seeking re-election and has a majority government, there is little accountability and those of us in opposition feel like we have no leverage to inspire a better way.

There is a lot to unpack here, but here are a few of the things in the report that stood out to me:

“With 37 different governing bodies it was difficult to be agile and respond quickly, yet that is what Manitobans
expected and needed.”
(during Covid)

Excuse me, but teachers, parents and school administrators cried, begged for, screamed for and deserved real direction from the province about how to address the lockdowns, school reopening, lack of resources, lack of space, lack of unity, lack of competency and apparent lack of fucks given by our provincial government over the course of the pandemic. They literally just threw their hands in the air and told the divisions to figure out their shit, which left them scrambling and likely compromised safety for students and staff. But it was obviously because there were 37 divisions. WHAT SHIT.

“Parents and caregivers played an important role during COVID-19, yet they struggled to access information
about changes and to inform and influence decisions.”

We lacked access to information because our government didn’t provide what we needed. It constantly changed and contradicted itself and was confusing. The government had months to get their shit together and just did not do their job.

“COVID-19 affected student engagement and learning differently, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work
now or for the future.”

Well, interestingly enough, that seems to be exactly what the government wants to do. Standardize every classroom. Standard test, standard methods. They want everyone to play the same game with the same amount of skill and talent, but some of kids are on astro-turf, some are on wet grass, some are in a fucking mud puddle and a whole bunch of others are almost underwater.

“Retain two boards to oversee the delivery of education: a newly created Provincial Education Authority
(appointed members)”

I am all for a provincial education board as long as the representatives are education professionals that are NOT appointed by the governing political party, but rather nominated by the Manitoba Teacher’s Society and elected by them AND have specific terms of service.

“Manitoba needs a fair and sustainable funding model. We are the only province to set taxes at the school division
level. This means some divisions collect more revenue than others. Since education property taxes comprise 42%
of all education funding it leads to disparities in funding for schools and outcomes for students.”

This is so fucking stupid and such an easy fix. Taxes in general are collected on a rate level, either a portion of your income or according to property values. Continue to collect taxes in the same manner, but divide it equitably among the divisions. Meaning that (CLUTCHING PEARLS) those who are more well off will be supporting those who aren’t, levelling the playing field. Part of the price of living in a nicer, bigger house is that you will have to help to care for the well being of others less fortunate. All in the name of standardized education.

“To improve student outcomes, the Commission recommended focusing on deep implementation of the existing
K to 12 curriculum, including a focus on foundational knowledge, skills and abilities students should have when
they finish high school”

Ok so, this is a terrific goal. EVERYBODY wants the kids to succeed and improve. You know what helps kids learn? Not being hungry, or sad or scared or hurt. Anyone who has ever worked with children should understand that children who don’t have their basic needs addressed will struggle no matter how many curriculum meetings you have or how often you discipline a teacher. Address the poverty, address the social issues, and the children will have a better chance to succeed.

Not only that, but find creative ways to teach the same concepts and skills and help kids develop good learning behaviours. Make music study a priority in early years to support literacy and numeracy while giving children the ability to focus and develop consistent work habits. Help them WANT to come to school.

“Learning environments for Indigenous students must infuse culturally and evidence-informed strategies that
embed Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. Students need to see themselves reflected in the space
and in the texts they interact with by incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing and being in classrooms. “

This is one part of the report I mostly agree with. I would argue that this education needs to be included in all curriculum to create empathy and understanding of Indigenous issues so that we can begin to change the perception and see the value in the culture and traditions of our Indigenous peers.

“Establish a taskforce, in connection to the Poverty Reduction Strategy, to examine the linkages between
poverty and education and support the implementation of strategies to improve engagement and outcomes
for all students.”

THIS. Nothing should really be moving forward until this happens and there are clear goals and plans in place to reduce poverty in this province. Otherwise we will chase our tails for the rest of ever.

“Build a provincial system of remote learning”

Well they’ve finally seen the light have they? There are many situations where a child may need to be out of school for a while, a parent may not be equipped to homeschool and they need education support. This should have been in place in September 2020, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a a lowly potential candidate for a community council….

“In recognition of the importance of local voice in education, Bill 64 incorporates a number of changes to increase
parental and community engagement by replacing informal parent councils with a School Community Council
(SCC) for every school. The role of the School Community Council is to advise the school principal on school
matters, including the needs of the community it serves and strategies for improving student achievement and
well-being. All parents and caregivers of that school community will be members and they will elect an executive
to work with the principal on matters impacting the school community. This will require a renewed emphasis on
engaging parents and communities so that they are reflective of the diversity of schools.”

You guys, I just don’t know about this. I believe parents should have a voice, but I find it completely inappropriate to give parents this kind of leverage over the school. We should be able to trust the educators and the professionals to take care of our children the way they always have. And unfortunately this will not be the same opportunity across all communities. Parents who work shift work or single parents with young children will find it difficult to serve on these boards. Communities that have a lot of housing instability could potentially struggle with inconsistent representation and inability to make the commitments needed for these boards to be effective. It means that schools in highly privileged and wealthy areas will thrive in terms of their voice, and those who are already marginalized will not have a strong voice. It sounds like an enormous responsibility, the work is unpaid and the folks getting involved won’t necessarily know anything about classroom dynamics, structure or needs. And the thought of parents being able to discipline a teacher gives me the fucking willies. It’s inappropriate and foolish. A parent’s voice is important, but should not carry more weight than the professionals who dedicate their lives to our kids. What a joke.

Do better, Cliff. It’s a shit start with some actual potential. Hear what the critics are saying instead of what your puppet master is demanding.

A rant about the new Education Bill in Manitoba. {SPOILER} It’s not going to make anything better.

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Pardon me for not feeling like I can trust this government any more than than you could could trust me to leave the last shot of tequila for you, but this new education bill stinks to high Heaven.

In the guise of creating better educational outcomes for students in this province, and reallocating resources to the “front line” the province is going to create a centralized system that gives you little to no representation at the local level, other than a volunteer Community Council of parents who can have all the say in the world they want, but no voting power on issues that affect them individually.

Look, I am all for eliminating redundancies at the top and not paying 6 figure salaries to a bunch of people who have also failed to solve any of the short term or long term issues plaguing our educational system. That’s cool. Let’s stop talking about shit and actually go in and implement things and invest in the system.

But getting rid of elected representation in favour of a bunch of appointees who will probably have coincidentally contributed major funding to the political party in power is scary.

I kinda don’t give a shit what the report says. If they really want to know why the kids are “falling behind” go and spend a fucking week, a day, or an hour in some of our core area schools and you might get a real understanding of the social issues and barriers the kids face to getting a good education. If we continue to ignore that teaching the WHOLE CHILD is paramount to impacting their academic outcomes, we will continue to fail.

In Manitoba, where in some populations over 60% of children live in poverty, teaching the whole child includes feeding them, clothing them, and loving them. A child doesn’t give a fuck about learning to read when they wear sandals to school in -30C weather and haven’t had a decent meal in a million years. Unstable housing and food insecurity are problems that need solving before you can even hope to get their attention.

Once you do, you have to give them enough confidence to TRY.

Manitoba students rank the lowest in math and second lowest in reading. Meanwhile, a lot core schools don’t have enough funding to feed the kids AND provide arts programming. And you know what is one of the best precursors to numeric and phonetic awareness? MUSIC. And what is always the FIRST thing to be cut? Music.

This province needs to pull it’s head out its ass and think outside the proverbial box. Go ahead, cut the top salaries, but don’t start telling me that the representatives are going to be appointed by the government and any parent or school is going to have a real advocate. Don’t pretend for one second that I, as a parent, am going to have the same kind of access to have my concerns addressed trying to get in touch with the Minister of Education, rather than my local school trustee.

I fear that centralizing the system will allow those who are marginalized to shrink further and further into the background, while the kids with stable homes and parents who are available to advocate for their needs will be heard loud and clear. I fear that the kids who already have nothing will just drop out.

I fear that creating more standardized testing creates a situation where we are “judging a fish’s ability to climb a tree”, rather than nurturing relevant educational goals in specific communities.

I fear that the kids who learn atypically will suffer further losses to their support systems. I fear that this will be a total fucking disaster, while the government gives themselves three cheers for saving 40 million dollars in salaries, and hires a few more teachers for show.

Until I hear specific plans outlining HOW this is going to make it better rather than “we’ll save money” I’ll just assume that the whole idea is fucking bureaucratic nonsense.

BY THE WAY, saying “we estimate to save 40 MILLION DOLLARS” doesn’t sound like you intend to reinvest that money to front lines at all, CLIFF.

Trump Is An Asshole, But This Gun Thing Is Not Just His Fault

gun_violence

InnerSelf.com

I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about the issue of gun violence and mass shootings in the US for the past two weeks.  I’m sure many people have.  I’ve engaged in many online discussions and shook my head pretty much every time President Trump opened his mouth to say something idiotic about the subject.

Here’s the thing though….Trump is an asshole, and kinda stupid, and downright dirty, but the problem in the States is not actually his fault.  Sure, his loyalty to the NRA is perpetuating the problem, and he has undone some of the controls that previous Presidents have set in motion.  And it’s infuriating to hear his *quick fix* of the issue while so many families are grieving tragic losses at the hands of this utter bullshit, all while he is really doing nothing.

So what’s the answer?   There isn’t a simple one, I don’t think.  I am a firm believer that the laws need to be stricter.   The rules need to be tighter and the restrictions about what kind of weapon you can own need to change.   I have been very vocal about that, even as a member of a gun owning family.

Do I think that people have a right to own firearms?   Sure.   But with many, many limitations.

But that is only one piece of a very complicated and larger problem.

And no, I don’t actually think the problem is just mental illness either.   It must certainly be a factor in some cases, but having the President of the US go on about how he doesn’t want *sickos* to get their hands on guns is not helping AT ALL.

So, what else?   Honestly, I think that we as parents are failing our children.    Probably not a very popular opinion, but I kinda don’t give a shit.   Parents need to take some ownership in the way we have ceased to be present for our kids.  We have to recognize the lacking connection kids are making with their parents and peers, and how that can contribute to a lack of empathy.  We have to admit that in the majority of cases, both parents are working, and our children are in someone else’s care.  We have to admit that instead of sitting down together at the end of the day and talking as a family, we are working shifts, or racing from one activity to the next in hopes of giving our kids the best opportunities for success later, and not even having regular conversations with our kids about anything.  We are physically present, but we aren’t present. We often don’t notice that something is wrong until it is already at a crisis point.

People who are in pain often inflict pain on others as a a means to cope.   And that is bullshit.  How are we here?   When did inflicting pain mean killing 17 children?   What the actual fuck is the point in that?  How did nobody notice this kid that was hurting so bad that he needed other people to die?   Where were his caregivers?  Why was he allowed access to a firearm?

We need to do better than this.

Limit access.   Treat mental illness.   NOTICE YOUR CHILDREN.   Notice their pain.   Notice their tears.   Know what is going on in their lives.   Have no secrets in your house.   Listen to the little stuff so that they trust you with the big stuff.   Give up material things to create healthier relationships and time to nurture them.  We all have a role to play.   Its guns, but its not JUST guns.

We as a society need to re-examine our values and decide that our current ways are creating a lack of human connection and empathy that allow us to hurt one another.   Someone who feels loved and valued and confident is not going to have a bad day and all of a sudden go and murder a bunch of people because he feels sad.  Someone who feels like they have a support system is not going to do that.   And on the flipside, someone who doesn’t have those support systems but also doesn’t have access toa firearm is not going to shoot 17 people at his school either.   The solution is multi layered.   The lawmakers need to make better laws.   They need to recognize their part, no matter what hey think their rights are.    But the parents need to do their part too.

 

 

 

Bedtime Is The Biggest Asshole I Know

after-kids-to-bed-LOTR-THUMB-330x230

You what time it is, Bitches.    That time where all you want is a little piece and quiet after a full day of tiny human taming.   You need a solid hour with a glass of wine, an episode of The Bachelor, and no other humans talking to you or each other before your exhausted body just collapses on the pillow.

And then Storytime is a dick.   Put On Your Pajama Time sucks a fat one.   Brush Your Teeth Time is a total whore and then actual Bedtime is a steaming asshole that just will not give you a break.

What is it about bedtime that makes kids act like the most annoying humans on the planet?   Aren’t they tired?  Aren’t they excited to go to sleep and replenish their energy in order to face another day of keeping other humans alive and doing all the glamorous things like laundry and cooking and toilets in between working a paid job?   Oh. Wait.

That’s me.

Honestly, MY bedtime is my favourite part of any day.   It’s better than toast ( and I fucking love toast) and a good book or a glass of wine or sex or anything I can think of these days.

I am so tired.  And my tiny humans will not fucking go to sleep.

Bedtime is a real asshole.  The biggest one I’ve ever met.

And then when Bedtime sucks, the next day sucks, because everyone is tired and Mommy didn’t get any alone time and here we are ALL OVER AGAIN with me fantasizing about MY bedtime, while wishing I cold hire a bedtime nanny 7 days a week.   I love spending time with my kids except when I have to put them to bed by myself.

And if you want to talk about The Hour Between Dinner And Bedtime, we need a whole other post for that motherfucker, because he is almost as relentless.

This shit gets easier, right?

Women’s Rights Are Same As Men’s Rights. Also Known As *Rights* You Idiotic POS.

Courtland-Sykes-for-Senate-I-Like-Sykes-Missouri_10

Have you fucking read THIS?

Read it.  From start to finish, including the statement from the US Senate candidate that the article is about.

If you are a Republican, or Trump supporter, or in any way have your head literally stuck so far up your ass that you cannot see what is sitting RIGHT in front of you amidst the smoke and mirrors and self serving propaganda utter bullshit that comes out of the POTUS’s mouth, read this.

If you are a woman, read this.

And then get angry.

Look, women can be homemakers or stay at home parents if they want to.   I have written so many times about the struggle of balancing career and family.  I am of the opinion that if one parent can stay at home or work part time, or you can modify your work life in any way so that your children have the benefit of spending more time with a parent than another caregiver, do that.   I am ALSO of the opinion that those are things that a woman can decide for herself, without the government stepping in and deciding what her fucking role in life is.

There is a lot of pride in staying home with your children.  It’s hard, often thankless work.   It’s emotionally exhausting some days and extremely rewarding the next.   And if you choose and are financially able to make this work for your family, I respect and support that choice.

In no way does that diminish a woman’s right to choose if this is the life she ultimately wants, and in no way does this give men in  Washington, or Ottawa or London or wherever the reigns in making that decision for them.  In no way does this diminish the world’s need for women in top decision making roles for their countries or communities.

It doesn’t make them “career obsessed banshees” and it ALSO doesn’t mean that a man can’t have a home cooked meal at 6:00pm every night, because last time I checked he can cook it his damn self.

Aren’t we past this yet? When are men like Courtland Sykes going to stop thinking that women are around just to make their lives easier? When are men going to realize that women standing up and saying we are not objects or toys or prizes to be won and manipulated doesn’t make us anti men, it makes us anti abuse?

The patriarchy are getting scared, because they want to keep women in the subordinate, supportive roles.   And its really because they know they can’t do it alone and aren’t reasonable and mature enough to share the credit and say thank you.  They want all the credit for everything even though they barely do half the work.  And maybe, they are terrified that they are replaceable by women doing a better job then they are, when the world keeps seeing the same old problems over and over again and perhaps women offer a different perspective and solution.

Oh Hell no, Mr. Sykes.

This is finished, you are right about that.   But it’s not feminism that’s finished.   Every time a man says shit like this you just poured liquid gas on a fire that is rapidly approaching everything you have known for a very long time.   And we are about to burn that shit down.

 

 

 

It’s A Gun Problem, But It’s Not Just A Gun Problem

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https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/24/1735744/-Man-outraged-by-11th-school-shooting-this-year-posts-This-is-Bailey-Holt-GOD-DAMMIT-LOOK-AT-HER?detail=facebook

I don’t even really know what to say.

Here’s the thing.  The US isn’t the only place where regular people like you and me have access to firearms.   We are a responsible, gun owning family.   Our guns are locked up in steel safes that require a fingerprint, an access code or a key (which we keep hidden) to open.   We don’t fuck around, because not only do I have children, but there are other people’s children in my house.

But why then, do we not have the gun violence, particularly in schools, like they do in the US?

Why is this the answer people run to to solve their problems?   How do we go from those kids are assholes to I’m gonna go shoot up a school and steal someone’s child from them? When did shooting people become a solution to your problems?

Its guns, but its just not guns.   Its that we are afraid to discipline our kids.   We are afraid to hurt their feelings or teach them how to resolve shit directly because somebody might get offended.  We are so afraid of honesty and human connection and empathy that our course of action has become to simply just eliminate the problem.

This is a gun problem, but its not just a gun problem.   We live in a culture that glorifies violence in movies, and tv.   We live in a culture where we feel like the only way to protect ourselves is with violence.  We live in a culture where we have forgotten how to pay attention to the signs our kids are giving us because we are just so busy all the goddamn time.

We live in a time where the lawmakers are busy pissing around trying to make the other guy look bad so they can’t be bothered to solve any of the real issues plaguing their country.

We live in a place where you can’t buy a kinder surprise egg or a exersaucer on wheels because its too dangerous but you can buy a gun to keep in your home.

I don’t know what the solution is.   Because its a gun problem, but it’s also a people problem.  We are so fucked up.   We are broken and incapable of being human to one another.   People who aren’t broken by something don’t walk into a school and start shooting up their classmates.

And unfortunately, if you wait around for some asshole in Washington to finally decide that nobody can buy guns and think that will magically fix the violence that is plaguing the US, you will be waiting a really really long time.

This isn’t going away unless we change the dynamic in our homes and in our lives.   And if somewhere along the way the people in charge of shit pull their head out of their asses long enough to contribute by toughening up their gun restrictions, that would be really fucking helpful too.

Sleep well, Bailey.

 

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