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To All The Sancti-Mommies Out There: Just Don’t.

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Pinterest

So last week I got caught up in an online discussion about ill behaved children in the grocery store.

A super observant, knowledgeable, and childless woman made all sorts of comments about how inappropriate it was for the parents to have tried to control their child’s tantruming by offering a bribe.   Or whatever.  She watched.  She judged.  And then she proclaimed her disapproval on social media like a total cow.

Anyway, the exchange pissed me off.  I am so tired of trying so hard to do right by my kids.  And having what feels like an army of Sancti-Mommies always screaming about how wrong I am for doing/thinking/feeling/trying/asking/wondering the things I am.  Or posting the “how you’ve fucked up your kids for good” article of the day.

And then there’s this new breed of Sancti-Non-Mommies who also want to weigh in on the discussion?   Because they took a few behaviour management courses that one time in University?

No thanks.

Also, fuck you.

So in order to deal with some of my feelings (don’t tell anybody I have feelings or I will cut you) , I have been trolling some of the mommy blogging sites in order to tell some of these bitches to suck it.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Maybe.

Probably.

But here’s the thing:  With the exception of the vaccination debate, where your choice does actually affect those around you I don’t actually give a fuck how you parent your child.

Like, not even a little bit.

What I’m interested in is hearing you share what works for you so that we parents can use each other as a resource when we are out of answers and patience.   Isn’t that what those sites were invented for?

Instead, everybody is Judgy-Judgering one a another and pointing fingers and making all sorts of assumptions about other people.   Throwing out accusations of violence and child abuse if you’ve resorted to spanking or chosen to circumcise your son.   The irreversable psychological damage you’ve done to your child by yelling at them.  How you’ve brain damaged them by allowing them to eat sugar.  Or how your kid will be smarter/healthier/better because you were able to breastfeed and I was just too lazy/selfish/stupid to do the same.

God.  We even get up in one anothers business for what kind of birth they had.

And my problem is not with what choices you make for your child.  My problem is with the choices you make about how you treat other people.  You may always speak to your child in a calm, respectful tone that explains your point of view and outlines your expectations.   You never raise your voice to them and certainly not your hand.   You are parent of the year in every way whose kid eats what’s on their plate, always follows the rules, never cries or tantrums, loves to grocery shop, goes to bed on time, puts their shoes on the first time you ask, cleans the house, walks the dog, all due to your awesomeness as a human being and in spite of the rest of us fuck ups down the street or linked to you on social media.  But when it comes to discussions about managing life as a working parent or disciplining your kids, we are all guilty of being class A bitches to one another.

This is such utter bullshit.  We all work our asses off to make our kids have the best lives possible.   And at some point we have decided that because something in our circumstance works or does not, it suddenly applies to every other human being out there.

IT DOESN”T.

So, to all the Sancti-Mommies out there:

Share your shit, but be realistic.   Be raw.  We can smell your entitled talk and insecurities a mile and a mouse click away.   You are not any better than the rest of us, you are just better at parenting YOUR OWN CHILD than the rest of us.  Stop acting like you have all the answers for everyone.   Stop making ridiculously overly dramatic statements about what another parent has chosen or tried or failed at.  Step off that high horse and let him go and graze in the pasture for a while.  Your burden of arrogance and judgement are too heavy for him to bear.

We. Are. All Doing.The Best.We.Can.

 

 

 

 

Madonna’s Daughter Has Hairy Armpits

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TV3

Omg.

So yesterday, on MSN news, there was an article about Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes looking smashing in a bikini.

Until she has the audacity to flash her unshaven armpits.  I mean, how dare she?   Doesn’t she know that she was being photographed?   Even if the photography was unsolicited, doesn’t she have any self respect?

I mean seriously, how does this fucking bitch live with herself?   How does she sleep at night, knowing what horror she has bestowed upon us, the public who needs to know?   A public who has a fundamental right to know what is going on in the world.

Listen, I get that she was at a beach with her friends, but she is a public figure whether she asked for it or not.   And to blatantly just leave her armpits unshaven for such a long time that we can see it from so far away with a telescopic lens is just not acceptable.   I can’t even believe she did this.

Doesn’t she care about what people think of her?   Doesn’t she care about the example she is leaving for young girls everywhere?   That it is ok for a girl to disrespect her body so much to have hairy armpits and flaunt them in public? HOW DOES SHE GET UP IN THE MORNING?

I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with people today.   Can’t we just live in a reasonable world where people are considerate of others and cover up their offensive body hair?  I can’t even watch the news anymore.  This is absurd.

 

This post brought to you by the most amount of sarcasm a person can hold in their hearts without exploding.

We have children being attacked with chemical weapons, a scary, complicated, no end in sight conflict in the middle east that seems to be escalating by the day.   An idiotic President of the US.  People constantly harming one another.   A divide between rich and poor that continues to get wider and wider.

Humanitarian crisis ALL OVER the world and THIS is the shit that MSN has deemed newsworthy.   Priorities.   Jesus Fuck.

 

 

Still Getting Shit Done

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CBC

The other day I came across this post on Twitter ( or something….I honestly can’t remember the source because PARENTHOOD) of a mom who was tandem nursing her 5 week old twins, while working away on a laptop.   She made some sort of remark about being exhausted, not sleeping, barely functioning, but “still getting shit done”.

Well, honey.   Good for you.

I’m happy that she feels like she can get it all done.  A baby on each boob, not even  healed from the physical aspects of birth let alone the hormonal and emotional ones of becoming a mother, and happily working away.

Being ok with feeling like ass, and barely knowing what day of the week it is, and banging out some projects on your computer.

Jesus Christ.   What the hell is wrong with the world?

And no, I’m not shaming her.   If she wants to be a superstar human and do all of those things and is ok with that, then great.  Go for it.  Be the superhero.

I am lucky to live in Canada, where we have maternity benefits for up to one year after the birth of our child.   The first three months are maternity leave, and then the remaining nine months can be split with our partner pretty much any way we like.

Because even if if we can somehow find a way to work through the exhaustion, stay upright, and make sure that everyone is fed and the laundry is done and still get to work on time, why should we have to?  

In the States, many women get 6 weeks or even less of maternity leave.   Sometimes its completely unpaid.

And I can tell you from experience that going back to work 6 weeks after your baby is born is pretty much the biggest pile of shit ever.   Even when the person you are handing over care to is your husband.

As someone who is self employed, my babies were luckily both born in the summer and I went back to work when the school year began. Otherwise I wold have had no income, and no guarantee that my students would come back to me when I was ready to teach again.   It was so hard.   Because even though my husband was the “primary caregiver”  there is something very difficult to describe about the bond between an infant and her mother.   I was still getting up at night regularly.  I was still dealing with post partum anxiety and hormones.  I was still having a hard time with an unstable pelvis from the birth.  And there was nothing about being separated from my baby that made me feel good.

So, I have been in this woman’s shoes, and luckily for me and for her ( she is an artist) we are able to work primarily from home and decide what our ours of work are.

But what if you have a physically demanding job?   What if your career demands long hours?   High pressure?

We need to start taking better care of our mothers, and us mothers need to be ok with being cared for.

So the problem that I had with the woman’s post about “getting shit done”  is the implication that every woman should be able to and that it is completely normal to literally have a baby under each arm while doing your job.   It’s that this mom feels like she has to inspire other women that they can be a badass mom too.

What if they don’t want to be a badass?  What if you just want to be there for your children without feeling like you aren’t strong enough to balance a career alongside it?   What if you just don’t want the superhero to be the expectation of you?

I get it.   I have to work to.   But I will tell you hands down that the first year of a child’s life is mentally and emotionally exhausting and that having to work during it is not in everyone’s best interest.  There were many times that I felt on the edge.   Like on the fucking brink.

The US needs to get its shit together.   The reality is that many families simply cannot survive on one income anymore. I know we can’t.   But no woman should be forced to go back to work before her vagina is even done bleeding after the birth of her baby.   It’s beyond ridiculous.

All of us moms know we can “get shit done”.   Because we do.  But seriously.    You never ever get those weeks and months back.   The work will always be there waiting for you, but you will never ever regret focusing on your kids while they are tiny.   In that first year ( and beyond), I truly believe the only shit we should be getting done is putting ourselves back together while building a relationship with our tiny humans.   Seriously.   Just give us a break.

The bottom line is that women are constantly in this tug of war between career and family.   Much more so than men.   We are constantly having to sacrifice a piece of ourselves.   And usually, as apparent in the Twitter post about getting shit done, it’s the mom herself that is being sacrificed.   Why is it ok to feel exhausted and sleep deprived all the time?   Why is this how we become superheroes?

I guess for me personally, if there are three things on the table:   Myself, my child, or my job; and I need to sacrifice part of something to keep getting shit done, the first two choices should be non negotiable.

That doesn’t make me selfish.   That doesn’t make me a pussy.   And accepting that I should have to sacrifice my own well being is something I am no longer willing to do.   If I don’t take care of me, then the other two things suffer anyway.

So.  Make your own choice.  But ultimately, stop accepting less than you deserve and then cheering about how you can still make it work.   You shouldn’t fucking have to.

International Woman’s Day Is Every Day

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Wearing red for IWD 2017

Once upon a time, someone at a press conference asked Joss Whedon why he always writes such strong female characters and created stories about them.   ( not a direct quote, but you get the idea).

After a while he concluded it was because people are still asking him that question.

Do you ever notice that?   Nobody would ask a writer or producer or director why there are strong male characters, we just sorta expect that to happen.

But a strong woman character?   How odd.

Today, on International Woman’s Day, I want to acknowledge every single woman out there who has ever had to work twice as hard to get half as far.  I want to acknowledge every woman who made the tough decision to give up their career in order to raise their family.  The woman who gave up the idea of ever having children because the demands of her male dominated field would never tolerate it, no matter what the law says.

For every woman who has said no and had yes stolen from her.  For every woman who raised a child she never wanted and couldn’t afford but loved regardless while a man had the luxury of walking away.

Every little girl who was told she couldn’t, wouldn’t, and didn’t deserve to anyway.  For the little girl who grew up and said fuck that, and did it better than any man.

For every wife who stood by her partner and made it possible for him to succeed while receiving no credit for it.

For every time you wiped a snotty nose or changed a diaper or made it through another day without crying yourself to sleep from exhaustion and frustration while receiving no thank you for the life you are supporting.

For every minute of childbirth that you endured in order to bring the greatest love of your life into this world.

For every woman who ever looked in the mirror and hated herself.  For putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own.

And for every woman who decided what she wanted and got it.   For inspiring other girls and women to do better for themselves.

For every single woman out there, regardless of your heritage, your colour, your sexuality, your socio-economic status, your age, your education.   Regardless of everything.

You are worth more to this world than the world knows.  

Be strong, be demanding, and never ever back down.   Be resilient.  Be epic.

International Woman’s Day is every fucking day.   Joss Whedon gets that.   Be more like Joss Whedon.

 

Parents: Get Off Your Phone

 

Have you guys seen this yet?    The daycare that posted a sign telling parents to get off their phone when picking up their children?

Which side of the argument do you fall?   Can you justify the parents behaviour?   Has the daycare overstepped?

I’ll tell you what I think.

Parents, in this particular situation, I think you need to get off your goddamn phone.

Here’s why.   Your child has been waiting for this moment ALL.DAY.LONG.  As much as they love their friends and their school/daycare, they love you the most.   They want so badly to make you proud of them.  They need you to be excited to see them and make them feel like this is the moment YOU have been looking for ALL.DAY.LONG.

When I first pick up my child from daycare/school or a babysitter, those first few minutes are paramount to understanding the behaviour they display throughout the rest of the day.   It is important for you to listen to what they tell you so that you can support them if they need support, congratulate them on something they did that was new, or hug them if they feel sad.  You can’t assess the situation if you aren’t present in the moment.

And what I’ve learned personally, is that if I don’t give my child my full attention when I first see them, they will feel let down.   I will effectively rain on their parade, and set myself up for failure with them afterwards.

Now, hey, I GET IT.

I fuck around on my phone ALL THE TIME at the playground, or while they are entertaining themselves or even when I declare a 30 minute quiet time in the house.

And that’s totally ok.   You don’t need to be up your kid’s ass, entertaining them every step of the way through life.  They need to learn to work out some social  skills on their own too without you interfering.

But not that moment. Not that moment when they first see you after a whole day of being apart.   You need to make them feel like a priority in your life.

Tell your boss you’ll call them back.   Set a boundary that your child comes first.   That from 4:30-5:00 pm every day you are unavailable.

If the call is SO important, take it before going inside with a quick “I’ll call you in 30 minutes” ( unless it is an emergency).  And emergencies aren’t a change in soccer practice venue, by the way.

Let the school leave a message.  Let them call your partner instead.

Ask yourself if you were in a meeting at work, would you answer the phone?

Soccer, your parents, the vet, whomever can just wait a goddamn minute and learn some patience themselves.  We keep saying that we need to teach our children that the world doesn’t revolve them, so we can teach the adults in our lives the same fucking thing.   The world doesn’t have to revolve around your kids, but show them enough love and respect in this situation so that they KNOW they are important to you.

NOW.

TO THE DAYCARE.

Although I support the motivation behind the sign, I can’t tell you how grossly inappropriate the sign on the window is.

It is condescending, lacking respect, and downright fucking rude.   And if any child care worker or teacher dare speak to me about my parenting  in such a manner they would have no further contact with my child in a big hurry.  Because if they are going to speak to ME that way, the hand that is literally feeding them, how are they speaking to my child when I am not around?

Try something like this next time:

Dear Parents,

Please refrain from using your phone while picking up your child (unless in absolute emergency).  They are so excited to see you when you get here, and we feel like you can best support them by giving them your full attention.

The staff would also like the opportunity to speak with you as the need arises regarding any successes or difficulties that may have occurred during the day, illness or other special circumstances.

Thank you for respecting our space, and making yourselves fully available to us.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Director

 

Ok Bitches, what do you think?

I Can Only Hope

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Mirror

There is so much hate in the world right now, Bitches.

The actions of the US President over the last 10 days have not only been outrageous, but I think we have yet to realize the full impact of the decisions made by this administration.   I think that the scariest thing is that while many politicians and world leaders are trying to be polite and not provoke any further ridiculously discriminatory actions, many are getting ready for the very big possibility of engaging in conflict with the US.

Look.   Many folks in the Middle East already hate us.   That’s why we have terrorists.  But everything that Trump is doing is just proving them right about Americans and adding fuel to their already out of control fire.   I feel like he is daring countries like the 7 he banned travel from and/or China to come at him.

His behaviour is the not so much unlike the behaviour of the dictators that military forces came together to try and eradicate for the past however many years.  And if I was a veteran of any of those conflicts, I would be super pissed that the very thing I sacrificed my life, time with my family, my health etc etc for was happening right here at home.

This is not the way.  It can’t be the way, or we are the worst hypocrites ever.   We are liars when we tell the people in these war torn countries that we are doing this to preserve human rights and dignity and to try and make their lives better.  We are liars because we can’t even provide them on North American soil.

It would be like a drunk man trying to lead an AA meeting.

And as much as I love Justin Trudeau’s ability to say the *right thing* and hope that he is truly dedicated to making this word a better place, he needs to slap his balls on the table and inform Mr. Trump that Canada will not support these actions, and be crystal clear about the damage his administration has bestowed upon our relationship.   He needs to set a standard for all developed nations and allies of the US that tyranny will not be accepted and that leading your country with the example of fear, ignorance and racism will not be tolerated.

We all need to stop being polite about this.  Because it is bullshit.   It is doing nothing but letting hate reign freely in world already overcome with hate and fear.

I am afraid for the world I am going to leave my children and grandchildren in one day.   Terrified.

I can only hope that maybe, just maybe, all of this will cause the rest of us to rise up louder and stronger against pain and racism and discrimination.  Against the rich getting richer, and the rest of us struggling more and more just to provide a good life for ourselves.

I can only hope that Trumps hidden purpose is that we all finally feel so horrified by this shit that we stand together instead of saying nothing because it doesn’t really affect us closely enough.

I can only hope that from this we will all become inspired to become better humans and treat each other with love.

Because I can’t leave my kids this world.  I can’t.

 

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

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Its January 25th today, the day we are supposed to open our mouths and ears and hearts and acknowledge the millions of people who live with mental illness.

I am one of those people.

Surprised?

Don’t answer that. 

About 16 years ago I started getting these crazy dizzy spells combined with a racing heart.  I would feel cold and tingly in my fingers.   And then I would need to go and lie down after. I felt like I was short of breath all the time, and my heart rate would go so high at the gym that I felt like it might explode out of my chest.

I was convinced I had a heart condition.   I was afraid to go to sleep at night.  The insomnia compounded everything.   I couldn’t concentrate at work, or absorb any new information.  My memory ( which is my ride or die skill) was almost non existent.

I was pretty sure I was going insane at the same time as developing a heart condition.

So I went to my doctor and told him plainly ” I think I’m going nuts” and he said plain as day to me:  Crazy people don’t think they’re crazy.   I think you have an anxiety disorder with panic attacks.  When you start to feel nuts, take a lorazepam and if it makes it go away we’ll know I’m right.  See what happens over the next week or so and come back to see me so we can get you on some medication.”

He also said that the first thing they usually prescribe is regular exercise, but seeing as I was already hitting the gym 5 days a week at the time, we decided I needed more help than that.  So all those “exercise is the cure for everything” memes can just fuck right off.   It helps yes, and today helps me manage my stress, but not always.

So I stayed on medication for about 18 months and was able to gradually wean off of it. I learned some great coping mechanisms and learned how not to feed my anxious mind.  I learned to take the physical cues my body was giving me like sore muscles, insomnia, dizzy spells, headaches and use them as cues to take it easy and focus on self care.

And here’s the thing about mental illness:  You’re never cured.

Although my symptoms are manageable and I function normally most days, some days, my anxiety is a real asshole.  And I have to just let it be, and slow down, and use all the tools I know to keep things in check.

But it will always be there.  So sometimes, when I cancel plans because I don’t feel well, it’s actually because I am feeling kinda nuts and just not able to deal with you or your shit, because my own shit is too heavy a burden that day.

And that’s ok too.

What do you want to talk about today, Bitches?  I’m listening.

 

That Executive Order Is A Crock Of Shit

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Berry College

From Fat Bottom Girl:

Why do so many people feel “feminism” is a terrible word? You know what I think it means? I think it means that I get to choose. I have choices in my life because women who came before me fought for them. I think the woman who chooses to be a stay at home mom might be just as much a feminist as a woman who chooses to work outside the home, and expects to make the same wage a man does for the same job.

I think this nails my feelings about what is going on in America right now, but  abortion has become “THE” topic surrounding feminism, because that is the issue that Team Trump has chosen to resurrect.   I say resurrect because I feel like it that is what has happened….resurrected from its grave of “we already decided about this”.  I feel like in this day and age we should be past talking about it already.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you.  I don’t like abortion.  I feel like there are other options and so many people that would take and care for a child that a young woman in a desperate situation can’t care for herself.   I feel like the morality of such a decision would haunt me forever and that is a price I’m not willing to pay.  I feel like my Christianity prevents me from coming to that conclusion.  I believe, excuse the Walking Dead quote,  ” that all life is precious”.

I was the product of a teen pregnancy.   I could have been an abortion.

For these reasons, I don’t like abortion.

And that, my friends, is a feminist decision.  Because I have the right to weigh my options and question my morality and then do what I feel is best.  I am allowed to make decisions based on my own health and circumstance.   I have access to resources that provide information about those choices.  I have access to health care that will treat complications.

And you, my friends, have the right to use those resources differently.  I cannot assume that what I believe to be right is the only answer for every other woman out there.   I cannot assume that another woman is going to be willing to sacrifice her own body because some rich asshole in a suit and 7 of his friends said she has to.  I support the decisions you make because they are YOURS TO MAKE.  I can confidently say that regardless of my individual stance on the subject, I support a woman’s right to choose this for herself, and don’t judge that decision.

Just like I can support a woman’s decision to practice Islam, and wear a burka, even though I believe in something different.

Yes, I get it that the executive order that was signed yesterday goes back and forth depending what party is in power.   But it feels like so much more than this.   It feels like a response to the millions of women who marched on Saturday to beg that our rights be upheld.  It felt like a counterattack on millions of women standing up and saying that they want and deserve the right to have control over their own bodies.

I don’t like abortion, but I love women.  I love all the girls out there despite what they decide to do with their bodies.   It is a fundamental right and freedom that is being threatened.   No kidding women are mad.

And yeah…..a lot of women voted for Trump.   We have yet to see what kind of President he will be.  But I am worried.

I am worried that because of this presidents fragile ego, he will constantly be attacking any group that shows strength in their unacceptance of tyranny.

I wonder how much money Kellyanne Conway makes in comparison to her male counterparts?  IS that a government standard?  IS it about to change?  IS she ok with that?  IS she ok with having to pay tax on tampons while her male counterparts can go and get Viagra without paying tax?

If President Trump is here to serve all the people ( not just the 63 million that voted for him), he is going to have to start listening to the all the people.  Including the ones he doesn’t agree with.

You can disagree with something and still acknowledge someone’s right to choose it for themselves.

Today Revived Feminism For Me

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Eventbrite

I surprised myself today, Bitches.

I’ve never been one for feminism.   I’ve had the experience and luxury of going after the things I want, putting in the work for them, and coming out on top.

I’ve never let a man intimidate me or sexualize me without hitting back harder.   Not one man has ever be allowed to make me feel like he could one up me just because he was a man.

And I guess I’ve taken it for granted.  Granted that most men I know wouldn’t dare to put their hands on me, or verbally demoralize me or fear of the repercussions.  Societal AND immediate consequences from a half batshit crazy little brunette who would just as soon eat you for dinner as listen to your fucking crap.

But today, as I looked at all the photos and footage of women all over the world marching to maintain our rights to be treated as equals I felt myself becoming increasingly emotional.

I never, ever, in a million years thought that I or my friends, or my daughter would have to come together and remind men that they can’t and won’t treat us like crap and get away with it.  That just because the newly inaugurated President of the United States speaks about and to women and any person who is less powerful than he is in a demeaning way doesn’t give others the right to do it.

I never thought that the leader of the free worlds words would inspire law makers and governments to try and silence the words of so many.  I never ever thought that we would see these types of movements again.

I always felt empowered as a woman.

And I felt emotional today because I feel like when women come together to make a change, there is nothing more powerful on this earth.

I have never, ever, EVER been more proud to be a woman than I was today.

Bitches, you got this.   Stand tall, stand proud, stand strong.

And never shut up.  Stay loud.  Get louder.  Push back.

I’m in.

 

Mariah, Nobody Cares About Your Feelings

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Miami Herald

As I flipped through the news this morning, there was YET ANOTHER article about Mariah Carey and her stupid performance on New Year’s Eve.

This time she is going on and on about how her feelings are hurt.  She’s humiliated. 

Boo fucking hoo.

Can you please just get over yourself, Miss Thang?

Everyone else would just pleasantly forget about it and never talk about it again if you would just shut up and move on.   We get it.  You’re a professional performer who had the unfortunate experience of a technical malfunction at a live televised performance.

It sucked.  You sucked.   But it isn’t indicative of your overall abilities.

What it is appearing to be indicative of is your character.   The more you go on about it, the more I consider you a narcissistic cry baby asshole.   And I don’t want to think that about you because you used to be kinda amazing.

Everybody has a shitty day at the office, you know?  You’re not exempt from that.  You can’t change the past, so just move forward, okay?

What you can change however, is that horrible one piece sparkly bathing suit with feathers you had on and the stupid cheesy non dancing dance moves.   And fire your choreographer.  You looked liked a washed up Barbie whos limbs don’t bend all the way.   You know, those old school ones from the 80’s that only bent like 30 degrees at the knees but who’s arms were stuck at the awkward angle?

Please.  New Year’s Eve was 8 days ago.   Get over it.

 

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Louise Oldham.

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