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Tag: Family

You’re All Naked In Your House Too, Right?

The other day I was out for a drink with some old friends and the conversation inevitably turned towards our children.  As we shared and laughed and vented, we started talking about nakedness.

When does it stop being appropriate to be naked in front of or with your children?  When does it stop being appropriate to let my little nudists streak around the house doing somersaults and handstands with their vaginas in the air or wieners in their hand?

Cause that happens at all of your homes too, right?

My kids love to be naked.  They only put clothes on after many many repetitions and threats.  The phrase “put your vagina away”  comes out of my mouth at least once per day.

I guess I just worry that the lack of modesty is going to turn into either some sort of weird naked thing at school next year and make my daughter the social pariah amongst her classmates.  And I also worry that some fucking sicko is gonna hurt my kid.

I know.  I know.  I need to calm down about this “putting my child’s life into the hands of strangers” thing at school in the fall.  But seriously.  What if she has trouble pulling up her pants after using the bathroom and there is no one to help her so she just decides to say fuck it and run around naked instead?

We are a naked family.  We don’t close doors, everybody knows about everybody elses junk.  I don’t want my kids to feel self conscious about themselves.  I don’t want them to think negatively or weird about their bodies.  I want them to love them, and understand that what they see in the media in terms of body image isn’t really the truth.  I want them to know what “real” peoples bodies look like and that it is okay to love themselves if they are squishy or hairy or imperfect in any way.

But I also want them to put their goods away when we have people over for dinner.

As it happens, a dear friend of mine sent me this article too:

Basically, a father had his baby in the shower with him when the child was burning with fever, trying to calm him down and help bring the fever down.  Mom thought it was a beautiful moment and captured a few photos which she then posted to Facebook.And people freaked out, because they were both naked.

Ummm.  They are in the shower. A parent.  THEIR CHILD.

Shit.  My kids are four and two and they LOVE it when I come in the bathtub with them.  It’s fun, there’s no fighting about having a bath.  It’s moments that can’t and won’t last forever.

Do we live in such a totally hyper-sexualized community that all nudity represents is someone about to get laid?  Is that why people in North America get so crazy about women breastfeeding in public?  Is THAT why girls can’t wear yoga pants or spaghetti straps to school because any amount of skin shown automatically means something sexual or inappropriate is going on?

Get a fucking grip people.

Our bodies are used for sex, yes.  But they are also used for eating tacos and riding bikes and comforting our children when they are sick.  So, my question still is, when should the family nudity start being weird?  When did you start covering up in front of your kids?  I’m pretty sure a 16 year old girl doesn’t need to see her dad grunting one out on the john, but what about a 6 year old?  When did your kids start asking for privacy?

Adulting is hard.  Parenting is worse.

 

 

 

What Motherhood Means To Me

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We’re just coming off of Mother’s Day here.  I have to tell you, it’s really not a day that I look forward too.  Maybe it’s just too many years in the service industry, or the fact that my husband and I work irregular hours.  We don’t really have anything sacred around here when it comes to all of these made up holidays.  They start to feel like just one more thing we have to try to fit into our already overflowing lives.

But I did take a few minutes to think about what motherhood means to me.

It means everything.  Once you become a mother, it taints everything else around you.  There is not one decision you make or dollar you spend or moment in time where your love for your child doesn’t influence you.

I’m not sure if somethings happens on a cellular level, or if our brain chemistry changes, or if it is simply instinct.  But motherhood turns you into a different human.

Think about it.  Kids are a lot of work.  They are needy, demanding, complicated, moody and sort of abusive.  Yesterday, my son threw something at me because I told him it was bath time, while my daughter screeched “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT HARD FOR ME?” .

And yet, we tolerate the assholery and crazyness because you still have to do what’s best for them even when they hate you for it.  Even if what’s best for them is checking them for wood ticks and cleaning the mud out from between their toes.

I think so many women have a hard time with motherhood not only because they are trying to “have it all” , but maybe because we feel some need to prove that motherhood hasn’t changed us and that we can still be the same friend or employee or whatever.  But I say embrace the change.  The minute your child is born, you suddenly know what it is like to love something more than yourself, and that makes you a different person.  It makes you a different friend.  It makes you a different employee.  It makes you less available and less inclined to give a shit because you have other priorities now.

And you are also teetering on insanity from lack of sleep or emotionally exhausted from all the psychological warfare your 4 year old is throwing at you.  Or maybe that’s just me.

I can’t think of any other situation where I would allow someone to scream at me 100 times a day and I’d still be nice to them.

So what does motherhood mean to me?

  • It means a chance to pass on the things about myself that I am proud of.
  • It means a chance to raise another human being to be a positive force in this shitty world.
  • It means learning that even in the worst of all situations or when I am at my breaking point, if I act out of love it will have a stronger and more successful impact that if I act of anger.
  • It means learning patience and kindness wins every time.
  • It means learning to be honest without brutality.
  • It means selflessness.
  • It means loving through imperfections.
  • It means sacrifice.
  • It means humility, because kids have a funny way of becoming the teachers.
  • It means pride.  Pride in seeing all your efforts taking flight.
  • It means having a purpose.  I no longer work hard so that I can play hard….I work hard so that my family has all the chance they need to succeed and be happy.

 

Motherhood isn’t for everyone.  It’s often thankless, grueling, and just downright shitty.  It will strip you down of everything you once believed and humble you to adapt to whatever comes your way so that your baby can thrive.   But it also will reward you a million times over.  Because knowing the love that exists  between a mother and child is nothing short of miraculous.  And worth all the other crap.

So yeah.  Motherhood means everything to me.  And I don’t need Mother’s Day or triple priced flowers to remember that.  Gifts are nice, but time is precious.

 

 

 

I Wish The Government Would Stop Making All My Parenting Decisions For Me.

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pixabay.com Call CFS! NO HELMET!

I was having a conversation with my cousin the other day and she was talking about how hard it is to coordinate the driving around of her children to their respective activities.

Her kids are 10, 8 and 3. Mid conversation she says ” And so we left Penelope (not her real name) home by herself to wait for one of her friend’s moms to come and pick her up while we drove the two boys to their thing.”

Wait a second.  Just one fucking second.

You left your 8 year old home alone while you get other shit done?

Apparently where she lives, there is no law giving a specific age where you can leave a child unattended.  It is a guideline that says “the age of maturity” which is up to the discretion of the parent.

Well Alle-fucking-luia, Alberta.

At least one province in this country has enough faith in the judgement of parents to decide something about their child’s welfare without intervening.

Here in Manitoba, a child has to be 12 to babysit a younger child, but cannot be legally left alone until they are 11. Doesn’t that seem just a little crazy?    EDIT:  After researching the laws more closely, a child in Manitoba can actually NOT be left alone until age 12  

The majority of provinces and territories do not limit the age at which a child can be left alone in their statutory rules. However, in two provinces (Manitoba and New Brunswick), the welfare Acts state that a parent cannot leave a child under the age of 12 unattended without making provision for adequate supervision.

So, at 11, they actually still cannot be responsible for themselves, but a year later they can be responsible for themselves AND a younger child. Dumb dumb dumb.

 

I understand that people just want to make sure that the welfare of a child comes first.  We want our kids to be safe.  We want them to not be targets of predators and perverts.  We don’t want them getting into trouble unsupervised.

But honestly, in my opinion the government is sticking its head into my business a little too much and not allowing me to teach my kids any independence, problem solving skills or responsibility.

Do you remember just one generation ago how we used to ride our bikes all over the neighbourhood?  You had to let your parents know where you were going, who you were with, and be back by dark.  You probably got a watch for your birthday so you knew what time to be home for dinner.

You got dirty, you got into fights and you solved your own problems because your mommy wasn’t there with one hand up your ass telling you what to do every second.  You learned to figure out how to build a fort or get down from a tree on your own because mommy wasn’t there playing with your and your friends.  Because she had other things to do like laundry and dinner and Days of Our Fucking Lives.  Because sometimes a mom was allowed to sit on the couch and watch trashy tv uninterrupted.

Nowadays, there are laws telling me when I can trust my own kid to walk home from school and hang out watching tv for an hour before I get home from work.  There are laws telling me that my kids has to be in a fucking carseat until Junior High. There are laws about wearing a helmet while riding a bike.  There are laws about how I am allowed to discipline my child.

And yes.  Yes, fanatical helicoptering parents out there.  YES I WANT MY CHILD TO BE SAFE.  And yes, I understand that these laws are put in place because a lot of parents seem to make poor decisions.

But I think that at some point, the government has to butt the fuck out of my house and allow me to make the best decisions for MY family.

I don’t want to have to worry that some stupid bitch is going to call CFS on me if I let my 10 year old go and play with his friends at the park without me.  Because in my opinion that is extreme and unnecessary.

I want my kids to be outside.  I want them to experience the joy of unstructured play.  I want them to learn to do things without me planning it for them.  I want them to learn how to negotiate terms of play and relationships without me directing them.  I want their best friend to be another child of their own age.  Not me.  Not their Dad.

And yes, I still want them to come to me when there is a problem they can’t solve.  I want them to know when I need to step in and when I don’t.  And to me, that is between me and my child, not me and my MLA or MP.

What do you think, Bitches?

An Ugly Little Bird And His Lesson

A picnic lunch between friends.

A picnic lunch between friends.

So, I know I usually have a story about something ridiculous my Destroyer did or said to make her look like a total asshole.  But you know what the truth is, Bitches?

Underneath all the funny, and stupid kid shit she does is an extremely empathetic and sensitive heart.  A heart that observes and is attentive to the needs of others, and very clear about what is important in life.

Yesterday we found a baby blue jay in our front yard.  Now, just FYI, my Destroyer loves birds.  Can’t get enough of them.  If we could find a way to make her life a sequel to “Rio”, she would be complete.

Anyway, she spent the whole goddamn day with that bird.  Oh sure, she took little breaks for lunch and the park.  But everything was about going to check on that bird.  We put seeds out for it.  We got the neighbour to bring his ladder and put the baby bird back in the tree where all his siblings were fluttering around.  We made a new nest for the bird when it fell out of the tree for a second time.

This morning, the fucking bird is gone.  I’m fairly certain that either the local merlin got him, or maybe a cat.  The parents and siblings seem long gone, but I held out hope for that ugly little thing.  He was the only one who couldn’t fly yet, and survival of the fittest, blah blah blah.

But you know what?  I’m going to tell my little girl that his family came and got him.  You know why?

Because the whole day she kept commenting about his family up in the tree.  She had so much faith that his family loved him and wanted him back and needed our help.  She had so much faith in the bond and love between family members that it provided some much needed insight into how she sees us.

Some days, when she is prancing on every nerve I have, I yell.  She cries.  I get frustrated.  But through all of the hard moments, this day with the goddamn bird showed me that she still has unwavering faith in my love for her always.  She knows that I will always protect her, and help her and love her.  Because of course. That’s what mommies do.

So yeah.  Birds are a little different from us, but I don’t want her to know that. I want her to believe in the power of mommy.  Because it’s her belief in me that gives me my magic.  It’s her belief in me that makes me be able to solve her problems and love her shit away.

It took an ugly little half feathered baby bird to remind me of this today.  Open your eyes, Bitches.  There really are lessons everywhere.

How Can We Survive With Only One Sink?

Cause it's pretty and we NEEDS it http://www.laurieflower.com

Cause it’s pretty and we NEEDS it
http://www.laurieflower.com

So.

Anybody out there watch HGTV?  My personal favourites include “House Hunters International” and similar type shows.

But you know what, Bitches?

It’s brought to my attention an alarming problem in North America.  We are super fucking ridiculously over the top spoiled.  We have become so completely disillusioned between need and greed that I almost want to go live in the back woods and say goodbye to humans forever.

“There’s no double sink in here. I just…I don’t know…..it’s a dealbreaker for me.  How will we get by?”

I know.  I know.  It’s a fucking crisis, isn’t it?

We’ve got people living in cardboard fucking boxes and moms who can’t feed their kids or buy them new shoes and the rest of us are bellyaching about whether or not the fucking bathroom has two sinks in it?  You guys have to all get ready at the same goddamn time?

Didn’t kindergarten teach you how to share?

I just keep thinking about all the things we consider to be necessities in our lives these days.  My family lives in a 1950’s built house.  Families were much bigger then, yet our house has 3 bedrooms, one full bathroom with…..wait for it….NO ensuite in the master, and one half bathroom in the rec room.  We have two children, and yet a major consideration for whether or not to have a third baby is the fact that they wold have to share bedrooms or we would have to move.  What?  Is sharing so bad?

How did people in the 1950’s manage with only one bathroom with one sink and twice the children?  hmmmm?

We have become spoiled in our entitlement.  We carry huge debt loads because what we have is never good enough to accommodate our “needs”.

Not “we” as in me, because I am too cheap and practical and I don’t like owing anybody anything ever.

Our living expenses have gone up because our living “expectants” have gone up.  I was thinking the other day how we have a land line, and two cell phones.  Then our internet bill.  Between all of our communication devices, we a forking out about 250$ a month just to talk to you people.  Seriously.

Who needs a double sink?  With all the communicating going on here, no one’s in the fucking john anyway.

So Bitches…..what could YOU do without, and what is a dealbreaker for you?  And if you say a double sink, fuck you. 😉

 

A Post About Nothing: Gratitude Edition

alifetimeofwisdom.com

alifetimeofwisdom.com

I couldn’t decide what to write about.  This week is madness and I don’t have a lot of time today.  I am literally going to finish my coffee and then be lucky if my feet may see the couch again around 10 tonight.  I will likely be living somewhere in between my teacher’s house and my piano bench from now until Saturday night in every spare moment that I am not teaching.  Thank God Husband is off these next few days.

I was going to talk about what an asshole Justin Bieber has become, but I’m too tired to fight with all the teenage girls in the world.

Then I had a super interesting and thoughtful post that I came up with in the middle of the night while Destroyer was busy fucking around for about an hour and half last night.  She wanted to hang out with the dog and wouldn’t go back to sleep.  I just can’t remember what it is now.  It got lost in a sea of German lyrics that are taking up most of the space in my brain right now.

Then I considered talking about the fact that I finally had enough sense to start eating some vegetables.  My time in the bathroom has been soooo much more productive.  But then I thought, nah, TMI.  Right?

So.  Now that I’ve spent some time writing a post about absolutely nothing, I’ll give you the message of the day.

Take the time to be grateful.  Take the time to show that gratitude to the people who are good to you.  When life gets crazy and it’s bound to sometimes, there are people in your life who make it all come out okay at the end of the day.

For me, I have to remember to be grateful to Husband, who puts up with a lot of shit every year in March, and all the time during the school year.  There are constantly people in our home.  Most of them have been with me a very long time and we consider them friends by now.  But still.  His space is always invaded and I am grateful he is so tolerant.

For a beautiful and engaging child.  For a growing belly!

I am grateful that we have so much support from family, who ask for nothing in return.  Who never dictate, and always listen.

I am grateful for the people who love my daughter like their own.  You know who you are.  I am grateful she will have a safe place to go to when she gets pissed off at me later on and runs away for the first time, because I’m pretty sure I know the first place she’ll go.  I am grateful that these people direct me well and remind me to enjoy the simple moments in life.  The important stuff that can’t ever be bought.

For good friends.

And seriously, for Dairy Queen.  Buy one get Blizzard get one for .99$?  I can hear the angels singing!

I know it’s not Thanksgiving or anything, but we should be grateful every day.  It could have been a really helpful clerk at a grocery store, or a friendly server who took the time to chat with you over lunch.  Maybe someone found your lost wallet and returned it intact.

Take a second to include a little bit of gratitude in your life everyday.  You’ll always find some reason for it, even on the shittiest days, I promise.

And you know what?  When you try to find the good in everything, the bad becomes way less obvious.

It’s all about perspective!

Happy Thursday, kids!

The Desire to Fail

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My husband asked me the other day if a particular student had talent.  I paused for a moment, because the question had never occurred to me.  “She has desire.  And that’s more important”  is what I told him.

And it is.  Most of the kids I have taught over the years who appear to be extremely gifted are usually a huge pain in the ass.  No joking.  I’ve always said that I would rather spend my time teaching a child that has to work harder to achieve things because then they do.  Most  kids (not all kids) whom things come very easily to try less and expect more.

The question is why?

Lately, I’ve been watching my very own monster be tormented by being unable to get what she wants instantly.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t climb on the dining room table and attempt to throw myself to my death?  Tantrum.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t use the dog’s head and a rawhide bone for drum practice?  Tantrum.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t stab myself in the ear with a pencil?  Tantrum…..and then I’ll try a crayon.

And you know what happens after the tantrum?  She fucking tries again.  And again.

Which made me realize something.  Failure is the biggest motivator.  Achievement is the biggest reassurance, which is also important, but failure creates an incredible resolve to do better, try again and get it the next time.

I remember a particular adjudicator from a vocal competition that I’ve had to endure not once, but twice.  And every time she would address me, I seriously wanted to curb stomp her.  She made me feel like a total loser.  And you know what?  She pissed me off enough that I finally deciphered her comments and it forced me to figure some shit out.  I think I did it to spite her.  Sometimes I think about her, and am so grateful that she was such a bitch. Because in the end my failure helped me to achieve.

I worry for our kids.  I worry that through our love for them we have created an environment where mediocracy is good enough because we’re afraid to let them fail.  I’m afraid we’re taking the desire to be awesome away because they get a medal just for playing.  I’m afraid that we only push the kids with “talent” because we only value “success”.

But I value failure.  And tears of frustration.  And hard work.  And kids who get pissed off at me for making them try harder and do better.

So don’t worry if your kids lack talent.  Worry if they lack desire.

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