Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'm tired on top of tired...

 My entire life I have been a strong personality.  I’ve expressed my opinions and judgements without prompting, and I’m not always proud of how I’ve expressed myself because sometimes, it means I wasn’t listening.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned when to be patient and wait my turn, how to actually listen to others words and feelings and what they are expressing, how to hold empathy to understand their position and to do my best not to pass judgement.  My circumstances are different from others and I think it’s always important to find compassion. 
  When my baby was born, I have to admit, I was over the moon that it was a girl.  Of course I would have been happy if it was a boy too, but I really wanted a girl.  The reason is because women are complex.  Our complexities make us magical, unique and powerful.  I wanted the opportunity to bring to the world an amazing contribution (stay tuned…she’s only 1).
Here’s what makes me tired on top of tired.  I’m not one to just sit by and say nothing, when I see something wrong.  I’m tired of being told not to get my feelings hurt or not to be offended.  This is something said to me pretty much only by men.  Dude, my “feelings aren’t hurt” and I’m not “offended”, I’m fucking outraged!! That’s right!  It’s something so simple to you.  You think you should tell me how to think and feel, but you would never do that to another man.  If I say something, I’m just another “liberal feminist”, which is term you fling at me like its monkey shit.  As soon as I attempt to point out the failure in your argument, especially with regards to women, I get the “Oh no, here we go…”.  This condescension, that means as soon as I attempt to express my opinion (which I take great pains to make educated) you have already tuned me out.  Or perhaps you’ll listen like a parent to a child and roll your eyes. 
 You tell me I’m easily offended and to not take it all so seriously.  I’m not easily offended, I’m just not offended by the things you think I should be offended by.  I’m not offended by strippers or prostitutes, or really the choice any woman makes with regards to her life.  I’m am, however, offended by exploitation, sex trafficking, and child pornography.  I’m offended by government officials attempting to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body and making statements about rape such as:

“Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.”


“We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life? I have spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”

That’s right, I need to start planning ahead just in case someone decides to rape me!  I’m going to need to teach my daughter the same.  You know because it’s just a part of life!! Like getting a flat tire!

I do and I am going to take it seriously, because if I don’t, if I don’t say something how will anyone understand?  How will we make things change?  Should I be silent because you don’t want to take it seriously?  I have a feeling that is the real issue here.  Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable to have to consider how complex these issues really are.  Maybe you like your issues over simplified and without compassion because it’s easier that way.    
  I heard over and over again the argument that I shouldn’t support or like Hillary Clinton as a woman because she chose to stay with her cheating husband.  Well, thank you so much for man-splaining to me what women should stand up for.  Here’s the thing.  Not judging other women for their choices in their personal lives is rule No. 1 in the feminist hand book.  It’s none of my business what she does in her relationship with her husband.  How do I know they didn’t work it out, maybe they love each other so much and support each other that it really didn’t matter, but the real point is, who the fuck cares?!?! It’s none of my damn business.  My favorite part of the argument was the staying with her cheating husband because she wanted to further her career.  Okay, first of all that assumption is so misogynistic I begin to feel violent tendencies.  Second of all, if it’s true.  Do you really think women are treated equal in politics or… anywhere?  You really think a woman who left her husband after he cheated would have been able to keep her career?  Something she spent her entire adult life working towards?  Fought tooth and nail for, because, as a woman, she had to work twice as hard to get half as far? Hell no!! Seriously? Here’s your double standard.  We shouldn’t vote for a woman who stayed with her husband after he cheated but numerous men have been voted for and held office after cheating on their wives, even when one was sick with a terminal illness.  These are often mentioned in the news, very briefly but not really used as fodder against voting for them.  Hell, I didn’t really hear women being told they shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump because he had cheated on previous wives.  Why not, I mean, that should be more offensive to me as a woman, shouldn’t it?  As far as I’m concerned Trumps cheating was the least of his offenses towards women. 
Sure, I’m not really a fan of cheating, but when it comes down to it, it’s not really all that important.  Both women and men are basically hardwired to spread their genetic material, it’s the biological imperative.  Yes, I think cheating is wrong because it lends itself to hurting someone else and lying but I’m hardly going to find it “offensive”. 
You want me to be offended by a woman who chooses to stay with her husband after indiscretions, but not offended by a man who would rate me on my looks and body on a scale of 1-10.  You want me to be offended by a woman who remains in her relationship but not be offended or bothered by a man who brags about sexual assault and then acts like it was just “locker room talk”.  I should take a woman staying in her marriage seriously, but ignore a man who has been accused a rape.  Of course, that’s far less offensive, I mean, why would anyone take that seriously?  She’s probably lying anyway, right?
  I’m so lucky to have you to tell me what a woman should be “offended” by!!
I really love being told that my support for a woman president was because she was a woman!  Really?  So, of course her gender was clearly the most important thing to me, I wonder where she bought her pants suit and who does her hair!!  Of course, I’m a woman, I don’t research the issues and look into the candidates and research in depth the bullshit claims.  Did I assume you voted for Trump because you’re a racist, bigoted, xenophobe?  No, because that gross generalization would be insulting! I am curious as to how you can ignore and not take “seriously” those sentiments he regularly expressed during his campaign and even before, but perhaps you thought other issues were more important.   

Oh, and I’m sorry if I “offended” anyone, you must be over sensitive easily offended…

Friday, February 19, 2016

Top 10 things you don't need...

I'm a regular visitor to Pinterest and based on the Pins you post, it often suggests things it thinks you might find interesting.  I found several pins that lead me to blogs and suggestions like these:

9 things you don't need to buy for baby

baby gear you don't need

5 Reasons you need a...

Okay, so that last one has nothing to do with baby stuff, but goats are friggin' awesome!!

I totally know that these ladies are well meaning, and they sort of give good arguments to support their cases, however, it's important to remember that all circumstances are different.  Both of those ladies say you don't need a changing table but we use ours constantly (it's actually a kitchen island from Ikea, so I guess we can re-purpose it).  I get very tired of bending over all the time, so it's really nice to have one activity that you do so often at an adult height.  But that is just me...

With that said, here is my list of things you DON'T NEED:

1. See # 3
2. See # 3
3.  Other people telling you what you need or don't need.  You will figure this out on your own because each of us are different and have different needs.
4. See # 3
5. See # 3
6. See # 3
7. See # 3
8. A goat...
9. See # 3
10. See # 3

People may suggest things that were helpful to them and you can play out in your mind if you think it's something worth considering, but don't deny yourself the option to spend money on something you think you might use, just because someone else did not find it useful.

YOU do what YOU think is right, the rest is white noise.

I do highly recommend a white noise machine, it has really helped us.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Afraid of the Dark...

We are six months (almost seven) in now, and it seems I have spent an equal amount of time with the moonlight as I have with the sunlight.  It's not that I am actually afraid of the dark (although I do have a nightlight), I'm afraid of what the darkness brings... lack of sleep.  There is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.  As night approaches and we begin our routine my anxiety begins to build.  I know, I know, I need to relax but it's not that simple.  So much of our routine simply doesn't work anymore.  She no longer has certain needs that I'm accustomed to meeting.  What do I do now?  It feels like I'm starting over, and I guess if you look at it from that perspective I am.  She's ready to start being in the world now and with that comes a pile of new needs and new challenges.  That past few days I have shakily been facing those challenges with zero confidence.  Again, how do people handle having more than one of these things?

Like many other times, when I don't know what's going on, I scour the internet looking for anything that resembles an answer or an explanation at,  Someone might be having or have had a similar experience and can relate or give a bit of guidance.  In past searches I have found some relate-able answers that I found helpful.  Oh, but this time, this time I'm met with a steaming pile of vague smarmy bullshit.  I type in a specific scenario into google, see something that sound similar and click.  There, I see some desperate mother, like myself, with a strange question wondering if this is "normal" or if she should be doing something different.  She's posted this question on a forum where other moms (non professionals) can respond and perhaps offer some sympathy, empathy, understanding or guidance.  What she's met with? Smarmy, judgmental, assholes.  What the hell!?

Then it hits me.  I've seen this type of thing everywhere lately.  Someone poses a question and quickly that question or comment is spun into a web of intentional misunderstanding and misinterpretation.  Why do we give ourselves permission to do this to each other?  We clearly aren't listening to each other, all we hear is our own righteous indignation we feel towards a relative stranger for no real reason in particular; as if they set out to offend us in particular.  Somehow the cyber bullying has a breached adulthood and found a new way to make others feel like shit.  I'm not just talking about the "Mommy" blogs, I'm talking all over Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, etc.  Twitter gives the everyday citizen an open forum to attack someone famous virtually to their face, as if they know them.  I don't particularly care for certain "celebrities" but I don't know them!! I know nothing at all about them, I have never actually met them so I am aware that the media can paint anyone into any light they want.

Here is where I will repeat that old adage: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".  While I am aware that there are a wide array of circumstances where this phrase does not apply, I'm specifically speaking about those times where one attacks another, because they simply didn't think or process another's meaning before jumping to conclusions.  Those memes that oversimplify and attack people and situations is bullying!! That's right folks, if you post an unfair comparison of what a "Hero" is, you are a bully.  If you post a meme that overly simplifies the complex ideals of a religious group or political group, you are bullying.

Stop the bullying!! There is enough ugly shit in this world for it to be fed by our unfair assumptions and judgement of each other.  Remember that river of slime in Ghostbuster's that kept getting bigger because people were assholes?  That's what it feels like is happening now.   It really doesn't hurt us to be a little nicer.   Just sayin'...

I would say Rant Over, but it's my blog and I'll rant if I want too!!        

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Practice in Patience... And the Sweatpants Kid.

Last night I got 6 hours sleep... With only one 2 hour stretch and then waking every hour until 6am. At this point, this pattern is not typical (thankfully) but when it happens I can barely remember how to go to the bathroom.  What was I doing?  Oh yeah...

For many months now, I have struggled to balance the many facets in my life.  Life, however, is next to impossible without sleep.  The list of things that make up "life" are ever changing and impossibly endless.

Life: (In no particular order)

Sleep - HA!
Eat - Must remember to eat!! Must remember to eat!! (Cold raspberry pop tarts count as a meal, right?)
Clean - Again, HA!!
Laundry - If I can remember to put it in the drier and not have to run it a 3rd time... We can live out the clean baskets this week so I don't have to fold it.
Work - Much easier to do with Sleep but you can't have everything, and I can really only work when she is sleeping.
Work - Choose to work instead of sleeping because I still have to pay bills.
Pay Bills - Didn't I just pay that?
Grocery Shopping -Now this is a fun adventure!! Let's see if Fuss Pants McGee let's me get the few things needed to put together a halfway decent meal. (Frozen Pizza, again?)
Keep my Shit together/don't freak out - At least on the outside, on the inside I'm screaming my head off.  This is where the practice in patience really begins...
Take care of the Dog - Oh Shit!! I have a dog!! Yep, she's still alive... Okay good.  My poor first baby... (She's been amazing through all of this)

Shower - I'll have time for this tomorrow, right? (Muttering to self... "I'll just put on some deodorant...)
Make dinner - Uhhhhhhhhhh.....(This is a struggle because the room where the baby sleeps is also open to the kitchen so it can't be done while she's sleeping either)
Get dressed - Seriously, can't I just go in this?  Who said sweatpants are not acceptable out of the house attire?  Who decided this?  Come on!

Of course, through all of this there is taking care of the baby.  Naps, diapers, feeding, playtime, baths,  bedtime, etc.

The things listed above are not all of the things that need to get done in any given day/week, but you get the idea.  These are things all of us need to do.  These are things I used to be able to do all of in one day! (Crazy, right?)  I often have to write these things down just to remember to do them, which feels insane to me!

I'm trying not to judge myself if I don't succeed in getting to any of the tasks listed.  Really, the baby is all that absolutely requires my attention.  Over time, my husband and I have come up with systems for some of the tasks.  At night, he does the laundry because he remembers to put stuff in the drier.  He also cares for the dog for the most part, and I hope she'll forgive my neglect some day.

 Nursing/Feeding time has become a time to meditate. The phone is no longer out and I don't read from my kindle anymore.  My sanity is best kept, if I breath through the struggle.  I'm forced to stop for a little while to feed her, so I find that is the best time to review and practice the patience I will need to survive.  This too, is difficult because I often find myself listing all the things I need to get done and then I start getting agitated.  "It's a practice", "it's a practice", "it's a practice" has become my new mantra.  I must remember that I don't have to be perfect now, I don't have to get everything done today.  Watching her learn to use her hands, I see her get frustrated (I'm so tired sometimes I forget how to use mine, so i can relate). I tell her over and over that it's a practice and she will get it in time; this is something I must remember to tell myself as well.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crock-pot and the Legend of Dinner

For the first 3 months of Addy's life I continued in my attempt to juggle, but let's be honest it looked more like a flail and most of the things up in the air landed on the ground in a splat.  I began to grasp at straws desperate to complete a task or just do something right.  Then like an answer from the universe to my silent screams, I inadvertently glanced at the bottom shelf in my kitchen; and there it was, like a glowing beacon of success, the crock-pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  It's possible I heard angels sing at the moment I realized, I could do something!! I could do something NORMAL, something I knew how to do that might just have an amazing end result.  But how?  How could I get everything prepared?  She hardly gave me more than 5 minutes at a time unless she was sleeping and I needed all her sleep time for work.  It became clear very quickly, that all I would need at any given time was about 5 minutes to prepare things.  I could do it in 5 minute increments and many things could also be done while I had her in the the sling or baby carrier.

Grate Cheese - Done
Change a diaper
Slice a few vegetables - Done
Mat and Tummy time
Boil chicken - Done
Kiss and Chew on her feet maybe some cuddles and giggles
Open Cans - Done

I also realized that at some point my husband would come home, and I might even have 20 minutes all at once to prepare.  Dinner could be prepared the night before and put in the crock-pot the next morning all while holding my child.  I COULD DO THIS WITH ONE HAND!! Oh, crock-pot, you magical, wonderful, unicorn of dinner.

With this realization, these are the recipes I tried and made with great success.  They were not only pretty simple to do but turned out amazingly delicious.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup was a huge hit with my husband and was great with leftovers for his lunches the next few days.  Below you will find my edits to make this with the "Infant in the House" time constraints.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lost in Mr. Roger's Motherhood

Welcome to the Motherhood, where everyday there are drive-by spit-ups, diaper blowouts, mysterious and seemingly perpetual wet spots on all pieces of clothing, and someone screaming in your face like a drill sergeant at all hours of the day.  Where you forget to eat and now you don't have time, or you remembered to make yourself food but still don't have time to eat it and now it's cold. But, it's not all bad, and although you smell like sour cream because you haven't had time to shower in 4 days, this baby is so cute you want to chew on it.  The smiles make you want to melt and you keep trying to find ways to get the baby to smile over and over.

Would you be mine,
could you be mine,
won't you be my Nanny...

Throughout my life, I was never sure I wanted to get married or have any children.  Spoiler Alert!! I am both married and a new mom.  In November 2013 I discovered I was pregnant and began to wrap my head around being someones mom but by March 2014 we lost that pregnancy.  It was after that loss that I realized that yes, I did want children.  We didn't start trying again until the fall of 2014 and by the middle of November I was pregnant again.  This time however we said nothing to anyone, we barely acknowledged the pregnancy ourselves; fear would not let me attach to the idea.  Months passed and with each test and appointment we were reassured that everything was going great!!  So there it was, I was going to be a mom, now it was time to figure out what that meant for me.

My worst fear in becoming a mom was to lose myself or my marriage not to mention fucking up another human being.  I didn't want to identify only as someones mom, I wanted to keep myself too.  It started on the morning of July 22nd, 2015.  I woke up at 4:30am with a strange feeling, wondering if I was in labor, by 8am I was pretty sure that I was in labor.  We got to the hospital at 9:15am and Adaliah was born at 10:49am.  It was a whirlwind labor, terrifying and painful.  By the end of it all, I was overwhelmed, exhausted and embarrassed.  Screaming throughout the delivery process, I apologized between each contraction, needing reassurance that it was okay, that I wasn't weak.  I have always thought of myself as someone who was strong, someone who could withstand all types of pain, but I had SCREAMED because that shit hurt!!  Moments after she was born I had a rush of embarrassment and maybe a little P.T.S.D; why did women have more than one kid, how did anyone withstand that more than once?

Within moments, I was beginning my trip into the Motherhood.  It started out fine at first.  She was placed on my belly and within moments she wiggled her way up and began nursing.  After all we had heard, we knew we were lucky, this worked out without any problems.  She nursed very well from the very beginning.  Okay, so I had one major thing down, I could feed my kid.  The first few days at the hospital were about making sure she and I were healthy.  My body hurt like hell, but I felt good, everything was new and strange and there were people taking care of me.  The first few days at home were great, she slept for 3 hours several times and we were excited to be new parents.  Then she started to cluster feed.  With no point of reference, I had no idea what was going on.  She needed to eat every 20 minutes for 12 hours straight.  This was the beginning of my self doubt, anxiety, shame spiral.  Frantically, I searched the internet via my phone looking for answers.  Was I doing something wrong, was this feeding thing not really working?  An answer was quickly found, she was building her milk supply.  But, it was too late, I had woken up a monster of self loathing, self doubt and worthlessness in myself.  Not to mention, we weren't at the hospital anymore, there was no nurses and doctors to worry about and take care of me. Even though my husband was feeding and fussing over me, I started to feel alone.

For the next few months, that monster would periodically take over.  I would feel the urge to pull my hair out, jump out a window, hurt myself in someway.  It wasn't some joke that I used to cover up how crazy I was feeling, it was a real feeling.  When I'm not armed with information, when I don't know what is going on I immediately jump to self blame and doubt.  Holy shit, being a mom was hard and I was not equipped to handle it.  There was a job in front of me that I could not quit, and there were moments where I really wanted to.  My worst fear was coming to fruition, I was losing myself.  Where had I gone?  Where was the confidant woman who could handle anything life had thrown at her so far?

A new panic formed, not only was I bad at being a mom (something that so many others seem so good at that they even have more than one) but I had officially lost me.  For weeks, and then months I struggled through trying to work (which I am lucky to do from home) and navigate the mean streets of the motherhood.  This little amazing creature was a Rubix cube.  I would think I had solved one side only to find the rest of the cube a jumbled mess.  I have no idea what I'm doing...

Yesterday, I had a an amazing thought.  When you move to new neighborhood, it's often best to get yourself really lost in order to really learn all the roads, paths and shortcuts.  To find that little hidden restaurant or coffee shop you would never had found if you hadn't gotten lost.  The panic started to fade as I realized, I will eventually find my way home.  I will eventually find myself again and I will be different, stronger and no worse for the wear.  There is this amazing and beautiful creature, who now smiles at me most of the day instead of yelling and together with my husband we will navigate the sometimes treacherous streets of the Parenthood.