Jul 23, 2014 by

I have been feeling a little angst-y lately.  While summer is all about relaxing and fun, there are some moments where I am in constant survival mode and I am starting to get a little snippy…and crabby.  Sometimes I feel like the simple things in life, like going to the store or vacation with my family, become exponentially harder when you have kids and it really bugs me.  So lately, I have been making up my own rules, kinda like a mama vigilante armed with a diaper bag and stroller.  To show you what I mean, I’ve made a list of some momfessions. It’s been well over a year since I’ve written my last one and feel it’s a little overdue.  Making this list and getting things off my chest usually proves good for the soul, so here goes:

Tan Lines

Jul 23, 2014 by

“Daddy, Mommy says I look a little pink.”

Husband: “Did you put block on CP?”

Me: “Yes! Of course! Why, does she look pink to you?”

Husband: “Maybe. Is that a burn? Does she need another coat?”

Life's a beach.

Life’s a beach.

We have spent 65% of this summer talking about sunblock, being “pink”, and tan lines in regard to our three-year-old. We’ve spent the other 35% of our time wrangling said preschooler to smear all exposed skin with block. We have obsessed about the possibility of a burnt scalp because CP is a little thin on top. We’ve revelled in the genius concept of little bathing suits with sleeves and praised the creator of this design because of the amount of time it saves us in sunblock application – and the sheer relief that her tiny porcelain shoulders won’t be blistered.

A Mom without a Hobby

Jul 23, 2014 by

A frequent, shall we say, topic of discussion in our household is the fact that I continually find myself with little to no “me time”. I’m not the kind of person who needs a whole weekend at the spa or on a vacation with friends (though I’m not saying I’d turn that down…hint, hint...), but generally, my only time away from the kids is when I’m working or catching up on weekend chores around the house. If there were a pie chart of my “Weekly Kid-Free Hours” it would look something like this:

(Image made by me on this site:

(Carefully crafted scientific chart made by me on this site:

Mommy Lifeguard

Jul 22, 2014 by

Oh my, did I ever miss the memo on the Mommy lifeguard duty part of my job.  BIG TIME.  Yes, I am speaking of both the literal and metaphoric ways that we are continuously in positions of having to save our children’s lives.  I have some mom friends and colleagues who have done that quite literally.  I have others whose presence has been life-saving over a longer battle, perhaps with a child’s significant illness.  Then there are the daily near-misses: falling off the retaining wall, or the cellar stairs, or the play-scape, or running in front of a bus.  Fellow blogger, Randi, has spoken about the terrifying level of responsibility that comes with these little people here.  Preach it, Randi!

these two!

On Raising Girls

Jul 22, 2014 by

From every direction I am being inundated with advice on how to raise my daughters and they all contradict each other and no matter what, I’m doing it wrong. The recent social media campaign #YesAllWomen was a tipping point for me. The gist of it is to raise awareness about violence against women, misogyny, sexism in general, and that, yes, all women experience this – often multiple times a day – and often at the hands of men they know. yes   Of course, Twitter exploded with differing opinions on this. Not all men perpetrate crimes against women (which is what prompted the #YesAllWomen tag to be created), not all men are sexist. Not all men are rapists (date or otherwise).  Poor, targeted men. How can they know what’s off limits and what’s not? To me, it’s  personal  for every woman. And while some may argue that might be confusing to men, my hope is that just like I’m trying to raise up smart, respectful women, boy moms are doing the same with their sons. For example, some women might not be offended by, say, Robin Thicke. And to me, that’s fine. I’m not going to tell them, “HEY! He’s objectifying you! Feel outrage! Feel violated! TAKE ACTION!” Why? Why should I do that? It’s not my job to tell other women how to feel. Isn’t that… not any better than what he’s doing? Isn’t that assuming I know better than them how to digest information? blurred If I like a song like Blurred Lines (I dance my ass off to no fewer than a hundred questionably-lyric’ed songs — I’m a hustlah baby, I just want you to know.), am I objectifying myself? Am I teaching my daughters it’s okay and even expected that they be paraded around like dumb, pretty things? In my heart, the answer to that question is not unless I believe that crap myself. I don’t.  decide how I react to those songs.  It’s fun to dance to and, um, yeah. That’s it. I don’t know why the models in that video chose to be in it, and it’s not my business. What is my business is teaching my daughters how to think for themselves. To practice respect (both self and otherwise), kindness, independence, and to be smart about their choices. If some guy cat calls my daughter, my hope is that her reaction is to be unaffected. That guy has no power over her or her self-worth. Why give it to him? Why care at all what he thinks? someone1 My youngest loves to dance. She’s three. Her style of dancing includes a lot of booty shaking. We always clap and cheer and, to be honest, admire her confidence and moves. But, should I be discouraging this behavior? What will PEOPLE THINK? Is she inviting the wrong type of attention? Again, for me, the answer is fuck that. If my daughter wants to dance (I mean, I hope she doesn’t twerk because, well, there are just so many better dances), then by all means, get out tha way. I am not about to teach her that expressing herself is wrong or dirty. Society does an excellent job of beating that into us already. Slut shaming anyone? wearwhatiwant I will, however, be realistic. My girls will know that, sadly, there are plenty of people (mostly men — again, REALISTIC) who might feel like they are entitled to them and their bodies. They will know that there are, unfortunately, repercussions to the way you dress, what you say, how you dance, alcohol consumption, and where you hang out. I want them to be safe, but I want them to live. I want my kids to know there are plenty of people who will blame them for someone else’s actions. “You asked for it by wearing that dress/putting your hair up/wearing makeup/painting your nails/dancing like that/walking alone/BREATHING.” That is some kind of bullshit, my friends, but it’s the reality of this world right now. And I don’t think teaching my daughters to “behave” is going to help change this reality. I think teaching them to own their bodies, thoughts, intelligence and choices might. grownup Oh, and another thing I don’t buy into is the idea of not leading men on. I don’t think I should have to teach my daughters that if they say yes one time then the next time they can’t possibly expect their partner to understand that no means no. THAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARTNER THE END. I think it’s pretty obvious when a woman wants the session to end. If you are unsure, fellas, always side with YEP, SHE’S DONE. I don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about blue balls. I don’t.  Of course, they will know what the risk is. OF COURSE. I don’t want them to be assaulted. But, that doesn’t make it right or ok. I don’t care how many times she’s been a consenting partner before. I don’t care what happened before she told you to back off. I don’t care if you’re buck nekkid and raring to go. Don’t. Care.  No exceptions. safety_consent What I’ve decided to run with is teaching my daughters about the realities and risks that come with being a woman, but not to let them dictate their lives. In short, shake away, little booties.

Kindness & My Three-Year-Old

Jul 22, 2014 by

I had an interesting moment of discovery a few weeks ago. My daughter attends in-home daycare, a place she absolutely loves. Often times they go for an afternoon walk and each day that I pick her up she gives me something new that she collected for me on her walk. Sometimes it’s leaves, sometimes it’s flowers and other times it’s just a random assortment of nature related things.

At first I would hold on to what she gave me but then as this continued to happen Monday through Friday I was kind of getting annoyed. I know that sounds crazy to say when your child is doing a nice gesture but she was really intense about making SURE I put my nature gifts in the car and my car was getting even messier than it already is. I never told her to not collect things for me – it was an internal issue on my part, a silly one in retrospect.

“That’s not what Mommy said!”: Our strategies when we parent differently.

Jul 22, 2014 by

“That’s not what Mommy said!” is a line I hear virtually everyday. Or, “Mommy doesn’t do it that way.”

These responses are often spoken in the height of a task, chore or activity. As I’m getting dinner on the table, I’ve told my seven-year old that he needs to eat his ‘protein and vegetables’ before his fruit. So, yes he can have the banana, after he finishes his tuna and carrots. “Well, that’s not what Mommy said last night. As long as I finish my tuna, I can eat my fruit.” my son rolls his head with a little bit if attitude: A trait he gets from me.

My response is generally the same, “…that’s cool. But you know Mommy and Momma sometimes do things differently.” In my head I often think, is that how she does it?!

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