I’m a terrible person. I have children & then blame them for needing me.
However, I am an honest person. So, HONESTLY, I know I’m not the only parent who has felt this. In fact, I’m sure that most parents have felt this. No one will admit it, in fear that CPS will be at our door because of our “neglected” children.
My three year old son was diagnosed with severe autism at two years old.. while I was pregnant with my second child. My oldest throws anything & everything, screams regularly, hits, kicks, and is just generally unmanageable & unpublishable. Antiques destroyed, curtain rods consistently torn down, window LEDGES broken in half, dented walls.
I have two arms, two children. One child needs four arms, the other needs at least two. Atlas, I only have two. So, I’m often met with a choice: oldest or youngest? Other times, I don’t have a choice. The choice is made for me; and that is each kid gets one arm and neither get taken care of. They cried and screamed. I cried and screamed. The only difference being I felt immense guilt after the screaming part.
This week I was met with the dilemma “what in the literal fuck am I supposed to do?” I have a good support system, however, I cannot call on them all of the time. So what do I do? When my toddler has me pinned down & my newborn projectile vomits on me (true story). I can’t call out of “work” and I can’t even go take a break. Unfortunately, I still don’t know the answer. But I’ll keep you updated.
When you sweat profusely at the gym, don’t you feel like a total badass? You’re walking around looking tired as hell, clothes drenched, you’re glistening in the florescent gym lighting. You’re checking in on Facebook “puttin’ in work 💪🏻” and taking your gym selfie. You walk around with confidence that say “yep, I did that. I worked hard as hell, bettering myself.” Something that’s actually pretty gross, we wear with pride.
So tell me, why don’t we wear our dark undereyes with pride? Why don’t we walk into that local coffee shop looking tired as hell? Why don’t we walk around with a confidence that says “Hey, I just got done crying. But I got out of bed, so can I get a quad espresso?” Mamas aren’t wearing their breast milk drenched shirt around like a medal. Those who are going through divorce aren’t flaunting their tearful, red eyes.
You should wear your hard times with pride. They are called “hard times” for a reason – because it’s hard! You’re still getting out of bed, you’re handling your shit, and you are still here. “Oh well, everyone goes through hard times. It’s nothing to give attention to.” Uh, hell yeah it is. Let’s not sell ourselves short here! Let’s be proud of ourselves more often and say “I’m going through something right now, the stress is unbelievable, but I’m bettering myself and I’m still going.”
Stop hiding what you find to be a weakness, because it’s actually your strength being put to the test. You’re dealing with your problems and that is admirable. Leave the concealer alone, keep cold towels off of those red eyes, and stop trying to fit into those NONE-pregnancy jeans (just embrace the stretchy band). Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others.
Let’s connect & let’s bond over how hard life is. So tell me, what are you going through? What struggle are you proud of?
“Quality over quantity.” It’s a good saying for those of us who don’t have much, yeah? It is true, though. What would life be if you lived to be 100 years old, but you never once lived with intention. You survived, you stuck around, but you never lived. You were in a metaphorical coffin by the age of eighteen.
You learned the importance of money quickly & decided that being an artist will never pay the bills. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer & left him for man with a bright future. He could give you what you needed. You soon learned that you needed love & he couldn’t put that on his credit card for you. You survived, but you didn’t live. You stepped into that coffin the second you told yourself “happiness won’t pay my bills.”
You learned the importance of money quickly & you learned the importance of happiness even quicker. You decided that life without passion is no life at all. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer except for his love & support, but that was what you needed. You burned the metaphorical coffin the second you told yourself “life without passion is no life at all.”
I have caught myself just surviving, staying with jobs because they made enough money. I’ve put passions of mine aside, because they didn’t provide me with an income. Society’s idea of success can turn passionate people in slaves of survival. Do not lose your passion for life, for your art, for people. Without passion, we can only survive.
I used to tell myself that I didn’t watch or read the news because it was depressing and out of my hands. I’m sure 80 percent of you agree with me, but I know you like to pretend like Buzzfeed counts. I admit it was pure ignorance. What I was really saying was “I’m not going to listen or read because it affects me, personally, in a negative way. It makes me sad, angry, and feel completely helpless.” Again, ignorance. I love to wear rose-colored glasses, watching happy little news stories on Facebook. And that’s it.
Yes, I do believe the news is depressing, but what makes me so important to where I can’t be inconvenienced by OTHER’S afflictions? How selfish can I get? Do I turn my back on the problems because it’s easier to forget or even deny that they exist? You may say, “Hannah, the news is all over my Facebook.” Did you know that Facebook only shows you what they think you will like? Not only are you filtering the truth with pure opinion thanks to Buzzfeed & Feminist Blogs, but also – you’re not exposed to what’s going on in it’s entirety. (I love Buzzfeed AND Feminist blogs, don’t attack me).
It is hard to believe that we can make a difference, purely by informing ourselves. As one person, it seems like we don’t have a lot of leverage. We have to plant one tree at a time, before we can have a thriving forest & self-sustaining ecosystem. We cannot change what we do not know and we cannot help our community while being un OR mis-informed.
What is it that you do daily that makes you look forward to tomorrow? Is it your job? Is it the stopping at your favorite coffee shop to order a light roast & a slice of banana chocolate chip bread? Is it hanging out with your friends and family? Is it watching Orange is The New Black for the fifth time?
I have found myself, far too often, spending five days of the week just waiting for Saturday & Sunday. What a miserable way to live life, wasting it on waiting. Not only do we, as humans, wait for the weekend, but we also wait for life to finally be better. We are waiting to have a little extra income, to find our other half, to be skinnier, to have our dream home, to finally be happy. What we are doing by waiting is actually wasting.
We are wasting the present on the possibility of the future. It all comes to the saying “happiness comes from within.” I’m sure you’re going to say “yeah, bullshit,” because I used to think the same way. The truth is, that you will spend your entire life waiting because it will never be enough for you. You have to find contentment and enjoyment in your daily life, and that just depends on your perspective.
I want to know what gem came up with the saying “do as I say and not as I do?” If someone told me that now, at the age of 25, I’d be livid because what makes you the exception? For decades mothers everywhere have been using the “do as I say and not as I do.” I have, too, fallen victim to the effortless way out of explaining my actions to a ten year old. However, children don’t know how to say “wow, you’re a hypocrite and I’m not listening to you,” so the argument is over. Here I am about to offend some mamas, but that’s lazy parenting.
You may say “I don’t need to explain myself,” but here’s the thing… You should, because when your baby is old enough to make their own decisions, they are going to say “I don’t need to explain myself.” Why don’t we explain to them why we are allowed to give a big F.U. to the Pathfinder that just cut us off, but they can’t give the finger to the classmate who pushes everyone around? Why don’t we explain why we are allowed to eat a carton of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey at 10:00 AM, but they can only have a scoop of vanilla after dinner? Why don’t we explain to them why we are constantly on our phone, but they can only have an hour of screen time? Probably because we can’t technically explain that.
We really shouldn’t be doing any of that and our babies are calling us out. Now, I’m not saying don’t eat that Chunky Monkey, because damn, being a parent is hard. However, I do believe we should start explaining our actions, even if giving the middle finger salute to the Pathfinder isn’t morally justified. Maybe we could put our best foot forward instead, and start being a mama who can honestly say “do as I do…” Or we could just eat the Chunky Monkey when they go to bed.
I have been a nanny for a total of about five years and I have a boy of my own. Children are horrifically honest. I don’t know how many times I have been embarrassed by a child just making an observation about my haggard appearance. Children are also, typically, ready to make some new friends. It doesn’t matter what their new friend looks like. If they are on the same playground, they have a new best friend until you leave. Children like yummy food, because what are calories? Children find pure joy in such small things, such as: bubbles, rain puddles, snow, swimming, going on a bike ride, etc.
Adults are not my people. Some of us are angered by slow cars, long lines at the coffee shops, and slow technology. Some care about money more than they care about spending time with their family. Some of us don’t give people a chance, based off of their looks, political stance, religion, sexual orientation, etc. We tell “white lies” because it’s easier than saying what we think.
I want to know where in life we, as adults, lost our joy in the simple things. We may not take joy in snow or bubbles, but hey, maybe let’s find joy in a good cup of coffee or tea, a big book, or taking a nice walk. Let’s not decide who someone is because of their social status. Eat the chocolate chip cookie, because your weight doesn’t define you. Let’s stop telling white lies to spare feelings and change our way of thinking instead. Let’s be patient with our fellow drivers, baristas, and our phones. Let’s take a lesson from children, because I personally feel like they got it right.
This morning, I let my car warm up and scraped the ice off my windshield. My boyfriend, Evan, and I got into the car with our son. Evan drove me to work, then left to go to work himself. I got to work (I’m a nanny), unpacked the diaper bag, and I started making breakfast for the kids. I eventually reach for my phone in my coat, but a wave of anxiety hits me when I put my hand into an empty pocket. I quickly tear through every possible hiding spot, only ending up angry.
I am not someone who turns around for my iPhone if I’m going out for a few hours. I do not scroll during dinner. I am not much of a texter; I mostly just reach out to Evan through out the day & make sure a few friends are doing okay occasionally. I do fall victim to apps & Pinterest, looking to make a connection to the outside world while I am amongst people who just want to watch Little Baby Bum, beg for your food, and cry when they fall.
I’m not addicted to my phone, but I need it available to me. The worst part is I don’t even know why exactly. I have my laptop to have a connection to the outside world. I can message people through my laptop. I can read any article that I want. I can scroll away. Why is it that I have such anxiety knowing that my iPhone is 25 miles away? I think most of us don’t realize that if we don’t have our phone, it feels like our hand is missing. We do not know what it’s like to go without our phone for long stretches of time.
This is an awful realization for me; that I am actually addicted to my phone and I didn’t even know it. I encourage everyone to “forget” their phone at home more often and see how you react. Let’s enjoy every moment our children give us because they will not be this age forever. Let’s go on a hike or go to the beach and not look at it through a lens. Let’s go to concerts and take in all they have to offer, instead of using up 2GB of storage on your phone to let everyone know that you were there. Let’s start living life the way it was intended.
I was watching Survivorman the other day with my boyfriend. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically where this man is dropped off in the middle of nowhere and has to survive for a week. Of course, he has his main concerns like food & water. In one episode, this man was doing yoga. Now, if you’re anything like me, if you’re stranded without food, water, or shelter…. you bet your ass I am not going to be doing some damn yoga. I find excuses NOT to do yoga even on my best day. He mentions that he does yoga to keep his morale up or he will feel defeated by the wilderness and essentially die. Before watching that episode, in my 24 years of living, I have never contemplated of the concept behind morale.
What exactly is morale? Well, I like this definition the best: “the level of individual psychological well-being based on such factors as a sense of purpose and confidence in the future.” As a mother, I need some damn morale. I need some morale before I feel defeated by the wilderness that I call motherhood. I will not be partaking in yoga in the Gobi Desert, but maybe I could set time aside for a shower that is more than five minutes.
Boosting morale has taken on a new identity as “self care.” However, in the past, I have used “self care” as an excuse to gain five pounds eating too much ice cream, go into debt spending money on those Michael Kors heels, and not getting out of bed for sixteen hours… because treat yo’ self, right? I treated myself one to three times a day. I think that I, personally, need to redefine self care and start looking at it as boosting my moral.
How do I plan on doing that? I could probably not use a can of dry shampoo every week. I could learn a new recipe and regret it immediately when I am scouring the grocery store for something called Kopi Luwak. I will make a bomb new playlist and so I can feel really fierce when I go running. I will make a day to do nothing except watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Hell, I might even purchase a Lush bath bomb online, because going to the mall as a new mother isn’t going to happen (I’m a realist).
Here’s to boosting morale as a mother, mostly because we think going to the bathroom for an extra minute and checking our social media is a break. I will not be using the term self-care. I will not be using “treat yo’ self” to self destruct when I’m feeling lazy or defeated. Most importantly, I would like to thank Survivorman for inspiring me – not to do yoga in the Gobi, but at least to get a Lush bath bomb.
Reasons Facebook is complete sh*t:
1. You feel like you are keeping in touch with friends and family, but in reality, you haven’t talked to them in years. You stalk their pages every now and then, making yourself feel relevant. However, you should give them a phone call or send them a message every now & then.
2. No one, and I mean no one, let’s you see what they do not want you to see. We have control of literally everything. We can take the perfect pictures, make the funniest status (and delete them if you seem to be the only one that thinks they are funny), un-tag ourselves in embarrassing posts or unflattering pictures, check into places that will make your friends ooze with jealousy. So, while we are looking at everyone else’s perfect lives, we tend to forget that it’s mostly fabricated BS 🙂
3. Exes. Ex boyfriends, ex bestfriends, ex coworkers.. People you do not want to stay in contact with. They hang around like a bad stench, accidentally liking your picture from three years ago.
4.Some people post way too much information. For example, I haven’t talked to one coworker since high school, yet I know that the other day someone messaged her to flirt with her and he was being “so pathetic.”
5. Videos. They were fine, until they decided to put ads right before the important part of the video.
Here are the reasons Facebook is helpful:
1. Messenger. It’s talking to people you don’t want to give your phone number to.
2. Birthdays. You’ll never forget a birthday.
In conclusion, Facebook is the equivalent to standing in front of the refrigerator. You stand their for a few minutes, nothing too interesting… Five minutes later, you find yourself in front of that fridge again and absolutely nothing has changed.