Kids Are People Too?

7 Apr

I am pretty sure everyone in my Master’s Degree Program thinks I’m a monster.

On Tuesday I started my third quarter of graduate school. Since my classes usually only have about twenty people in each of them, we go around on the first day and introduce ourselves. The introduction entails some combination of the following; Name, what quarter we are in, where we are doing our training hours, what we did in our former life before Grad school, and what we plan to do with our Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology once we have finished the program.

It is truly one of my favorite parts of the entire quarter when I hear the professor start with his or her introduction. I love hearing little bits of people’s stories and how they got to be sitting in a classroom across from me. The characters and their backgrounds are beyond fascinating. My peers range from Ivy League former advertising executives in their early thirties to recovering addicts turned counselors in their sixties that have had decades in the field.

Except, now that I am reflecting back on what I said during my introduction in Tuesday’s class, I am seventy percent certain that everyone in my program hates me. If they don’t hate me, they will definitely never refer any clients to me. When it was my turn I said my name and that I was in my third quarter. Then, I went directly into explaining that my population of choice will most likely be adolescents. “High risk adolescents, the worse off the better. But, I am still open to all possibilities.” That all sounds fine and good. Then… at the end I randomly added – “Anything but children, I really do not want anything to do with children.”

WHO SAYS THAT?!?!

Did I mention that half the class had said that they were passionate about working with children? I also totally forgot to tell the class in my intro that I in fact HAVE 3 children of my own which might be why I don’t want to work with kids right now. There you have it, now when people walk past me on campus I know they aren’t whispering because I have something on my face or because my shirt is on backwards, it’s because I’m the person who wants to help people… as long as they aren’t children. I’m the woman who hates children.

xoxo

Annie--1982--annie-418319_1001_417

 

Blessed as F*ck

30 Mar

There are days when I text friends and say things like,

“If I don’t get a big break from them soon I am going to start drinking.”

What’s interesting about texts like that are that I’m not trying to be funny, I am actually dead serious. There are days that these kids push me to the edge of my sanity. To the point where I wholeheartedly understand the mother on Oprah who was locked in her laundry room with a vodka bottle while her three kids banged on the door.

My kids seem to find a way to locate every last nerve and twist, pinch and flick them until I am a frayed band of sliced strings holding on for dear life. How’s that description of what it’s like with three spirited kids for ya? Pretty different from what you hear all over Facebook about everybody being blessed and grateful and even more blessed.

I suppose I’m just shocked that this gig is still hard, even though I don’t have any babies or toddlers in the house anymore. It’s getting easier is so many ways, I will give you that. I no longer have to worry about one of my kids running into oncoming traffic just because, why the fuck not? That’s what little kids do. The days of even thinking twice about anyone choking on a foreign object that looked “yummy” are long gone. Even my concerns about a stranger randomly picking them up and taking them have waned. I can barely carry any of them from the couch to their bedrooms without killing my back.

The issues are different now. They refuse to do their homework, take showers, stop hitting each other, get dressed for parties, eat dinner, clean up, go poop, stop picking their noses, stay in their own rooms all night, stop hitting each other, sleep in later, stop hitting each other!!!

On good days they won’t do all these thing at once, on bad days they do all of the above and pull out their special tricks, like my son loves to say the word FUCK. The kid adores the word fuck as much as I love frozen yogurt and that’s a lot. It’s funny the first few times, but then it’s not.

Mother’s Log – Yesterday, 7:30pm: I am on the tail end of the stomach flu. My 10-year old is hysterically sobbing and faux convulsing because she cannot believe I am so cruel to want her to take another shower when she just took one the day before, my 6-year old son is in my face yelling F-U-C-K over and over and over, meanwhile, his twin sister has decided she is going to use permanent marker to write all her friends’ names on the living room wall. (plus emojis) 

Would I want to be me, today, 39 and childless? No way. Do I love them so much sometimes that is scares me? Totally. Do I realize how unbelievably lucky I am that my children and I are healthy? I truly do. Is it still really hard at the end of the day to look at the permanent marker on my wall and dark circles underneath my eyes and say I am blessed? Yup.

xoxo

dinosaur-twins

 

 

Smile For Me Sexy Girl

8 Mar

Today is International Women’s Day and I have a few things I would like to say on this occasion:

  1. Every time you call another woman a bitch an angel in heaven dies. Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point. Bitch has historically been used by men to describe a woman that is uncompromising, strong, or unwilling to give him what he wants. Gloria Steinem says we should reclaim the word “bitch” and make it a good thing. Like, boss bitch or refer to your best girlfriend as you main bitch. I disagree with Gloria, which doesn’t happen very often. I do not want to be called a bitch no matter what awesome word you put before it. I don’t even want to be called a genius gorgeous amazing perfect bitch. No matter how true all of that may be before the     b-word.
  2. I don’t have to smile for anyone. I don’t have to smile for anyone. I don’t have to smile for anyone. I am a grown woman with 3 children and I still feel that I have to smile at everyone because I don’t want them to think I’m a bitch. (see #1)  No matter how many times I have told myself that I do not have to smile for anyone, I still smile at everyone. I’m not saying that this is an entirely bad thing. I think it’s nice to smile at acquaintances, waiters, other parents at school pick up, and to be friendly. What bothers me is when I automatically smile at complete strangers, especially men, like I owe them something. It begins in childhood, “Let’s see that smile little girl.” or “Show me a pretty happy face” and then the teen and adult years, “Why so sad beautiful?” or “smile for me sexy.” I do not have to smile for anyone. My children do not have to smile for anyone. YOU do not have to smile for anyone.
  3. Stop greeting women with, “You look great, have you lost weight?!” Just stop it! Our greatest accomplishment as women is not to see how much weight we can lose or how young we can look. Of course we all want to look and feel our best, thats great, me too! But when the first thing you say to another woman is about their appearance it sends a clear message  to them and to everyone listening about what we value. It shouts out that we value the way the person looks, not how they are feeling, not what they did earlier in the day, only their outer layer and if it appears up to societal standards at the moment. Here’s the best part, guess who is watching us do this to each other day in and day out… our children.

March 8, 2017. International Women’s Day. Donald Trump is the President.

Something tells me that you might be hearing from me a bit more this year…

xoxo

Image result for criticising womens bodies

 

 

 

 

Poison Your Face To Celebrate!

8 Mar

The very first email I received today was from a well known Beverly Hills plastic surgery center down the street from me. They were offering me a 20% discount on Botox if I came in today. Why today? Because today is International Women’s Day. What better way to commemorate that then with a shot of poison in my face to make me look younger so that men find me more attractive. My gut reaction was to email them back with a raging rant about how it’s people like them that still make it so very necessary to even have an International Women’s Day. Yes, women have come a long long way. But, we are not nearly there yet.

I could probably write a dissertation on this topic, but I will start with the media for today…

Let’s take a look at the media attacks on girls and women. Starting as early as a girl is young enough to see, she is bombarded with images of “ugly” before pictures and “beautiful” after pictures on newsstands. She can tell by looks on the women’s faces on the magazines and billboards that they were miserable before they got fixed. They look so much happier after the boob job, lap band, liposuction, face lift, weight loss, and makeover. Before a female child can even read she is being brainwashed to see that prettier means happier. Of course, the male children are seeing all of this as well, and they are being taught the same message. That women are supposed to look a certain way and they should want to look that way. The thing is, this entire system is built to break girls down and make them beauty consumers before they are even old enough to realize it’s happened. By the time a girl gets to high school and is taught about feminism and or meets the cool aunt who tells her it’s okay to be smart and not pretty, it’s too late. The programming has been done already. 

What bothers me the most about the email offering the Botox his morning? Is probably the fact that I considered taking the offer. Despite my strong feminist views and all the deprogramming I have done over the past few years, I am still that girl. I still want to be thin, pretty and young. Part of me still believes the years and years of bullshit I’ve been fed. Old habits die hard. 

Today, on International Women’s Day, I will not put poison in my face to commemorate the day. Instead, I am writing this blog post. 

“IN A SOCIETY THAT PROFITS FROM YOUR SELF DOUBT LIKING YOURSELF IS A REBELLIOUS ACT.”

xoxo
   
 

Ready For Takeoff!

20 Dec

When I found out 6 years ago that I was pregnant with twins I was utterly shocked and over the moon ecstatic. It didn’t take that long for the reality to set in because I already had a 3 year old at home and I knew how hard being a mother was. I wasn’t heading blissfully into motherhood, I knew what was waiting for me… Times two.

So, I decided early on that I was going to have to do this my way because it was the only way I was going to survive having three children under 3 and a half. 

My first decision was that I would not be breastfeeding the twins. Not for a second. No debate. It wasn’t up for discussion. As a second time mother I had the confidence to make that choice and not second guess myself. I could have never had don’t that my first, I cared too much about what the experts, the other mothers, and everyone else thought about “what’s best” for my child.

The second decision I made was that I was going to need help. I was not going to be a martyr and try to tell everyone how I did it all alone day after day. I was very clear with my husband that we needed to do everything possible to make sure I was not going to be left alone to take care of all three children when they were little. It really scared me and I don’t think that it’s good for mothers to be scared if they don’t have to be. 

The third decision I made was that we were going to stay close to home. I had friends who traveled everywhere with their kids. Schlepped them on fifteen hour flights as newborns and took toddlers to third world countries all by themselves. I was not going to be doing any of that. The thought of bringing twin toddlers plus their big sister through an airport and onto an airplane to stay in a hotel, sounded like the equivalent of Chinese water torture. I know myself well enough to recognize that I’m just not a laid back enough mom to go with the flow as all three kids melt down on an airplane while they lick strangers armrests, eat nuts off the floor and piss themselves. 

So, I didn’t breastfeed the twins, I had lots of help when they were little and I’ve never taken them on an airplane. All great choices for us. 

This brings us to today. The twins are five and a half and big sister is 9. Tomorrow, I fly with them for the first time. It really feels like a milestone. These little children are actually real people now. They don’t scare the hell out of me anymore and I even feel confident enough to move about the country with them on an airplane for 5 hours! It’s magical and mysterious how time can go so slowly and so fast at the same time. That seems to be a theme here in the motherhood.

Happy Holidays, Safe Travels and Happy New Year!

xoxo
  

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