Posts Tagged ‘Life’

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It’s OK Val, we all fall into a rut sometimes. Even though you were once a hot, chiseled, latex-wearing tight little package of twisted steel and sex appeal, try not to let this current sad state of affairs get you down. You’ve gotten a little chubby! That’s OK! Just put down the sandwich and get right back on that hamster wheel. Am I right?

Well unfortunately, Val and I both know it ain’t always that easy. I remember what it was like to feel like a hot and sexy superhero too. It was awesome!!! Kickin some ass and takin’ names. 45 minute Insanity workout everyday, showered, dressed and ready to take on the world by 9 am? I think SO! I worked hard, I felt great, I looked good! I laughed in the face of Danger!!! I pinned a plethora of healthy meal ideas and fitness motivation pictures to my Pinterest Board. I was unstoppable!

So what went wrong, you ask?

Queue Swimsuit Season please.

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Now to be clear, I was feeling pretty darn good right around March/April. I’m always in the best shape of the year at the most pointless and inopportune time of the year. Exactly when everyone is wearing parkas and sweaters and hiding on their couches under a Snuggie, that’s when I look best in my bathing suit. Its like a law of nature. Why? Because January to April happens to be my “slow” season for cakes, and I have the time to make working out and eating healthier into a part-time job. Which, let’s be honest, it really needs to be in order to look even remotely close to one of those ‘motivational’ fitness models. The trouble with those girls, however, is that they start out looking MOTIVATIONAL but after a month or two of working out and trying to eat “clean”, the only thing all those motivational fitness pics on Pinterest motivate you to do is give your computer the finger, type “quick and easy desserts” into the search bar and forget you ever saw them.

So ANYWAY, as I was saying, I was rockin’ my bikini in April. Well I live in SASKATCHEWAN and we get approximately 2 DAYS of hot beach weather per year and they generally don’t arrive until late July. That’s a tough row to hoe, my friend. That’s basically a 3 month all-you-can-eat BOOOFAY of hotdogs, macaroni salad, ice cream and beer to barge through before arriving at DESTINATION:SMOKE SHOW in July. And if you’re willpower-challenged like me, it’s pretty much a lost cause. You see, friends, I fell into a rut.

My Rut started where most ruts do, in the kitchen, but not for the reason you think. I found myself at the end of my 2 month Insanity program at approximately the same time my busy season started gearing up. This was the perfect storm, a combination of excuses ranging from “I’m too busy” to “I’m too tired” to my personal favorite, “I can afford to take a little break and reset my metabolism.” Before you know it, my running shoes have collected a layer of dust, I’m covered in frosting, and I’m shoveling cupcakes down the hatch with reckless abandon in the interest of “quality control”.

So much for my swimsuit dreams. I take my cake breaks on the couch, drinking beer and eating sandwiches, trying not to make eye contact with the poster of Jillian Michaels taped to my treadmill. I begin wearing my yoga pants a lot. I start to try and rationalize the situation, attempting to spread a little silver lining around this unfortunate cloud of despair. Maybe all this cake will go straight to my boobs!
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Or not. My tank tops are tighter, but in all the wrong areas. I begin to lose hope. Every day that passes is another day closer to “Someday, when I feel like working out again,” and that day never comes. Welcome to my Rut. Its deep and dark and smells like fried chicken.

Yesterday, I threw caution to the wind. I caught a glimpse of my ass in the window of the ice-cream shop (where they know me by name) and went straight home to lace up the runners. Today, I groaned and creaked to life as my super stiff body tried to roll out of bed. And so, I’m back on the hamster wheel. Come on, Val! There’s room for two!

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Well, another Mother’s Day has come and gone. In case you lost count, it’s now Tuesday which marks 2 full days since Mother’s Day and it also happens to mark 2 full days since I’ve been waiting to have a waking moment of peace to myself in order to write a blog about Mother’s Day. Because that’s what happens when you’re a mother. You wait. You wait for silence. You wait for peaceful quiet bliss. You wait for the moment when the hellions stop trying to kill each other and drift into dreamland and hope to God you can stay awake long enough to squeeze a minute or two of enjoyment out of it before you pass out from exhaustion on the couch. Ahhhh…. the joys of motherhood.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Love my kids!!!! Don’t go jumping on the judgy bandwagon and thinking that a little complaining here and there means I don’t appreciate the beautiful gift of children. Because I totally, completely do. But if I’m being perfectly honest, I like to feel sorry for myself every once in a while. It’s totally cathartic. I recommend it. Wallow in self pity for a bit! You’ll feel great! You’ll feel validated! You’ll feel like your 4 year old gets to feel when he has an uninterrupted and ignored temper tantrum when you say “No” to a treat at the grocery store. Un-acknowledged, maybe, but totally satisfied and ready to take on the rest of the day. Why should our kids be the only ones who get to be selfish brats sometimes? I wanna be a brat, too!

And so, for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to be a little bit selfish. It started on Saturday when I went shopping for my own mother’s gift. This got me thinking. Mothers always say they don’t want anything for Mother’s Day, my mom included. This is not true. Not even a little bit. There had better be a gift, or some flowers, or some toast and coffee in bed, or at least a damn card waiting because let’s be honest: it is literally the LEAST you could do. Really. What mother doesn’t appreciate a little bit of thought put into her happiness, at least one day of the year? And if you give your mother or your wife or your baby momma the excuse that you “Didn’t have time to get anywhere, and you’ll make it up to her,” you’re a special kind of douchebag. Mother’s Day is marked on the calendar. It’s not a big surprise. You have warning that it’s coming, same time every year. Get something.

So I’m shopping for my mom and we happen to have similar tastes in a lot of things, so a lot of the gifts I am considering for her are REALLLY appealing to me…for myself. Does this ever happen to you? And suddenly a genius thought strikes me. I’m going to buy myself my own damn Mother’s Day present. After years of boring gifts, thoughtless gifts, no gifts, gifts chosen by sister-in-laws, last minute gifts, gifts from the checkout aisle at the grocery store, I decide that I’ve paid my dues and I am determined to have a mother’s day gift that I really enjoy. And who better to choose it than me? Who appreciates my mothering skills and virtues more than I do? Who has a better understanding of the day in day out sacrifices a mother makes, including her own personal sanity? Nobody. I wander around the store, looking at all the things I would love to have, wondering to myself just exactly how I might measure up on the Good Mom scale. I take a mental inventory of all the crappy-mom things I have done, and compare them to a list of all the pretty great-mom things in my repertoire. I finish my shopping and head to the checkout. This year, I’m not going to wait and wonder if I will be disappointed by my family’s ‘efforts’. I am not going to base my value as a mother on the thought that anyone else may or may not have put into a gift or sentiment for me. This year, on Mother’s Day, my gift to myself is a good book, a cute little purse, and my own realization that I am a really good mother.

On Sunday morning, the Big Day, I awake to a quiet house. The older ones are at their dad’s and the little one is awake and downstairs with my BF. Nobody is bothering me. For a moment I consider that I should probably get up and go downstairs, but I decide against it and lay in bed and browse Facebook instead. Lots of ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ messages. A strange phenomena is brought to my attention….all of the messages are from Mothers. A sneaking suspicion that has been gnawing at me lately is validated: The only people who truly care about Mother’s Day are mothers themselves.

Let me make myself clear. I know that all of you sons and husbands and fathers and even some daughters out there may really truly appreciate the women in your lives who happen to be mothers. You may even lavish these moms with special gifts, suppers, flowers, etc on Mother’s Day, putting a lot of thought into what might make this special woman happy. Of this is the case, good for you! You’re not a douchebag, carry on. All I’m saying is that nobody can really truly appreciate a mother like another mother can. You never truly realize what kind of sacrifices and bullshit your mother had to put up with because of you, until you become a mother yourself. And you can’t even fathom a mother’s love until you are the one giving it, unconditional and unrelenting, day in and day out for the rest of your days on earth. And this is why Mother’s Day is so important. As a mother, the best gift you can give yourself on Mother’s Day and any other day is the permission to fail, the strength to continue, and the acknowledgment that you’re doing a good job, and nobody knows that more than another mother does.

When my 8 year old daughter got home, she proudly presented me with a pile of artwork she had been working on all weekend. She had made me a Mothers Day card, of course. A big picture of my face, with a poem,
“You are specile, You are Bright, you are the best mom in the light.”
She began describing the picture in detail. “See, mom, I gave you black hair, and the little earrings you always wear. And your pink lips and the blush on your cheeks, because I know you like to put blush on your cheeks.” And then she stops, looks at the picture, looks at me, and says, “Awwww Man!” I say, “What?” She says, “I totally forgot to put those big black circles under your eyes!”.

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

You know what I’m sick of? 2 things.
1. Winter.
2. Seeing Kim Kardashian’s pregnant behind plastered all over the internet, t.v., and magazine racks at the 7-11 when I’m trying to buy my Family Sized chocolate bars.

In both cases, I think I can speak for the entire North American population when I say, “Enough Already!”

I want to be clear about my position on the Kardashians. Love ’em or hate ’em, the Kardashians are in your face all over the place. Famous for being famous, I guess, which is why they have such a dedicated posse of haters. And there are a lot of haters out there!!! I am not one of them. I happen to think that if you have found a way to be famous for no reason at all, you’re a freakin’ genius. Good for you! You’ve turned the public’s disgusting appetite for celebrity and all things superficial into a bankable career, and for that you should be commended. Reality shows, Clothing lines, high profile romances….. ahhhh the life. And as for the Kardashian women, for the most part I can actually look past the superficial bullshit and find admiration in the way these girls use their assets and social strengths to create public personas for themselves, all while steeling themselves to the harsh and criticizing world of our shallow and misguided society.

Case in point, Kim Kardashian. I happen to think that Kim is one of the most physically beautiful women on the planet. Not only does she have dark stunning features and a striking set of eyes, she has a bountiful body full of curves and one hell of a booty. A girl after my own heart. But probably the most attractive thing about Kim is her CONFIDENCE. This girl has a bum so big that I believe she had her ass x-rayed to prove that she doesn’t have butt implants. A lot of girls in her shoes would be draping themselves in pretty sarongs on the beach…not Kim. Kim rocks a tiny bikini every time. By industry standards, she’s got wide hips, big boobs, and a big ass.
EXCLUSIVE: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian take over Miami Beach with new beach bods
By my standards, and most women and men out there, she’s a goddess. And Ironically, her baby-daddy previously penned a song with the lyrics, “She’s got an ass that will Swallow up a G-String.” Yes, Confidence is sexy, and Kim has confidence. We’ve all seen that ‘uneven’ couple somewhere and thought, “How did HE get HER?” or vice versa. The answer to that riddle, of course, is Confidence. Mother Nature’s greatest equalizer. Not born with stunning good looks? Snaggletooth and hammertoes? One leg shorter than the other? No problem! All you need is a little of this here magic potion we call Confidence to level the playing field. It’s the single most important quality I believe a person can have, and I pray that my kids have tons of it. There are not many things that can shake a very confident woman….but pregnancy happens to be one of them.

Kim loves to be on the cover of magazines, and all over the media. It’s her career. But I’m pretty sure, when she got pregnant, this was not the type of publicity she was hoping for.
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If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that even the happiest, most excited, ecstatic mother-to-be goes through some serious body image issues at some point. Things all over your body are changing. Drastically. And while it’s true that not all women are as shallow and body-image obsessed as me, I do believe that most pregnant women struggle with getting bigger in some way. And most pregnant women would not want to be in line at the grocery store with a 2 litre pail of ice cream and see their own pregnant ass staring back at them from the newsstand.

With a caption that reads, “I can’t stop Eating!!”.

OK Holy Hell Society, I don’t know exactly who “you” are, but I’m pretty sure “you” are actually “we” and WE need to wake the hell up and leave pregnant women alone. The pressure that is being put on women in today’s world to be thin and beautiful all the time is totally out of control! I know I rant about it all the time, but it’s really getting to me. I think we can safely assume we are failing as a whole when we start picking on pregnant women about their weight, and EVEN MORE Ridiculous, their fashion choices. Like, Really? This is on the top of the list of most talked about public gossip….Kim Kardashian’s latest maternity fashion DON’T. OH.MY.GOD.

Check out this little nugget from www.redcarpet.net :

“Kim Kardashian slammed for bad maternity style” As much as Kim Kardashian tries so hard to look good during her pregnancy, the socialite just can’t pull it off in her tacky maternity wear. In fact, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has been lambasted for her bad taste in maternity fashion – which usually comprise either baggy clothing or tight, skimpy outfits. A case in point: she was recently caught by fashion police wearing a billowing pink dress to church in Los Angeles. The reality TV star, who is six months pregnant, looked larger than life – especially around her ballooning hips.But Kim appears unperturbed by the criticism, tweeting photos of her bare pregnant belly for the world to see.

GASP!!! How dare she wear a billowing Pink Dress! How Dare She have ballooning hips!!! Nevermind that there’s a human being growing in between them, she should at least make an effort and slap some SPANKS on those bad boys and try to tame that tummy! Can’t she find anything more attractive? Well, it seems Kim just can’t win for losing. Now all of her fashion choices are being criticized and picked apart, and more often than not, featured in full-on “Mean Girl” style ‘Who Wore It Better’ articles. She gets compared to her previously pregnant sister:

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Other celebrities who are NOT PREGNANT and probably starving themselves:
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And in the most offensive and disturbing display of bullying I’ve seen in a while, she is being compared to Marine Life:
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Now, can you imagine what life is like? This woman is in love, expecting her very first baby, and full to the brim with explosive pregnancy hormones. And every damn time she leaves the house, she knows somebody is going to have a problem with what she is wearing, and there’s probably going to be somebody taking a picture of her big pregnant ass at the absolute most unflattering time and angle possible. Did you ever catch a glimpse of your own pregnant ass by accident before? I have, and I’m pretty sure all the hairs stood up on the back of my neck I was so horrified. Pregnancy may be beautiful, but most of the time, it’s not pretty. And to expect it to be pretty, 100% of the time from someone, is not fair.

Can we leave the pregnant ladies alone? I remember being pregnant with my second. I was huge. My brother hadn’t seen me throughout my entire pregnancy until he came home at Christmas, when I was 9 months pregnant. I’ll never forget his face when he walked in the door and saw me. It was a look of shock and awe, which he tried to hide with arched eyebrows and a nervous chuckle. That was the same Christmas I considered punching my grandpa’s lights out if he made one more comment about how many sandwiches I was eating. And my step-dad, God Love Him, posted a pic of me on Facebook hunched over the buffet table shoving a big bite of something into my mouth. Thanks, Dad! Pregnant women just want to be left alone. We know we are big, thank you very much. I don’t even need to go into the whole spiel about how our bodies are growing precious little lives inside because, well, Eff you, that’s why! Nobody should have to explain or validate their appearance to anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. So back off, K? Can’t we get back to gossiping about the Bachelor’s resident nut-job and buying magazines revealing Hollywood’s worst Plastic Surgery Fails?

Instead, let’s make fun of the ridiculous photographic choices women make ON PURPOSE when they are pregnant! HEEEEHEHEHEHEHE FUN! Ok, so I have to cop to actually taking cheesy maternity photos myself, finally got around to it with #3 and, like everyone else who does it, really wanted to document and remember what my body looked like with that precious little life inside. But OOOOOHHHHH hahahaha I did not go this far. Check it out:

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Jackie Chan says, “WTF?!?!”

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Britney Spears says, “WTF?!?!”

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Kim Kardashian says, “WTF!!!!?!?!”
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hahahaha Come on, Kim, Strap on some of those Yellow Suspenders and let’s see “Who Wore It Better!!!”.

Geesh.

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Hi, Remember Me?

It’s been awhile. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been soooo busy working out and focusing on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle that by the end of the day, I’m just exhausted and haven’t found the time to blog.

hahahah ya right. You wanna know what I’ve really been doing for the last 2 weeks? Eating chocolate bars. True story.

Not to mention, totally avoiding exercise at all costs. Siiiiggghhhh. It was a good run while it lasted.

OK, let me redeem myself a little here, I’m not giving up!!!! But I do have to come clean and admit to myself and the general public that I have gotten somewhat complacent and dare I say lazy in the last couple of weeks. I could feel it slowly coming on, like you know when you’re starting to get the flu, and you feel that little yucky twinge in your gut? And you stop, raise one eyebrow, and think, “huh. that was strange.” And you carry on with your day. And then a couple of hours later you hear a gurgle down below and you have a seat and wonder if maybe you should go to the bathroom, just to be safe? Until later that night, when you’re doubled over the toilet while your 6 year old holds your hair back and you’re wearing the old black sweatpants “Just In Case” an accident happens and you think, “Yep. Definitely feelin’ pretty sick!” Well that’s what it’s like when your exercise regimen is beginning to lose steam. Maybe you are forced to skip a workout one day because of logistical impossibility. The next day, suddenly, it becomes a little easier to talk yourself into skipping again. Like, “Golly Gee I sure had a lot of extra time yesterday when I didn’t do my workout, I bet if I just let one more day go I could really get a lot done off my To-Do-List and then I will get right back at it tomorrow!” MMMMM-HHMMMMM. Then you get up the next morning feeling kind of guilty, until you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Hey, I haven’t worked out for 2 days, and I still look pretty damn good!” Then not only does it seem somewhat pointless to keep busting your ass in those crazy workouts, but the trip through the kitchen also starts to take a bit of a turn. Bread starts looking really tasty again. Just one piece of toast for breakfast won’t hurt. Geez, people eat this stuff all the time! Yogurt is getting boring! A little break won’t hurt anyone! Well, that’s where it starts. And then eventually you end up like me, eating chocolate bars every day and baking Sticky Buns at 10 pm on a Monday night. And like the pathetic mess doubled over the toilet with the flu, you eventually find yourself wondering how things went to hell so quickly.

Today was supposed to be the day that I took my “After Insanity” photos. It would have been the first day after the entire 9 week program, and the plan all along was to track my progress and report my measurements. And I have to say, I did do really well! I lost 4 jeans sizes, and definitely toned up. I have an ass I am proud of!!! I still am not really weighing myself because I don’t own a working scale, but last time I got on the Wii I has down a couple pounds. So whatever, I did well! I accomplished what I set out to… I feel good in a bathing suit! HOWEVER…..I am not posting my measurements/photos for 2 reasons: 1. I looked better 2 weeks ago before I fell off the wagon and 2. I really don’t think anybody gives a shit how many inches my waist is or how my bum looks in a bikini.
Am I right? That’s what I thought. The reason you all read my blog, I am guessing, is because it’s nice to know that somebody out there struggles with the same annoying bullshit that you do, and that you’re not alone. So that is what I’m here to report to you. The results of my exercise program and quest for a better body……here goes.

Exercise is hard goddamm work. I said it. If you want to lose weight, you gotta REALLY want it because ladies, it is ALWAYS going to be easier to sit on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. Nobody ever got a beach body or fit into their skinny jeans by taking leisurely strolls around the block and doing “5 minute abs” once a week. It takes sweat. It takes persistence. It takes a dash of vanity and a shitload of motivation; because let’s be honest here, nobody ever launches a major weight loss program “just to be healthier”. I think everyone in some way wants to look better, to some degree. And it takes momentum. You are not going to want to work out and eat clean and drink 8 glasses of water every day and all that bullshit right out of the gate. It takes time, getting used to a new routine. The results of my experience in this area, were that it does get easier. It becomes a welcome habit. Eventually you start looking forward to it, not because of the pain and agony you may feel while you are exerting yourself but because of the incredible feeling of exhaustion and elation and pride when you finish. That is the hook right there. The payoff is the power you feel when you’ve defeated your pessimism. And, of course, results, which brings me to my next point.

If hope and pride are what bring you to your workouts every day, Results are what keep you going. Results are the reason, whether your desired result is measured with a scale, a tape measure, a heart rate monitor, or a blood pressure cuff, when you finally start to achieve what you’ve been working towards, it’s kinda like crack. Very addicting! It somehow makes it much easier to keep sweating your ass off in spandex, when the spandex is getting noticeably looser. When you begin to realize that you are capable of accomplishing a goal, whether it be big or small, you definitely feel a bit more empowered. Suddenly, it’s like you’re 5 years old again and your dad is telling you that you can be anything you want to be. The world feels full of possibility. You begin to believe that you could actually achieve something, just because you decided to. Why? Cause you’re awesome! But don’t get too comfortable with those results. If you’re like me, they can turn on you.

At some point, positive results begin to work against you. You used to look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I gotta get back on the treadmill.” And now that you’re lookin good, you sometimes look in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!” Which can go either way. It will either make you want to keep going, or if you get to the tipping point like I did 2 weeks ago, it makes you think maybe you don’t have to work so hard and you can relax a little! This is a slippery slope, my friends. What your mirror won’t tell you, is that the reason you look so damn good is because you work hard, but your eyes are focused on your tight bum and your flatter tummy and you’re all gaga in love with how your skinny jeans are fitting you and you decide to celebrate with a nice little Hershey’s with Almonds. And before you know it your treadmill collects a layer of dust and you’re bribing your kids to get in the car and take a late night run to 7-11 because mommy needs some chocolate. Nevermind that all they want is a slurpee and some gum…that lady at the checkout thinks the 4 family sized chocolate bars are actually for The Family and I’m not going to tell her otherwise. You see, life is like that. Up and down. Sometimes you’re winning the race, sometimes you trip on your laces and eat dust. But you just gotta get back up. Right?

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I went out on the weekend and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. It was great for my ego (ha ha). People were telling me all night how great I looked, asking me what I was doing differently, etc. I was proud of my results and hard work. But I also felt like a real douchebag! I had a big chocolate bar for supper that night, and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. And, some fries a little later. And a couple few whiskey cokes at the bar. So as I was divulging the details of my intense workout program, there was a little chocolate bar with devil horns on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “Hee Hee Heee!!!! Don’t forget about MEEEE!!!” I felt like a fraud, actually. Like at any moment, all those chocolate bars and pastrami and cheese sandwiches would gang up on me and my ass would expand like a busted can of biscuits, Nutty Professor style.

I woke up Sunday morning, still not worried about what I was going to eat that day or if I would get a workout in. I blame the ladies at the bar and all their effin compliments. It was Sunday, after all, the glorious day of Rest otherwise known as My Diet Starts Again Tomorrow. So I did what any hungover girl would do, I grabbed an extra large milkshake on the way outta town and slept the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, my man asked me if my head had shrunken back down to size. I thought he was referring to my hangover headache but what he really meant was had I gotten over all the ego stroking that went on the night before. I had to giggle.

When I woke up Monday morning, I vowed to get this train back on track. And I did! I had a great run, and felt exhilarated, powerful and alive when I was done. I ate a really healthy lunch, and did not buy a chocolate bar for the first day in a week and a half.

And then, at 7 p.m., I started a batch of homemade sticky buns. Ironically, a recipe I found on Pinterest while browsing for Fitness Motivation. Such is life. πŸ™‚

So the moral of the story here kids is that in many ways, perfection is an illusion. Even those fitness models who have rock hard abs and an ass to die for probably had one to many cupcakes once or twice in their lives. Jillian Michaels was a fat teenager! Everybody falls. Everybody quits. Everybody fails. Humans, we ain’t a perfect breed. But for the most part we’re stubborn, or stupid, or both, and we just keep trying. It’s pathological. It’s a curse. It’s a blessing. It’s the reason I have jeans in my closet in every size from 28 to 33. So if you’re feeling a little discouraged, no matter what your challenge may be right now, cut yourself some slack and start again.

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Some eCards I'm 30

Ah, Girls Night Out. Who doesn’t love a good one of those? From the time we are little girls doing each others hair at slumber parties, we grow up truly appreciating the value of Girl Time.

The funny thing about Girls Nights is that they tend to change, the older you get. 20 was over a decade ago for me, but I still remember it, somewhat. Let’s dust the cobwebs off of those memories for a moment. When you’re 20, before marriage and kids and mortgage payments, life is like one big old carnival. You may have to pay to get in and stand in line for tickets, but chances are if you’re 20, you have nice boobs, a young face and a carefree attitude and that will probably get you a free sno cone and escorted to the front of the line. Being 20 is great. You can eat cotton candy, caramel apples AND mini donuts and your metabolism will burn that shit up like 10 year old kindling. Your bank account might be a little low but your spirits are high and a lack of funds isn’t going to stop you. You’re gonna get your ass on that Ring of Fire and scream until your lungs burn. And even if you barf afterwards, who cares? You’re young! By the time you get to the next ride, you’re ready to go again. You throw caution to the wind and buy the ride-all-day bracelet because you know you’re capable of riding all day. And all night. Who cares? You probably don’t have a job to go to the next day, but if you do, you’ll just call in sick. Or skip your 9:20 a.m. Music Appreciation class.

Youth. Gravity and Common Sense need not apply.

Well nothing bitch slaps you back into reality like going out to a dance club on a Saturday Night with the girls, shall we say….later in life. Now I’m not gonna say we’re old, because we’re not! But we are older than 92% of the women who were in the bar last Saturday night. I should start at the beginning.

Every once in a while, I need a break with the girls. We all do. It’s soooo fun and sooo necessary! There is no better way to Pause the world of Responsibility and Kids and Relationships and Stress like a good old fashioned Girls Night. Why? Because when girls go out together, we let it allllll hang out, ok? Girls are gross. Picture a bunch of guys in a locker room and multiply that by 10. Or 5 at least. Vulgarity, with pretty pink lip gloss. When you’re with the girls, not only do you not have to suck in your gut, but you also don’t have to worry that your swearing is a tad too manly or that a fart will kill the mood. You can talk freely about periods and IUD’s and one night stands and nobody gets offended. There is no imaginary line you can not cross. Or maybe that’s just my friends, but if that’s the case, I have the best damn friends you can get.

So I organized a little girls trip to the city. Just one night! Don’t wanna push our luck with the men at home doing all the babysitting oops I mean parenting. Hotel Room? Check. Wheels? Check. Better make that 2 hotel rooms. 6 girls trying to shower and poop in one room might be a bit much. OK! All set! So bright and early Saturday morning, we all pile in and get the hell outta town. WOOOHOOO!!!!! Let’s get this party started!?!?! Who wants to do a shot?

Just kidding. It’s 9 am. we’re not 20 anymore. We stop at Tim Hortons and get a coffee and a bagel. So far, nobody has said a swear word. I reach in my pocket for change and find a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. Oh, yeah. I’m Badass. Sigh. And because we’re old and we all have kids and we’ve just had a coffee, we need to stop 45 minutes later for a pee break. A couple swears and poop jokes surface. Someone mentions something about a penis. Buckle up ladies, things are getting crazy!

Finally, we make it to our destination. Time to hit the mall! Can’t wait to find a sexy new outfit to wear to the bar! It’s been awhile since I’ve been shopping for clothes! To my delight, I can suddenly buy shirts in size small or medium instead of large. This puts me on cloud 9 until I realize that it’s only because my boobs have shrunken to their former 8th Grade cup size. Double Sigh. Better go drown my sorrows in a TacoTime Beef Burrito Supreme. Supersized. Thanks. So much for the diet. Who cares? It’s Girls weekend! No calorie counting allowed!!!

Following an afternoon of shopping, we compare notes and realize that for the most part, we have failed to complete our new outfit scavenger hunt but have all managed to buy something for each of our kids whom we have left at home and came here to forget about for a day. And you can be damn sure each kid got an equal dollar amount of stuff, because we all know that it’s easier to calculate fairness by price and avoid the “She got more than me!!!” fight at home. By this time, it’s closing in on suppertime and we are getting thirsty. We make a stop at the liquor store. Swearing and laughing is getting louder and more frequent. We are getting excited! Someone turns the music up a little louder and we all sing along to Taylor Swift. hahahaha I’m not even kidding.

So back at the hotel, it’s time to order some supper, pour some drinks, and start getting primped for the evening. We are getting loud. Somebody is walking around bare boobed. I’m not going to say it was me but I can’t say it wasn’t. There is a lot of penis talk. More swearing. We are soooo coool. Our room is starting to smell like farts and a good time. If there are any guys out there with the idea that girls like to get together in hotel rooms and have naked pillow fights, I’m pretty sure I just ruined that fantasy. Sorry! Now it’s time for shots, for real. The hard stuff, bring it on!!!! heee heee my ears are red and my cheeks are burning from laughing so hard. I don’t know what is so damn funny but those brownies sure tasted good! How thoughtful of her to bring dessert!

ANYWAYS! Off to the bar. There was a brief and disappointing stint at a super lame Karaoke bar, and we knew it was time to leave when the 75 year old crowd started filing in. I’m not even kidding. We needed to get the eff outta there, but to where? This is the dilemma. No matter what city you are in, there is always a bar that is known for, shall we say, Cougars. Women of a certain age. Which, nowadays, means anyone over the age of 25. We did NOT want to go to that bar. We are not old! We are not Cougars! We are good lookin hot chicks in the prime of our lives!! Take us to the cool place! We are still young and we want to dance!!!

So, we show up at the cool place. Early enough to avoid the lines, because as my sister said “I’m 30, I don’t stand in lines.” She was right, we avoided the line and walked in. This is how we thought we looked before we went in:

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This is how we felt, when we went in and looked around:

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My mother warned me about this. She told me once that there comes a point in your life as a woman when you suddenly realize you are not part of the young and cool crowd anymore. You will always feel like you are, but that’s just an illusion God gives you to keep getting yourself out of bed in the morning. We’re at the teetering point, where you’re not quite sure if people are staring at you because they think you look good, or because they’re wondering what the hell you are doing there. You go to the bathroom for a pee break, and listen to conversations like “OhMyGod!!!! You look ssseeoooooo cute!!! I totally think Dylan is totally into you tonight!! Do you think I look cute? Is my hair totally cute or what?” Then you come out and wash your hands and make awkward eye contact with them in the mirror and you’re pretty sure if they had a thought bubble above their heads it would say, “Go Home, You’re Old.”

So what’s a girl to do in this situation. Loosen up with drinks, and dance. Dance like you’re 20. Dance like you’re cool. Dance like your boobs aren’t chafing your bellybutton. Dance like you don’t give a shit! You know why? Because when you’re 30, you pretty much don’t, anymore. You don’t care what the tight bodied 20 year old in the hoochie dress dancing on the speaker thinks of you. You came to have a good time, and you’re damn well gonna. And that’s just what we did. We danced until the sweat forced us outside to cool off. We may have danced with each other all night, but let’s be honest, we were the best dancers there anyway so it was a win-win. And we all went home happy. Drrunkety drunk drunk, but happy. When we get back to the hotel, we fill our faces full of food as we bitch about the 20 year old hoochies. We take a dose of Tylenol and guzzle water. This ain’t our first rodeo. We pass out and hope for the best.

The next morning, it’s a slow moving crew. The hangovers last a little longer when you’re 30. Like 3 days longer. We enjoyed a nice quiet lunch, making sure to pack in as many calories as possible because as usual, we all have a diet that starts again on Monday. We slept all the way home. It’s Tuesday and I’m still tired. And yet, oddly refreshed. Because that’s what girl time does. It recharges your batteries. It reminds you that it’s ok every once in a while to only be responsible for yourself, and not have to worry about your pets and your kids and your man. It reminds you that you can be fun and immature, even if it’s only once a year! And, most importantly, it reminds you that your pets and your kids and your man aren’t that bad after all, and you go home to them appreciative, and ready to take on tomorrow.

When you’re 30, the carnival isn’t as fun. You definitely are not buying the ride-all-day bracelet. If you escape to the carnival without your kids, you’re constantly scanning the crowd every time you hear someone yell “Mommy!”. You make sure to show up at a nice sensible time when you know the lineups are the shortest and you’ll be home at a reasonable time so that your babysitter doesn’t have to walk home in the dark. You probably pack your own lunch because everybody knows that carnival food prices are insanely inflated and totally loaded with trans fats and sodium. At 30, the carnival is all about being as efficient as possible. Get in, have as much fun as you can for the least amount of money as possible, and get the hell back to your cage where the lights aren’t so bright and the noises aren’t as loud. And start planning the next Girls Night Out.

AAA

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I wish I could figure out how to have music playing as this blog is opened to be read. You would most definitely be hearing Beyonce’s “Run The World!”. Did you know that today is International Women’s Day? Well, it is! So if you didn’t already have a reason to pour yourself a drink, consider this a good one. If you’re a man and you’re reading my blog, Thanks Dude! But today is not your day. Go pour your woman a drink. Make it a stiff whiskey, with lots of ice. Thanks, babe. Now, run along. πŸ™‚

Women, can I just say, are fantastic. I love women. Think about all the fabulous females in your life. There are so many!!! The best part about being a woman is that it is like an instant pass into a club that really does control the world. After all, we do create all our new members from scratch! Men might have a little something to do with it I guess but let’s face it, women do all the work and deserve all the credit. No man ever gets a free pass into the women’s club. They have to hold our purses and sit out in the hallway during our meetings where we discuss how effing painful childbirth was and how annoying it is to get your period the day you fly out for your tropical vacation. Why? Because men, say it with me ladies, “Will Never Understand.”

I don’t claim to have a clue what it’s like to be a man, or how hard it is, but I gotta say, I don’t care. I’m sure they sit around smoking their cigars at their meetings whining about “pressure” and “expectations” and “body hair” but BOO HOO! Being a woman is hard! If you were born a woman in many parts of the world, you have it wayyy worse than we do here in the land of golden opportunities, let me tell ya, so a big shout out to all those ladies still struggling under the thumb of their male oppressors. I count my blessings. And I thank all the strong ones that came before me to make my life easier. Women’s Rights history is very interesting and I really do encourage you to take some time today to do a little internet researching just as a reminder of how strong and courageous our female predecessors have been in order to get us to this point, where I as a 32 year old divorced mother of 3 can sit in the livingroom of the home that I own and type out my own personal opinions freely to share with the world. Ain’t life grand?

But admittedly, when I started copying and pasting names and dates of famous women and important dates in history, it seemed a little boring (Sorry!). What I really want to talk about is the sisterhood. The sisterhood of the badass women in my life.

Let’s start with Mother. THIS was not my mother.
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My mother by all accounts was a firecracker (and still is). Like many moms, she was a teen mom, and got married at age 17. Quit highschool to raise her baby boy. Subsequently gave up on many of her hopes and dreams, I’m sure, and traded them in for the life of a farm wife and a stay at home mom, and a damn good one. Mom eventually got her G.E.D. and became one of the most active members of our community, coaching every sport we every participated in and playing many sports herself, often the president or organizer of every club in town. Mom was busy! She always had homecooked meals on the table, always looked pretty, and always had a good time. And, she raised me, so she did something right :). But even in spite of all these accomplishments and achievements, one of the strongest memories I have of my mother is of Saturday mornings, when some jerk neighbor would always stop in for coffee and wake us kids up with his loud booming voice. This guy had “Opinions”, and a lot of them were about women. This pissed my mom off. My mom hates to get up early but when this douchebag would show up, she would get her ass down to the kitchen table and put on the coffee for this guy, because mom was many things but Afraid of a Fight she was not. She used to dish it out to this guy and I would sit at the top of the stairs listening, and smiling to myself. I loved her for that, and I still do. I always kind of wondered why she cared so much about what men thought about women, but now that I’m a woman, I know. Somebody has to stand up for us, and guess what ladies, we got legs! Use ’em! She went on to become succesful in a career of her chosing and kicks ass on a daily basis. Thanks mom!

Now where did a little firecracker like that come from? Grandma. I wish I knew more about Grandma, she’s still kickin so I guess I will ask her one of these days. What I remember of Grandma from my childhood was the usual Grandma stuff…she taught me how to roll out piecrust and always let us roll our icecream cones in coconut, which I still do from time to time. But what I also remember is that Grandma listened to Grandpa. What he says, goes, as they say. If Grandpa wanted a sandwich, Grandma went to the kitchen and made him a sandwich. I used to really question why Grandma would let a man tell her what to do. But Grandma was from a different time, of course, and this is how she was raised. To be a caregiver. It always seemed like Grandma was dependant on Grandpa. Well let me tell you something about Grandma. That woman was stunningly beautiful. (Still is, aren’t you Granny?!) She managed to pick up a new job in every town that Grandpa moved her to, all around the world, and make friends, and build a life, and take care of her 3 girls, and teach them what it means to be a strong woman when all you want to do is go to bed and cry. And she might jump up and make Grandpa a sandwich when he wants one, because she loves him, and respects him, but you can bet your ass that Grandpa would be totally lost without that woman and he knows it. And Grandma knows it to. Grandma has all the power.

Now, who’s next? Have to give a shout out to my Aunts. I read somewhere that only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend. This is totally true. I have a gorgeous rainbow of aunts, and I am so thankful for all of them. As I grow older, they are becoming more and more like best friends. Your aunts are full of valuable information. They know what a bad girl your mom was when she was a teenager. They know what it’s like to be a sister. Most importantly, they know what it’s like to be a woman, and when you are 12 years old and entering puberty they can warn you about it without all the embarrassment that comes along with talking to your mother sometimes but with WAAAYYY more knowledge than your best friend. Aunts are in your corner. I thank God for my Aunties.

Which brings me to sisters. I have ONE, and if she’s reading this right now, she’s dying because she’s afraid I will reveal something about her get all mushy. Sisters are a curse when you are growing up. They’re annoying. They steal your stuff, they embarrass you around boys, they bug you when you have friends over. They kick you when you have to share a hotel bed. They steal your “Book of Red Hot Numbers” and bring it out at your 30th birthday party. But guess what? They know everything about you. They know why you are the way you are. They, more than ANYBODY else in the world, understand you. Sisters are the Presidents of the Sisterhood. When you get older, suddenly a strange thing happens. You begin to want her around. You call her to bitch about your mom (Sorry mom! πŸ™‚ ) You call her to bitch about your man. You call her to bitch about your kids, and you listen as she bitches about hers. You both see the same ridiculous person and laugh hysterically through eye contact only. Sisters are life’s greatest blessing. My sister is one of the strongest bitches I know, and I fear her a little. In our relationship, she’s the boss, but that’s ok, it’s her turn.

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Now on to the best part of being a woman…..GIRLFRIENDS! These bags are my reason for living some days. As life changes, your girlfriends change, it’s inevitable, but I’ve always chosen ladies to be in my “wolfpack” who are funny, crazy, and like to drink and swear. Women who like to have a good time! Women who can tell you the truth!
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A good girlfriend is one who lets you bitch and complain and cry about your shitty situation, and then pours you a shot and tells you to get over it. Women need girlfriends. Women need an escape from their kids, their husbands, their bosses, their responsibilities, and who better to escape to than another cranky woman who is also tired of everyone’s bullshit and totally understands? The older I get, the more I appreciate the importance of besties. I can say anything to my girls. I can be honest. I can go shopping for hours with them and not have to worry about how long they have been waiting for me on the bench outside the store! If you are my age or older, you remember these ladies….
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And I bet you’ve probably assigned a Golden Girl personality to each one of your friends at some point or another. For the record, I’m Blanche. ha ha ha. Every group needs one, and let’s face it, she’s the most fun! The reason this show was so popular was because it’s true…women love each other and also love to hate each other, which can lead do all kinds of comical drama that makes for perfect sitcom fodder. But the moral of every episode was the same…no matter what kind of crazy shit goes down, your girlfriends are always going to be there for you. With cheesecake. And you know what they say, your girlfriends are probably going to outlive your husband, so you better pick good ones!
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When my daughter was born, my mother, my sister, and my best friend were all there. They helped me welcome my baby girl into the wonderful sisterhood of women in my life. She, like the long line of sparklers that came before her, is a firecracker as well. She is so lucky to be a girl.

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Who run the world? Girls!
Who run this motha? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
Boy you know you love it
How we’re smart enough to make these millions
Strong enough to bare the children
Then get back to business
Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
GIRLS!
Who run the world? Girls!

Happy International Women’s Day! Give thanks for all the firecrackers in your life.

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What kind of mother am I? I spent some time pondering this today. While folding 256 loads of laundry this afternoon I happened to be watching Anderson Live, which featured moms who claim that taking anxiety medications make them better mothers. And, like any good talk show, Anderson included both sides of the conversation. Translation: Moms who are RIGHT and Moms who are WRONG.

Have you ever noticed that in general, moms (because we are women and it seems to come naturally) tend to judge each other? Sometimes its passive aggressive, vague and sneaky judgement, like, “She is definitely a more “Laid Back” mom…(using those annoying finger quotes and raised eyebrows). Substituting euphemisms like “Laid Back” and “Relaxed Parenting Style” for words they really mean such as “Lazy” and “Neglectful”. And then sometimes it is just blatantly mean, like “She lets her brats do whatever they want, whenever they want, and they have no respect for anybody!”. Well hello, Judgey McJudgerton, please tell me where I can sign up for your clinic on Perfect Parenting 101. Now I don’t want to sound bitter, but this is usually the mom whose Facebook statuses paint a rosy picture of after school baking sessions with the kids and Pinterest boards full of wonderful kids craft ideas, but who hisses “Get your Ass in the Car, you Little Shits!!!” at her misbehaving kids when she thinks nobody is listening. And don’t even get me started on women who criticize other mothers, and they don’t even have any kids yet! Get real! You have no effin idea, lady!!! Keep it to yourself. Better yet, write down all your judgemental and condescending thoughts, and then once you have kids, bring that list out and marvel at what an idiot you were back before you had a clue. MMMKAY???? I have hollered at my kids! Lots! Because sometimes, getting down to eye level with a 5 year old and trying to calmly explain why their behavior is upsetting you is just plain ineffective. And for the record, so is hollering, most of the time, but I do it anyway, because it feels good. And sometimes, it makes them fear me. If I’m lucky.
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So anyway, back to Anderson. There was a mom on the panel who says that she has dealt with anxiety/depression disorders on and off for many years, and since she has had children, she finds that being on a steady prescription of anti-anxiety medication definitely helps her to be a better mother. She says that she does not abuse them, and they don’t make her “high”, they just help her to feel normal and to cope with the many demands that parenting and providing for a family presents in this day and age. She is open, and honest, and articulate. On the other side of the fence is a woman who “strongly disagrees” with this philosophy. When asked on what grounds she opposes mothers taking anti-anxiety meds, she only presents “What If” scenarios. “What if your kids are having a bad day, and based on your example, they think that the answer is just to pop a pill to make everything better? What if you get addicted to them? What if you take too many and you can’t drive your kids to school?” For the record, this looks like a very unhappy woman, but in the interest of not being judgemental I will assume she was just nervous. She did use the word “I” a lot. Long story short, what she was there to say, was “I don’t need meds to be a good mom.”

Well this may or may not be a shocker to some of you who know me, but I DO need meds to be a good mom! I also have struggled with anxiety and depression, and let me tell you, adding 3 kids to the mix who are 90% of the time on my watch and under my care, doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time to mentally decompress, de-stress, and relax.

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I love my kids!!! So much, I decided to stop the insane rollercoaster cycle of being on meds, and then trying to wean off, and then having to go back on them, over and over and over again. For someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, a normal day is never a normal day. Sunshine made me crabby. My kid spilling his milk would make ME cry. Most of the time, I wished I could just lay in bed and sometimes, hoped I would not wake up for a long, long time. This was not my kids’ fault, this was not my fault. This is a LEGITIMATE illness, people! And if I was not on medication, everyone around me was suffering, including my kids. I may not be a better mother than you are, but I am not a worse mom because I take a little medication. I am just a mom, and I suspect that I am just one of many with the same fears, troubles and insecurities about how I may be failing my children. Now all that being said, I did a little self discovery about what kind of mom I actually am. I know that I am on the “Laid Back” end of things, and I like it that way.But what does that mean? Here are some examples.

I love it when my kids want to try new foods, but this does not happen very often, and I am not the mom who is going to force my kid to eat something that makes him gag. Have you ever tried to force down food you hate? It sucks. Kids are people too. Pick your battles.
I love to bake with my kids, but I also really like it when they get bored after 10 minutes and let me do the rest in peace and quiet.
I can’t wait until bedtime each night, when I get to tuck the kids in and kiss their tiny little faces, and see them sleeping like little angels…..and then I get to park my ass on the couch and watch my shows…in peace and quiet.
I make my kids beds for them most of the time, because quite frankly, I think it looks nicer and bugs me when I walk by their room and their blankets are on crooked.
I pin a lot of cool kids activities on Pinterest, knowing full well that I will never get around to doing them with my kids but I still hold out hope that one day I will have time to be “That Mom.”
When I make homemade playdough for the kids, usually once a year, I feel like I should get a mother of the year award. Then I swear under my breath every day for the next 3 weeks every time I have to sweep up massive amounts of dried playdough crumbs off the floor.
Sometimes when my kids are whining and crying about something ridiculous and I am so frustrated I could scream, I just whine and cry right back at them until they look at me like I’m crazy and eventually stop and leave the room.
I take advantage of the fact that my kids aren’t old enough to read a clock yet and I lie to them about what time it is so they will go to bed early. This is very easy in the winter time, and I love it! I feel like an evil genius.
I occasionally let my kids eat cereal for supper. And by occasionally, I mean at least twice a week.
I think farts and butts and poop is just as funny as my 5 year old son thinks it is.
I have daily dance parties with the kids, and I like to turn the music up really loud and pretend I can’t hear them when they repeat, “Mommy Look at Me!!!!” 500 times.
I encourage my kids to dress themselves, and wear whatever they feel like wearing, as long as it is weather appropriate. My kids may not always match but they are definitely creative and proud of their self-image.
Sometimes I just really want to strangle my kids. I love them, and I would never actually do it, but when one of my kids is bawling at a ridiculous octave in my face, and I have 101 other things I need to be doing, I sometimes tune out the sound and daydream about wrapping my hands around them and squeezing really really hard. I totally understand how Shaken Baby Syndrome happens. Being a parent takes Restraint!!!
When it’s 4 a.m. and my baby is crying for the 8th time that night, and I am totally exhausted, sometimes I lay in bed with my pillow over my head thinking “Shut up, Shut up, pleaaase just shut up and go back to sleep”, hoping that when I remove the pillow, there will be silence.
I am a stay at home mom and my world, for the most part, pretty much revolves around caring for my kids and their environment. I love being able to do this, and I know that for myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I also need to get out of the cage every once in a while too. I take short vacations, and love girl time and date nights and in general just time away from the kids. And I do miss them, but I don’t miss them every single second that I am gone. I was an individual before I had kids, and I still am, sometimes.

What does this all mean? I don’t know. I think it means I’m a normal mom. I’m not perfect. I make lots of mistakes. If there is a parenting manual on how to DO IT RIGHT out there somewhere, please send it my way. But for now, I’m just like you. I’m just guessing. Moms, like kids, are all so different. That’s the great part about raising kids to be individuals…we don’t all have to be the same. The world would be a pretty boring place. What works for you and yours may not work for me and mine but who cares?! Do your thing. As long as your kids are still alive and happy, you are passing the parenting test with flying colors. Moms, please stop judging each other. Be supportive, and practice acceptance! Mothers need encouragement, even the ones who seem the most confident. If you have a natural childbirth or a C-Section, if you breastfeed or bottle feed, if you choose to stay at home or go to work, just do your own thing! Who cares if your best friend feeds her baby nothing but organic fruit and you have been feeding yours Kraft Dinner? Does your baby smile at you when you pick her up? You’re doing your job. And if you feel like it’s time to up the dosage, by all means, bring on the happy! Because we all know, if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. AMEN!

I may be a mediocre mom, but my kids seem to like me. And that’s Good enough, I guess.

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