Mommy Talk

Being a mom ain't easy

When is it ok to Step in?

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I never thought that I would question this. I always thought that if there was potential for a child to get hurt that I would automatically do the right thing and step in. But how do you know the real potential. I know of a woman who continues to make poor choice after poor choice. She moves her young daughter into houses with undesirable people. She trusts her child’s care to her latest “bestie” like she’s known them her whole life.. and really it could only be a couple of weeks

This woman meets most if not all of her friends at step programs.. and I’m not talking the 90s aerobic workout.. I mean AA, NA.. whichever anonymous meeting happens to be in the area. It’s where she meets her boyfriends too. She loses her money.. and this means her baby’s food and diaper money too.. her cell phone.. her whatever else pretty much monthly and has hit everyone she knows up for more when she can.

She has been given the opportunity many times to move home to parents houses.. or friends houses till she gets back on her feet.. but that never lasts long.. mostly because she’s not allowed to drink and have seedy men over.

Every day in the news there is some article or another about little children getting beaten or killed or raped by the mother’s boyfriend.. or friend.. or whomever was at the house scoring at the time. I think about the helpless little girl who was born a month too early.. who couldn’t put on weight even formula fed, who had seizures and 2 holes in her heart and needed surgery.. the little girl who is only a week younger than my son.. and I ache for her safety.

I don’t have any direct contact with the child so I don’t see any direct abuse.. and a lot of my fears are based on the circumstances of her living conditions and past poor choices… so I feel like I’m crying wolf if I get involved.. but it scared me to think that something might happen to that little girl.. with only a drunk women who abandoned her 2 older girls to protect her.

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How Can One Person Change Anything?

So there’s this supermarket in Massachusetts and New Hampshire called “Market Basket”. It’s the supermarket that I grew up going to… though when I started going there it was called “Demoulas”. I never thought much about my little local grocery store until my boyfriend moved into the area with me.

We headed to the storimg-Market-Basket-Updatee with about $40 cash and I filled the carriage. He couldn’t believe that I would be able to buy so much on such short money.. but I did.. with change to spare.  He had always shopped at his local “Stop & Shop” and even used their friendly little “frequent shoppers” card. He explained that at his store that amount of food would have been at least double.

So.. flash forward a few years and now there’s chaos for my little market. Apparently the family tha
t owns the chain hate each other.  Apparently there has been an ongoing feud for years between controlling cousins… and apparently this has become my problem.

For about a year there has been petitions going around aimed at the board of whomevers to keearticle-0-1FFAAAB900000578-374_634x421p Arthur T as CEO because Arthur S wants to turn this affordable, family friendly store into the next big paycheck. Now.. that’s not to say that Arthur T has been losing money over the last.. I don’t know.. 600 years or however long he’s been in charge. In fact the store is doing quite well. From what I have read they actually pay their employees a decent wage on top of keeping prices low… TAKE THAT WAL-MART… but this new wave of important people want MORE money.. shocking.. I know.

So here’s the thing. No one cares what they want. The employees making a decent wage don’t care. They don’t want to see their paychecks cut.. the customers who have been shopping there for 100 years don’t care.. they don’t want to see their prices sky-rocket. So the entire company has gone on strike and all the locals have been boycotting the store… for weeks.

Now let me tell you.. this is no easy feat. First of all I live in an area where there are like 10 “Market Baskets” in an easy to reach location… and very little else. We have to actually drive passed a few to get to the “Stop & Shop”, but we do it. And why? you ask… well, as I explained to a friend of mine when she said that she wasn’t going to be able to keep this up if it lasted any longer because “Stop & Shop” was so frickin’ expensive. If we don’t keep up the boycott and cave to the big CEO then we’ll be stuck with “Stop & Shop” prices forever.. because that’s what “Market Basket” will become. It’s better to suffer in the short-term and hold out for something better than to cave and get what they give us.

article-0-1FF6557700000578-14_634x427I also had a friend who commented that if the current employees didn’t want their jobs he’d be happy to take one off their hands… again I explained that will not help anyone. He explained that he was unemployed and that work was work. He has always prided himself on being a person who would stand up for the “little guy” but that he needed to do what was right for him…. I understand that.. to a point, but… what good is a job that will just cause the “little guy” to lose.. that money he’s making won’t go as far when the prices go up.. and when the payroll drops.. and it doesn’t count if you just say that you support worker’s rights.. if when it means something you can’t back it up.. that’s not supporting. That’s just placating. In the end he agreed… but I wonder about all the others who may not be so understanding.

This friend said to me, “it’s not going to change by one strike”.. it reminded me of the old adage, “you can’t fight city hall”img-No-end-in-sight-in-Market-Basket-saga well, lot’s of people fight. The 60s & 70s were full of people who fought and made huge strides. Hell, one woman’s name is still on the tips of everyone’s tongue when the subject of civil rights is mentioned and all she did was sit her ass down on a bus.

This country used to stand for something. It used to believe in something. It used to be a place people were proud of and millions clamored to find anyway in.. so they could start new lives and build something. Now it’s become a land of self obsessed, entitled, puppets who do as little as possible to get as much as possible and I for one hope for more for my son.. and that’s why I support what is happening at “Market Basket”.

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Very Proud of my Little Chicken!

jason cakeI have to admit I don’t know EVERYTHING. For those who know me they are aware of how difficult this is for me to admit. Being a 1st time mom everyday has new challenges and new experiences that I have no background on handling. Sure, I have baby-sat and helped others raise their children, but this one is on me. This one is going to become the person that I raise him to be… that’s a lot of pressure.

Last weekend I went to a bridal shower and of course had my little man in tow. The event was held at a very nice house with lots of nick knacks and breakables everywhere. My son being 16 months feels that it’s his job to investigate everything that can and can’t be seen by him. This includes opening cabinets and taking things off shelves. I spent the entire day either chasing him down or giving him the point and eyes that moms some how perfect and kids know exactly what they mean.

In other words, the boy was a little terror. At least that’s what I thought. I heard from the bride to be today that everyone was so impressed with how well-behaved he was. He barely cried. He didn’t break anything and though he was mischievous he mostly listened to me with little hassle. He even thanked someone for saying he had “pretty blue eyes”.

It’s moments like these that make me very proud of my little man… and hopeful that I’m not completely screwing him up. I know that he is happy. He shows me that everyday. And I admit that I am a bit of a spoiler, probably because I waited so long to have him and wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen. I breast-fed (till he decided he was done), I still co-sleep, I bring him every where and rarely leave him with a sitter. If I can’t bring my boy chances are I’m not going.

My father thinks this is going to mess with him and going to create a child dependent on me, but I feel it’s doing thejason sun porch opposite. He knows that I am here for him no matter what and that he is completely safe. He knows that he is loved and wanted. At the party he met a little girl… probably about 11ish and he was absolutely smitten. He and the little girl played on the sun porch together for a good hour or so. He was in his own little world and had no idea that I was watching, and it was while I ran to get his diaper bag and left him on the porch under the supervision of another women, whom I had met before, that he said his “tank coo” for the compliment.

He didn’t cry when I was out of sight.. he didn’t throw tantrums when he didn’t get his way.. he just played and laughed and enjoyed the day… and the fabulous scones and let me be me for a day.

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Summer fun can often turn tragic.. but with this new program it doesn’t have to!

Summer is supposed to be a time of possibilities, fun in the sun and adventures, but sometimes those adventures turn into tragedies and it only takes a second.

Drownings, especially amongst young children are all too common. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission there were nearly 140 deaths from drownings in 2012 and another 168 children who required medical attention. What makes matters worse is that these numbers are only for the traditional Summer months and only for pools and spas. So warm climate states who have pools open year round could contribute to even more.

I do not blame the parents in these cases. Though I am sure that there are a few due to neglect, I realize that children… especially toddlers are tricky little buggers who move so fast and without any real direction and it’s easy for them to slip past even the most over protective parent. I know my little one has gotten himself into some precarious situations and I’m with him constantly… I can’t remember the last time I peed alone.

isr1The good news is there is an organization out there that understands this dire situation and is working with parents and little ones on preventing anymore deaths and/or serious injuries. Now obviously there are always the few where the parent is irresponsible to which no amount of extra time will be of use, and there are the few incidents where the baby may be knocked unconscious and again… not very useful, so this program does not give anyone permission to forget the safety measures and ignore your children, but it’s a viable option to help. Especially those who own pools right in their backyard.

This program is called “Infant Swimming Resource” and it is not your typical swim class. When I 1st saw the video my heart stopped. I couldn’t imagine this little baby being able to do anything to help himself in such deep water. When his head went in 1st I panicked in my own chair.. and I knew that it was an advertisement and “no babies were hurt in the filming” but it was just too unbelievable to be true. isr2

I looked into the program and granted it is a little pricey. The individual who I contacted from the organization said that it was $100/week and lasted for 4-6 weeks. Also, the class was Mon-Fri but only for 10 mins a day. I have to admit that I decided not to invest, partly because the location of the class wasn’t very local to me, partly because of the expense.. but mostly because I don’t have my own pool. If I did no amount of time or money would be too much to possibly save my baby.

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6 Things I’ve Learned about Parenting from Disney Movies

I love Disney princess movies. I always have. I was raised with the belief that “some day my prince would come” and I would know him at 1st sight as I had met him “once upon a dream” and so on. I have to say I am very impressed at how much they have changed over the years. Women aren’t portrayed as helpless victims waiting to be saved, but as the strong resilient heroine who can overcome and succeed. Here is what I’ve learned about being a parent from watching Disney movies.

elsa_by_sheepskeleton-d6yvx4v1. Let your children be themselves. Let them discover their strengths and abilities. Don’t discourage ideas or behaviour that you don’t understand this will only teach them that there is something wrong with themselves. People have different interests and gifts and should be encouraged to explore them. Stand by your child and teach them how to use their potential for good and loving things.

ja-c-22. Be careful who you leave your children with. Not everyone will care for your children as their own. You need to make sure that whomever is minding your children will have their best interest at hearts and not just doing it for money or other ulterior motives. These people will be helping to mold who your child becomes. You want them to make the right impressions.

 

 

little-mermaid-ursula-ariel3. Listen to your children. Pay attention to their hopes and their dreams. Even when it comes to love interests. You may think they’re too young or just making a mistake in some cases, but they are learning their way through things. If you’re not there to help them or if you pressure them into things that you want for them instead you are bound to drive them away… and who knows who they will turn to for advice.

Tiana-on-Dreams-Working-14. Teach your children about balance. Life is about living not just work and not just play. You have to have both to have a successful life. If they spend every moment of their lives with their heads in books trying to get into a good school.. just to get a good job.. just to work 100 hours a week then what’s it all about? At the same time.. if they spend all of their time flaking off and years go by and they have accomplished nothing and still living in your basement or living off the state.. what’s the point of that either?

Beauty-and-the-Beast-beauty-and-the-beast-6381860-526-643 5. This is especially for fathers of girls, but there are some mama’s boys out there I’m sure it can cover. All men think that their daughter’s boyfriend is a predatory BEAST… Get to know him. Trust that you have raised your daughter well and that maybe.. just maybe she is capable of making a good decision about who she would like to spend time with. You’re going to have to let her out in the real world eventually… that beast with tattoos and a motorcycle may turn out to be a sweet prince after all.

 

 

 

 

 

sleeping-disneyscreencaps-com-49626. It’s your responsibility to raise your kids. Not the school’s, not the nanny’s, not society or the TV. You may think that you are doing the right thing by doling out responsibility or making the big paycheck that takes up all your time… but they are YOUR kids. You chose to have them. You need to make sure that you created someone who is a well-adjusted member of society. If your child isn’t doing well in school… find out what’s going on… help them with their homework. Talk to them about issues… get them a tutor… it is not the teacher’s responsibility to get your child the grades. If there is a bully… or they are the bully… TALK TO THEM. I don’t know how much more clearly I can say that. If you’re not happy with the school’s choice of food then pack them a lunch.

In the end the person that they become is all affected by the choices you make in raising them… make the right ones.

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Why Fathers’ Day Annoys Me

Fathers’ day has always been a perplexing thing to me. Where Mothers’ day is treated as Gospel, Fathers’ day is treated as a joke. It’s about getting the silliest tie, or hoping they don’t burn down the house in their need to create the perfect BBQ. It’s about loving a father who has almost become the butt of all our jokes.

I have heard for years the expression, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad” and I get that. A sperm donation can come without much effort and they never have to look back, but someone who sticks around deserves credit, but I also think there is a difference in the kind of sticking around you do.

There are the dads that pay the bills but have no idea what their child’s favourite toy is. There10259903_10152394822901602_2466868852326164555_n are the dads that love taking their kids to sporting events, or the park, or what ever fun activity they have come up with for the day, but have no idea what they are learning in school.. if they’ve done their homework, brushed their teeth or eaten their vegetables.

My son’s father is very sweet and one of those dads’ who loves to play and have fun with his boy he is also one of those dads who feels that the children are the moms responsibility. He hands me back my little Bubby Boy when he needs feeding or changing or anything important. He will run to get him if he’s hurt but immediately hand him to me for comfort.

17923_10151515250461602_1693194054_nThen there are the dads like my dad. The dads for what ever reason have to raise their children alone. The dads that don’t have the moms to take the lead.. or even for back up. The dads who have to suddenly know how to cook, do the laundry, get gum out of my hair… a lot sadly. The dads who have to kiss the boo boos and go to the parent/teacher conferences. The dads that have to be taken seriously.. that deserve more than a silly tie or a power tool cuz that’s what the TV says you want. Now that I have my own son I’m even more in debited to my father who is there every day to help me.

Families are changing drastically. This country in particular is not all about the 2 parent10308065_10152411541141602_4134339019151419042_n family.. or even the single moms. There are single dads, gay 2 parent dads.. gay 2 parent moms (who may be more interested in the power tools on mothers’ days) The point of this day is to give credit where credit is really do. Dads aren’t a joke. They make a huge difference in kids lives.. whether they are around or not. It’s important to thank those who are making a positive difference.

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It’s Time to be Fabulous!

Fabulous_MagazineI was talking to my aunt today and as usual she asked me how I was and as usual I said that I was “fabulous” she just chuckled and asked why I always said that and how I really was. I told her that I was fabulous. She said something that really struck me… she said that she was never fabulous and could never imagine answering that question in that way.

I really don’t understand that. I mean.. don’t get me wrong I’ve had some tough times and I’veNicole Kidman as a grieving mother in film 'Rabbit Hole' been through some crappy things.. and on occasion I’ve let myself dwell. I’ve listened to the sad music.. rocked out crying in my car.. as it’s the only place with any “privacy”. I mean sure random strangers driving by may be weirded out by it.. but let’s be honest they’re probably more likely to think, “I feel you… been there”. But after my mini-melt down I let things go.

I don’t understand why people have to hold on to their baggage like a life support system. If anything it’s hindering your life and your ability to be well.. fabulous. I remember growing up she was always doing some workshop or another trying to heal issues from her past. She finally talked me into attending one.. and though I found the people there very nice and supportive I felt that it was a little backwards. All they wanted to do was talk about all the problems they had and all the issues they deal with. I remember them constantly trying to get me to open up about what was bothering me. Well, “nothing.. I’m good thanks” wasn’t an answer that they could comprehend.

Now again, I’m not saying that my life is perfect. I’ve had money issues, relationship issues (both friends and boyfriends). I grew up in a divorced family with only my father.. my mom wasn’t well and I didn’t really get to see her often and when I did she was so overly medicated she was barely there anyway. I’m assuming my aunt must have informed her fellow workshoppers about my history because when the, “Coping with how your parents screwed you up” or what ever they called it.. section came up the person in charge paid particular attention to me.. it was almost like she was thinking, “ok… here’s the one we’ve been waiting for”.

She was not happy when I responded, “My dad did the best he could. What the Hell did a single man know about raising kids? And I understand my mom was ill.. she didn’t choose to abandon me. They both loved us more than anything… what more could I have asked for?” They looked at me like I was nuts. How could I possibly be ok with my parents?.. no one is ok with their parents. But I’ve always been the type of person to just not dwell on things that can’t be changed and to move forward if you aren’t happy with what has happened in the past. And most importantly NEVER BLAME OTHERS FOR THEIR CHOICES!

800px-Smiley_svgI hear it all the time.. “oh well, my mom did this”.. or my dad did that.. or my husband/wife/kids.. whomever.. “That’s why I’m screwed up now.” Ok.. you had a crappy childhood and you had no control over that.. but you’re an adult now. You get to make your own decisions.. and most importantly.. you get to decide how you react to others and what ever situation you are in. Notice I didn’t say that they put you into.. You’re a big kid. You can leave a marriage, quit your job, move.. what ever you want. Sure.. it may be hard. But it’s harder to just live in misery.

My whole like I have been refered to as smiley. It didn’t matter what was going on. It didn’t matter what hits I was blown. I wanted to be happy. So I was.

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Who’s Pregnant?

Pregnant-Mila-Kunis-Ashton-Kutcher-DateI was reading a blurb today about Mila Kunis getting all upset about men saying, “we’re pregnant”. I have heard this before. Women getting all in a huff, as Mila put it, “because you’re not squeezing a watermelon-sized person out of your lady-hole, are you?”. I get the argument. I have been pregnant. I was nauseous for months. My hips were all out of whack from sleeping on my side. I had food cravings and contractions and most of the things that all women have. I did end up having a c-section so my lady-hole is just fine, thank you, but I had major surgery and scarring and all that goes along with that. So I get wanting to own that experience.

My boyfriend on the other hand. Had to leave the beach early with me because the heat made me want to die in a puddle of my own vomit. He had to comfort me for the months of sickness. He had to take on a lot of the house hold chores.. including walking our dog every time.. in the winter, when I was put on limited activity. He was right there with me when I had a bleeding issue around 11 weeks which is what put me on limited activity. He was just ask scared and just as confused. He helped pick out the baby’s nursery theme and registry. He painted my old pink bedroom blue.

He had all the fears and dreams that I had, and when the day came, he was right there with me. Sleeping in that God awful fold out chair in my hospital room. When my water broke and hours later I still wasn’t dilating.. he made the decision with me to go for the c-section. As they cut574835_4543140456175_63558737_n me open behind the curtain he waited with bated breath with me for that little voice to cry. His eyes welled up right along mine when we finally heard our son for the 1st time. And because I was strapped to a table he was the 1st of us to see our little man.. he stayed with him to make sure he was safe while I was being sewn up. He made decisions with me about breastfeeding and co-sleeping and gave up a lot for that little bundle just as I did.

So no, he obviously never felt a kick, or a had trouble tying his shoes, or NEEDED to have black olives on everything he ate… but he was right there with me when I took cold medicine and didn’t feel much activity for a few days… and the emotions were shared between us.

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How many kids have to die before we start talking to our own?

APTOPIX_Connecticut_School_Shooting-0333f-1024x535I saw an article today about school shootings. It said that there have been at least 74 since Newtown, CT. That was only 2.5 years ago. That equals out to about 2.5 a MONTH. How is this possible? I heard about the one in Oregon today and turned to my 15 month old son and told him that home schooling was in his future. I was only half kidding.

How can we make sure that this type of thing stops happening? There are the anti-gun people who say that we need to outlaw guns.. then there are the pro-gun people who think that we should arm everyone so that the “bad guy” will reconsider storming the grounds. The problem with that is that it’s very rare that the shooter ever survives… half the point is to go out in a blaze of glory.. I really don’t think that supplying guns to anyone with in reach will help the situation. It will just confuse the matter and no one will know who the “bad guy” is anymore.

Personally what I don’t understand is where are the parents through all of this. I was raised by a single father.. and let’s be honest.. dad’s aren’t the most attentive of parents, but my dad knew where I was at all times. Who I was with.. and how I was feeling. We would have dinners together and go for walks on summer evenings. He was well versed in the boys that I liked.. the girls that Ischool_shooting_drill_t607 hated and knew far too much about “The New Kids on the Block” for his liking… don’t judge it was the late 80s-early 90s. But the point is my dad was involved. He knew my best friend. He wasn’t her biggest fan and didn’t think she was a great influence.. but he took the time to get to know her. He gave us rides, till we were old enough to drive ourselves. He paid attention!

I know that teenagers are psunonomous with privacy and secrets and not being particularly forth coming. It’s their time to branch out on their own and gain some independence.. but they aren’t adults yet. It’s the parents’ job to make sure that their kids are healthy, high functioning members of society. And to be honest with all the technology out there it’s almost easier to see what your kids are up to. Follow their twitter, instagram.. facebook.. blogs.. snapchats and what ever else come along. They are putting their lives out there for the world to see.. if they get on you about snooping tell them.. A… you can snoop all you want till they move out or pay rent and then you can only pry.. and B.. it’s not snopping if you make it public information… if a company sends out a press release that they’re about to go bankrupt they can’t call it insider trading when the stock crashes… it’s all the freedom of information, baby.

I digress.. the point is we have to stop trying to figure out how to get guns out of people’s hands and start figuring out how to keep kids from wanting to kill their classmates and themselves.. cuz if not guns it’ll be bombs, knives… cars… pop rocks and soda… what ever they can get their hands on. Let’s work on talking to our kids again… and taking some responsibilty ourselves.

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Remembering to have a life… after you create one.

safe_image1This has been a very hectic weekend. It has also been a great reminder of how I have to make an effort to keep in touch with those that I care about.

My week ended with my having to attend an old friend’s father’s wake. To be fair he was more a friend of my brother’s but I have known him since I was 16 and used to be quite close to him. Then life happened and we catch up here and there with the seasonal text and Facebook update, but other than that we are practically strangers.

safe_imageSince I was going to be in the area I decided to call up an old colleague of mine whom I used to dinner with weekly, but again since life has course corrected I have seen, now 3 times I think, since my son was born. Of course, my son still came with me to the dinners.. and my friend was completely ok with that… though it’s amazing how I put off or don’t make an effort a lot of times because I don’t want to put out my childless friends by bringing my son a long, but in reality my friends completely understand and usually enjoy him.

Then today was the double graduation of… well the relationship is kind of complicated.. let’s10460704_10152460307806602_1881932296750843487_n just say I remember when each of them was born. They are sisters and one graduated from high school.. the other college. It’s insane how time has flown by and I feel like I never see them any more. For a while there I was making an effort and attending the plays that the younger one was in… they were actually quite good so it was no bother at all… but again as time went on.. and my life got more complicated the drifting grew further and further apart.

I will say that both of the girls attended my baby shower.. but this was the 1st time that they had1979848_10152460305976602_2267334346085250684_n< met my son…. he's 15 months old!!! How is that possible? And as I mentioned these were old family friends… I was close with their WHOLE family at one point… I used to go for ice cream and have spooky tarot card readings with their grandmother for crying out loud and now.. I'm not even sure she knew I had a baby prior to this.

We all promised to keep in touch.. and though we meant it.. we also knew that it wasn't highly likely… but I will say that I am going to do my best. I don't want more years and decades to go by and they next time I see them is my son's graduation… or the next wake.

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