Monday, March 7, 2011
No. That is no longer me.
As soon as my toes slip into that supple leather, I am a mother who is strong, sexy and can handle anything and everything that comes my way.
I walk through the mall wearing my heels; diaper bag on one shoulder and baby on the opposite hip, and I see multitudes of envious glances coming my way.
"How can she do that?!?! A baby and heels?? That woman must be made of gold, I wish I could handle that!!"
The art of being a mother does not exclude one from being fashionable. It should not be used as an excuse to explore the world wearing sweat pants and sneakers, or worse: mom jeans.
I hold great pride in being a mother. I also hold great pride in my fashion sense.
There's no reason in the world they can't mix together.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I have two of the "qualities" that can inspire the guiltiest feelings in mothers: being a working mother and being a single mother.
I feel guilty that I have to spend 10 hours a day away from my child five days a week.
I feel guilty that I had to move two and a half hours away from our family for this job, even though I know that it was the closest I would be able to find a job in my field.
I feel guilty that I can't provide the nuclear family for my son.
I feel so guilty getting a babysitter to go on a date. Selfish, almost, but mom needs some fun now and then too, right?
Anybody else feel this way? Any suggestions on how to better balance everything and get rid of the guilt?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Let me start with one of my current pet peeves: the name Nevaeh. Heaven spelled backwards. This has got to be (in my opinion) one of the stupidest names I've ever heard in my life (second only to perhaps "Apple"). But, because Nevaeh wasn't bad enough, I saw an instance online where this woman legitimately named her child (wait for it...)
Seriously? Do you hate your offspring that much? I think that a lot of parents (young parents especially, though there are exceptions) don't realize the extent of the permanence of a name. Your child is STUCK with that name. Forever. For. Ever.
Naming my son was one of the hardest decisions during my pregnancy. Actually, I think it was the hardest decision of my pregnancy. To get a name that flowed nicely with my last name, had some meaning (his middle name is my father's middle name and his first name is Irish, which I am) took forever. Not to mention finding a name that wouldn't be easily made fun of. During all four of my mother's pregnancies, my father's job was to try to make fun of every name she thought of. The ones he couldn't make fun of, they used. I shamelessly used him for this ability during the naming process as well.
In addition to stupid names in general, there are always those lovely misspelled names. For example (and keep in mind that all of the following names are actual children):
Trystean instead of Tristan.
Shyanne instead of Cheyenne.
Zarah instead of Sarah.
Navaiha instead of Nevaeh (which isn't even a real name to begin with!).
Mourice instead of Maurice.
Schylar instead of Skylar.
Nathin instead of Nathan.
and, my personal favorite:
EyeZic instead of Issac.
The justification behind these names is that it makes their children "unique" and "against the norm". No. It just makes people question not only your intelligence but your child's as well, because the assumption is generally that your kid doesn't even know how to spell his/her own name.
So please, potential parents, consider your children's futures and please please please (I'm begging you), don't name them EyeZic.
**Side Note: Every single one of those names was highlighted when I hit the spell-check button. Case in point.**
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
One particular group that I've found very interesting is the "Young Moms (16-25)" group. I joined this group thinking that there would be more women in my age range (at the high end of 16-25), but have been surprised with a lot of posts and discussions with teenage mothers.
Now, I understand that shit happens and it's every person's decision (I have a few friends who were teenage mothers - some are doing well, some aren't), but one post really left me feeling disturbed. In this post, a 16 year old was talking about how her and her boyfriend (who is 17) had thought they were pregnant and got very excited but then discovered that it was a false alarm. She then continued to discuss how disappointed they had been that they weren't going to be parents and how they were in love and had jobs and were now trying to conceive.
Just in case your brain couldn't comprehend that last sentence, I'll paraphrase it for clarity: A teenage couple is deliberately trying to have a baby.
When I found out I was pregnant I felt like a piano had been dropped on me. While deciding to keep him was the easiest decision I had ever made in my life, the year following that decision was probably the hardest year in my life (thus far). I was single, waitressing (because of the economy I had difficulty finding a professional job in my field), and barely able to make ends meet. I lost some friends (though I gained some friends as well), and was often lonely. And I was 22, with a college degree.
Being a mother is not something to jump into lightly. It is hard, it is time consuming, it is messy, and it changes your life forever. A good example of how time consuming being a mother is: It has taken me three days to write this post.
So how young is too young? I know plenty of women my age who think they're too young to be parents, as well as plenty of women older than me who think they're too young as well. Yet there is an epidemic of teenage mothers. Most young girls don't plan to get pregnant while still in their teens, but then make the decision to have a baby when they're really still babies themselves. It hardly seems fair for an innocent child to be born into a life where their parents (or parent, as most teenage mothers inevitably become single mothers), will never be able to provide for them as well as their older counterparts.
Yes, I know that every girl who gets pregnant that young says the usual line about how they're still going to go to college and have a successful career, etc, etc. But let's be perfectly honest; that very rarely happens. Most of them end up working in restaurants, or retail, or another such low-paying dead-end job with no benefits.
Before you write me off as a snooty bitch, I do know two single moms who are in college. One of them was 19 when she got pregnant and dropped out of college. She is now almost 22 and works her butt off (both at her job, at school, and at home), and still has about 3 years left until she gets her degree. My other friend is 26, will be finishing her degree later this year, and is exhausted 90% of the time. Her son is three so she obviously can't get any studying done while he's awake, so she waits until he goes to sleep. Often she's up until the wee hours in the morning, and is then woken up at seven every morning by her son jumping on the bed.
So, yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but (as the word exception implies) the majority of teen moms don't progress their education past a high school degree. many times, in fact, because of a combination of having to take "maternity leave" from high school and being exhausted, like all new mothers are, they end up dropping out or getting a GED (which I've heard lovingly referred to as a "Good Enough Diploma".
Why would anybody go out of their way to chose this life for themselves and their unborn child? I am very pleased to say that there was not a single person who commented that this was a good idea; most of the comments consisted of "I love my son/daughter more than anything in the world and absolutely do not regret him/her, but I would never recommend that anybody chose this life on purpose."
Hopefully this poor lost girl will heed our advice and chose to live her teenage years as they should be lived; care (and baby) free.
I've been single for almost a year now and a mom for 5 1/2 months... I started reading your book last night (and got half way through it before I realized I had to be up in five hours...) and I have to say it is making me feel a lot better about my situation.
Like you, I have always had a tendency of rushing into both intimacy and relationships. When I meet a guy I like I fall hard and fast.
I am terrified of making this mistake (I also tend to fall hard and fast for all the wrong men) and having it impact my son's life in a negative way. I have made a list on many occasions of traits a man "must" have for me to be with him, but it always seems to fall to the wayside when I meet Mr. Wrong.
I've been on a total of two dates since I had my son and I have to say I've been getting very discouraged with men. It also doesn't help that I moved for a new job two and a half hours away from my safety net, so on those days and nights where I get lonely I can't just head over to a girlfriend's house and watch chick flicks and eat bad movies. So I clean. Cleaning is my cure for dating frustration.
I hope to eventually find that someone special, and I really truly believe I will (I have to believe...), but until then I have my son, and my vacuum.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
As I was thinking about this, and really my life in general, I took a long look at my son. My wonderful, beautiful son; looking at me with those bright doe eyes, he seemed to look through me into my soul. And then he laughed.
After we played for a bit, then finished story time, I put him to bed and just watched him sleep. His chest moving up and down, his eyes moving around under his eyelids in response to what I hope are good dreams. He looks so serene, so innocent, so pure. It made me beg the question to myself: is my dating fair to him?
Is it fair to him that I was distracted by over-analytical thoughts about a man while we had tummy-time? Is it fair to him for me to go out on the occasional weekend instead of staying home with him? When he gets older will he resent me for going out with men who aren't his father? Will he hate them on principle?
Maybe I should limit my dates to when he's at his father's, but that's only two Saturday/Sundays a month, and he doesn't pick him up until 8 in the evening on Saturday; not exactly convenient timing. I would normally ask my mother for advice, but she is of no help at all on this matter. Her and my father have been together for over 30 years and were married for five years before they had their first child. They built their family the "normal" way (although, really, what is normal anymore?).
While they are supportive of my "alternative lifestyle", the only advice my father could give me when I left for my last date was "Don't get pregnant...again".
Monday, January 3, 2011
Traditionally speaking, the easiest way to differentiate a date-date from a friend-date would be who pays. If he pays then it's a date. However, with the advancement of feminism, many couple "go dutch"; a phrase I've never understood. I know also that, in my experience, I've taken turns paying for outings with several of my male friends whom I have most definitely not been dating.
The other most notable and common way to distinguish a date-date from a friend-date would be, of course, the end-of-the-date-goodbye. A good-bye kiss, or even a small amount of hand-holding, can signify a date. But what about a slightly awkward hug? Is that a sign that the date didn't go as well as you thought it did? Maybe he didn't mean it to be viewed as a date and doesn't know how to tell you that without hurting your feelings? Or maybe he's just shy, or being a gentleman by trying to take things slow. How can you really tell?
So my question for you, ladies (and possibly gents), is this: Can you think of any other actions that might signify whether dinner and a movie is a date-date or a friend-date?