I’m Taking It All With Me!

As 2014 nears a close, I’ve read a lot of blogs and posts about “leaving things behind”. As I reflect on the past year, all I can think about is what I am taking with me. I am taking it all! Far too often we can have tendencies to focus in on the most stressful, hurtful, painful and draining parts of our lives. The reality is, if our thoughts are most consumed with negativity than it shall be so. We will see it in our friends, our jobs, our spouses, our children and everything we touch. Do not be consumed!

Bring light to life through your thoughts, which then become words and our words become actions.

To live is a blessing, how we live is a choice and our attitude will dictate how enjoyable or painful the journey is.

Infidelity is A Process: Drama is the Aftermath

I love Facebook for its freedom of speech platform! I truly do. There is often deeper meaning  in the posts, comments and videos that people take two minutes of thought to compile. It’s a “mini personal blog” and I often find it to be very thought-provoking, sometimes inspiring and other times downright ridiculous. This morning, the hypothetical question “What would you do if your husband had a child with someone else while you were married?” I found to be very thought-provoking!

I think the overwhelming consensus was leave his ass, it’s too much to handle. While I can agree looking at it from the context of the question only, it does seem to be too much to handle. However, my thought process went right to infidelity and overlooked the baby all together. When we face painful situations in life it is often easy for us to play the victim and paint pictures that make us look helpless and as if we had no control over the situation. The truth is, infidelity is a process and the drama is only the aftermath.

Unfortunately, the child becomes the easy thing to focus on because it can be seen, touched, and viewed by others. The same is true when there isn’t a baby present at all and we’re simply talking about “the other woman”.  Whether a baby or a woman, the problems festering behind closed doors have been exposed to the world. That’s a tough pill to swallow for anyone! However, I believe if couples face reality and realize that this baby or this woman was not brought into your life overnight (although it feels that way) then there’s a good chance the marriage has a chance of overcoming the infidelity. This is nothing more than simple cause and effect.

I’ve come to find myself rather irritated with any woman who wants to constantly play the victim in these situations. A victim is a person who is tricked or duped, harmed through actions such as rape, robbery, or accident. In essence, victims could not see it coming and they were helpless. Unless you’re in an arranged marriage, or one you did not willingly invite into your life, how in the world are you a victim? Marriage takes two. Yet, this concept seems to only be convenient when it comes to finances and family photos but not when shit hits the fan? Wrong! Infidelity is a process and there was trouble brewing long before the pregnancy hit the marriage. It also takes a woman who is very confident, strong and resilient to admit to herself that she more than likely ignored signs BEFORE they married, she ignored signs DURING the marriage and she ignored signs AFTER the cheating began (folks always need the hard proof).

The reality IS the hardest part of a failed marriage or one that’s in trouble, is accepting the role they played (whether they did the cheating or not). The drama of the phone call, the pregnancy, the lipstick, the messages found etc. are simply the aftermath! It’s the shot heard around the world but how many guns were silenced, hidden, taken and bullets dodged before it killed the marriage? The two people who are married (if honest with themselves) know for a fact there were too many to count. Infidelity is a process, none of this happens overnight, and you cannot attack a marriage that isn’t open for attack? EVERYONE knows when their marriage has hit that point but what was done about it then? Well, it’s a common approach to ignore reality and “keep up the facade”  for friends and family instead of reaching out for help. The problem with this approach is “small cuts” are easy to ignore until “the cut” is now a deep wound (such as a baby). The great news is, your attention is now back on your marriage! The bad news is, your attention is back on your marriage. Yea, that broken one that isn’t gonna fix itself! In addition, for many, it often alerts you to the fact that you still care and have now realized you DO want your marriage! But an added problem is, you want the old one? Before the drama, when it only had small cuts, it doesn’t look so bad now, does it? That “small cut” is now a deep festering infection in danger of killing the limb entirely. The options now are to live without this limb or fight to heal it knowing it may never function or be the same. The latter is much harder to do, and most choose to live without it. However, it doesn’t guarantee life will be better. If you never learn to address “the small cut” before it becomes in infection, this same system will follow you through the rest of your life because you don’t know HOW to affair proof your relationships.

I tend to have much less popular opinion than most, but I am not saying anything I myself haven’t experienced. I don’t call myself a “victim” and I have never pretended to be one. We allow cuts which tend to be completely manageable things like; I want more quality time, I want to go on more dates, I want a better job, I want us to spend less money, I need more sex, the kids are stressing me out etc. to turn into situations that create space and open the door for others to fill the gap. Don’t let a cut be the reason you ignore your marriage.  Immediately stop to take care of it, and heal the root issue before it grows into greater problems, greater pain, and greater excuses!

Do not let small cuts act as a deep wound in your marriage! I pray marriages never reach that point but when they do, you certainly know the difference between the two and you suddenly feel silly for letting something that was so small become so big. It’s a process, avoid the aftermath by actively being a part of the process to keep a healthy affair proof marriage.

Phone Etiquette: An Acronym Kids Should Worry About

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I read a very interesting article posted on cnn.com a few days back and it’s been on my mind. The article was warning parents about some of the new acronyms on the street and how to stay hip. A few that have been forever burned in my mind include;

GYPO-Get Your Pants Off

9-Parent Watching

99-Parent Gone

PIR-Parent in Room

NIFOC-Naked in Front of Computer

CU46-See you for Sex

The rest of them baffled me too, as my first thought was sheer horror kids aren’t even attempting to spell out their thoughts anymore! How can a parent compete with that? How in the world am I supposed to hover over cnn, msn, Oprah and the likes to give me tidbits of information on ways to communicate with the bots that are now our children? My second thought was, of course, a personal one. Are my kids using this language? We have two children with cell phones and I take a cruise around the phone every once in a while but the truth is with Kick, SnapChat, text messaging and email how in the world are we supposed to keep up?

I believe the answer to that question is relative to two very important things in a relationship between parent and child;

(1) Responsibility

(2) Trust

If your child isn’t responsible or trustworthy than they more than likely are not ready for a cell phone. Society is putting on the pressure but don’t cave, it will only cause more problems than it’s worth.

The other strategic move to set in place is the village. By village, I mean other parents. We must have multiple people keeping after our kids and willing to share what they may have seen in their kid’s phone about your kids etc. The village has become more important than ever this day in age, build it up!

I figure if none of this works and I still find myself drowning in the abyss of teen social media, I can remember three things:

(1) Their kids people! My home, my rules, my way.

(2) He/she who pays the bill, controls the phone.

If they really push, kids should become familiar with an acronym they will have no choice but to communicate in person at school.

(3) MCMPO: Mom Cut My Phone Off

Just remember parents, this is a two-way street & we can’t forget that. There was a time we lived without cell phones and our kids can certainly survive it (and we can too parents)! If cell phone etiquette isn’t to your standard than take that phone away and shape that kid up until it is! The real danger in a kid’s phone is the parent who is afraid to poke around, unwilling to take action and feels trapped by the social pressure!

I’m always open to suggestions, cell phones can be tricky business!

Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/08/living/internet-acronyms-every-parent-should-know/index.html

Working Mothers: What about Us!?

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For some reason I woke up this morning with the thought what about me? What about me, the working mom? I’ve read many blogs, posts, articles, comments and feelings on the stay at home mom. Their many sacrifices, the difficulties of staying home and the lack of understanding the world and often their husbands have for them. Well, I think the world has a lack of understanding for me too, for all working mothers! The working mother  has also made a host of sacrifices and much like the stay at home mom, it takes a shot at her career.

#1 Sacrifice: I’ve returned to work after each maternity leave and I’ve often wondered where does all the juggling really get you? I’ve had the thought many times that I certainly have potential to be in the top ranks of some business by now if it weren’t for the “mommy track”. What’s the mommy track? I’m glad you asked. The mommy track is that very invisible line corporations draw between you, your actual contributions vs. their perceived contributions. In plain English it means, “I can work late whenever you want, I can be here as early as you need me, I’ll never want to chaperone a field trip, I’ll never have to leave work five minutes after I arrived for a fever at school, and I’ll never-never never ask for a week off at time to be home for (choose one, there’s too damn many) break! Yea, that’s actually what they want to hear. The reality is, that’s actually EVERYTHING the mommy track will ask for plus working from home if you’re really a negotiator! Ha! Unfortunately, the mommy track often leads to your actual contributions being perceived much lower than actual value. Surely a semi chaotic, very spontaneous, semi inflammatory, I mean explosive (not helping) calendar worth the tapered lenses we’re often viewed through? Society says?? (insert your opinion here)

#2 Guilt: In addition to the ticking time bomb calendar there’s also days where I’m quite certain we could equal our body weight in the number of tears we’re fighting back heading to the office having sent a child to school a little unsteady. It can be a lot of guilt! STOP! Before you judge, by unsteady I mean; a splinter in a foot, a cheese sandwich with no cheese (oops), an unsigned permission slip, a hole in the khaki’s, a permission slip marked cannot chaperone etc. Yes, we’re ALL mothers…fevers, green goo, pink eye etc. YES! We stay home too. Clearly, all items are survivable, but none the less the things we beat ourselves up about all day long (while working).

#3 The Trophy: Ahhh, the sought after “trophy wife”. I’ve read in so many blogs this is the part where stay at home mom’s often say we have the advantage? We get the pleasure of heading to husband’s Holiday Party, cocktail party etc. and having an all too impressive resume to dazzle his coworkers. It’s more than “I’m a mom.” In reality the five-minute elevator speech about our high-powered careers left out the following; before work I wrestled with a blood blister on a ballerina’s foot, frantically ran after boys making sure they remembered deodorant, picked out a tie for the hubby, asked myself 100 times should I iron this shirt or not? (the answer is always not), fussed in the carpool line while listening to my email notification “bing” my ears to death and calculating if I have enough time to grab coffee. Note: Traffic never allows time for coffee.

I also left out while at work; sat on hold to request a fax from the Dr’s office for one child, while taking a business call on my desk line, responded to the teacher’s email, got a phone call from the school about said blister and also managed to accomplish returning an insane amount of emails, attend meetings on time while earning that paycheck baby! You don’t get to say all of this at the Holiday Party but it’s what you’re thinking! Note: Assistant? Something to consider.

#4 Adult Interaction: Let me keep this short and sweet. The adult interaction at the office often leads to emails that raise my blood pressure, conversations that raise my blood pressure, meetings that raise my blood pressure and unhealthy frequent lunches that raise my blood pressure. Do you see the pattern here? An advantage? I suppose it depends on who’s paying for lunch? Okay. I am glad we cleared that up. Moving on…

#5 Lack of Understanding: If I read one more blog that says “my husband doesn’t understand what I do all day.” Ladies, they’re men! Do you think being a working mother somehow mysteriously makes him an all-knowing expert on any one thing I juggled in a day on top of item #1, #2 and #4. Husbands don’t get the working woman either.

So you see ladies, the moral of the story is we have it hard too. Some would say harder but that’s not for me to judge. We all made our choice. I haven’t walked in any other shoes but my own and I make an effort to understand all walks of life and that’s all I’m trying to do here (be understanding and be understood). The common thread between all of us is motherhood! We keep our guilt, our adult interaction, lack of understanding etc. in different places in different ways. There’s no right or wrong choice, and we’re all being challenged to raise our kids the best way we know how.

To all mothers…keep being amazing!

Insomnia

There’s really no rhyme or reason with you

I set myself up again

I worked out, didn’t eat too late

Drink too much

Showered, and didn’t wait too late

I brushed my hair up, away from my face

Temperature of the room was just right

The pets and kids were quiet, television off

It seemed like the mood was just right

I was gleeful with anticipation to share another night with you

Yet you stood me up, left me to my own thoughts

Left me restless, basically totally screwed

My alarm is now blaring, the sun is peeking in

I’m starting my morning grouchy and pissed off

Oh sleep, why did you do this to me again?

We both know I’ll be back tonight, hopeful, just the same as before

I suppose I better get dressed now…

I have not another minute to fight with you

I don’t know why you do this to me

There’s really no rhyme or reason with you

Single? What Your Closet May Say About You!

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I woke up this morning to the site of a closet overflowing. Filled from top to bottom with shoes, hats, clothing and random belts and purses lopsided on the shelf. It’s clear our impending move could not come at a better time, we’ve outgrown our space. In years past, waking up to this site would have immediately put a crooked smile on my face and urged me to overlook really important things in life to reorganize this dastardly site. Thank goodness I’ve matured a bit in this lifetime.

Today, instead of the crooked smile it made me fondly look at my husband as I remembered my life just a few short years ago. When we began dating he would poke fun at the organization of my closet. The color coding, the neatly placed belts and shoes, the boxes filled with neatly stacked purses and more. While he appreciated the organization, I recall him saying to me one day “there’s no room in your closet for me?” He then went on to explain that I parked in the very middle of my 2 car garage, I utilized every single inch of space in the closet, all the drawers in my dresser and I often had a single Dr. Pepper in the refrigerator. I, of course, took his observations to mean that I was a super put together single woman powerhouse and what more could he want from me? The observations said to him the available space in my life was looking extremely limited and where exactly did he fit in this picture? After giving this clever metaphor some thought it turns out he was absolutely right! As much as I enjoyed spending time together I had never considered “making room for him” in that way inside of my tidy little life. I mean, why in the world would I ever consider a new system in my closet, garage, or Dr. Pepper runs? It had been that way for years! Well, you do consider those things when you open your heart to everything love has to offer. I was guarded, he recognized that and the clever metaphor was the beginning of the end of my single lifestyle as I knew it.

In four years I managed to take the color coded closet (still is on my side-ha!) and make room for his not so color coded semi organized WE closet. It started with me clearing a drawer for him and that drawer turned into a marriage. So you see, I couldn’t be happier to wake up to a closet that is far from the closet of my dreams. It will forever represent a part of myself that I had to let go and remind me daily of all that I gained by doing so.

My single closet is now a distant memory but I’d like to challenge any single women looking for love to inventory their single ways, how much space is available for Mr. Right?

Saturday Shenanigans

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Morning breath, Syrup, Eggs and Orange Juice

Sweeping, sleeping, dancing, cleaning and ringing door bells too

Chatty mornings on the phone, paper crinkling, and newsfeeds scrolling on

Cats meowing, dogs barking, and child’s play on high

Spooning in bed, playing footsie

Morning sex? Yes! Okay

Steamy showers, cologne, lotion, and coffee mixed with perfume

Kids bed head, curling irons heating, and laundry on the stairs

Open windows, cool winter breeze and sun pouring in

To do lists, trash overflowing, laughs and what to do on the brain

Dryer sheets, folding clothes, and possible nap time on the way

More sex, maybe? Okay, yes!

Blair cartoons and sneak away

Closed door romance, music, and what did I forget to do?

Door knocks, Lifetime and mangled hair dos

Jeans and tees, no ironing

All the food you can eat

Cheat day, sleep day, me day or we day

Saturday Shenanigans, the best! Who cares what we do!