Friday, April 19, 2013

trying to land the helicopter

whenever i ask Lily what she would like to do some day, her answers are always wild:
chase tornadoes, study volcanoes, see an earthquake, swim with sharks.

it is in these moments that i realize that i have become...a mom.

when arnie asks me what i would do if we won the lottery, my answer is simple: buy a home with just enough space, buy an RV and travel the country.

since i was young, i've loved to read and from that love of reading came a thirst for knowledge. since having children, i deal with this by watching loads of documentaries, the history channel, and the biography channel (and some animal planet!) -reading books these days is a true luxury; finding a book after starting it is a treasure hunt that could last days.

when i hear "chase tornadoes", i think of debris, rain wrapped tornadoes (hard to see until they're on you), i think F5 on the fujita scale, i think "oh my goodness, the danger that would come with such a job!"

when i hear "study volcanoes", i think of Pompeii, i think Mt St Helens, i see clouds of ash and poison filled gasses. i think massive eruptions and no time to escape.

when i hear "see an earthquake", i think the burning of San Francisco. i see mass destruction: gas line breaks, endless fires, crumbled buildings and missing people.

when i hear "swim with sharks", i hear only ridiculousness. i see Jaws, i hear the music. i see shark attack victims. i see dark, open water. i think scuba diving accidents. i think "when animals attack".

can you hear the helicopter yet? yes, i am a helicopter rehab, trying to land.

when Lily says tornadoes, she thinks adventure. she wants to see and feel mother nature in full force. she sees the beauty in lightening (i do, too..just from a distance). she sees wonderment in funnel clouds.
she sees Hawaiian islands in volcanoes. she sees science in an eruption. she sees the massive power of an explosion and wants to know more.
when she says she wants to see an earthquake, i see the "red cross" come out in her. i watch her as she watches documentaries and i see her dismay as some people run away...when she sees people being left behind. she wants to know why we cant "predict" an earthquake (the same for the volcano) and why we havent figured more out about fault lines.
when she says she wants to swim with sharks, she sees excitement. she believes whole-heartedly in living life to its fullest and last drop and while i cannot concur that swimming with sharks would be worth it...i shake my head and listen to the energy in her voice when she talks about what she wants to do.

i'm told i watch too many documentaries. i'm told i read too much. i argue that knowledge is something we should never stop acquiring, but i do see their point. i see danger in everything: from roller coaster rides to swimming in open water; and i see a lot of it based on the things i've watched and read.

so this year, i'm trying to hold myself back and bite my tongue more often. i'm trying to educate Lily on the things she loves and finds excitement in so that *should* she actually decide to take that path, then maybe some of my caution will have rubbed off on her.

see, when i say buy an RV and travel the country, Lily sees area 51, California, Mt St Helens. i see not straying too far off the beaten path. i see earthquakes in California (i'd just avoid that state altogether), i see the chance of a violent volcano, i see desert and i think broken down RV, dehydration, death. yeah...i need help. :)

Lily's teaching me caution can hold you back from the fun stuff, so i'm trying to reach a goal of a happy medium...and trying like heck to land this helicopter; because i've read hovering can actually cause crashes and the chance of survival from a helicopter crash is slim without massive injury..and i hate heights...and.... (hehehe)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

i am a mommy girl living in a mommy world.

i had always hoped that when high school ended that the whole competition thing would end. i had hoped that there wouldnt be the comparison of "you did this? oh, well, alllow me to one up you."

apparently, i was blissfully ignorant to the world of grown up girls. i say girls because i want to show a difference between the girls i encounter and the women i call friends.

becoming a mother was (a defining moment in my life) but an utter blur. i remember very little about lily's infant moments and that hurts. i dont know why i dont remember...i just dont. i remember her first night she cried and cried. how i had no help when it came to feeding her. i was uneducated and so was my husband. we were lost and i had no idea who to turn to. i ache when i think back to those days and what i know now. how i hope no one else will ever be as ignorant as we were. i needed help and i never even asked.
i didnt heed the advice or warnings of anyone. i was burnt out on well wishers and dooms dayers. you encounter a lot of both when you are very visably pregnant.

the second time around, after a loss, i took everyone's advice. i looked for help. i joined groups. i asked questions, i read books. there's no such thing as too much information. i read avidly on different facebook/internet groups of moms and moms to be....and it was those "groups" i had joined that i was introduced to the dark, dark world of mommy hatred.

there are more cliques in mommy world than there are in high school. there's tons of resentment, judgement, smack talk, and so much passive aggressiveness that i truly felt like i had stumbled down a rabbit hole of hatred.

i thought that if you were a mom or a mom to be, that you would be supported- because as i learned the first time around, we ALL need some help...and there's always someone who is willing to give you advice.

but that isnt the case. if you use disposable diapers, you will be judged. if you are a stay at home mom, you will be judged. if you go back to work, you will be judged. if you (for whatever reason) formula feed, you will be judged. if you breast feed (extended-especially) you will be judged. if you breast feed privately only, you will be judged. if you dont feed solids until your baby is 1, you will be judged. if you use cow's milk after the age of 1, you will be judged. if you vaccinate, you will be judged. if you choose to circumsize your son, you will be judged. if you choose public school, you will be judged.

and not only will be harshly criticized. i read in disbelief the hurtful things these girls were writing. these strangers...who were answering an unknown mother's questions. this poor woman was being berated...and it just-kept-going.

it became a train wreck that i couldnt turn away from. i had to go back and read more. there were so many reasons for moms to hate other moms. i had no idea. i began to look at everyone differently. while i was standing in line at the grocery store, i would silently glance around at other women and wonder if everyone thought like that. is everyone really that hateful and judgemental?

i was guarded before...but now, i'm even more so. i dont trust girls. no matter how friendly they may seem, i keep my distance. i'm kind to everyone, but friends? eh...not so much. i've seen too much comparisons among moms. "oh your 12 month old isnt walking yet? mine was walking at 7 months...maybe there's something wrong with your kid."

i'm wrapped up in a world of home schooling, child rearing, trying to keep the house remotely clean, laundry, and teething babies.

i know friendships are important and it's not that i dont have time. i really dislike when people say those words. there's always time. to me, right now, there are just more important things to tend to that make me happy. maybe i'll make some friends...i'm just not actively searching or seeking them out.

i've learned a few things from these groups.

*dont judge anyone. everyone is walking their own path with their own problems. their choices affect you in no way whatsoever. show kindness and wish them well. sometimes people only need a smile or some friendly words to brighten their day

*every child develops at their own pace. you are the best judge of whether something is developmentally wrong with your child. i've learned that my kids are slow to come around. they are on the other end of the stick...eventually they hit the mean time, i enjoy these baby days that dont last long and i dont force them to 'grow up'.

*treat everyone as you would want to be treated. maybe even go so far as to speak to others as if your grandma were sitting beside you. there's no need for meaness.

*give them support. they're on that site...asking for help because they feel lost and they are reaching out. even if you dont understand their situation, try to show support or even just keep your mouth shut.

it's rare that i frequent those sites anymore. i look occassionally...especially when i see potty training advice/picky eaters/feeding large families on a budget. and dont get me wrong, there are some great sites out there and what's even better is when they have great moderators that keep the meaness to a minimum.

bottom line: try to ask real people that you know the questions that you have. ask your mom, your grandma, your aunt, your sister (in law), your dad, your brother.
and even more important: have doctors in your life that you trust. i happen to have 2 extraordinarily awesome doctors in my life whom i trust whole heartedly.

i mean, honestly, who would you take sound advice from? a stranger on the internet, or the doctor whom you see on a regular basis? use your head here, folks...only one of them can actually make you feel better should you catch the flu.