First Day of Pre School

So, today was Zoe’s first day of Pre School.

Breathes out slowly.

It was a bit hard to sleep last night.

It was harder on me to leave her there than it was for her.

She had a great time, she behaved, and they seem to be charmed by her.  I didn’t really do much more than stare at the clock the whole time before going to pick her up.

Tomorrow might be a bit more productive as I start adjusting.

Goodness, it was a serious “next step” realization in this whole adulting and parenting thing when I was packing her first lunch for school last night.

Here’s to the start of a long next stage of our lives.

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Overwhelm, my old friend.

I have realized (once again) it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything.  I think many of you have grown accustomed to that at this point.  Even so, my apologies.

While things have certainly gotten better in general, I’m no longer on anti-depressants, and my body is shifting back to it’s own version of “normal”, I’ve been dealing with figuring out just how I want to continue dealing with all of this.

I have started Saw Palmetto, and at the very least it’s helped tame some of the androgen that my body apparently over-produces when I’m not on birth control (which the birth controls I’ve been on happen to target).  I still have some intense mood swings, and the occasional intense pain from my cycle, but at least my skin isn’t as oily, my mustache is going away, and my skin is clearing up.  (Seriously, I started feeling like a teenager.)

Though, the rest of my skin clearing can be attributed to going back on Proactiv.  No, I’m not plugging it, but it’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my couple of stubborn spots.

My weight has fluctuated about 10 pounds, and I’m trying to work on that as gradually as possible.  There’s still some changes to make, and I’m working on those.  We’ve make a concerted effort to changing our evening dining habits, and we’re now in the third week.  We’re also trying to get up and out a little more often, which has been nice.

While a lot has gotten better, I’m still dealing greatly with an over-sensitivity to feeling overwhelmed, and it’s frustrating because I feel like it’s happening for no reason.  So, yeah.  Lots of cyclical emotional garbage, which is nothing new.

The periods seem to come and go quicker, though, which is both good, and a little frustrating.  When things are good, I am pretty productive, but then then I hit the wall pretty hard and it just knocks me so far back.  Trying to power through it as much as possible, though.

But having made a couple new friends and having an amazing friend move to the area has been a big boost for me.

So, here’s to grabbing the sunshine whenever possible and forcing myself to like it.

 

 

It’s About That Time…

I’m going to the doctor.

I know that it’s past time I go for a simple wellness check, and all that.  I know that.  I’m horrible about going to the doctor for myself.  That’s no secret among those closest to me.

But it’s time that I start talking about a little of what’s been going on.  I am not going to go into everything, as I’m not ready for that, but I will go into what I’m comfortable with.  I feel like I need to get this off my chest.

I’ve been feeling like absolute shit.  For a long time, and it’s only getting worse month to month.

I’m not sure what is going on, but I’m going to be asking about a handful of things, to see if I can get a well-rounded run-downs and tests to see what might be going on.  Thyroid, hormone levels, stomach issues, and even updates on the state of my back since I threw it out again in early July.

I have good days here and there, I’ve probably had far more bad than good lately, though.  Emotionally I’m batshit crazy.  It may not seem it to some people, but to me, it is.  This has been an absolutely extreme change in my behaviors, and it scares the living shit out of me.  Which of course (as I’ve mentioned in so many posts) tends to be an extremely vicious circle of emotions surrounding frustration, awareness, lack of control, and guilt when I can’t handle this stuff and I lose it.

There are certainly some stressors in my life, and those things have gone up and down over the last year.  When I’m feeling balanced, I can usually handle these kinds of things pretty well, I may need a period to bitch and moan and cry and I’m done with it.  But I have felt absolutely out of my mind lately and not having my husband here to be my rock has been incredibly hard.  But on the other hand, as I’ve told him, I’m glad he hasn’t been here to see me at what I believe to be my recent “worst”.  I have spent a long time gaining control over my emotions.  All of it is out the window at this point.  I don’t believe that it’s purely stress.  It is to the point where I think there might be something medically amiss in my brain and body at this point.  I do believe that there is a huge possibility that there is some chemical or hormonal imbalance.  Or hell, it could be something else entirely that just happens to have seriously shitty emotional side effects.  Who knows.  But it is doctor-worthy right now.

I’ve been on birth control since I was a teenager, rarely being off of it for half my life.  Since choosing to get pregnant and having my child, I’ve been off of it for a period, but I had the natural boost of pregnancy and breastfeeding to supplement any possible hormonal deficiency I might have had at the time.  During pregnancy I had felt things I had not felt so easily in so, so long.  It was nice.  Even the period following giving birth things were better.

Then I decided to go back on the Nuva Ring, (the Depo Provera shot is what tipped the scales when I got married, into crappy territory).  I started to feel similar effects after returning to the Nuva Ring as I had felt from the Depo Provera shot.  My daughter is almost 2.5 years old now.  Things have only steadily gotten worse for me in that time.  And more so in the last handful of months.

I’ve tried multiple times to get into better, healthier habits.  And the drive and the want is there, but emotionally I feel stunted most of the time.  And the fact that I know this is going on and little to nothing I’m trying to do is helping is the most frustrating thing in the world to me.  Being blissfully unaware sometimes seems like it would have been easier.  But I KNOW something is wrong.

Physically I’ve been feeling like absolute crap most of the time.  My pain levels have been in flux far more than I feel like they should, I’m getting sick far more often than I usually do.  I sometimes can’t eat.  I sometimes eat way too much.  (Thankfully I haven’t gained anything, but I haven’t lost anything, either.)  I force myself to try to do all the things I am supposed to be doing (of course except for making a doctor’s appointment before now).  I’m trying so hard to not be a complete basket case for my daughter.  To not be one around my friends.  **(see bottom of post)

I feel like my entire system is completely out of whack no matter what I do.  My emotions are on the most incredible roller-coaster I’ve felt them be on in a long, long, long time.  I can go from 0-60 and back again within minutes.  My patience can be infinite, or it can be non-existent.  I can be in an almost manic-good mood one moment, and be screaming into a pillow the next.  I’m crying more days than not.  Sometimes for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

I absolutely hate how things have been lately, and I can only hope that these crazy spells aren’t having some kind of lasting effect on my child.  Which I’m sure any of you can commiserate being an understandable fear and probably unfounded in the long run, but hasn’t really helped me in getting myself back on track.

I’m absolutely exhausted from my body not feeling well, I’ve been absolutely exhausted from trying to control all these things that I’ve come to understand that I just plain can’t control on my own right now, in order to make my daughter’s day to day not as bad as I fear it may have been these past weeks.

Normal stresses have felt like impossible things to handle sometimes, and I relish in the good days when I feel like I have the energy and brain power to actually be productive and get things done, especially when it comes to getting things ready for the impending move.  But those good days seem so very, very few and far between.  Realizing the swing from a few bad days here and there to only having a few good days here and there has been a rough one.  Things that shouldn’t stress me out have been things I’ve been practically tearing my hair out over.  Some of the dumbest things ever have made me cry, feel useless, worthless, incompetent, and realizing that none of that is true but I still feel it?  Infuriating.  Being actively aware of the absolute insanity going on inside of you is nuts.  It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, it’s demoralizing.

So, I’m saying it again.  I’m going to the doctor.  Unfortunately they can’t see me for a couple weeks.  I will be calling to see if they can get me in on a sooner cancellation.

**As for my friends (and family), know that I have made the conscious choice to not completely dump all of this on you.  And please, PLEASE do not tell me that I should have.  No, I shouldn’t have.  My choice is my choice.  Don’t say or do anything to make me feel bad for not opening up about this sooner.  Just simply support me if you want to.  I know you’re there.  I know you care.  I’m not sitting here thinking I’m alone.  I know I’m not.  I don’t need platitudes.  I don’t need empty words.  Be there if I do come to you.  That’s all I ask.  And if you feel you can’t, then simply tell me.  I will never hold that against any of you.  I know that dealing with someone else’s issues sometimes is not the best thing for you to take on.  Trust me, I understand, because I at times absolutely have had to wall myself away from other people’s issues because it wasn’t good or healthy for me to deal with them.  It didn’t lessen my love for anyone.  It has been me trying to do best by me.  Not by everyone else, or what everyone else thinks I should be doing.  My choices are for me, and for my daughter right now.  And it may be the ultra hard choice, but that is the one I’m making.

 

Almost 2 Years Old.

It’s that time again.  I’m sure I either waxed poetic or claimed I wasn’t going to wax poetic about my child turning one.  Well, my child is now about to turn two.  It’s been months since I’ve written anything, and a heck of a lot has happened since then, both in general and with my ever growing child.

It is hard to believe that two years have gone by since I gave birth.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we did her first birthday photos.  It is even harder to believe that it’s only two days away, and three days until we celebrate it with some friends of ours.

I can’t believe my child has gone from toddling around awkwardly to awkwardly running all over creation, climbing on everything, and talking up an absolute storm.  She’s forming full sentences, with appropriate structure and everything.  Sure, not all the time, but she’s swiftly moved from two and three word phrases to full on sentences involving up to six words at a time.

Her problem solving skills have grown exponentially, she’s definitely a thinker.  Her faces of concentration are pretty awesome.  She loves her flash cards and loves playing the matching game with them.  She’s quite good at it.  Her vocabulary is growing and growing every day.  Her pronunciation is of course shaky at best, but hell, she’s not even two yet.

She may still be quite small, seeing as many 18 month olds are her size, including her cousin, but she really has been growing in her own right lately.  She was about 20 pounds, a hair over at her last appointment for shots which I held off until she was 20 months old.  Now she’s floating around 23-24 pounds.  She’s gotten noticeably taller as well.  Though, it’s still pretty humorous to go through her clothing and put away things that are as small as 9 months!  Quite a bit of her 18 month things are still rather large on her, and mostly the pants are what gives her issues.  We can get away with lots of sizes for her tops.

She is certainly going through a lot of the pretty typical toddler things.  She has her times when she has her fits over everything, small or large.  And I know intellectually that it’s just the stage, she’s struggling to understand and be understood with a less than effective method of communication at this point in her life.  But I’m also seeing that the more she’s really starting to put more and more things together not just in her mind, but also through her speech, she’s calming down a bit here and there as we are understanding her more and more.

There is definitely the expected frustrations for her as well as for us.  We are imperfect beings, and she is learning how to communicate, and we are re-learning how to communicate.   It’s a huge learning lesson for us, not just as parents, but as adults.  It’s a struggle at times to find the most effective ways to communicate things to her, but also to find the patience in the more rushed and stressful moments in our lives.

All of it is beautiful.  It’s a reminder that life is so much more than the tiny little orbit we tend to create for ourselves as we grow and age.

Recently being able to meet and spend time with the new additions to our extended family, it really is a stroll down memory lane, back to some of the stages in the past two years our little girl has gone through.  She has a younger girl cousin, 6 months younger.  And the difference 6 months makes at this early stage in life is markedly different.  She has two brand new little boy cousins, right now only just over a month old, and of course it brings us both back to the time just after Zoe was born.

We’re raising the next generation of children in our families.  It wasn’t that long ago that we were still “the next generation of children” in our families.  I can only imagine that perhaps our own parents may have come to a similar realization and contemplation at the time they started their own families and started having their own children, us.  I wonder now whether or not my own child, her cousins… will they also have a point in their lives down the road where they realize this for themselves?

Two years old.  It seems too quick, too soon, but also is only the very beginning of a hopefully long, healthy, beautiful, and adventurous life.

Two years old, and I can only hope to help my child grow into a good person.  They will make their choices, as I know we have.  I can only hope to perhaps urge my child to be a thinker, regardless of the choices they make.  I hope I can show them the support and love I have for her in her growth and self-discovery.  The possibilities of what is to come as “dictated” by experiences past, and the kinds of stereotypes that always hold some semblance of truth from generation to generation terrify me.  But I welcome the challenge.  We made this huge choice to have a child.  I will continue to try to rise to the occasion.  To hold to that decision and to do the very best that I can and have as few regrets as possible.

Zoe, my love, my heart, you are a piece of me, and I can only hope that that piece becomes greater than my whole.  I love you.  To the moon and back, I love you.  I only hope you grow up to know in your heart that I do, that your father does.  More than anything in this world, more than ourselves, we love you.

Happy Second Birthday.

Thankful for… Day 5 2013

November 5, 2013

I’m thankful for being reminded that I am human.  And even when I have seemingly unending periods where I’m just plain tired and have no patience, that there is still patience that comes from the endless well of love deep inside of me.

I am thankful for cuddles from the incredible tiny human being we were lucky enough to have given birth to.  I’m thankful for the cuddles when she’s feeling fine, and when she’s not, because it reminds me that she has her own forming version of love for me, and she finds comfort in my arms.

I’m thankful for great friends and a new-found tradition of karaoke on a regular basis.  Though, there will definitely be times when we won’t be able to go as often, and periods where we will be so far apart we can’t do it at all, but the laughs, the fun, and the memories will always be there to pick back up when we are able to see each other again.  It’s nice to be reminded that taking time out on a fairly regular basis really helps recharge the batteries.

A New Mother Looks At 30.

I have to admit, I was hoping to some extent that as I got older I’d have to deal with less insecurities.  Eventually I realized that there weren’t less, they were just different.  Not all of them, but there are definitely some different ones now, ones I no longer have that I used to, and some that still pop up from time to time.

Some of the odder ones that I’ve realized are often about my age and my decision to wait so long to start.  I could have started earlier.  But I didn’t feel like I was ready and to that end I’m glad I waited until I felt like I was ready.  But then I also think about later down the road when my kid(s) are growing and just where I’m going to be at different stages of their life.  I really sometimes wish I had been ready earlier than I was.  And not just for myself, but for James as well, since he’s two years older than me.  It’s one rather large insecurity that I really do war inside myself over.

And of course, the fleeting insecurities about whether or not I’m doing a good job as a new mother, whether or not I’m doing things right, or whether or not I’m doing enough to help mu child grow and learn and develop.  The insecurities from reading about what other children are doing at what stages, be it from people in my extended friend and acquaintance pool, or articles here and there, etc.

Then there are the insecurities of just plain being a woman who had a TON of insecurities as a girl.  Typical stuff, reinforced by societal pressures, peer pressures, bullying from my peers, psychological bullying and abuse over the years, emotional bullying and abuse, bad decisions, a lack of self-esteem, massive confusion about self-identity, a complete lack of ability to stand up for myself for years, and a late-come period of discovery and finding balance once I started to.  Which wasn’t easy by any means and the transition was a long, and rough one.

I’ve overcome a lot of those things but the ghosts of them still wander the halls inside of me when I’m feeling particularly off-kilter and unsure.  I’m actually quite proud of the strides I’ve made over the past 10 years.

Another thing is the interesting feeling of hitting 30.  Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Some of you have “been there, done that” and no, I’m not calling 30 old, ancient or any other negative thing.  But aging is just as redundantly predictable as anyone before me has ever said.  And for those of you that are younger than me, yes…you will probably feel similar things as you reach more life milestones.  It’s kind of hilariously ironic when you realize when you’re in your teens you thought “nah, I’m not going to say/do/feel those things.”  I sure as hell did.  And guess what?  I’ve realized every last one of them so far.

Perhaps not in the same ways, but in my own ways I have.  Not necessarily from the same perspective as those before me, or even as those who will come after.  I’ve realized that I often don’t see things the same way other people do.  Similarly often, but enough different in my own eyes.  (People tend to view others in the same way they view themselves, instead of as someone singular.)

Aging “milestones” have been things that have effected me a bit more since hitting my 20’s.  18 passed without much accord, same as 21.  25 hit a bit harder, but at that point I was in a very different place in my life so I suppose I had more room for introspection at that point.  The whole no longer being in my early 20’s and now being in my mid to late 20’s was certainly something to chuckle about.  And since then there has been even more room for even more introspection and self-connection.  So, hitting 30 for me is an interesting experience, but not necessarily in the ways some might think are predictable.  I’m not feeling “old”, or anything like that.  But I am recognizing that I am now no longer in my 20’s and am in that weird limbo stage.  I’m not necessarily seen as a “youngin'” so much anymore by those older than me, and I’m not exactly seen as someone who is “younger” by those younger than me.

I know I just shouldn’t really think about it, but hey.  It’s there.  I might as well shake hands and get to know my own feelings.  I’ve found more and more that dealing with my own feelings often have quite a bit to do with how other people view me.  And again, that’s something that most will say that I shouldn’t worry about.  But to some extent I do.  But not in the typical way.  Sure, I care because I like to embody a particular thing.  I don’t try to seem a way I’m not, but to actually BE something I’d like to see other people respond well to.

I never quite understood people say they don’t care what other people think about them.  Because I think we all on some level intrinsically do.  Except of course for the few clinical cases where it’s just not psychologically possible.

Ok, back on topic, if I can manage.  Aging.  Yeah, “it’s just a number”, blah blah blah.  But it is something to mark.  It starts with kids wanting to be older so quick, then that middle stage where people want it to just plain stop, then back to celebrating it.  It’s interesting to look at.  And to just really be honest with one’s self about just where our own heads lie on the whole thing.  Oh, and ignoring it isn’t the same as not really caring.

There’s the age-old (har har) contemplation of our mortality.  Yeah, I think about it.  Still not sure where I am on it.  To some extent it’s scary, but at the same time it’s obviously inevitable.

I guess one of the big things tends to be whether or not I feel ok with where I am at whatever age I’m at.  And I feel pretty damned good.  Sure, there are things I wish I’d have gotten done by now, and I’m sure some basic coulda woulda shouldas that a lot of people think occasionally.  But overall, I’m far happier with things as they are than they could be were things different.

Being 30 often seems to solidify for some people the whole “I’m now an adult.” thing.  I have to say, I’ve felt like an adult for a while…but I still kind of feel like I’m still a teenager at times.  Well, I did for a portion of my 20’s.  Not so much lately though.  But it’s not like some magical moment or anything like that.  I’ve felt less and less like the younger me, especially when around people that are a handful of years younger than me.  Usually only in certain surroundings, though considering I don’t really hang out with a whole hell of a lot of people.

For me though, I’m still just kind of floating around the idea.  Sometimes it like “Oh lord…I’m 30 already…when did that happen?” and “Well, I’m 30 now!” like it’s some kind of accomplishment rather than just a natural progression of aging.  Not sure if it’s an accomplishment considering I probably would have made it to this age anyway.  Lord knows where I might have been had I not met James, but that’s another post for another time.

It’s interesting to think about in terms of years.  30 years in reference to other things (mostly objects) is a good chunk of time.  In other references, it’s a drop in the bucket.  But when it comes to human life, it used to be a lot, then middle-aged, and now…we’re often still seen as little more than “kids” to some people.  I think 30 years is a good number.  And interesting one.  It’s a very interesting place in life.  And for each person it’s a little different.  But to me at this point, as I’ve felt for the last couple years, it feels like age-social limbo.  Not young, but not old, a transition place between how we may have felt in our late teens and early twenties and how we might feel when we get out of that stage in life.

I wonder if for other people there is such an acute realization of straddling the fence so to speak?  Still to some extent feeling like we can relate because it wasn’t that long ago, but also beginning to relate more and more to those that are older than us.  I wonder if for those that might have felt it, was it as weird for them as it is for me?  Especially being a new mother, it feels like I’m tossed back in some ways to my mid 20’s because of those around me that have kids the same age being in their mid 20’s.  But then there’s  the moments later silent reminder that I’m a handful of years older, and some of them have more kids than I do.  Did I make a mistake in not starting earlier?  Have I inadvertently shot myself in the foot?  Have I caused issues for my husband who is two years older than me?  Was I being too selfish in waiting, and making him wait?

No one in my life overtly has made any indication that they feel this way about how long I waited to become pregnant.  Considering I was 28 when I became pregnant, and now only shortly after she’s turned one, I’m now thirty….I’m not sure I really considered overtly the whole…majority of a year I’d spend pregnant before actually giving birth.  I know it’s a weird train of thought, but I hope it’s coming across clear enough.  Yes, I know that it takes 9 months fir gestation.  But I wonder if I just didn’t really put two and two together when I was doing my whole “clock is ticking” math.  Should I have started earlier?  I don’t know.  Was I just holding too hard to the fear of it?

Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I may think about these things from time to time, but it’s not like it’s causing a lack of sleep.  I like to ponder things.  It’s not out of some kind of weird paranoia or resentment of myself, or a way to over-analyze myself to the point of becoming neurotic over it.  And (as I’ve probably said over and over in other posts) seriously.  Don’t sit there thinking that I’m making myself nuts over these things.  Don’t think you have to placate me with “Oh, don’t worry about it!” kinds of comments.  Trust me, I’m not worrying over it.  Liking to ponder and think and work through feelings from time to time is not a bad thing and I’ve become very good at finding the right time to work on them, for myself.  And just because I put it here, doesn’t mean I need some kind of “saving” from myself.  I put it here for my own reference later on, and as a therapeutic tool, because writing is a fantastic way of really formulating our own thoughts and feelings so that we can face them for ourselves.  I also put it here so perhaps others that might have felt some of the same things can see that someone else has been there, and that it’s perfectly ok to have been there.  It’s ok to think and feel, and to face those thoughts and feelings head on and learn to deal with them and embrace them rather than allowing them to negatively impact our lives.

And as always, I know very few people who have similar intentions behind the way they think as I do, so I know that perhaps a lot of things I bring forth are often viewed far differently than how I intend, or would like them to be viewed.  And perhaps over time more people will start viewing things a little differently than they have and break free from a lot of the societal stigmas regarding thought and emotion.

It’s ok to feel weird about something like aging.  I’ve tried to embrace feelings rather than attempt to justify them falsely, or ignore them, or deny them, or mask them as something else.  It’s ok to feel good about aging.  Never anything wrong with that.   It’s ok to have reservations and concerns about it as well.  It’s natural to some extent.  But a lot of the knee-jerk reactions about age and aging have been created, reinforced, perpetuated and stigmatized by society, media and people have been all too happy to unthinkingly eat it all up and regurgitate it.

Sometimes I feel a little isolated because of how differently I view things these days.  James thankfully is an incredibly open-minded person and at the least tolerates my extremely wandering thoughts at times.  🙂  And I can’t thank him enough for that.  But then, he’s also seen me progress from who I was when we met, to who I am now.  He’s been through the majority of the transition into my own person.  And I love him every single day a little more for who he’s been this entire time, supporting me through the things I’ve gone through.  And I can only hope that he feels similarly about me, and I hope I’ve been able to provide support in kind to him.

I only hope that we go through more milestones of our own, and now Zoe, and any other children we may have, together and with as much love and support or more than we’ve had so far.  I look forward to every single one of them, as long as he’s there with me.

Eyes On You…

I know for a fact that I’m in a bit of a sensitive state at the moment, but I have the strong feeling that it’s not just that that makes me feel like I’m being watched and judged regularly when I am out with my daughter, whether or not my husband is there.

There are times I can easily shake it off and just tell myself I’m being silly and people are just glancing the way I’ve always glanced at noises and movements around me.  But there are other times when I’m just not so sure.  It really harkens back to the days of my youth when I was bullied and picked on for so many years.  With that kind of thing happening, it was extremely hard to not think that every little quiet exchange, whispered thing, or random glance in the middle of a conversation wasn’t some kind of negative thing about me.

I’ve come a very, very long way since then and while I have the occasional passing thought and fleeting paranoid feeling, it quickly passes and becomes nothing more than a momentary uncomfortable warm burst of air before sliding back into cool comfort.  But with the kinds of stories I hear from friends, read about in articles, and from time to time witness myself, it’s hard to not fall back into the old, insecure mindset.  (Thanks, school-yard bullies, thanks.)

But in an attempt to really get more of a handle on this thing, I feel like writing about it will help me.  If it helps someone else, all the better.  But you can be sure I’m doing this for selfish reasons first.  You’re welcome.  😀

I have felt for a long time that really addressing issues head on rather than just tossing them aside because they are negative, is a far better way of dealing with things.  It brings the issue itself into a better focus, gives it a bit of tangibility and something for me to work with, instead of against.  Some people may consider it “picking it apart” but honestly, sometimes picking something apart is the best thing you can do to it.

Sure, it’s not good for me to allow myself to feel insecure in myself, and my parenting, and all that.  I recognize that, and support the sentiment.  But I don’t agree with just basically giving a big, unseen “you’re number one” one fingered wave to the people who upset me.  There is the idea that no one can make us feel a certain way, and that it’s really our fault for allowing ourselves to feel that way.  And again, I understand the sentiment in that, but I think it’s greatly flawed.

We absolutely have the ability to change our perspective on something and change how we feel about things, and change how we react to things. But we have to have some kind of positive thing to draw from in order to know that it’s even possible in the first place.  But the onus isn’t completely ours to change it.  The responsibility of this is also on other people.  (Yes, I know, it’ll never be a perfect world.)  And I could sit here and go all couch-psych on this and relate it back to my bullied childhood in a long, rambling and likely very boring post.  I could probably, and would probably, also relate it to all sorts of other pseudo-psychological issues in society and socializing.

I will focus on one point, though.  Yes, we can learn to deal better with the feelings that pop up from whatever might be causing said feeling.  But perhaps we should be making a more proactive move to help other people stop being the source of that issue for us.  It’s certainly no secret that people look, stare, sneer, roll their eyes and make comments either to whomever they’re with, or to the person with the child.  We’ve all heard stories.  And many of us have our own.

Perhaps instead of ignoring them, or even getting rude back, or whatever other approach has been taken, perhaps people should be taking a step up, and going at it from a polite, smiling but firm approach.  To let people know that to be quite honest, we don’t give a flying, flaming rat’s patootie what you think about whatever is going on.  Though, of course…not in those words.  There are times when unsolicited advice is an ok thing.  There are far more times when it is not appropriate at all.  And most people have absolutely no idea how to deliver unsolicited advice to people, let alone strangers in a way that is in any way actually helping anyone.  So, just don’t do it.

The amount of hypocrisy in a lot of it is really ridiculous.  The worst is when it’s coming from people (unfortunately, largely mothers) who have kids with them as well who are acting/behaving much worse than the person they’re addressing or making snide remarks about.  When it comes from people who obviously have had time to have their own kids and those kids are grown and possibly have their own kids, it just makes me shake my head.  Look, you’ve been there.  Sure, it may have been a different time, but dealing with kids hasn’t changed all that much.  Some kids do great, some do not.  Some kids have bad days, no matter how well-behaved they are normally.  And people who have had kids themselves should be far more appreciative of that fact.  Appreciative, understanding and capable of realizing that perhaps it’s just one of those days, and the parent is doing the best they can.

(Don’t get me started on people who really don’t actually teach their kids basic life/social skills.  That’s another rant for another day, and probably a completely separate blog.)

When dealing with infants, guess what?  They cry!  Can’t really help that.  And if you see someone is trying so hard to soothe a baby, and is frazzled because it might just be their first child, and already look embarrassed to death, don’t wear your rear for a hat.  Give them a smile and let them know that it’s really not that big of a deal.  If you really can’t handle it, go the hell away.  Your inability to be understanding for whatever reason is an inexcusable catalyst for being a jackass.

For you people who stare, guess what?  We do see you.  Hey glancers, we notice you too.  You’re not being sneaky, or inconspicuous.  We have eyes in the backs of our heads, or did you not get the memo on that?  Take a look, and leave it at that.  Is it really in your best interest, or the interest of anyone else for you to shift your focus to those with children?  No.  It does nothing for you.  It does nothing for the parent(s).  It does nothing for the people you happen to be with.  Butt the heck out.

And for those of you that stage whisper.  Really?  What, do you still think you’re in high school?  Were you that person that bullied others as a child?  Were you the one that gossiped, cajoled, and spread rumors about people?  Guess what, whether you intended us to hear or not, we likely did.  And no, it doesn’t make you cool.  It makes you “that guy”.  Grow the heck up.

Now that I’ve vented a little.  😀  Back to the actual discussion.

Perhaps we shouldn’t take such a passive approach to these things.  Perhaps we should screw up our own courage and just make eye contact with these people.  Really make eye contact.  Hold it for a few seconds.  Let them know we really do notice.  And if we’re not already in a pitchfork wielding, laser beams from our eyes kind of mood, smile at them.  Or smirk.  Whatever is your style.  If someone actually comes up and tries to say something, or offer unsolicited advice, smile and say “Thanks, but I didn’t ask you.”  Sure, it may sound confrontational, but hey, we’re not the ones that started it.  I do think these people need to be made more aware of the kinds of effects they have.  Regardless of their intent, whether it be good, neutral, bad, indifferent…

Now, if someone is seriously trying to be helpful, that’s different in my eyes.  I’ve had people who you could tell were seriously just trying to be friendly and helpful.  Those people I can honestly appreciate for who they are.  They are the people who make me think of the saying “it takes a village”.

But for those that are just doing it because they can’t keep their pie-holes shut?  They need to know that they need to keep their pie-holes shut.  Carry some pie around, to shove into the hole when they feel the need to say something where it’s not their place.  A passing comment, however it’s meant really doesn’t generally come off as anything other than “I want to smack that….” I’m sure you can fill in the rest of that to your heart’s content.

Just because I’m young, doesn’t mean I’m clueless about raising a child.  Just because you happen to be witness to a mere ten seconds of whatever is going on with me and my child, doesn’t mean you magically know in that moment what’s best for my child.  You do not know me, you do not know my child.  So really, just keep your comments to yourself.  They aren’t appreciated.

Next time you want to open your maw to let some drivel flop out, don’t.  Take a second to think about whether or not you’d want someone coming up to you and making a comment, judging you and how you do things in a split second.  A drop in the bucket of a random stranger’s life.