Gentle reminder to not be a dick

Last week I was in daze, a category 5 hurricane hit the island of St. John and I couldn’t get in touch with my dad. I had not idea if he was alive, had food or water, a house, how his friends faired and I also didn’t know how to help. Everything was unsettled and scary. Yet my kids still had to go school. Groceries had to be bought. My son had his 5th birthday. Life happens whether you’re in the mood for it or not.

Everything turned out to be okay for my dad but this was a gentle reminder that you never know what someone is going through: their marriage could be falling apart, they could have a sick parent, be struggling with an illness you can’t see. For me it felt so strange to be doing mundane life tasks with these ever looping thoughts about how my dad is doing racing through my brain. Making small talk at school pick up felt like a huge feat. Not crying when someone asked how my day was at the checkout line was harder. Everything felt bigger and harder then it was.

I also get that people have been through worse. People have actually lost their parents. People who suffer with depression or mental illness may feel like this a lot of the time. It’s a hard place to be but we will all be in these situations from time to time. I don’t really have any words of wisdom except to be kind. To everyone. As much as possible. You never know what their going through and we’re all going to go through some shit. When my life is fine, I just assume everyone else’s is. I forget that the universe doesn’t hand out ‘oh fuck’ cards at the same time. So if someone needs support or is distant or bit of an asshole: remember they might be going through something you don’t know about.

Also, remember the acts of kindness that were given to you in your moments. I had so many people reach out and try to help put me in touch with my dad. People I didn’t even know. So many people donated to St. John Rescue fund. There are good people and great acts of kindness in these moments. As that sweet piece of ass Mr. Rogers said so beautifully, “Look for helpers”. They are there.

Giving is Living

I recently saw someone on Facebook complaining about all the ‘free stuff’ the Hurricane Harvey people were getting & that they didn’t deserve it because they were idiots that didn’t evacuate fast enough.

Of course my first reaction was blind rage. These people have just lost their homes, their safety, a sense of security and smaller things like family photos but what this person was upset about was that people were sending money or supplies to help. The insanity of that is UNREAL.

The lack of empathy, compassion and basic humanity is so maddening. That a natural disaster can cause people’s first reaction to be “Yeah but what are they taking from me.” “They don’t deserve it”  and that somehow giving & helping become the enemy.

I’m honestly trying understand the mindset of this person and people who think like her (because believe it or not there were other people who AGREED WITH HER on Facebook. IN PUBLIC).

I want to understand people who are upset about people giving whether it be in wake of a natural disaster or welfare or even immigration.

My best guess is that there are three core beliefs that stop someone from giving:  1) Don’t take what is mine 2) A belief that there is not enough for everyone 3) I’m better than them.

‘Don’t take what is mine’ mentality is HUGE. It’s part of our reptilian brain. People believe that they are entitled to whatever they “earned” or just happen to end up with. Instead of viewing themselves as lucky (lucky to have a good paying job or lucky to grow up in the richest country in the world) and wanting to give back they become hoarders of their good fortune. They see themselves as entitled and they don’t have to share it because the other person didn’t ‘earn’ theirs. But none of us earned being born in the United States, we happened into it. It was not a choice we made but a circumstance we encountered and we should be grateful that we were lucky enough to be born here. We did nothing to earn it. We are a country built on immigrants and the fact that people are looking down on them is infuriating. We are them. Just a few generations ahead.

People who don’t give are also afraid. Afraid there isn’t enough. They live in fear instead of love. People who are afraid of giving aren’t happy people. It shows so strongly. They are bitter and scared and living a life of fear. Hoarding and thinking only about yourself and your family is not going to make the world a better a place and on your death bed will not make you feel like you lived a life you can be proud of.

Studies have shown that feeling connected to people and community is the best way to ensure a happy life. People get married to this idea that helping is taking away from their own self or their own stash when in fact it’s helping them create a more meaningful life. When people give it makes them feel better. Helping and giving are the best ways to feel connected to people and humanity and helps perpetuates the idea of “Treat people the way you want to be treated” If a natural disaster strikes do want people to give and help or do want people to call you an idiot for not evacuating fast enough. The choice (and Karma) is yours.

People also look for arbitrary reasons why they are “better” than others. Better schooling, more money, less money, where they grew up, what kind of clothes or shoes they do or don’t have.  If you hold tight to the idea you are ‘better’ than people for whatever reason: you are insecure person. This girl thought she was better then the poor people in Houston because she thinks she would have evacuated quicker. It’s doesn’t show how dumb the people of Houston were but how dumb (and mean) this girl is.

Luckily these people are the exception and not the rule. I am always so proud and impressed with the great acts of kindness and humanity people show in times of tragedy and I strongly believe that most people are good people.

I also strongly believe that life is not about how much you have but about how much you give.

Giving, self care, love, self love,

Period Party.

The older I get the more I appreciate my parents. Quirks and all. You don’t realize how hard it is to be a parent till you become one and sometimes they just miss the mark. For instance when my Dad wanted to invite my new friends to celebrate me finally getting my period.

So when I was 13 I switched schools from a small all girl school to regular jr. high and was secretly dying to get my period. I equated having a period to be a ‘real’ teenager/woman. I couldn’t wait to ‘bitch’ to friends about my cramps and say things like, “Sorry… I’m totally PMSing.” Plus I was on the later side of getting it, all my cooler friends had their periods & I felt like I was missing out.

So when it finally happened imagine my disappointment when I instantly didn’t become the coolest girl in school. In fact it happened at Skate Town USA (already not that cool) and I was unprepared so we had to leave & go to my friends grandparents house and I’m pretty sure they gave me an adult diaper.

This is obviously not what I envisioned. I had romanticized me asking some popular girl for a tampon as we rolled our eyes and talked about how periods suck. Not leaving a roller skate park to bum a diaper off a confused grandmother.

Also, I lived with my dad at the time and I had to tell him because he needed to get me some actual supplies. His response was, “Wow. Great. Should we have a party? You could invite your new friends.” He wasn’t joking. He wanted a Period Party. As if everything I had experienced was not humiliating enough, I now had to convince my dad not to have a “Period Party” and to please for the love of everything holy do not talk/invite/announce my menstrual cycle to really anyone.

I’m still not sure if this was a confused sincere Dad moment or he was trying to murder me through embarrassment. Either way this is my PSA to ladies and gents who have weird dads: it gets better(ish). Everything feels magnified when your a teenager but you will get through it and at the very least you will have some funny stories & at the very, very least: you’ll never be a basic bitch with nothing to talk about.

I should note that I love my dad very much and he has taught me the importance of acceptance and fighting for what you believe in and for that I will be forever grateful, even if one of those things I ended up fighting for was the right to not have a period party.

 

Funny | Parenting | Teenage Nightmares

 

Sorry Not Sorry.

So I love people who can be self depreciating & don’t take themselves too seriously. Those really are my people but there is a fine between people who are funny and self depreciating to people who are just chronic apologizers.

People who constantly apologize, call themselves dumb or talk about how they can’t do things might think they are being self deprecating or humble but really they’re just buzzkills.

The truth is most people don’t need or want someone to feel bad about themselves to make themselves feel better. I’m a strong believer in “We only roast the ones we love.” This includes yourself. If you don’t love yourself: you can’t roast yourself because if you do roast yourself you end up having a Chevy Chase Roast: where it’s clear that everyone hates him and is just there for the free booze.

So to the over-apologizers of the world: we know you’re sorry. And we don’t care. Seriously, no one gives a shit. Most of what you worry about is in your head. People don’t really care about the things you can’t do, only about the things you can do. So if you can’t cook or you wet the bed a ton, focus on how you know the best take out restaurants in town or how good you are at washing sheets.

Seriously, I do a lot of dumb stuff. This weekend I tried to get a cover band to play “Time of my life” and when they wouldn’t: did that stop my from trying to do the lift? It did not. Gentle reminder that I once high fived a mirror because I liked the way the ‘other’ girl danced. These were not my finest moments but here’s what I learned: someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business. Once you get right with yourself, you will get right with the world and you can stop apologizing for being who you are.

Also, appreciation and gratitude go along way. It feels so much better to hear ‘thank you’  instead of ‘sorry’. So thanks for reading and if you didn’t like it I’m not sorry.

Don't say sorry. Say Thank you. www.cplusmom.com

 

 

 

Huge Headed Babies & Other Reasons C-sections Are Awesome.

“Thank god you had a C-Section his heads f*cking HUGEE!” Those were the first words I heard uttered about my son. It should be noted that they were said with a thick Boston accent by my nurse. I just had a c-section and was lying on the cold table, my hands spread like Jesus on the cross and the nurse had just ushered my huge headed son over to me so we could basically head butt each other before he was whisked off to my husband.

Needless to say, it was not the birth I had envisioned. Lots of other things happened to: we lost his heart rate completely after the epidural (it’s normal for it to dip a bit) but when they lost it completely they rushed me into for an emergency C-section. Luckily they found it before they put me under and we resumed trying to have a “normal”  birth: ending in a c-section.

To be honest I don’t know what I was expecting. My birth plan was only to get an epidural as soon as I legally could. I know some people like to brag about how much pain they can endure. I’m the opposite. I like to brag about how little pain I can handle and how quickly I can get out of feeling any of it. Basically if they put a margarita machine in the room I would have been fine with it.

I am not saying this to diminish woman who go without drugs. You ladies have my respect. Truly. We all take different paths for different reasons and however you chose to bring a baby in the world (as long as it’s done with love and care) is the right way.

I’m just always surprised when people seem sad that I had a c-section, like there was something wrong with my birth. I loved my birth. The four days in the hospital were some of the best days of my life. Having Augie wasn’t a perfect ride but it was my ride and I am so grateful for my team of doctors and nurses who made it possible. Especially to my nurse, Joy, who was my rock during all of the messiness. I’ll never forget how attentive and kind she was during the whole ordeal, even as she introduced me to my son with his huge f*cking head.

To me birth is similar to making the best meal you will ever eat. Sometimes you get some swearing chefs and have a few fires before the magic happens. Once it happens though you don’t care how it was made because it’s the best thing in the world.

Holding my son for the first time was so incredible and something that will never be diminished by the fact that he came from stomach and not my vagina. So please never feel sorry for anyone who had c-section. We are lucky beyond measure. Lucky to have medical advancements and a healthcare system that allows people like me to have beautiful, healthy,  albeit huge headed babies.

*Side note: I told my friend Liz this story over the weekend and she asked if I had my baby at minute clinic in Revere. This made me laugh. Like, A lot. But no,sadly, I had my baby at Brigham & Women’s.

 

 

Celebrating Divorce

Ok. I’m going to say something controversial: Celebrating marriage feels outdated to me. Not celebrating your own marriage but celebrating marriage in general. For example: why do we applaud if a couple has been married for 50 years? We know nothing about that couple except divorce papers were never legally filed. What if the guy was abusive or an addict and/or the woman is a sociopath? Are we still clapping and saying “Yay! Look they stayed with someone who was ruining their life and making them unhappy because of some arbitrary idea that divorce is failure or because it’s too scary to make changes.”

I don’t want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate people who are are happy. Period. If they are in a relationship that makes them happy and fulfilled: Great. Pop the champagne. If someone left a tough marriage that was draining them emotionally, physically, or financially, I also want to celebrate that. More Champagne!!! (Also, none of this is about me trying to drink more.)

It’s just frustrating to me that divorce is still perceived as a failure when it’s not. It’s an end to something that wasn’t working. It doesn’t mean the relationship or time spent together was meaningless. A relationship’s worth is not measured in the quantity of time but in the quality of time you had together. The happy memories don’t disappear because you are unable to find a way to make new ones.

I love my husband dearly but I’ll never be someone who goes around saying “Divorce is not option.” Of course it’s an option and I honestly believe that makes our relationship stronger. We chose each other everyday because we want to not because we have to.

Marriage is a choice, a choice you make everyday & there is enormous power in viewing it as a choice.

It’s like when Harry Potter finds out there is a prophecy about fighting to the death between him & Voldemort. How he views the prophecy plays an enormous role in how he fights. “It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to fight a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew- as do I – thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents- that there was all the difference in the world.”

If you view marriage as this thing that you have do or commitment you can’t leave: you are not walking into the arena with your head held high. You’re not in the arena because you want to be there. But if you view marriage as a choice, a choice you make everyday: you will fight harder for it.

Also, I get that I just compared marriage to a fight between good vs. evil that is to be fought to the death.

Anyways, if you’re in love and you found a way to grow with the person you married and make each other happy by all means celebrate. As I learned from going to too many Dave Matthews concerts: “Celebrate good will cause life is short but sweet for certain.” And if you left a marriage because it was not the life you wanted to live you should still celebrate cause life is still short but still sweet for certain.

 

How to wean a baby.

How to wean a breastfeeding baby: Do zero prep. Lie to people caring for your child about the amount of prep done. Go to Vegas.

Ok. So if this isn’t clear: I did no prep work for weaning my second. I was pregnant or nursing for almost 4 years straight so when my daughter turned one: I was DONE.

So I dropped my kids off in Michigan with their grandparents and met two girlfriends in Vegas. Things could have not been more fun: we saw shows, drank, danced, slept in, basically the perfect girls trip minus the leaky boobs.

We stay a beautiful hotel the first night. I was feeling a bit guilty about doing this trip, so decided to downgrade my hotel for the second night (my friends took a red eye back & I was on my own 2nd night).

This is where things get weird. The 2nd hotel is the stuff of nightmares. It’s like a sadness convention and trashy convention were happening simultaneously. I check in (which takes 2 hours) & go to my room. Don’t have a breast pump with me (long story) and have to hand express into some plastic hotel cups. Just when I’m feeling like the winningest winner around I hear a LOUD banging on the door and someone yelling “Let us in!” Not from the outside BUT THE ADJOINING DOOR!! I was frozen. Couldn’t say a word. Hand on boobs. Ready to fight them off like the fembots from Austin Powers but with breast milk. I finally manage to yell something like, “Wrong Door.” and they apologize. I start to calm down and then it happens again. I yell something incoherent and start making an exit plan. I wait a few minutes and then sprint towards the stairs. I run like they are chasing me (they are not) & finally make it to the front desk.

To make matters worse as I’m running I realize: if there is a Law & Order SVU based on my death at this seedy hotel that Christopher Meloni would not even be a god damn detective in the episode.

At the front desk I explain my situation they give me an “upgrade” to the “less likely to get murdered suite” and I stay up all night thinking about things I should of yelled things like: “I know karate” or “I have a machine gun.”

In retrospect they were probably just drunk kids getting the doors mixed up but I’ve watched enough crime shows to take no chances.

So that’s how I weaned my daughter. It wasn’t always pretty but it worked. I also learned that my own money issues caused this fiasco. I could of stayed in the other hotel. I mean really what was I saving $50 at most. I didn’t because of my own guilt. Guilt that was self-imposed. So when it’s come to guilt I will take a lesson from that cold hearted bitch Elsa and just let it go. Life’s too short to feel bad for having fun and wanting to stay in hotel that isn’t made from sadness & full of potential murders.

Resting B-Face Vs. Resting D-Face

I don’t suffer from Resting Bitch Face, in fact I’m pretty sure I suffer from the exact opposite: my face looks like I’m constantly riding a unicorn over a rainbow into a ocean made of jello. I fight my ADD with REALLY trying to listen to people and try to look the part of being an engaged human.

And it’s not easy. It’s an active fight to keep my mind from wandering to marshmallows and ginger beer or the time I tried (and failed) to silently fart in 6th grade.

It’s truly an effort for me to look engaged, focused and happy when in social situations.

However my husband does suffer from this affliction: as his Resting Dick Face is STRONG. My husband is not afraid to look annoyed, bored, or sit in total silence with other people. All of which terrifies me. I thought this was a new phenomenon with him until I discovered his 2nd grade photo and discovered his RDF is REAL and has been there since day one.

So here’s my sweet husband living his best, most authentic 7 year old life and ACTIVELY trying to scowl for his 2nd grade picture:

 

When Husbands Fidget Spin.

My dear sweet husband went on a Fidget Spinner bender after having a few drinks. This is me explaining it to a friend.

ME: “If Devin buys another Fidget Spinner, I think it’s grounds for divorce.

Friend: “How many does he have?”

Me: “He told me he bought 7 but they seem to just keep coming.”

Friend: “7? WTF. I want one. Maybe he needed an extra one for his dong.”

Me: ” I meant to bring you one when we had dinner the other night. Devin claims he “forgot”. I think he didn’t want to part with it.”

Friend: “So he really doesn’t love me.”

ME: “He just loves Fidget Spinners more.”

Friend: “Dick.”

Me: “Don’t feel bad, I don’t even have my own spinner.”

Friend: “Wow. He doesn’t even love you. But 7 for himself. Amazing.”

Me: “He claims he was drunk when he purchased them. It’s so annoying to think you are getting a package and it’s your husbands 6th fidget spinner.”

Friend: “Screwed twice by a drunk Devin.”

Me: “I’m going to buy 7 dildos and be like, “What…I was drunk! …Wait, are fidget spinner’s dildos? Jesus. Now I’m confused.”

Friend: “If you do get 7 dildos can I at least have one of those?”

Me: “Sure. Next dinner party you will either get a fidget spinner or dildo.”

Friend: “It’s like Christmas!”

Me: “Covfefe!!!”