I've put a lot of time and thought into how I'd like to raise my kids and what I want for them from the world. We live in a world where everyone is opinionated about everything, they share those opinions openly (and rather forcefully), and they insult and bully you if you disagree. I don't want that for my kids, but since I can't change the world, I will prepare them as best I can for it.
1. Embrace your weird. A phrase coined by (or at least thoroughly utilized by) Felicia Day. Don't try and fit in, because is no "in" to fit. "Normal" is a lie. It took me many years to accept that as the truth, and I'm still working on it some days.
2. Do you. A popular phrase in rap and hip hop music, and not exactly how I would word it, but I'll take it. Do what makes you happy. As long as you aren't hurting yourself or others, tell anyone who disagrees to f*ck off. And you can tell them I said so.
3. Try not to worry. There's this image floating around Facebook lately that says something like "I stress about stress before there's anything to stress about." That's me in a nutshell. I'm literally always stressed about something. It's annoying (and, dare I say, stressful). Things will work out, or they won't. Do what you can, then let go. Have faith that things will happen the way they're supposed to.
4. Be the best version of yourself. Don't strive for perfection, because you'll never get there and always feel like a failure. Strive to be the best "you" you can be.
5. Search for the truth. Don't just take someone's word for it. Ask questions. Be the annoying kid in class who always asks "why?" Do the research, put in the effort to find out exactly what is and why it is that way.
6. Don't be a sheep. Don't do it just because "everyone else is" and don't avoid something because no one else is doing it. You want to dance but the dance floor is empty? That just means more room for you to bust a move! Everyone is piercing their noses? Do you want a third hole in your nose? If you do, go for it, but if you're only doing it because your friends are, you've failed yourself.
7.Be honest. With yourself and others.
8. Be fair. Fair isn't equal, and equal isn't fair. Be fair.
9. Love with your whole heart. Even if it gets broken, it's always better to put 100% in rather than wonder if you could've done more.
10. Have fun. Work is good and important, but having fun needs to be a priority too. If you aren't enjoying your life, you're doing something wrong.
Since having a baby, I find I have a lot less time and tolerance for certain types of people. My priorities have drastically shifted, and I just don't have time for your shit anymore. Sorry, babe, but that's the truth.
The last-minute planner. I have to rearrange my whole day to accommodate plans, pushing naptimes, shortening lunch, etc. So, if you text me at 11, asking if I wanna go to lunch at 11:30, know that I'm slapping you in my head.
The last-minute canceler. See above
The whiner. Don't start with me about how much you miss me and how much we never hang out anymore. Especially if you are one of the two previous personality types. I have a kid now. He is my number 1 (tied only with my husband). I'm sorry you feel neglected, but grow up and get over it. My son out ranks you. He should. He always will. That's life.
The casual mom. I'm a full time mom. I take care of my son 24 hours, 7 days a week. Yes, my husband is home, and of course he helps take care of Connor too, but there are never hours of time when I'm just chilling at home, alone, just "doing me". I understand that some parents don't live together, and therefore don't have the opportunities I have to be "on" all the time. Do not go on and on about how awesome you are if you are the weekend parent who actually spends their kid-weekends sitting around, playing video games while their kids are watching tv in another room. You are not an awesome parent. Arguably, you are a babysitter who doesn't get paid.
The faker. You post tons of pictures and status updates about how awesome everything is, how happy you are, how in love you are, etc, but the second we actually talk, you list everything that is wrong and how miserable you are. Be honest. I'm not saying you should vent all your personal troubles to the world, but please quit with the facade. It's annoying.
The mom faker. Basically, the same are the faker, but about their kid(s). No kid is perfect all the time. We all know that. Shut up, please.
The fitness buff. Ok, Crossfitters, I know you're having a great time and making amazing progress and life changes. Good for you! Stop trying to convert me. If I wanted to go to a gym and sweat my ass off, I would. I don't. Thanks, but no thanks. Clarification: This is not for those who are casual posters about their progress. This is for the in-your-face fitness people who only ever talk about their workouts and give far too much details about it.
The wannabe 22 year old. Look, I know my friends, and none of us are 22 anymore. For some reason, some of my friends spend most of their nights at bars, drinking and acting like fools. Unless you are actually in your early 20s, you are far too old for that shit. Grow up. You have a job, now you need to get a grown up life. Going to a bar every now and then is fun, but going every weekend (unless it's your job) is expensive and ridiculous.
I've seen a lot of stories, articles, news segments about women and body image. So many get skinny quick, get your pre-baby body back in 3 months, weight watchers, crossfit, and on and on and on...
Wtf. I refuse to see myself as fat. I refuse. I created a human being. My body has dramatically changed. My boobs deflated and sag, my stomach has a crazy amount of stretch marks and it sags too. I have stretch marks on my thighs, back, boobs... Do you know what all that means? I'm a fucking badass.
Kudos to all those moms who worked their asses off and tightened their body's back up, post baby. I seriously applaud you women. I just hope your motives were your own and nor because of what celebrity moms have done, or because of how amazing TV moms look. I hope you did it for you.
Today, I saw a news article that made my day. A mom, in Boise (I think), stood on the street, blindfolded and in her underwear, or a bikini, and let people write on her with markers. The point was to provide perspective on what is really beautiful. I love that idea. I commend that woman. I've heard of other women doing a similar, but this was the first time I saw it in the news. Way to go, momma!
I'm not saying we should all stand around in our underwear, but damn. Can we please stop idolizing the unrealistic and find beauty in what is real?
My baby is one. That means a full 365 days ago, he was living outside of my body. It seems so weird, but at the same time, how could it be any different? I think sometimes about what our life was like before baby. It was fun. We went out with our friends, drinking, parties, concerts, pool halls, movies at all hours. On the rare occasion, I miss that, but I wouldn't trade our life now for anything in the world. I'm not 22 anymore. I'm not carefree and available at all hours of the day or night anymore. I can't just decide "let's go out" because going out takes at least 30 minutes of prep and by the time we're "ready" I'm not interested in leaving anymore.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community