When I was younger, I couldn’t picture myself as a parent. It was a foregone conclusion, but not one I felt strongly for. I suspected that I’d eventually feel obligated to propagate and then *wham* I’d be raising some kids. But somewhere between my first “real” relationship and the start of college, the tide changed. I became the friend that everyone assumed would settle down and start pushing out babies. I mean, I even had it planned out: married within a few years of graduating college, then have a kid at 25, 27, and 29. Done by 30. Fool-proof, right? Entirely wrong. Reality was me, unmarried, and a mother by 23. Not the worst, but it stilted my plans a bit. I adapted, and adjusted my plans to include a new baby after a few years, when the timing and circumstances were right. The funny thing was that circumstances were never right.
Disclaimer: I love my child from the depths of the earth to beyond the stars. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Other kids, not so much. I read an advice column recently in which a woman was pretty much shamed for admitting that she and her husband don’t care for children. As in they don’t like the critters. Why is this something to be shamed for? I admit that interacting with people in general is a task for me. I tend to enjoy being in my head and find that silence is most comforting when in the company of others. Few things are more distressing to me than having to interact with unfamiliar children or those who, from experience, I find difficult. I’m definitely from the “children are to be seen and not heard” school of thought, though my actions are in stark contrast to that. Children are fickle beings. One minute you’re laughing and having a good time, and the next they’ve inexplicably burst into tears and you fear you’ve scarred them for life but don’t even know what you did. Or maybe that’s just my own. In either case, they’re innocently volatile beings and for me, it’s tiring to […]
Miner’s canary: A caged bird kept caged in mine tunnels because its demise provided a warning of dangerous levels of toxic gases. (idiomatic) Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration in its health or welfare On a major road near my home sits a small medical practice. It’s an unassuming building, with a small sign touting its primary doctor’s name, yet it catches my attention nearly every time I drive by. Day or night, rain or shine, I see people — as few as 1 or as many as 10 — standing outside, protesting its provision of abortion services. The most prominent sign they display is “Pray to end abortion,” and I always get irked to no end, because they’ve got it all wrong. When I see that sign, I think “Don’t pray to end abortion; pray to end poor access to adequate health care and misinformation about contraceptives.” By that, I mean: abortion isn’t the bigger problem. Unplanned/unwanted pregnancies are. A “high” number of abortions is merely a symptom of the bigger problem, which is women being pregnant when they are not ready or […]
This morning, Twitter is all a’flutter about a photo that was apparently posted to a teacher’s Facebook: The immediate question arose about whether the teacher overstepped her boundaries in doing the student’s hair. Was it the teacher’s place to judge the condition of the girl’s hair? Was it OK for her to style the hair? Was it acceptable that she posted it on social media? My first reaction is that I need the whole story, but I don’t have it at all. Too often, social media captures a portion of a situation and runs wild with assumptions. It happens all the time from celebrity deaths to everything else. People need to learn not to make snap judgments when they don’t have all of the facts in front of them. There’s no way to form an educated opinion if you don’t have a full picture (no pun intended) of what’s happening. My initial questions are myriad: Does the girl normally come to school looking unkempt/neglected overall? Was this a one-time event? Is the girl’s hair really all that unkempt or is it just that it was “out” instead of neatly braided/twisted? Is her overall appearance unkempt or was it just her hairstyle? Were the […]
I’ve sat back and watched, but it’s hard to keep quiet about this. Do people understand that your life doesn’t end with parenthood and that your identity doesn’t have to be synonymous with your role as parent? More and more, I see women (I’ll pick on them for a moment) who have these lavish baby showers that don’t acknowledge the reason for the party – you know, the BABY? The “showers” are, in reality, a reason to party and celebrate the mom-to-be, with almost no mention of the baby awaiting its grand entrance into the world. It’s as if the party is the last hoorah for the woman, akin to a funeral except in party form. I often ask myself (because it would be rude to ask them) “You do realize that you can still be you once you’re a mom, right?” While becoming a parent will undoubtedly change you, it doesn’t have to be all-consuming to the point where you lose your identity. You can still be the fabulous, fly, go-getter you were before gestation began, and the world will not implode. I promise — I’m living proof.