Thursday, August 30, 2012

When the New Wife steps on Momma's Toes

Before the ex got married, and knowing our daughters would be in lots of photographs, I decided both girls needed haircuts.

Now I'm no stylist but I have actually cut their hair for as long as I can remember. It's really not that difficult and they always get compliments. I've even been asked if I ever attended salon school so... I take that to mean that I do a pretty good job.

The girls were with their dad for a few weeks and during that time, they attended the wedding. The girls really enjoyed themselves and my ex and his wife did a great job incorporating all of the kids into the ceremony.

Yesterday morning, I was helping my youngest get ready for school and fixing her hair. I've been frustrated with myself for over a week now for really screwing up her haircut this time. It just seemed messy and not really cut well.

Well yesterday, in my frustration, I admitted to her that I was sorry for messing up her haircut. Both she and my oldest daughter's eyes grew wide.

"Well Mommy," my oldest admitted, "Daddy's wife (What ever shall her nickname be?) took her to Supercuts before the wedding. She said her haircut was uneven."

I was stopped in my tracks. Thoughts went through my head...

Of course it was uneven. She wanted a bob that was shorter in the back and longer in the front. It was cute like that. Now there are strands of all sorts of lengths and this is better?!?

I didn't cut it good enough for her so she had to get it cut again?!

Feeling very much like my toes were stepped on, I felt even worse because my daughters said it made them mad too. Were they just saying that for my benefit? I told them that this probably wouldn't be the first thing that happens with two type-A moms. Then I had to let it go even though I was pretty pissed off inside.

I simply don't want my daughters to feel in the middle of things. 

Then I was just sad again. If this woman would just ALLOW a relationship to happen between us... one without jealousy or animosity or any of the other ill will I feel from her.... then we could've had the following discussion:


Wife: Hey T! Thanks for cutting little one's hair for the wedding. It looks a bit off to me. I was thinking about getting it cut again. You know, because of the wedding and pictures?

T: Oh girl, I completely get it. I thought I cut it okay but I'm no professional. Go for it. That's the thing about hair. It grows back! Thanks for letting me know!

But that didn't happen and my feelings were hurt.

*sigh*

I'll keep on trying.

Am I being too sensitive about this?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Todd Akin: Yet Another Reason I’ll Keep Talking about Sex

I have said, since the beginning of this blog, that I was going to write frankly and honestly about sex. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ve probably noticed I’ve written less and less. Still, I get emails and messages from readers asking frank and honest questions that I don’t mind answering. After all, whether I’m writing about it or not, I still think all of us should be educated about our bodies and our natural state as sexual beings.

Case and point: Todd Akin

In case you missed it, Representative Todd Akin, Republican nominee for Missouri, said the following in regards to abortion in the case of rape:

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” 

Now, I’m sure many of you are dismissing him as an idiot but I can’t do that easily. This man was intelligent enough to become a LEADER in our country but doesn’t understand how a woman’s body works? He doesn't understand that there is no difference between "legitimate rape" and.... are there any other kinds of rapes?!?

This is absolutely frightening to me and yet it is an epidemic in this country.

Grown people who don't understand sex. 

In my own experience, I’ve known full-grown, brilliant women with several college degrees who “accidentally” became pregnant because they didn’t use birth control or thought they couldn’t get pregnant. The truth is, they never became educated about their bodies or how to prevent pregnancy.

Listen people, I feel it’s IMPERATIVE that we have these discussions. Yes, maybe it makes you squirm in your seat for ALL KINDS of different reasons but it’s ridiculous that in this country, we can use sex to sell everything but can’t have a freakin’ discussion about it.

What the hell is there to be ashamed of? We are ALL sexual beings. We will ALL have sexual thoughts and feelings. THIS IS NORMAL! 

So recently, when I heard about this website on the radio, I practically wrecked my car from applauding! (I wouldn’t advise that, by the way.)

TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. We need to begin educating ourselves and each other. We need to allow our children the opportunity to understand what is happening with their bodies. We need to give our children the power of knowledge and create future leaders who can lead with answers not ignorance.

By the way, I was not paid to endorse Power2Talk.org, I just strongly believe that we need to understand ourselves better. I think empowering our children is a great place to start. Teachable moments happen all the time. Like this one. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Naked Olympians = Proof How Well We Fit Together


Let me set the scene...

We're snuggled on the couch, late into the evening, watching the Olympics on TV. During a break from the games, one of the announcers continues the discussion about the amazing athletes we were just watching. She mentions one of the more popular females in the event and says something like...

"Not only is she known for taking risque photographs, she is also an excellent athlete."

At the exact. same. moment. GJ and I jumped from our cuddle and grabbed our phones.... each of us searching the internet for risque photos of the Olympian.

Heh.

I love how we get each other.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympic Sport of Poetry?

Apparently, yes, the Olympics used to give medals for poetry. I found this one most enlightening.  

Lifting by Ouyang Yu

For years
I have been dreaming
of turning
writing into a sport
in the Olympic Games
that is called, tentatively
Wordlifting
in which I'd give
my simplest performance
by lifting
the lightest and the liveliest
word: Love
till it flies
lifting me, weightless
into a sky
of loving
eyes

Taken from here

Go USA.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Open Letter to the Ex's New Wife


First of all, I’d like to wish you the most sincere of congratulations. You married a good man. He is not perfect, by any means, but neither am I. 

I’d also like to remind you that you are not perfect either. Then again, I get the feeling that I remind you of that every time my name is mentioned or every time I’m standing in the doorway to your house talking to your husband.

That has to be the reason I feel such strong negativity emanating from you. That has to be the reason the father of my children no longer responds to my texts to set up schedules or discuss finances that relate to our daughters. Instead, he has to call me when you're not around or respond to me via email while at work. He’s told me that the amicable relationship that he and I maintain for the sake of our children… and because we’ve been friends for over 20 years… makes you very uncomfortable. It only reminds you of the sheer energy you’ve spent hating your own ex-husband all of this time since your own divorce. 

Trust me, I’ve told my ex-husband many times that it is up to him to ease your mind. It is up to him to remind you that there is no reason for concern. I’ve asked him to offer suggestions to build a relationship with you, even offering to reach out on my own, and he’s asked me to disregard it… that it will eventually go away.

By the way, that’s how he handled many of the extreme emotions I had while married to him. Ignored them, telling himself they’d eventually go away. But that’s an entirely different story. 

Since he would like me to disregard your feelings, I’m left feeling like fresh meat thrown into a piranha tank when I do see you in person. You take little nips out of me, each one a surprise, as I assume to give you the benefit of the doubt when I see you. I always expect you to be a kind person – even neutral – when your dirty looks or snippy remarks take me off my guard.

I leave replaying the entire interaction, questioning my gait, my outfit, my discussion with my ex. I ask myself if I’ve said something hurtful or antagonistic to you. Every time, I’m left scratching my head and baffled at the knives sticking out of my back. 

I would never tell my children that you and I obviously don’t approve of each other. They seemingly like you. I dare say, they even love you. I’m so happy that they do! It makes me proud of them. I helped teach them that. Yes, dear new wife, I’m that lovable too.

You wouldn’t see that, however, because you see some sort of guilt that you’re carrying around for not working harder to communicate with the father of your own children. A guilt that you choose to project on to me. You wouldn’t see my kindness because of other insecurities in your life. Perhaps something happened to you, in childhood, that created a distrust and you haven’t allowed yourself to see that you’re better than that. 

Yes, YOU TOO, are lovable.

I’m trying to see that in you. I’m praying for it. I’m begging for clarity. I know that you are beautiful, somewhere, underneath all of the hurt that you’ve felt. I know that you are worthy of this good man, somewhere underneath all of the mistrust and insecurity. I hope that you’ll find that truth about yourself in this marriage. I hope that you’ll help him to find that truth about himself too.

Your new husband and I made it a priority to be a solid team for our girls from the time they were born. Divorce didn't stop that. I'm sorry that you don't have that for your own children. Maybe your ex-husband didn't try or couldn't let some things go. Maybe it was you. Maybe that's why you seem to dislike me so much. Maybe you want to ruin the foundation we've built because it would make you feel better. 

Dear new wife, I promise you this: I can offer you love, pray for forgiveness and clarity AND still step in strong where my children are concerned. Do NOT push to make my children suffer. If the divorce couldn't break down that bond, a new marriage won't either. I'll make sure of it.

For now, I am asking that you refrain from the blades you sling when my children’s daddy and I are having a friendly conversation. I ask that you allow HE and I to continue to work together to make transitions as smooth as possible and our children to be witness to a grown man and woman who created them out of love.

Love. 

That love has grown into a mutual respect but should never cause you concern. In fact, that should only remind you to love him even more.

I hope that some day, you'll see that in him.

Sincerely,
The Mother Bear

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The New Job

I must apologize for being so quiet here on the blog lately. The new job has been keeping me busy (like whoa) and on my toes.

The good news? I am IN LOVE with it.

There are so many good things about it that I could type my fingers to the bone. Best of all? I feel almost guilty about what I do. I feel like I'm playing, instead of working.

All of the work I put into making this change was absolutely worth it. I would encourage everyone, no matter what, if you have a dream.... GO FOR IT.

I'll get back into a regular routine at some point, I promise. I definitely wanted to thank all of you for your continued support throughout the whole process of my career-identity-crisis.

THANK YOU!

So... what does YOUR dream look like?