Usually, when I blog here, it's about weight loss and my struggles with it. But darn it, this one came from my "other" blog ( http://bigdogtkdmom-blackbeltparenting.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-bee-in-my-bonnet-warning-parental.html ) and I am SO TICKED I needed to share. If you agree, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE. On facebook or twitter or wherever else suits you.
I was up late last night. Even later than usual, which for me, is pretty darn late. And it wasn't just because I had a project for work (I work from home as a freelance resume writer in my not-so-spare time which usually exists between the hours of 10 pm and 3 am).... but because in my facebook newsfeed an article popped up. This article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/why-i-regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_3402691.html.
I read it, several times in fact. And EVERY TIME I read it, I got a little madder. This woman has the audacity to publicly, loudly, and to a rather large audience, write her regrets about staying home with her kids. More on that later.
First of all, what you need to know about me is that I've worn many hats. I have been a full-time working mom, and a full-time stay at home mom. I've also launched a small business, tackled part-time work, and at present, hold not less than 6 part-time jobs (including the ones that don't pay anything). I am a committed volunteer in my community. I believe in giving back. So I'm not in one camp or another.... I don't have a bias in favor of working or stay at home parents.
THAT BEING SAID, let's look at this article that is getting so much support and backlash all at once.
1) She let down the generations of feminists that came before her? Funny... my take on feminism was that it was all about equality... that women should be entitled to have an equal choice in their careers, their futures, and their decisions instead of being "relegated" to having to stay home. If she made a choice, to stay home, it was hers to make. It wasn't foisted on her or shoved down her throat. Feminism is having the right to determine how each woman wants to live her life. It doesn't DEMAND that women have to stay in or out of the workforce. Yes, getting into the workforce was the goal at the time... but that was because there were no opportunities available. So how can you say that feminism now removes the choice of a mom who wants to stay home? Seems like that's going against the very heart of the equality movement.
2) She used her drivers license more than her degree? Well, again, that was her choice. The whole article is filled with these self-pitying statements about how she didn't use her education.... BUT STAYING HOME DOES NOT MEAN NOT USING YOUR EDUCATION. If, as she says, she felt she let down the people who educated and trained her, it was because she didn't search for or find avenues or opportunities to engage her brain. That's not because she stayed home with her kids. It's not THEIR fault. I have a law degree. Am I using it? ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY. Am I practicing law? Heck no. I have developed my writing skills, launched a business, and managed to protect and advocate for my kids with that degree. It was absolutely NOT a waste. But that's cause I FOUND things to do.
3) She complains about her kids thinking she's done nothing. Well, maybe her attitude and regret came across to them along the way and instead of accepting it, they reflected it back to her. And maybe since SHE devalues her contributions to them and society (more on THAT later as well), they picked up on that and figure if Mom doesn't think her job is valuable, why should they. Or maybe they don't value her because she's so negative. Or maybe she didn't teach them that everything they do counts. I don't know... but it is definitely a reflection of her parenting.
4) Her world narrowed and she lost out of her societal grab-bag? Right there is the most telling piece of this whole article. The world didn't narrow. She stopped looking beyond herself. I wonder if she asked her suburbanite female friends if THEY had other friends, she might be surprised to find out that most of us don't give up on our social groups just because we leave the workforce. If anything, having a dynamic and diverse group of friends is good not only for us but for our kids. Part of their development in seeing the world. Again, her choice... not theirs.
5) She complains about getting "sucked into" volunteerism. This one burns me up. How dare you make a contribution to the greater good and then complain about it? IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about the people, the cause, the communal impact. If you did well with it, then stick it on your resume and you might feel less obsolete. If you didn't, and you just went through the motions, then you didn't really give your best effort and why SHOULD you get credit for it? Doing good for others is supposed to be good for the soul and the spirit and the self-worth of the person who is doing it. Did you just do it for the recognition? That's ridiculous.
6) You worried more? HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW THAT??????? I went to work every day worried sick that my child would have a problem and I wouldn't be there. Or that he'd have a special moment and I'd miss it. Or that he was eating the wrong things. Or he wasn't eating at all. Or that he was getting sick. Or that he'd grow up and resent me. Or that he'd call the nanny "Mom". I NEVER STOPPED WORRYING.... WORRYING IS PART OF BEING A PARENT. Doesn't matter whether you work or stay home.
7) You "slipped" into a traditional marriage? Like it was a patch of ice? Sounds like your husband maybe valued your contributions more than you did. Doesn't sound anything like a "traditional" marriage to me when you spend your time publicly denouncing your own choices. I have a traditional marriage. I love my hubbie, and he loves me. We are equals (which you claim to be as well) and if the fish stores and laundry are closed before he gets home, and I CHOOSE to pick stuff up for him, he appreciates it. And if I don't get there because I'm too busy and he gets the chance, he does it. Or we do something else. It's 2013. There are LOTS OF PLACES TO GET FISH. Round the clock.
8) You became outdated? You managed to write a blog, didn't you? So somewhere along the line you learned SOMETHING about computers and the internet. Interestingly, there are community driven courses at our school district to help adults learn to navigate technology and its changes. So I'm guessing you probably CHOSE not to pursue them. There are online courses as well. So if you are truly "outdated", you didn't have to be.
9) You demolished your own self-worth. I know that's not how you said it, but that's the bottom line here. You decided your contributions to your family were of less value to you than your career and paycheck. Here's the rub with that... they now know it too. And if you thought you weren't of value before, well, you just told your husband and children that your time with them was worthless. THAT SUCKS. Even if it were entirely not your fault (which I will ALSO get to in a minute) how can announcing that on a blog to the world make up for the damage you are now doing to them? Mom stayed home but you weren't worth it because now Mom can't be who she wanted to be the whole time she was with you? That's not the message I EVER want my kids to hear. Or learn.
OK... now that I've taken her article to task, I can breathe a little better. Here's my 2 cents. I know my time with my kids will be limited. I GET THAT. But while I have them, I enjoy every single minute I can. AND I ALSO FIND WAYS TO DO THINGS FOR ME, MY COMMUNITY, AND MY FUTURE. I don't pretend for a moment that this is all "out of my hands" or I don't control my destiny. I have passions, and hobbies, and interests, and I make darn sure that I stay involved with those things... not to the detriment of my family, but to its benefit. Financially, emotionally, and physically, I try to demonstrate that it IS in fact possible to have balance. And that Dads and Moms are both important at home and outside the home. And that when faced with a large dessert table, it's okay to take a little bite of everything to try it.
My feeling is that the writer of that blog post got to the dessert table, saw one cake, and sat down with a fork. She finished the whole thing then looked around and realized that the rest of the table was empty and she had a stomachache. She never got to sample the rest of the desserts to see what she would like.... but that was HER choice. She made it. Her children didn't. Her husband didn't. She admits that. But now she's got a tummyache and so she blew verbal chunks all over the internet. (sorry for the image but that's how I see it). Sad thing is that it was preventable and now her regret is a smear on all of them. Shame on her for whining in the name of feminism. Shame on her for devaluing volunteerism, and SHAME ON HER for proclaiming her regret to her children above all.
Posted on 6/18/2013 by MommyTKD
I'm absolutely giggling out loud hearing the voice of Dug the Dog from the Disney/Pixar movie "Up" in my head complaining about the Cone of Shame.
So why is this the blog of shame? Simple... because I haven't been keeping up with my logging or blogging or counting. Which is ironic because (well, now... try to keep the shocked look off your face) NOT doing those things has NOT helped me continue to lose weight. In fact, NOT blogging or logging or counting has in fact moved the scale in the opposite direction.
Can't blame anybody but myself. I kept thinking I was going to get a free minute to get back in the saddle.... and then every time I found one, I couldn't remember where I left my horse. And then I had technical difficulties. But we all know that those are excuses. And at the end of the day, you can either have excuses.... or you can have successes. Both are darn near impossible.
And I've made my choice. As embarrassed as I am to be back at the starting gate, it's where I am and where I need to start from. I've been wandering around watching the track long enough.
Posted on 5/09/2013 by MommyTKD
I'm not back fully yet. I'm not ready to log until my new BodyMedia Fit Link arrives sometime in the next week or two. BUT... I'm ready to recommit to myself that i can still do this. Things go WAY out of control sometimes (and the last few months are PERFECT proof of that)... BUT... we can choose to let it rock our boats, or we can accept it as part of the journey. Like I said when I started this trip last year... I'm in it for the long haul. Do I wish that i had managed to log in every day since I am coming up on what would have been a year? Of course I do. Am I going to hide and not come back? HECK NO. I KNEW I'd be back. It was just a matter of managing the when. And the time is near.
Happy New Year and Happy New You!
Posted on 12/30/2012 by MommyTKD
First of all, I STILL CONSIDER MYSELF MFP'S LOUDEST CHEERLEADER. And I'm not done, or quitting, or running away scared.
So.... I've been sorta/kinda missing since school started. It's not that I have fallen off the wagon (at least not intentionally). Truth is, I got sick. I had a bladder infection from the depths of Hades (or, well... my bladder) that kicked my butt. And I was taking antibiotics that required food round the clock and drinking GOBS of cranberry juice. And not logging in because it was just too miserable and hard. And cause I felt, honestly, lousy.
And then I didn't seem to get better. Which stunk. And I was STILL drinking cranberry juice. And trying to exercise but I couldn't do much.
But I tried to be careful with WHAT I was eating. Although apparently, even though I was careful, it was NOT careful enough. Because in the 3 or so weeks since I got miserable... I gained back almost everything I had lost. I'm sure the increased juice added tons of calories I hadn't counted on.
And then I logged in and was trying to get back in the groove... but I forgot about the Jewish New Year that was just finished yesterday. And so I started back logging in, but I knew that I wasn't ready to go fully out yet.
But yesterday was the Jewish Day of Atonement. And I spent a lot of time reflecting on my goals and how I've lived my life this year. And honestly, I'm goshdarn proud of my accomplishments. The weight may have come back on, but I'm slick enough and skilled enough that it's not going to stick. It's just going to take a little time to slide back off again.
Just know that I'm looking at today as my New Year New Me kickstart. And that I'm here for all of us. My motto is... STILL.... if I'm gonna bite it, I gotta write it.
So watch out, poundage. I'm here to KICK YOUR BUTT!
Posted on 9/27/2012 by MommyTKD
There's this theory out there, that going back to school for kids means Moms sit at home, alone all day, waiting for their precious cargo to return so they can dote on them. And while there is CERTAINLY some truth in the concept that when your kids head off for that 7 or 8 hour period, we Moms all miss them to various degrees, there are also some other truths.
1) We really enjoy having a cup of whatever we drink in the morning. In peace and quiet. Even if we have to wipe down the crumbs the kids left before we can sit in the chair, it's lovely to just have that little bit of time.
2) For at least some measurable period of time, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the condition of the house. (This one cuts both ways, obviously)....
3) We get to turn on whatever music we want while we clean. And sing along. Loudly. Without anyone reminding us that the windows are open and the neighbors can hear.
4)We get to go the restroom. By ourselves. With no one fighting, pounding on the door, or otherwise interrupting us to tell us that (my personal favorite)...they didn't know where we were. One caveat though is that with no one else home, there likelihood that the phone will ring is directly proportionate to whether you brought it in with you or not.
5) We can trust that once we've used the restroom, the seat will stay down until the children returneth.
6) We can actually walk through the grocery store at our own pace. And not have someone breathing down our neck asking "are you done YET?" because they are in a rush to have us take them elsewhere to play with others.
7) We can eat whatever we want for lunch (as long as we log it) without anyone messing up our portion sizes by taking bites of "ours". Or by having to make foods that the kids leave us that we end up snacking on....
8) We can have ENTIRE conversations on the phone without anyone crashing into us, trying to start a whole NOTHER conversation WITH us, or grabbing our attention because NOW is the time they test that whole anti-gravity concept...
9) We get to talk to them. About their day, about their accomplishments and struggles, and about their experiences. And we get to listen to them share with us without having experienced it ourselves.
10) Despite all of the above, we get to look forward to them coming home. And we appreciate all the little moments more. Somehow, the little annoyances and intrusions seem less annoying and intrusive when we've missed them.
Posted on 8/24/2012 by MommyTKD
So, for those of you who know me (or who follow my blog or are f/b friends with me), this last weekend was the Garage Sale of the Century. We went through and cleaned house top to bottom, clearing out kids toys and clothes and puzzles, games, you name it. We did a tremendous job of getting rid of anything we hadn't used in the last couple years. It was a raging success.
However, my phone decided to go on the fritz right when we got about neck deep in the garage sale cleaning project. I mean there was no internet, no email, nothing. Not a very smartphone.
BUT, I've been hopping. Madly. Here there and everywhere. So even though I didn't get a chance to log in like I have every day since January 2012, I missed it. I missed all of you. I had many funny moments where I went... shoot, that would have been a great blog post.
So what is the beauty of not logging in ? I mean, there are real consequences here. I know that because I didn't log in, I have to start over from day one. And I missed THREE WHOLE DAYS of logging. Not one or just two, but three. Enough that my friends were notified and many of you stepped up and were concerned. Thank you for that.
Wait... I get a chance to start over? To gear back up and get excited again? To not see the loss of days but the gain of opportunity?
I'm thinking that's the beauty. Right there. Where second chances are born. And new days are always dawning. And friends step up to remind you when you've fallen off the wagon.
Posted on 8/20/2012 by MommyTKD
It's almost back-to-school season. I know lots of people do what is referred to as "spring cleaning" but that's never really held a lot of appeal to me. Quite honestly, once spring hits, the LAST thing I want to do is clean.
So here I am, in the heat of the summer, tearing through kids clothes and closets, toy chests, and sweating bullets. Why? Because I have convinced myself and my immediate family members that what we need to do is to have a garage sale. Which I'm sure you can imagine, went over about as well as if I had announced we were going to have a family square dance (which I might enjoy but the boys in my house would rather have root canal surgeries without novacaine).
So, in order to rid myself of all the stuff I have just sitting around here (let us call them say, empty calories), what I am doing is hauling boxes and sorting, labeling and lifting, and sweating my tushie off while doing so.
Getting rid of things is a GREAT feeling. Pulling out the stuff that no one uses or wants anymore to know it's going to go to someone who will use or want it, that's the great thing about the garage sale. The cash is okay, too, but the real value to me is the clearing of the clutter.
So it's not just the kids rooms that are scoured for items of value. It's the kitchen, the basement, the storage closets, the "gift" cubbies, the works. Anything and everything that we haven't touched in the last 2 years is up for consideration.
So while I am getting ready to gain some storage space and some cash, I'm also sweating off some poundage. There may not be an exercise category for it yet, but I'm strapping on my hrm and I will be inputting these calories burned (oh heck yeah I will).
So what's the garage sale weight loss plan? Easy. Call your local paper and schedule an ad for a garage sale. Once you're committed to it, trust me... the calories will run about as fast as the children do when they hear the words "work to be done". AND, you will gain a sense of control over your environment which will only help you stay in control over your eating.
Best of luck. Sale is Friday from 9 to 4. See ya if you might be interested in a ping pong table, or a laserdisc player/collection (cause who didn't have one of THOSE)... ;)
Posted on 8/15/2012 by MommyTKD
Watching the Olympics is awesome. Those breathtaking moments where we see others push themselves beyond what seem to be the boundaries of possibility and thereby redefining what possibile means, those are awesome.
And watching the winners, often neck and neck with each other, straining every muscle in an attempt to earn that coveted Gold medal, that's somehow incredible to watch too.
But what about those folks who don't medal Gold, Silver or Bronze? Do we just write them off?
Not in my book.
See, in my book, it took a tremendous amount of effort and ability just to be able to be on the field. Heck, I couldn't even get my butt to London to WATCH these amazing athletes compete. But in terms of "newsworthiness", how many stories do you hear about the folks who stayed together in the middle of the pack? Umm, at least around here, it's a whopping none.
So, my friends, the winners get the glory and the medals and tangible proof of their accomplishments. And rightfully so.
But it seems to me that each of those athletes that competed, well, they deserve recognition in their own right. Because, let's face it. I'm not going to be one of them. Now, or ever.
I'm okay with just being as athletic as I need to be to be healthy, just as sleep deprived as I have to be in order to get done what needs to get done, just as patient as I have to be to raise my kids, and just as committed as I need to be in order to keep losing weight.
I'm not in a race. If I was, I'd be one of those names at the bottom of the screen that very quickly gets passed over. But this is a lifelong journey for me. It's not about the glory or about being the best.
Sometimes adequate is more than enough.
Posted on 8/09/2012 by MommyTKD
1) The Exercise of WillPower: There are tables filled with salty and sweet and baked treats. All contestants simply have to wait around and not eat. The one who holds out longest wins gold.
2) Staring contests.
3) Synchronized logging.
4) Multi-Day Log completions.
5) Restaurant Ordering while keeping sodium below daily goals.
6) Multi-Tasking- Commenting on logs while drinking coffee and raising kids, answering phones, performing simple math tasks, and folding laundry.
7) Meal Planning. With a pretty much vegetarian, a carnivore, an omnivore, and yours truly, I do believe meal planning should count as an Olympic sport.
8) Calorie Counting. Extra points for accuracy and honesty.
9) Clothes Shopping- Guessing the right sizes, squishing all the appropriate parts in the next size smaller hoping to get there, and figuring out whether in fact "those jeans really do make my butt look bigger" should be considered.
And LAST but NOT LEAST:
Pretty sure I would win a few medals, and it would be worth the taxes I'd have to pay to keep 'em.
Posted on 8/03/2012 by MommyTKD
1. With all the size changes, the uniforms wouldn't fit by the time we were competing.
2. Because no one finds watching "salad eating" as interesting as, say, discus throwing.
3. Because without a court order, none of us are climbing on scales in front of NBC and the world to show our losses. I speak for myself here but believe not everyone wants the world to know JUST how heavy we were to start.
4. Because the Olympics don't last forever but keeping weight off does.
5. Because, let's be honest, certain countries/cultures simply have more to lose and therefore it's not an internationally fair playing field.
6. Because most of the Olympic athletes I've seen are already thin BECAUSE of their insane exercise habits.
7. Because most of us who need to lose weight in significant amounts wouldn't make it through the Parade of Nations march without an oxygen tank. Or, in my case, a wagon.
8. Because we would need our own flag for MFP. And who wants to design THAT?
9. Because there are too manycompetitors.
10. Because the winning medals would add to the scale.... who wants that!?!?!?!?
Posted on 7/30/2012 by MommyTKD
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