Month: July 2014

Two Kinds of Mommy

It’s Monday, and MiniSir is back at work after a 3-week vacation. There are no video games being played, the baby is demanding to be held, and I’m already missing the extra pair of hands. Grunt is fussy because he’s going through a pretty significant growth spurt – this is the one where he begins to make cognitive connections. It’s neat to be watch him as he realizes he can make his toys sing by pulling the handle, and hilarious to take part in as he begins to mimic my facial expressions. His smiles now light up the room when he sees someone or something he recognizes. But since all these things are new and scary, he is constantly seeking the comfort of our arms. It’s a wonderful but tiring experience.

Still, I’m glad the growth spurt happened when it did and not the weeks previous to that; we kickstarted our vacation by flying to Ontario for two weeks. Every summer we get MiniSir’s four children for two weeks, and since they live in Ottawa, we fly out to have them there. We are really lucky that both our families are in that area so we are not lacking for places to stay and things to do, but going from a three-person family to a seven-person one is a big difference, one that tends to overwhelm us for the first few days each time we have them.

This was also our first time having them as well as the baby, along with the first time Grunt had seen many of his relatives. We were only there 24 hours before I broke down into tears in Old Navy. Everything was incredibly different, as going from being a mommy of one to a mommy of five can be, and there are always challenges to face whenever we take custody of my stepchildren. They themselves are wonderful, and my relationship deepens with them each time we see them. What causes the issues is the level of care and attention they receive in their own home – ie, next to none – versus the love and affection they get from their father, stepmother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins when we have them. It always results in teary breakdowns halfway through their visit when they realize that eventually they will have to go back to their own home.

The crying on my part shortly after we arrived simply had to do with the fact that I wasn’t used to bring pulled in so many directions, and that even though MiniSir was on leave, this was not really a vacation for us. Moreover, the children’s mother sent them with lice, winter clothes, and shoes with holes in them. I would swear this was on purpose if not for the simple fact that she just doesn’t pay enough attention to them for it to be. So we pay to fly there, pay to fully clothe them, and pay for a van to drive them around in, and you’re looking at the same cost as a nice vacation for the three of us instead. Sometimes, it just gets to be too much.


Which leads me to having to be two different kinds of mommy: the mommy that loves them, that shows them time and affection, that nurtures and encourages them. But I’m also the mommy that will always come second no matter what because I came second into their lives. The sad part is that I’m not even upset by this – what upsets me more is when their own father comes second as well, simply because of the restrictions that have been placed on his ability to see them and the insinuation of their stepfather into everything that MiniSir did with them as he attempts to “win them over”.

Just FYI: parenting is not about who wins and who doesn’t. It’s about being a good parent, which is not and should never be, a contest.

What is reassuring is that MiniSir goes out of his way to assure me I’m being the best mommy I can be for them. And now I have Grunt, my very own sweet baby I get to keep with me and mould into a human, which will help me accept that being someone’s second mommy is still a great mommy to be.


Strong Women, Strong Words

Now that I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, albeit with a limited amount of mobility (a baby feeding or sleeping on you will do that), I’ve become addicted to Pinterest. So far I have discovered that there are a lot of really cool things and a lot of really awful things that people like to ‘pin’. The attached image is something that I came across late one night, and even though I usually just skim past things like these, this made me so incensed that I had to save it so I could blog about it.

The image comes from a blog dedicated to posting ‘girly girl’ quotations. If you do a Google search for ‘girly girl things’, I guarantee you’ll find at least a dozen of these sites. Apparently they post things that women say or think of that define what it means to be a ‘girly girl’. While I don’t like these sites on principle, it’s the images like this one that make me want to tear them down off the internet and exorcise the lot.

The first statement on the image reads: “Sometimes you’ve got to run away to see who will run after you.” Let me tell you this: if I care about you and you run away, I will not chase you. I will be hurt, I might cry, but under no circumstances will I come looking for you. You chose to leave. Have fun being alone.

“Sometimes you’ve got to talk quieter to see who’s really listening.” WTF does this even mean? Seriously. Bueller? Bueller?

“Sometimes you’ve got to step up to fight only to see who’s standing by your side.” You can be sure that if I pick a fight, I am going to make sure I am strong enough to fight it by myself. I am certainly not going to throw down and then look back at you passive-aggressively to see if you’re planning on joining me. It’s my fight, and you have every right to tell me to go to hell. Sure, help is nice in anything you take on, but there should not ever be an expectation that it is always going to appear. Don’t start something unless you, and only you, can see it through.

“Sometimes you’ve got to make the wrong decision only to see who’s there to help you fix it.” Maybe. After I stop laughing at your ass for making the wrong decision on purpose, moron.

And then we come to this: “Sometimes you’ve got to let go of the one you love just to see if they love you enough to come back to you.” NO. A thousand times NO. It was this statement that incensed me. It was this sentence that made me so mad I had to rage blog.

What does this sentence say that makes me so mad? Firstly, it tells girls that it’s perfectly all right to just let something they care about go without standing up for their right to care about it. And secondly (and more infuriatingly), it suggests that there are women just waiting around for the things they care about to come to them.

THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS, LADIES. It’s not how it works for everyone, in fact: girls or boys, straight or gay, black or white or green. If you want something, if you care about something, you better be prepared to get your hands dirty, skin your knees, hurt your feelings, and lose everything else, because sometimes that’s what it takes. And whether you succeed in getting it or not, you will have the battle scars and a hell of a story to tell, not to mention the respect of everyone who sees what you have gone through. This is called ‘life’. Get acquainted with it. No one is going to hand you a trophy just for participating in it. If you don’t get actively involved in the way your existence is headed, you aren’t going to be all that happy with anything that might happen to bump into you along the way.

If I hadn’t dropped everything I had and knew to move across the country, I wouldn’t be sitting here now with a husband who thinks the world revolves around me and a beautiful child that breaks my heart every moment I spend looking at him. Sure, along the way I was involved in some pretty life-altering medical stuff, and sure I almost died, but you know what? I didn’t. And not only that, I defied every single medical professional proving just how much I refused to be a spectator in my own life. I grabbed that giant bull by the horns and pushed and cried and definitely overdid it, but I am here and I am amazing. And you are too. Remember that, and for my sake, never ever believe anything a ‘girly girl’ blog tells you that you should be.