The Other Side of Being a Mom with Anxiety


I saw my therapist last Monday for the first time since Christmas & it was so therapeutic that I left there thinking “I’m never skipping a monthly session ever again.” It was amazing how I could feel months worth of tension easing so much just from one therapeutic session. I also saw my NP last week for my annual physical & she reassured me that being a “Type A” person who struggles a bit with anxiety does present some unique challenges as a mom & that I should never feel the need to compare myself to other moms, especially those with different personalities &/or who don’t struggle with anxiety.

hello-my-name-is-anxiety

I struggle with anxiety, but I’ve found that this blog is a great way to tame the “anxiety monster.”

Anyhow, all that left me thinking about what being a mom with anxiety is like. No, I don’t have crippling anxiety that makes me unable to leave the house or to have a professional job or anything like that. But once I got into therapy as an adult & eventually started Prozac for my anxiety I realized how much anxiety has affected my life for a very long time, dating back to well before adolescence. In fact my blood pressure was actually elevated at times during my senior year of college & my first year after college because of my anxiety. However, once I got my anxiety better under control, especially after starting Prozac, my BP has never been high again (other than when I developed preeclampsia while pregnant, but that was obviously a whole other issue). My point is there are obviously people out there who struggle with much worse cases of anxiety than I do, but that doesn’t invalidate my struggles. Nor does it mean that my story isn’t worth sharing.

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When people think of moms with anxiety they probably think of the mom who can’t stop worrying about her child, who is obsessed with incessant “what if” scenarios: “What if I’m in a car accident with my child?” “What if he falls & hits his head?” “What if she chokes on that piece of popcorn?” Or the mom who runs in her child’s room every hour to check that she’s still breathing. While I’ve certainly had those moments as a mom- I think we all do- that really isn’t how anxiety affects me as a mom. I’m actually remarkably “chill.” For example I’ve never been a worry wart about germs. If my child eats something off the floor (at home anyway) or after the dog licks it, I just shrug & say “She’s building a good immune system.” When she was a newborn I rarely ever felt a compulsion to check her breathing while she was sleeping. Even when she had her tonsillectomy earlier this year, I was remarkably calm.

touched out

The ways anxiety affects me as a mom are a bit different. For example, I get touched out really easily. When your toddler routinely uses you as a jungle gym, this can be quite trying! As a devout introvert, I fall apart if I don’t have enough alone time– which is why nap time is so incredibly sacred for me- & also why I could probably never survive as a true full time SAHM.

Anxiety also causes me to feel like whatever stage I’m in as a mom will last forever. When my daughter was a newborn & she breastfed CONSTANTLY I felt like I was going to lose my mind because I just couldn’t imagine that things would ever change. (Talk about being touched out- breastfeeding a newborn is the ultimate way to get touched out. Ha!) Now that she is a toddler thankfully I have the knowledge that I survived that crazy period of her life so I have the reassurance that if I can survive that- which at the time seemed like it would never end- I can survive anything else she throws my way. But even so when she is in the midst of a tantrum it is very difficult for me to remember that this too is just a phase- & that it too will pass.

introverts cats

Anxiety also causes me to constantly feel inadequate as a mom. I talked about this in my last post, but I look around & see all these moms who seem naturally “gifted” with babies & toddlers & I feel like I’m an impostor. I’ve always been very honest & admitted that I’m not a “baby” person, nor am I a “toddler person.” As I’ve written in previous blog posts, for most of my life I never even wanted to be a mom, largely because I feared I’d never be able to survive the first five years or so. Eventually I changed my mind & I’m so glad I did, but I’ll be the first to admit that I highly doubt the baby/toddler years will ever be my favorite. Yes, I will have loads of wonderful memories from these stages- I already do- but I truly believe I will “come into my own” as a mom when my child is a bit older. (I suppose it isn’t “normal” to be so honest about these things but I know that somewhere there has to be a mom who feels the same way as me- & if she reads this I want her to know she’s not alone.)

Frustrated Mother Suffering From Post Natal Depression

Here lately, I’m bombarded by people telling me “Oh just wait, 3 is so much worse.” “If you think she’s difficult now, wait till you see her in a year or two.” “God help you when she’s a teenager if you think THIS is hard.” And every time I inevitably want to slap these people of course. First of all, these kind of comments are so incredibly unhelpful- in fact they’re downright discouraging- & second of all, how do you KNOW that 3 or 4 (or whatever age) is going to be harder for me? As someone who is very logical & pragmatic I think the toddler stage is particularly challenging for me because toddlers are pretty much the exact opposite of logical. Most moms are terrified of their kids growing up & having to discuss difficult subjects like war, sex, & death- but those things really don’t scare me. I know I can handle that stuff. I’m not saying it will be easy- I’m sure it won’t be. But I can handle it. I know I can.

jewish proverb

But these tantrums? The blood curdling screams- not to mention the kicks- every time I have to get my child dressed? Of if she doesn’t get the exact food she wants at the exact second she wants it? Whew, this stuff is hard, y’all. I’m not rushing her growing up, I promise I’m not. I’m just saying this toddler stage is really hard for me. I know it’s not easy for any of us, of course it isn’t. But my anxiety has definitely been on an upswing since around the time Rachel turned two. And the last thing I need is for anyone to tell me “Oh, it only gets worse from here.” So please, the next time a mom tells you she is struggling (whether she actually says it or you can just read it on her face), take a second & remember that no matter how put-together she seems- or how completely un-put together she seems- you really have no idea how she is feeling on the inside. And the last thing she needs is you telling her things are only going to get worse. After all, her child may be very different than yours. And she may be very different than you. Just give her a smile, a hug, & a quick “You’ve got this.” You might just make her whole day.

tantrum

The Return of the Bad Mom Days


Oh man, this blog post has been a long time in the making.  My computer recently broke so I ordered a new one only to receive a total lemon that wouldn’t even turn on right out of the box.  Needless to say I returned it.  My mom was generous enough to loan me her laptop since she doesn’t use it anymore while I continue to ponder which new computer I’m going to buy.  I think I’ll have my husband choose one since I seem to have such bad luck with technology.

Anyway, that is one of many reasons I’m just now getting around to writing this post.  I’ve written about this before & I’m sure I’ll write about it again, but there are days when I just don’t feel like I’m cut out for this whole parenting gig.  Lately Rachel has had SO many meltdowns.  And the worst of them are always with me.  I am fully aware this is because she is most comfortable with me & is actually kind of “flattering,” but trust me, that is hard to remember when you’re getting kicked & screamed at by your own child.

On these “bad mom days” where I feel like I’m just barely surviving I constantly wonder how other moms survive with toddlers AND newborns.  Is there something wrong with me that I can’t even begin to picture how I would tackle such a scenario?  Do I just take everything too seriously?  Do I let the crying & screaming get to me more than I should?  The truth is I just don’t know.

weird awesome

At least I like to think so . . .

Then there is this whole other phenomenon that makes me feel like a bad- or at least weird – mom.  Everywhere I go I feel like I’m constantly hearing moms say “Oh, my baby is growing up, I’m so sad.  I want them to stay little forever.”  Meanwhile I’m over here like “I cannot WAIT till my child is old enough to have REAL conversations with me & to go places without having total meltdowns, to be able to really explore the world together.”  Trust me I am enjoying where I am now but I look forward to the future & know I may well enjoy that even more.  Does that make me crazy?  Maybe it does because I feel like I’m really alone in this way of thinking.  mom guilt

Trust me, I love Rachel with my whole being.  Trust me, there are things I enjoy about this stage of parenthood.  But trust me, I also can’t help but wonder when is MY time to shine as a mom?  I feel like interacting with babies & young children just comes so naturally to most women, whereas for me I feel like I’m fumbling about trying to speak a foreign language.  On the other hand I feel much more natural with older children & teens.  Does that mean that in a few years I’ll actually feel like I’m a good mom & not just flying by the seat of my pants?  Or am I destined to always feel three steps behind?

I don’t know why I’m writing about this in a public space because I’m sure I’m opening myself up for judgment.  For people to say “Oh, she isn’t grateful for being a mom.”  “She should just shut up & enjoy it because she’ll miss this someday.”  But if there is one thing I’ve learned as a mom it’s that I really don’t give a damn what other people think.  After all, what’s easy for one mom is hard for another & what’s hard for one mom is easy for another.toddler dress

On that note, the newborn stage was really hard for me, for multiple reasons.  I’ve often said I can survive ANYTHING life throws at me since I survived that, & I still believe that.  The longer I’ve been a mom the more confidence I have in myself which makes all the new challenges that much easier to handle.  However, I must confess here lately Rachel’s tantrums have caused me to have fleeting moments of nostalgia for the newborn stage.  But then I remember how tired I was back then & I say “Hell, no, at least she sleeps through the night now.”  argeu toddler

But still this toddler stage is rough sometimes (who am I kidding?- it’s rough MOST of the time).  Especially because Rachel is usually such an angel for other people.  It’s like she saves all her crabbiness just for me.  Sometimes people even say to me “I can’t believe she has these tantrums you talk about.  She’s so sweet.”  And of course I immediately want to scream because these people have NO CLUE what they’re talking about & no clue how much it hurts to hear that.  They are as unhelpful & insensitive as the people who said “Oh you’ll miss this someday” when I was struggling so much in the newborn stage.  They usually mean well & I appreciate that, but I really do wish people would stop offering up so many unhelpful comments to moms. this too shall pass

My life motto right now is “This too shall pass.”  I constantly have to remind myself of all the other difficult stages I have survived as a mother- each of which at the time felt like it would last forever but didn’t- & know that this is just another phase, like all the others have been.  And yes, someday maybe I will miss some things about this stage.  But I have never been one to live in the past so somehow I doubt I’ll spend too much time feeling nostalgic about it.

Anyway, I’ve said all that to say this: If you’re a toddler mom & you’re struggling, you’re not alone.  If you’re a newborn mom & you’re struggling, you’re not alone.  Take a deep breath, listen to your favorite music, write a whiny blog post like I just did if you’re so inclined, & know that you can handle whatever life throws your way.  You already have- so just keep trucking.

A Libertarian’s Thoughts on Abortion


The NY abortion law . . . Ah, yes, another stick thrown on the fire of polarizing America even further . . . But in all seriousness, abortion has to be one of the most complicated issues in modern society, perhaps particularly for those of us, like me, who are Libertarian. As a Libertarian, I value individual freedom above all else. But when it comes to abortion whose freedom do I choose? The woman’s? Or the unborn baby’s? It’s a complex issue with no easy answers.

libertarian cartoon

I haven’t been able to get this issue out of my head today so I figured I’d write about it to try to clear my brain a bit. I don’t know if anyone actually cares about my two cents on this matter but that’s not really relevant. I just need to get my own head straight.

Abortion is a topic that causes me great internal conflict, perhaps more so than any other issue. On the one hand, my gut instinct says “That’s wrong. That’s murder.” I’m sure that is largely influenced by how I was raised. On the other hand I have to think beyond just emotions & consider scenarios like rape, particularly of a minor, or cases where a pregnancy is known to be complicated by a terrible birth defect that might be fatal or cause the child to have incredibly poor quality of life. Because of those types of situations, it is my opinion that the best possible outcome is for abortion to be legal up to 20 weeks (or thereabouts) of pregnancy. This allows ample time for a woman to A. find out she’s pregnant & B. find out if there are any major birth defects. But it is also too soon in pregnancy for the baby to be viable outside of the womb. No matter the circumstances, I just can’t accept that terminating a pregnancy that is past the point of viability is anything other than murder. Some say it’s to save the life of the mother, but I can’t think of a single medical scenario in which the mother’s life would be saved by an abortion but NOT by an emergency C-section. So that argument doesn’t sit well with me.

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Now, I know many of my more conservative friends & family may be thinking I’m a heathen for saying abortion should be legal at all. Trust me, I don’t LIKE abortion. I think as a society we should do everything in our power to educate women (& men- after all it takes two to tango) about birth control & generally try to PREVENT women from getting into situations in which they would even consider abortion in the first place. Obviously birth defects are beyond our control. But many, probably most, abortions are done because of social/emotional concerns & these are things over which we CAN control.

adoption

Of course some may say “Well, abortion should only be legal in cases of rape.” I can see the mindset behind that argument but I disagree because such a law might incentivize women to claim rape in cases of unwanted pregnancies even when they actually weren’t raped. Not to mention, even if they were truly raped, it’s not always possible to prove it.

libertarian camille

Abortion is much like drugs & prostitution. I do not LIKE these things. I think they are UNWISE choices. But I don’t think they should be ILLEGAL. (Now as a drug user if you steal from others to get money for drugs or ignore your children because of using drugs, then that is a whole other story. But the drugs themselves needn’t be illegal. But that is a whole other blog post.) As a Libertarian, I see a difference between what is UNETHICAL/UNWISE & what should actually be ILLEGAL. So as much as I don’t like abortion & would much prefer that women who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies would give their babies up for adoption, I think the most logical answer is to make it legal- BUT only up to the point of viability. After that I just can’t see it as anything other than murder.

libertarian

Of course it’s always possible that I’m just crazy. But this is the only logical conclusion I can see to this extremely sensitive subject. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I expect most won’t. But this a middle ground that I think our society would do well to consider.

Best Albums of 2018


It’s the end of the year so, as I have for the past few years, that means it’s time for me to put together my list of the best albums of 2018.  As always, my picks are almost entirely of the rock/metal variety but there is one country album thrown in there.  And if you know me, you can probably guess which artist’s album that is!  Anyhow, I don’t claim to be any kind of professional music reviewer.  I’m just a hardcore fan of music- & an old school fan at that- who still buys actual physical albums (read: CDs).  As such, these are my picks for the best albums of 2018.  These are in no particular order, other than my absolute favorite is at the end (& that was hard to choose).

  • Disease by Beartooth: I can’t believe I initially forgot to include this album on here- but I guess that’s what happens when you’re rushing to compose an entire post during your toddler’s nap.  Anyway, the follow up to Aggressive is every bit as amazing as that album was, perhaps even more so.  The album starts with Greatness or Death which has to be one of the greatest album openers of all time.  It starts slow & quiet- & then suddenly bashes you in the face with heaviness. It’s simply genius.  It’s hard for me to pick favorites from this album because every song is truly fantastic but you definitely don’t want to miss the energy on FireBad Listener, & Manipulation.  It’s truly difficult to believe that lead singer & songwriter Caleb Shomo is just 26 years old- but he is.  This is one mature & talented young man for sure. beartooth
  • Reverence by Parkway Drive: The previous Parkway Drive album was entitled Ire but this album contains every bit as much ire as that one did- as well as a heavy dose of sadness.  I think Ire will probably always be my personal favorite Parkway Drive album but Reverence is still a great one.  It’s worth reading about the stories behind the songs to understand the pain that infused lead singer/songwriter Winston McCall as he penned this album.  Album opener Wishing Wells is heavy & dark & sets a great tone for the rest of the disc.  Prey has some fantastic guitar riffs & will easily get stuck in your head, as will Absolute Power.  Cemetery Bloom is by far the most inventive & unusual track on the album with its chanting medieval feel.  Another beautifully written song that you absolutely shouldn’t miss is melancholy album closer The Colour of Leavingparkway drive reverence
  • Vicious by Halestorm: If you know anything about my musical taste, you probably already guessed that this album would be on here.  Here lately I’ve been trying to decide if I could pick a favorite Halestorm album- & I swear I really can’t!  I love them all for so many reasons that it’s just impossible to choose.  In any case, as soon as I heard Uncomfortable I knew this album was going to be a good one (not that I ever had any doubts).  Overall this album has a darker grungier feeling than the band’s previous album.  Even the album artwork & Lzzy’s current outfits, hair, & makeup strike me as a bit darker, a bit more rock & roll than her softer, more traditional appearance during the last album cycle.  Lzzy is gorgeous no matter what she wears or how she does her hair but I for one am a big fan of this darker look that she has embraced lately.  Anyway, back to the music. . . . Other favorites of mine include Killing Ourselves to Live, the acoustic slow-burning The Silence, & the powerful Skulls (don’t miss the grungy part at 2:17 that is a bit reminiscent of Alice in Chains).halestorm vicious
  • Family Tree by Black Stone Cherry: Black Stone Cherry have definitely embraced a more bluesy southern rock feel on their last few albums but never so strongly as on this year’s Family Tree.  Songs like New Kinda Feeling & You Got the Blues perfectly exemplify this.  Other favorites of mine are I Need a Woman & James Brown.  I seriously don’t know how anyone could listen to this album & not end up with a smile on their face- & a serious desire to dance!  These guys have got some serious rhythm, not to mention a heavy dose of soul.  Listen & you’ll know what I mean.family tree bsc
  • Vale by Black Veil Brides: I’m not sure BVB will ever top Wretched & Divine for me because that album was just so amazing in every way possible.  However, this album, which is actually a sequel to that one & was co-produced by lead guitarist Jake Pitts, is definitely a great effort.  Songs like Wake Up (don’t miss the awesome leather jackets the guys are wearing in the music video) & The Outsider will get you pumped up while more ballad like pieces like When They Call My Name really showcase Andy’s powerful voice.  Also don’t miss the return of Jinxx’s strings on Dead Man Walking.vale bvb
  • Ember by Breaking Benjamin: Can Ben Burnley ever go wrong?  Probably not.  This album, the second with the new BB lineup, is every bit as good as the previous one.  It’s hard to choose a favorite but I think my top track is Feed the Wolf.  As I noted on their previous album, the backup vocals by bassist Aaron Bruch really amp up the heaviness on this album, especially on tracks like Psycho & Red Cold River.ember bb
  • Attention, Attention by Shinedown: Shinedown’s sixth album is a concept album about depression/mental illness, largely inspired by bassist Eric Bass’s own struggles with depression.  Some of the lyrics seem a bit cryptic at times but once you realize the basis of the album it all makes sense.  Don’t-miss tracks include heavy hitting Devil & Brilliant, the latter of which probably has the fastest drums & the most metal sound I’ve ever heard from Shinedown (don’t let the gentle beginning fool you).  Lyrically songs like Monsters & Get Up are especially strong.  My personal favorite is Special which encourages us to stop wallowing in self pity & take control of our own lives.attention shinedown
  • Disobey by Bad Wolves: Even if you don’t like rock music, you’ve probably heard Bad Wolves’s enchanting cover of The Cranberries’ classic song Zombie (if you haven’t you must check it out NOW!).  What you might not know is that the band was set to record with Cranberries singer Delores O’Riordan on the very day that she died.  The band has subsequently donated profits from the song to O’Riordan’s family as a way to honor her.  Most of the songs on this album are far heavier than Zombie but another easily accessible track is Hear Me Now.  My favorites among the heavier songs are No MastersLearn to Live, & Remember When, the last of which was inspired by singer Tommy Vext’s twin brother who almost killed him several years ago (no joke).  [P.S. In case you thought there weren’t any black men in rock, check out singer Tommy Vext.]disobey bad wolves
  • Evolution by Disturbed: Evolution is an appropriate title for this album because it definitely represents an evolution in the band’s sound.  Songs like Are You Ready & The Best Ones Lie are classic Disturbed without a doubt.  But there are far more ballads on this album than any previous disc, largely inspired by the success of the band’s The Sound of Silence cover from their previous album.  None of the ballads matches the pure magic of that song (not sure that anything ever could) but it’s nice to see the band expanding their sound & capitalizing on David’s amazing voice.  My personal favorite on this disc is David’s response to all the Social Justice Warriors in Savior of Nothingdisturbed evolution
  • Victim of the New Disease by All That Remains: If you’re familiar with my political beliefs you probably know that I’m a huge fan of fellow Libertarian Phil Labonte, the lead singer of ATR.  The last ATR album was good but it doesn’t hold a candle to this year’s effort.  Victim of the New Disease was largely inspired by Phil’s divorce & while I’m sorry for the pain he suffered because of that the world is definitely benefiting from the music he wrote while working through that pain.  Songs like F**k Love ensure that this is the heaviest ATR album in years.  But my personal favorites are some of the more moderate songs like Just Tell Me Something (which features Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria- brilliant!) & Broken.  The acoustic Alone in the Darkness is also a great listen.atr victim
  • Stranger Fruit by Zeal & Ardor: I have my husband to thank for introducing me to this band whom he discovered on Liquid Metal on Sirius XM satellite radio.  Zeal & Ardor are a Swiss band whose lead singer was born to a Swiss man & an African American woman.  If you ever wondered what it would sound like to combine metal + gospel + blues, this is it.  That sounds like an equation that is doomed to failure but strangely enough it’s actually damn good.  You won’t find much more unique, diverse music than this, I can guarantee you that.  Check out Ship on FireRow, Row, & Gravedigger’s Chant.  Better yet, just listen to the whole album.  I promise you will not be disappointed.stranger fruit
  • Firepower by Judas Priest: I first heard Evil Never Dies on satellite radio maybe a month ago & I immediately fell in love & knew I had to buy this album.  Judas Priest are a bit before my time & I have to admit I’ve never gotten into them before this album (shame on me).  But wow, what an album to dive into!  There isn’t a bad track on here but some of my favorites include the aforementioned Evil Never Dies, Lightning StrikeFirepower, & Necromancer.firepower
  • Desperate Man by Eric Church: You guys, I’m so out of touch with country music these days that I didn’t even realize until last week that my favorite country artist had released an album back in October.  I guess it doesn’t help that Eric Church has no real social media presence but I can’t complain because that is one thing I admire about him, that he guards his private life so preciously.  Anyway, Desperate Man is definitely Church’s most stripped-down album to date.  I’ll admit I miss some of the bombast of The Outsiders but there’s no denying Church’s lyrical genius is in tip top form on this album.  The title track is one you should definitely not miss as is The Snake, Church’s take on the current political situation in the U.S.  Other favorites of mine include MonstersDrowning Man, & Solid.desperate man
  • And Justice For None by Five Finger Death Punch: FFDP have never put out a bad album but this year’s effort proves they are at the very top of their game & is my choice for best album of 2018.  With Ivan Moody (as well as all the other band members) finally sober, the band is in better shape than ever.  If you’re curious about the unusual album title, guitarist Zoltan Bathory does a good job of explaining it here.  There isn’t a bad song on this album & picking a favorite is nigh impossible, but if I had to pick only one song to share it would be I Refuse.  This has to be one of the most emotionally powerful songs FFDP have ever written.  Even if you normally don’t like rock/metal, you MUST listen to this one- not only is it lyrically beautiful but the acoustic guitar solo by Jason Hook is a real winner.  Fortunately I CAN share more than one song so please also check out Fire in the Hole (which sounds like a metal pirate song), Will the Sun Ever Rise, & Sham Pain.  The last is a play on the word champagne & is proof that the band don’t take themselves too seriously.  Watch the video for a good laugh!  FFDP have done many great cover songs over the years & this album includes two great ones, my favorite of which is Blue on Black.  With a good mixture of ballads & more traditional heavier fare, FFDP created the perfect album that makes you want to just keep playing it over & over & over.  Don’t miss it!and justice for none

Why We Shouldn’t Believe All Women


In case you haven’t heard there is currently a lawsuit in Pennsylvania regarding a teenage boy who was falsely accused of sexual assault.  Because of the false accusations, he was fired from his job, spent over a week in juvenile detention, was bullied endlessly, & was subjected to home electronic monitoring.  All based on accusations that later turned out to be complete lies!  If that’s not horrifying enough, the five girls who started all this have not been punished at all.  I don’t know about you but that makes me see about a thousand shades of red.  Which is another way of saying it makes me not just angry but downright irate.  If I had a son, I would probably be even more upset because I would be terrified this could happen to him someday.innocent

Here’s the thing that I don’t understand about modern feminism (actually there’s a lot of things I don’t understand about it but this is the main one): why are we so quick to dispense with innocent until proven guilty when a man is accused of something?  Why do we assume that women are inherently moral & truth-telling while men are inherently evil liars?  Why do we think it’s right to “believe all women” simply because they are women?  That’s just as absurd as believing all men simply because they are men, which is how the world used to operate.  There is no justice in turning things upside down to try to make up for history.  That’s just not how civilized society works, folks.constitution

Furthermore why are men held accountable for their actions- sometimes one they didn’t even commit, like in this case- while women frequently are not?  A perfect example is cases where both a man & woman are drunk & the man is charged with rape but the woman isn’t.  That makes no sense to me.  If they were both drunk, neither could truly consent!  So basically they “raped” each other.  It’s called poor choices, people, not actual rape/sexual assault.  If you don’t like that, sorry, I’m not sorry.  Clearly it’s a whole other story if someone spikes your drink or unwittingly gives you drugs & then takes advantage of your intoxicated state.  That is undoubtedly evil & should most definitely be punished.

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I laughed…. but it’s true…

But these girls in Pennsylvania who have lied about sexual assault & ruined a boy’s life are getting off scot free.  That’s absurd!  In my mind that is not only beyond unfair but it is basically saying women aren’t responsible for their own actions- which is essentially saying we are not equal to men before the law!  I don’t know about you, but that does NOT sit well with me at all.  Is that not completely contradictory to the whole point of feminism?  I thought the whole point of feminism is that men & women are intellectual equals & should thus have equal rights & responsibilities.  evidence

[As an aside, the people for whom I have the most sympathy right now are those who truly have been raped or sexually assaulted.  They are having to hear about all these issues constantly in the media, as well as social media, which must be a horrible reminder of the trauma they have endured.  I have not experienced these things but I have certainly been sexually harassed on plenty of occasions (sometimes by men in power over me) & all this talk has brought back some less than fond memories that I’d rather not think about.  So I can only imagine how much worse it must be for those who have actually experienced sexual violence.]

christina hoff sommers

Sad but true

There is no doubt that statistically more women have been raped or sexually assaulted & that a woman’s chances of experiencing these horrifying events is significantly greater than that of a man’s.  But that does NOT mean we should dispense with innocent until proven guilty.  That does NOT mean we should automatically believe all women even without a shred of evidence.  That is just not how civilized society works, people. duke lacrosse

With the Duke lacrosse case, the UVA case in Rolling Stone, the Brian Banks case (an NFL player who spent years in prison due to a false rape charge), the Jemma Beale case, & this current case in PA, among others, I am seriously worried that we are going to end up raising a generation of men who DON’T believe ANY women.  And to me that is truly horrifying.  As far as I’m concerned, any woman who falsely accuses a man of sexual assault or rape should be punished the same way the man would have been punished if he actually had committed that crime.  Such women are only making things harder for the real victims out there which is truly tragic.  And yes, I realize the number of fake rape charges is overall fairly small.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to address this issue.  Just because something is rare doesn’t make it less serious.brian banks

Sexual assault & rape are horrifying.  And there are definitely dozens of legitimate reasons why they are often unreported.  But the current climate of “believe all women” & dispensing with innocent until proven guilty isn’t helping anything either.  If anything it’s just antagonizing men & women against each other.  And that is the last thing we need if we truly want to tackle these issues & make some headway in the fight against sexual violence.

feminism modern

Thank goodness for the old school feminists who helped get us the right to vote & own property, etc.  But these modern hard core feminists have lost all sense of reason.

I am fully aware that writing this will possibly cost me some friends.  I am fully aware that some women will probably call me sexist against my own gender.  But frankly I don’t care anymore.  This is way too important of an issue for me to remain silent & if that costs me some “friends,” so be it.   

The Outsider


This is not a political blog & it never will be. But I HAVE made it clear that I am a Libertarian & I make no apologies for that. Today’s post is just a quick vent (before Rachel wakes up, if I can manage that). I am writing this purely for my own emotional benefit (e.g. stress relief), not because I need some kind of third party validation for my feelings.

libertarian

Being a Libertarian is hard. Everywhere I go I’m always the outsider, the objector. If I’m with my family or my more conservative friends, I’m too liberal because I support gay marriage & the legalization of drugs & prostitution (not because I think drugs or prostitution are good ideas- obviously they’re not- but because I see no benefit to society to criminalizing them), plus I love rock/heavy metal. If I’m at work or with my more liberal friends, I’m too conservative because I’m not a hardcore feminist, I support lower taxes/small government, I hate socialism, & I support the second amendment. Basically I am always the crazy person. Ha!

libertarian cartoon

To be clear, I am not complaining about my friends or family. They are all wonderful people who are accepting of me even though I’m very different in some ways. I’m just saying that there are days when I must admit I am jealous of those who have the luxury of truly fitting into a community of like-minded people. It must be nice to live in a world where you can be constantly reassured that your beliefs are the right ones, whether they are more liberal or more conservative beliefs. (Or maybe no one actually feels that way & I’m imagining it.) Meanwhile everywhere I go I feel like I’m constantly being told “you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong!”

libertarian graphic

But at the end of the day I’m a Libertarian for a reason: I love liberty. I love freedom. I truly believe in individual freedom & self-responsibility. And I truly believe that individuals are better when they are freer & thus our communities are better as well. After all, what our communities made of if not individuals? And if that makes me permanently a bit of an outsider, so be it.

piss off cartoon

This cartoon is my life.

Just Chill Out, Moms


There is a meme circulating around Facebook these days about how much easier motherhood must have been back in the 1970s & 80s when “all moms had to worry about was remembering to roll the car window down so their kids didn’t breathe in too much cigarette smoke” (or something to that effect).  The author of the post goes on to say how she has spent 45 mins researching what kind of vitamins to buy her kids & how they are going to cost her an arm & a leg but she feels like she has to have the “perfect” ones or she’s somehow going to damage her kids for life.organic food cartoon

I get it, ladies, I really do.  Moming is hard work these days.  Everywhere we turn there’s some new post or ad telling us “you need this” or “your kid will get cancer or die if they have this.”  But the truth is motherhood has always been hard.  And frankly we are making things so much harder on ourselves because we buy in to the hysteria about having to be perfect about every little thing.  Do you think the average dad is anguishing over whether his kids are eating all organic non-GMO food or using phthalate free body wash or taking the perfect blend of vitamins?  Um, no.  Ladies, why are we doing this to ourselves?  Being a mom is hard enough as it is.  I for one refuse to obsess over every tiny little thing, thereby making my life even more difficult- & far less enjoyable- than it already is!

 

mom cartoon

We have enough to worry about as moms.  Let’s stop adding to it by obsessing over every tiny detail.

Here’s the thing, y’all: we are all going to die someday.  As a nurse I have lost count of the number of times I have seen people die.  It’s just part of life.  Am I saying we should give our kids sodas & McDonald’s on a regular basis?  Hell no!  I believe it’s very important to feed our kids a healthy diet to help prevent early-onset diabetes & all the other myriad health problems that come with obesity.  But obsessing over everything being organic, non-GMO, etc, etc- give me a break!  I for one don’t have the time or energy (or money) for all that.dont compare

At the end of the day, this is what I know: my child is loved & cared for.  We read books to her on a daily basis, usually multiple times a day.  We take her on walks around the neighborhood so she can enjoy some fresh air & get some good old fashioned Vitamin D.  We feed her a reasonably healthy diet (probably very healthy compared to most kids but by no means perfect).  We take her to the doctor for her regular check-ups & make sure she’s meeting all of her developmental milestones.  She has a loving sitter who cares for her on the three days a week that I work.  While she’s there she gets to play with other girls around her age which is teaching her a great deal about socialization.  She sees her grandparents on a regular basis & has built a loving relationship with them.  At the end of the day, these are the things that matter.  These are the things she will look back on some day & be grateful for.  What more could we want?  everything kills.jpg

If nursing has taught me anything, it’s that life is way too short to be unhappy.  And I for one cannot be happy if I am obsessing over every little ingredient in every product I buy or torturing myself over what kind of multivitamins I give my child.  I don’t have the time or energy for that.  As someone who has struggled with anxiety for years, I find it very ironic that people frequently tell me I’m such a “chill” mom.  But I am (most of the time- trust me, I have my freak out moments like anyone else) because I know life is way too short to obsess over things that aren’t going to matter in the course of a lifetimecourse of a lifetime

Moms, if I have one piece of advice for you, it’s this: just chill out.  Hug your kids, give them a kiss, & stop worrying so damn much.