Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Strong girls

 I know it's sappy, but this video means so much more to me than just sharing something that I love with my kids. This girl is already so strong, physically and mentally, and the pride she feels when she does something hard, something adults are struggling with, gives me so much joy. It feels like for all the times I screw up this parenting thing, sometimes it works out too.

Like most women my age, my upbringing was riddled by small, benign comments that colored my relationship with food and my body. It's the benign part that makes me so nervous about raising two girls who will definitely be sturdy but likely will never be described as lithe or willowy. It's just so easy to misstep. My dad sent me off to a birthday party when I was in third grade with an off-handed comment to not eat too much cake so I wouldn't get fat. The class mom then brought me a fruit platter to every class party for the next three years. I think she thought that I was diabetic maybe? I remember being eleven and having a well-intentioned teacher point out my hips during a talk on development. What if I hadn't incorporated that message as "you have something that makes you different" and instead had been told "you have really strong muscles"? What if I had known food as fuel instead of as a necessary evil to be constantly monitored and managed? What if strength and health and ability were the focus, instead of size and comparability? What if, instead of trying to achieve the literally unachievable, we focused on what makes us awesome? 

I hope that giving her this, which admittedly she may decide to hate two weeks from now, will help to temper all those missteps that I've likely already made. I hope that she continues to be frustrated that there aren't weights on her bar (literally or figuratively) and know that she controls her progress. I hope she gets comfortable acknowledging both her strengths and areas that she's not strong in, so that she feels confident in asking for help. I hope when she looks in the mirror, she sees the same strong, capable girl that I see watching this video. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Endless Summer


You guys? We are living an endless summer and I am NOT okay with it. I was GIDDY when the forecast for last weekend was 77 degrees and had such big plans for a cozy day, which was stupid because 77 is still shorts weather and I missed my window to wear a hoodie to soccer in the morning because it has been summer for the last 8 thousand years and I'm out of practice. By the time I thought about any reasonable cozy accoutrements, it was hot and sunny and beautiful out again. I had planned to make soup for dinner. Like, put a lot of thought into what would be the "first soup of the season" (FYI: it was between chili, sopa fideo from Not the Worst Mom, or Superfoods soup). But then it was close to 80 and soup seemed silly, so we had tacos. AGAIN. On Monday I sent Averson to school with a sweatshirt and we literally clapped with joy. 

I was tempted just to crank the AC to fake fall, but then the electric bill showed up and our stupid pool cost us more than a car payment. BECAUSE IT'S HOT AND ALWAYS WILL BE AND THERE'S NOTHING TO DO BUT SWIM IN THE DUMB POOL. Life is hard, guys. 

I want soup and rain and to sit on the couch reading a book under a blanket. I'm gazing longingly at my sweater shelf every morning and my joggers every night, while I make do with breathable blouses and shorts. Any time I turn on the AC in my car, I mutter swear words under my breath. 

Send cooling thoughts. And rain. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Free therapy from a stranger

I make it a rule never to work for free, but I’m going to throw these out here. Over the course of the week, I’m finding that I say the same things many times. If it’s coming up that many times in my little corner of the world, it occurs to me that there might be a lot (or 2) more people who could use to hear it. 

1) The world is really hard right now. If you’re finding yourself exhausted, distracted, or more emotionally raw than usual, it’s possible that it’s because you are continuing to function while the world is literally and figuratively burning around you. 

2) Kids are jerks. And they’re honest and sometimes they’re mean. It’s not personal and it doesn’t mean you’re failing as a parent. In fact, if they’re being jerks it usually means that they feel secure enough to know you won’t reject them. It’s also okay to stick them in front of a screen so you can have two fucking minutes of peace sometimes. 

3) Prioritize rest. We’re not as complicated as we think we are. You need sleep. I promise. 

4) Take the shortcuts. No one can do all the things. Do the things you care most about half-ass what you can. I realized that no one died if I let the family figure out their own dinner a couple nights a week and it’s freed up so much emotional energy. Get the groceries delivered, skip being Team Mom, cut yourself some slack. 

5) Every day is a chance to reset, and every day is only 24 hours long. If today was a dumpster fire it’ll be over soon and the sun will rise on a new day tomorrow.