Quitting Isn’t an Option

I have yet to meet one person that brags about how much easier their life became when they had kids.  Not one person that will openly admit that parenthood is a life surrounded by rainbows and unicorns.  Not one that will deny the fact that at some point they have entertained the idea of throwing up their hands and announcing that they just can’t do it anymore.

We all have those days in which we spend twenty minutes explaining to our tween why she needs to keep her room clean.  Explaining why living in filth really isn’t acceptable.  

Those moments when you have asked them 384 times to pick up their toy room and you just can’t fathom asking them again.

We have endured many tears while struggling over the math homework, and those are just ours.

At some point in the journey known as parenthood, we have all wanted to wave our white flag and surrender.  To walk out the door and leave it all behind.

To quit.

Here’s the thing, we can’t quit.  

Parents that quit before the job is complete is where the assholes come from.

We learn along the way that walking away before a disagreement makes a turn for the worse is so much better than staying and losing your shit.

We learn to quit arguing when they claim that the sky is green, or when they proudly announce that they can count to twenty by saying one, two, free, TWENTY!

Coming to grips with the fact that as long as it isn’t detrimental to their health, living in filth is up to them.  Just don’t come screaming to me when you find you are sleeping with spiders. 

We learn to let them make some of their own decisions, even if I think they are wrong. 

We learn to let go, even if it is just a little bit at a time.

We learn to just cut our losses and WALK. AWAY. from the things that are truly insignificant.

There are always going to be those moments in which we want to pack a bag and our passport and run away to somewhere warm that offers endless sunshine, frozen drinks, and hours of alone time. 

A place where we can be alone with our thoughts and not a worry in the world. 

Where we sit on the beach and enjoy the silence.

To relax without having hands up your shirt, fingers picking your nose, and someone farting on your lap.

While that sounds glorious in the moment, think about all the great things that would be given up.

There would be no more smooches and hugs. 

No more tickle attacks followed by contagious laughter and pleas to “pwease stop” followed by “do it again”.

No more games of tag or hide and seek. 

Gone would be the endless games of Monopoly and the spontaneous dance parties. 

No more sous chefs to help in the kitchen or assistants to streak the windows.

No more birthday parties and unexpected trips to the park.

No more “I wuv youse” and no more “read it again momma.” 

Being a parent is the hardest “job” on the planet.  Just like any other job there are days when it truly is the most rewarding job you’ve ever had that didn’t come with a paycheck.  Then there are those other days in which you are convinced that the only way you can survive is to walk out the door and leave it all behind.

Funny thing about parenting though is that no matter how bad it gets, no matter how badly we want to just walk away, parenting is the one job that you can never quit.

It just isn't.

It just isn’t.

 

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Ebola, You Don’t Scare Me

Ebola.

Ebollllllla

Ebolalalalalalala.

EBOLA.

It’s everywhere.  On the news, in the paper, Facebook news feeds everywhere, the Twitter.

EBOLA OUTBREAK!  STOCKPILE THE FOODS!  NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE!

Ebola, You Don't Scare Me

Out of 319,000,000 people in the United States, eight people are currently being treated for Ebola.

Eight.

Less than a baseball team.

A percentage so low that even my calculator laughed.

It’s so easy to get swept up in the fear-mongering that the media is throwing our way, but let’s take a moment to use our brains and be realistic.

Your chances of contracting Ebola are slimmer than me squeezing my ass into a pair of size six jeans.  That’s nearly impossible.

I’m scared of a lot of things.  Ebola is not one of them.

Things that scare me more than Ebola:

  • Head lice
  • Twelve-year-old girls
  • Vasectomy failure
  • Spiders
  • Underestimating a fart
  • My credit card bill
  • The kids’ bathroom
  • Explaining morning wood to my boys
  • Peeing when sneezing/coughing/laughing
  • Math
  • Port-a-potties
  • Hearing “Mom, I think I’m gonna barf”
  • Running out of Candy Crush lives, because DAMN IT, I KNOW I CAN BEAT THIS LEVEL
  • No wine
  • No coffee
  • No chocolate
  • Sitting in someone else’s pee
  • Crickets
  • Being licked by your dog and his tongue slips into your mouth, right after he licked his balls.
  • Chin hair
  • Auto-correct changing ‘forget it’ to ‘fuck you’ as you send a text to your mother
  • When the four-year-old says he wiped his butt all by himself
  • Wearing a bathing suit
  • Sleepovers
  • Boogers hanging out of your nose during an important interview
  • A room full of preschoolers
  • Sending a dirty text to the wrong person
  • Politicians
  • Hitting that friend request button while face-stalking someone
  • Nude leggings
  • When a kid climbs into your bed in the middle of the night and you feel something warm on your leg

Maybe I’m naive, maybe I’m an idiot, maybe I’m just tired, maybe I have the PMS; the one thing I am not is afraid.

Ebola, you don’t scare me.

PS:If you want to help those in West Africa that are living in real fear for their lives here is a list of non-governmental agencies that are accepting donations.

PSPS: This is a humor piece, I shouldn’t need to make that disclaimer but this is the internet. 

PSPSPS: It wouldn’t hurt to wash your hands from time-to-time.

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I’m Mediocre and I’m OKAY With That

I’ve been having some issues lately.  Mental ones I suppose, since physically I feel pretty good–except for the terrible case of writer’s ass, but that’s my own fault. Issues I’ve had a hard time diagnosing due to trying to fit ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack on a daily basis.  

See if this sounds familiar:

Go here, go there, do this, fill this out, write this check, go back over here, answer this phone call, respond to this email, wipe this ass, clean up this vomit, do the laundry, try to remember to pick up your kids wherever you dropped them off, and don’t forget to cook supper. Clean up, wad up fold the laundry, mop the kids and bathe the floors. Make sure it is all done with a smile and that all the fuckthisshits and eye rolls are done behind a locked bathroom door.

I have come to the realization that I can’t continue the act.  I just can’t.  I can’t pretend that I have it all together because I don’t.  I can’t pretend that I have the slightest clue what I’m doing with my kids because quite frankly I’m winging it.  I won’t pretend that life is all rainbows and glitter because there are days when shoveling a barn full of cow shit would be more enjoyable than dealing with the cards that we have been dealt.  I’m here to make a confession today my friends.  I just have to get this off my chest and run with it.

I’m mediocre.

That’s right, I said it.  Mediocre.

Now I don’t want you all to be making comments to smooth the waters and boost my ego, that’s not why I’m telling you this.  I’m telling you this because I want you to know that it’s OKAY to be mediocre.  DO YOU HEAR ME?  IT’S OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE.

Yes, I’m yelling at you because I want you to hear me.  Say it with me:  IT’S OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE.

I'm Down With It

I’m Down With It

I don’t mean to settle for being mediocre, we should never settle for being mediocre.  What I do mean that it is OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE from time to time.

No one is going to run from you screaming if they see you in yoga pants with no makeup on and your hair in a messy bun at the grocery store.

It isn’t going to kill your kids if they eat pizza and ice cream with a soda chaser for supper every once in a while.

You aren’t going to burn in hell for yelling at your kids to PICK UP THEIR SHIT.

The teachers at school aren’t going to think any less of you if you forget that permission slip.  For the third day in a row.

While your tween may be raging pissed at you for not letting her have a Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram account because the rules say you must be 13 and damn it, she’ll have plenty of time to lie about her age when she gets older.  She will get over it.

If you don’t clean the toilets today, you will have a second chance to wipe them with a clorox wipe clean them tomorrow.

Taking the kids out for dinner and a movie is always a great surprise.  Even if by “dinner and a movie”  you really mean running through the drive-thru and the kids eat in the backseat while the DVD player is on.

Having one of those days in which you just want to run away to a tropical island with Johnny Depp while you catch up on some reading while having drinks in your private cabana?  Totally normal.  Maybe not the Johnny Depp part, but you know what I mean.

Getting so tired of stepping on Legos and looking at Barbie’s skinny ass that you just want to throw it all into trash bags and forget about it?  Join the club.

Fighting the urge to send your kids outside to play then locking the door behind them is nothing to be alarmed about.  As long as you don’t actually act on it.  For too long.

Oh, you locked yourself in the bathroom this morning in order to take your morning constitutional alone?  Pooping in peace is an acceptable expectation. Never properly acknowledged-as you could probably tell by the constant knocking on the door-but completely acceptable.

Cereal for dinner?  Fuck it, why not.

They’ve watched two seasons–not episodes–of Phineas and Ferb on Netflix—today? As long as they’ve gotten up to pee and get a snack, don’t sweat it.

Here’s what I want you know.  On those days in which you feel like you are failing as a parent, you aren’t.  

When you see that kid with the perfect lunch, know that their mom probably just went grocery shopping and re-stocked.  They will most likely be eating peanut butter and jelly with a few cracker crumbs and marshmallows by next week.  

Those kids at the park are actually wearing clothes that match? Yesterday must have been laundry day at their house. The day before they were probably wearing their underwear inside out, if they were wearing any at all.

No matter how bad you think it is and how alone you may feel and how much you believe you totally suck as a parent, know that you aren’t alone and you don’t suck.

Know that I’ll be right here, becoming even more comfortable with my mediocrity and I’ve got your back.

 

Thank You

 

To my Kiddos on Mother’s Day,

Thank you for showing me that while I may consider it a weed, to you it is a beautiful flower that you picked just for me.Thank You

Thank you for showing me that it isn’t just a mud pit, it’s a restaurant that only serves the finest of cuisine.

Thank you for showing me that it doesn’t hurt a thing if your pants don’t match your shirt.  As long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters.

Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s better to spend a Friday night playing a game of baseball in the yard than it is to sit on the couch and watch TV.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just prefer to sit and watch TV all day long.  That you won’t get any dumber because of it, you just need it from time to time, and you are OK with it.

Thank you for showing me that bubble beards are hilarious.

Thank you for showing me that your little hand fits perfectly into mine.

Thank you for showing me that if you just lay and watch the clouds long enough, amazing things can be found.

Thank you for showing me that your pitch doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s the singing a song together that makes it sound just right.

Thank you for showing me that it is okay to fold that laundry later, you have a joke to tell me right. now.

Thank you for showing me that ladybugs still tickle when they climb up your arm.

Thank you for showing me that cookies for breakfast are awesome.

Thank you for showing me that laughter is indeed contagious.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just have to stop whatever it is you are doing and go to the park.

Thank you for showing me that no matter how badly I have to pee, those snuggles on the couch are much more important.

Thank you for showing me that a drawer full of crayon drawings is worth more than a drawer full of precious jewels.

Thank you for showing me that ‘mommy I wuv you, can I have just one more hug’ is the best thing I could ever hear.

Thank you for showing me that true love can always be found in the eyes of your children.

Thank you for showing me the true meaning of unconditional love.

Thank you for giving me a purpose.

Thank you for giving my life meaning.

Thank you for making me a mother.

Thank you for being my children.

 

 

I Forget

Mom, you forgot the cheese on my sandwich!

Mom, why didn’t you pack my water bottle?

Mom, I needed that permission slip today and you didn’t send it.

Mom, you promised you’d do laundry today so my shorts would be clean.

I’m not perfect.  I’m not organized.  In all honesty, I’m barely staying afloat.  I forget cheese and I forget to send snacks.  I forget who has practice on Monday and who has it on Thursday.

Things like water bottles and buying birthday gifts for that party on Saturday (that we just got the invite to on Thursday) often slip under my radar.  Permission slips get lost in the sea of papers that come home from school every Friday.  Laundry?  I’ll get around to it when all the uniforms are dirty and underwear needs to be recycled.

Your heart sinks when the kiddos remind you of something you have forgotten.  You kick yourself every time you get that email from a teacher asking if you signed that math test or if you saw that permission slip.  Your blood boils a bit when you are making that late night run to the grocery store because you completely missed that you have snack duty the next day.

You tell yourself that one of these days you will get your shit together.  You buy calendars and you make message boards.  You download the right apps for your smart phone.  This is the week you say I won’t forget anymore.

But you do.

You still forget.

After a few days you forget to use the message boards that you hung in your kitchen.  You forget you even have the apps on your phone and tablet.  You find yourself still forgetting the little things.

The little things that seem huge in the moment, but once you move on you realize that those small moments aren’t the things that really matter.

You start to think about all the things that you don’t forget. Things like:

Birthdays and concerts.

Ball games and spelling bees and art shows.

Those three really long nights in the hospital with a cranky baby.

Who likes green beans and who prefers corn.

When each baby took their first steps and uttered their first words.

Broken legs and the number of stitches on their chins.

The look of excitement in their eyes as they experienced their first fireworks display.

The time they painted the basement.  With poo.

The pride in their eyes when they told you that they aced that big test.

The overwhelming joy you felt when you watched them earn that first purple ribbon at the county fair.

The tears you cried as you listened to them sing at their first (and second, and third, and fourth…) school program because you realized that the time is passing way too fast.

All the hugs and kisses and the millionth time you heard “I love you, Mom”.

The snuggles when they are sick and the times they streaked naked across the yard.

The time you healed that broken heart with some hugs and maybe a little bit of retail therapy.

So while I forget the little things from time to time, I now realize that I am remembering what is really important.

And I wouldn’t trade those moments for a slice of sandwich cheese.

 

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: I Forget

 

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You Might Be a Parent IF…

 

You Might  Be a Parent IF...

You might be a parent if….

You can brush your teeth and hold your 3 year olds wiener while he pees.

You can brown up some hamburger, fix someone a drink, and cut up some veggies all with a baby on your hip and a toddler or two flailing on the floor because you aren’t fast enough with the milk.

You can stop mid-bite to go wipe someone’s ass only to come right back and resume business as usual.

You can whip up six dozen cookies at the last-minute when your kid tells you they forgot that they needed to take snacks for the school program….which happens to be tomorrow.

You aren’t afraid to catch vomit in your bare hands.

You can lay down on the couch and still know exactly what your kids are doing. With your eyes closed.

You take your kids out to dinner and you spend more time in the bathroom than you do at your table.

You can answer all their questions with movie quotes.

Big boogers no long scare you.  You will pick it and you will wipe it on your pants and you just won’t give a shit.

You schedule all well child checks months in advance so that you are guaranteed an on-time appointment but you can’t remember to schedule your yearly hoo-ha check.

You can’t remember to take your grocery list when you go shopping but you know exactly where Sally’s red sparkly headband is that she wore three weeks ago.

Laundry.  So much laundry you actually consider turning your home into a nudist colony.

You can play two different board games at the same time while catching up on your Words With Friends matches, and you manage to win them all.

Your most popular phrases are “get your finger out of your butt”, “we don’t eat boogers for lunch”, and “no, I don’t want to smell your fart”.

Your living room decor no longer consists of beer can pyramids and wine bottle trees.  Instead you discover non-commissioned works of art using mediums that you are certain should be removed by men in hazmat suits.

Your bathroom always smells like pee, no matter how often you clean it.

You can change a diaper in the dark and not leave any residue behind. Except for that shitty smell on your hands that can only be removed by amputation.

You can tiptoe through a bedroom at three in the morning and not step on a single Lego, but attempt it in the daylight and you are damning them all to the depths of hell.

You aren’t against taking a glass of wine and your tablet or smart phone or even Goodnight Moon into the bathroom and locking the door, whether you have to poop or not,  just for a few minutes of alone time.

You do laundry because hampers are full, not because you have a shirt that is dirty that you want to wear to the bar tonight.

You can discuss the contents of your child’s vomit over dinner and continue eating as if you are talking about rainbows and unicorns.

You do math homework.  Or at least you try.

You use glitter.

Most of your conversations are centered around poop, farts, burps, butts and boogers.

While we may not be huge fans of some of the things we do now (I for one am not a lover of vomit), we wouldn’t change any of it.  Except maybe the poo on the walls.

 

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Make the Change, BE the Change

Retard (noun):  a contemptuous term used to refer to a person who cognitively impaired, or a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way

At some point in our lives, we have all said it.  We may have been young and dumb, maybe we were at a party with friends, maybe it was yesterday and it just came out in casual conversation.

Instead of saying something along the lines of ‘that is so DUMB’.  We said it.

When our friend did something incredibly stupid.  We said it.

Maybe we saw someone in a public venue that was acting out of sorts and our first reaction was to say that they must be it.

Like many words throughout history (the N-word, the B-word) this word has morphed.  It has changed in meaning from a common term used by many without offense, to a word that is no longer considered socially acceptable.  Yet for some reason, it is still widely used.

It’s time to make a change in the way we talk about others.

This is Cody.

YKIHAYHT: Take the Pledge, Show Respect

At first glance you probably see a boy in a wheelchair. A boy who can’t do many things for himself. A boy who some would say is retarded.

I see a boy who has endured more in his seventeen years of life than I have in my thirty-eight. He has a steel rod in his back and he takes a pharmacy worth of medications every single day just to make his body work.  A boy with the strength of Hercules and a heart of pure gold.

A boy who loves going to the pool in the summer and for strolls around the neighborhood to feel the sunshine on his face.

A boy who loves to watch Spongebob or the Minions in Despicable Me as he receives his life-saving infusions once a month.

A teenager who can eat you under the table if it involves pizza, hot dogs, or cheeze-its.

A boy who knows how to get your attention by giving you a pinch on the arm and will certainly laugh at you when a scream comes out of your mouth.

I see a boy whose laugh is contagious and loves being the center of attention.

I see a boy that is caring, funny, intelligent, and strong.

I see love and a smile that can light up a room.

I see my nephew.

Meet Kathryn and her brother Evan.

Siblings that love to talk to Katherine’s guinea pigs named Leo and Georgie.  Evan loves to feed Georgie carrots and it bothers him that Leo likes to climb up the walls of the cage.

Siblings that love to listen and dance to Dynamite by Taio Cruz and Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 together.

Siblings that love to perfect the art of the selfie with a little help from the PhotoBooth app on Katherine’s Macbook.

Siblings that love to laugh together.  Play together.  Love together.

You see Katherine wanted to do something important. She wanted to make a difference.  She wanted to initiate change in her community.  She wanted to step up and show her classmates that when they use the r-word in conversation, it hurts.  It hurts not only her, but it hurts Evan and it hurts their entire family.  Take two minutes and thirty seconds to watch her video.  Please. I’ll wait:

Today I ask you to take the pledge.  It only takes a few seconds to visit R-Word.org and sign your name.  Promise to make that conscience effort to show respect to everyone and stop using the r-word.  Then share.  Share it on Facebook.  Share it on Twitter.  Share it with everyone that you know.  Change your cover photo.  Place a badge on your site.  MAKE THE PLEDGE.

The only way to make the change, is to BE the change.  I did it and I hope you will join me.

Take the time and make the pledge.

Take the time and make the pledge.

A huge thank you to Katherine for being a shining light.  Your future is bright my friend.  xoxo

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Easy-Peasy Crock Pot French Dip Sammies

French Dip Sammies

They say to write about what you love.  If you do that, the words will spill out of you and you will write wonderful words.  Well, besides my kids and my husband,  I love food.  I love to cook food, I love to eat food, I love everything about food.  So here I am, writing about food.

Food has the ability to stir up memories in us that we may have forgotten.  Sometimes they may not be pleasant, like rotisserie chicken makes me want to barf now just like it did when I was pregnant.  Sometimes though, they are the most magnificent of memories.  Memories that bring a smile to your face every time you think about it.  These sammies do that for me.  I always think about coming home from school on a really terrible day and coming home full of piss and vinegar.  Angry because I failed a test, or dropped my lunch, or fell down in the hallway.  Then I would walk in the house and the smell of these delights cooking in the Crock Pot would smack me square in the face and I instantly forgot about the craptastic day I suffered through and counted the minutes until I could sit at the table with my family and stuff my face with sammies and salad.

Now I get to pass them on to my kids.  It’s one of the very few meals in which I don’t have to listen to cries of ‘I don’t liiiiiiike that’ or ‘ewwwwwwwwww, that’s grossssssssss’ or ‘I’m not eating thaaaaat’.  When they wake up in the morning and their noses are filled with that same smell (because the sammies have been cooking all night long) I hear ‘I can’t wait to get home for dinner’ or ‘Mom made our favorite’ or ‘YEEEEE HAWWWWWW’.   When we all reconvene after a long day apart and we finally sit down around the table, just like I did as a kid, the only complaints I hear are when the roll bowl is empty before their bellies are full and when there aren’t enough leftovers for everyone to have a sandwich for lunch the next day.

They don’t even ask for dessert.  That alone should tell you something.

Enjoy.

Parenting is…

Last night I read this post on Slate.  Then I laid in bed thinking about it, foregoing sleep and wondering if  I was responsible for someone’s life choice of  never having kids.  Maybe even one of you, who knows.   A redonkulous thought, I know.  One with absolutely no proof to back it up, yet if I had read the post correctly (which after a glass of wine it was possible to misconstrue a few things) it was plausible to believe that I could be responsible for someone’s life-changing decision to refrain from procreating.  Oh boy <cue mom guilt>.

I wanted to use my space here to tell Ms. Graham that while I understand where she is coming from, I think she is missing something very important.  Parenting is so much more than what you read in a few blog posts full of inappropriate parenting humor and foul language.  Something that you can’t fathom just from reading the words from a few exhausted parents just trying to survive with a sense of humor and a small space on the interwebz.

Parenting Is So Many Things

Motherhood  Fatherhood  Parenting is:

Sleepless nights.

Smelling the vomit before you even enter the bedroom at two o’clock in the morning.

Stepping on Legos and being impaled by Polly Pockets as you venture to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Asking them five hundred times to pick up their dirty socks.

Wiping asses and sucking snot.

Digging an entire roll of toilet paper out of a poop-filled toilet.

Foot stomping, eye-rolling, door-slamming.

A filthy house.

Finding a years supply of Goldfish crackers and Cheerios in your couches and in your car.

Reminders at ten o’clock at night that they need two dozen cupcakes to take to school….tomorrow.

Rarely having a moment to use the crapper by yourself.

A shit filled diaper that overflows onto your white pants.

Trips to the emergency room for stitches, broken limbs, or worse….

Expensive. Painful.  Heartbreaking.

Parenting is not glamorous.  Not even remotely.  Anyone that disagrees with that is full of shit.  It’s frustrating  and anger-inducing. It is stressful and terrible and some days you just want to quit.

But you don’t.

You don’t quit because despite all the shit (pun totally intended), parenting is also:

Morning snuggles on the couch breathing in their delicious aromas.

Seeing them come back up the sidewalk for just one more hug before they head off to school.

Toothless smiles.

Baseball games in the front yard.

That first giggle and the first time you hear ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.

The endless string of I love yous as you tuck them into bed.

A note of thanks on your pillow when you go to bed.

Celebrating victories and comforting broken hearts after a defeat.

The joy in their eyes as they blow out their birthday candles.

The giggles as they tiptoe up behind you in an effort to scare the bejeezus out of you.

The screams of delight on Christmas morning, or the excitement over four shiny quarters under their pillow.

That moment in which they voluntarily help you fold the laundry or pick up their toys.

The clean bill of health from the doctor.

Dance parties in the living room on a snowy day.

Seeing your daughter watch you in the mirror and tell you how beautiful you are and how much she loves you.

Watching a movie with your son and he reaches over and holds your hand.

Valentines found taped to your bedroom door.

Crazy and chaotic and hilarious.

Parenting is love.

A love so deep it hurts.

A love you don’t want to miss out on.

 

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I’m Not a Bitch and Neither are You

I will never forget that moment.

The moment in which I sat in my bedroom, phone cord stretched through the kitchen, across the hallway and into my bedroom.  Stretching just far enough to allow me to close my door, and sit just inside the sanctity of my room in order to scheme with my friend in private.  The exact plans are moot today, but I am willing to bet the farm on the fact that they included alcohol, boys, and post-curfew plans of sneaking out through my bedroom window. As we plotted and solidified our teenage debauchery, the knock came and I heard the words that no teenager wants to hear on a Saturday night.

You have to stay home.

I remember flinging that door open so fast that the phone shot across the kitchen like a bullet from a gun.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO STAY HOME?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  WE HAVE PLANS! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!!!

She wouldn’t budge.  There would be no gallivanting for me on that delightful evening and I was beside myself with  a weeks worth of pent-up teenage angst.

Didn’t she realize how difficult it was to secure an evenings worth of alcohol when you are sixteen?  Didn’t she know how tedious it was to plan out an all night drink-a-thon complete with a post-curfew pick-up schedule?  She was ruining my life.

I mourned the loss of our illegal evening with my partner in crime, trying to hide in the corner of the room so that my mother couldn’t hear what I was saying about her.  There was no way I was going to show her how much she had fucked up my evening.  I was going to play it cool.

She taunted me:  If you have something you want to say to me, just say it.

I bit my tongue and continued to whisper into the handset.

Why don’t you just say something? Tell me how you feel?

It came out of my mouth before I could stop it:  YOU.  ARE BEING.  A BITCH!

At that very moment time stood still.  I had just called my mother a bitch.  To her face.  I saw my life flash before my eyes.

I had absent mindedly dropped an f-bomb in front of her before, but I had never said such vile things about her where she could hear me.  Sure I had said it behind her back, hello…..teenager.  Never to her face.  NEVER.

I think of the fear I felt.  Not only for my quickly diminishing social life, but for what I had just done to our amazing relationship. I had crossed that line and  the disappointment I felt in myself for calling the woman who gave me life such an incredibly disrespectful name sickens me to my core even after all these years.

If you use a dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.  If you prefer to use Urban Dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a modern-day servant; A person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status. 

Sure I am unpleasant at times, I am always a woman, and at times I am selfish.  I suppose if you put that all together, there are days in which the term bitch would define me perfectly. A few days each month, I wouldn’t even argue with you if you placed the term ‘raging’ in front of it.   We all have our moments in which we are being an actual bitch.   Days that we are deserving of the term,  it fits us to a T.

Degrading in status, that is the part that gets me.

Why do we, as women, feel the need to continue to use this word as a term of endearment?  Not just the term bitch, but words like hooker, hoe, slut, and whore.  Do we not think enough of ourselves and the company that we keep?

Some will argue that those words are slang and the definition has changed.  That those words, when used in the proper context, are meant to show other women that we enjoy spending time with them.  That they are our friends.

Maybe in my old age I have lost a bit of my sense of humor and I need to relax a bit.  Maybe I need to grow with the times and get hip with the slang.  Maybe…..no.

I have never enjoyed being called a bitch, and I’ve been called one (and acted like one) many times.  For me it is a reminder to take a look in the mirror and examine my behavior.  That I am acting in a way that is not becoming and that there is a good chance that I have hurt someone in a way that I should be embarrassed about.  That I am in no way, shape or form acting like a friend.

As women, it is up to us to lift each other up.  To encourage and support, to demonstrate to our children how to treat each other.  Not to knock each other down and demean each other with derogatory names, no matter how entertaining we think we are being.  Just like text-speak and poor grammar, the use of words like bitch, hooker, and whore become acceptable terms of endearment only if we let them.  I may be old-school, but I refuse to bend.

Like a tree in the Kansas wind, when we bend our core weakens and before we know it we are broken beyond repair.

I think about that night.   The look of disappointment and the hurt in my mother’s eyes.  Knowing that my use of that one word had cut into her heart like a knife.

Her ability to forgive me only proved that she wasn’t the one being a bitch.  I was.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: Bitch Please

 

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