Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sayonara 2011!

I can't really sum up this year much better than it sucked in so many ways. With my 17 year relationship imploding, it's pretty much dominated most of my head space for much of the year. I've had to deal with heartbreak, hurt, anger, rejection, self name it, pretty much every negative emotion out there, I've felt it this year. I've also had to grieve the life I had planned for myself, growing old with my loved one, watching our grandchildren play together. I've had to get used to doing things on my own, such as caring for three kids, dealing with them in the middle of the night when they're throwing up and I'm not far behind. I've had to negotiate tasks that my husband usually did, get used to going to parent and couple events alone, endure the looks and gossip and slowly get used to the idea of being replaced.

Yeah... this year has sucked big time.

However it has also really really rocked in so many ways. I learned that I have the best of friends near and far. From a group of girlfriends that you only hear tell in movies or novels, to online buddies who have listened to my many rants and cries, to my old friends and family back home who welcomed me with open arms and a whole new group of friends who have loved me to bits. Really, other than my children, my friends and family are my reason for survival.

I've had to negotiate so many new things relying on my own strength and without the support of my spouse. From being afraid to fly (and believe me, I clutched those arm rests like no one's business, but I did it!) to going to the dentist, lawyer, accountant, stock broker. To simply driving in places that I'd rely on my spouse's expertise. In that, I've learned that I'm pretty damned capable of these things myself! Go me!!!

I've had to adapt as a parent, which has been the hardest. I've had to go nuts in carving out time for me to do things with the guys when I'm not running amok taking care of the mundane things. I thankfully have awesome support in getting to do so. I've had to alter my relationship with them since I'm the primary parent 5 days out of 7. I've also had to let go of some things. Instead of trying to be the perfect parent in someone else's eyes, I've had to redefine what the perfect parent is for me and my guys and that is still a work in progress, but one I'm starting to clue into and that is bringing a lot of relief to me.

This year has been very rough emotionally, but I've survived and that in itself is an accomplishment. It's been 10 months since my ex spouse ended our relationship. I barely remember how I got through the first month, what I do remember, I look back in amazement to see how far I've come emotionally because I was a living, breathing wreck! I sometimes go into meltdown mode, and the anxiety is my biggest problem now, but I am smiling again, a lot. I feel lucky, I feel loved, I feel beautiful and I'm looking forward to the future, whatever it may bring, because i know I can handle it, some way, some how!

My ego took a serious beating this year. I mean, what can you do after someone who've loved for 17 years and who you thought loved you, decides to move on quite suddenly without warning. You feel pretty freaking inadequate. LOL Superficially, I thought about what was on the outside and what made it so awful, less superficially, I thought about the inside and internalized a lot of ugly things about myself. However with all that I've had to accomplish this year and all that I have, I'm not feeling so bad in the smarts department. More and more, I catch a look in the mirror and am surprised that there is a pretty good looking gal looking back at me. I've learned that I do not have to look a certain way to be beautiful. I've embraced and will continue to embrace that inner diva, and judging by all the diva-esque birthday gifts I got this year, I'd say I'm doing a good job. Most importantly though, I am judging a part of myself by the company I keep. I've got to say, I keep some damn fine company, and if they can embrace and love me the way that they do, I can't be all that bad.

I received some pretty awful news a few hours ago. After my initial sob, it made me reflect on how fast and precious life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. Sorry, for the cliche, but everyone has those wake up moments, we all need them. It's made me focus on all that I do have rather than what I do not. I've had a huge loss this year, I will feel it forever and it will take a while to recover, but I have gained sooooo much this year too. Most of all, my new and improved parenting relationship with my boys, the amazing friends old and new, here and away that I have, and the growing sense of self worth I am working on. I hope by this time next year, I'll start showing signs of that force to be reckoned with that I'm aiming to grow into. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is it Pick on a Muslim week or something?

This is a rant, I warn you.

I've been inundated with stories of people doing stupid things because they fear the big bad Muslim. I mean, I know that there is a serious problem with bigotry going on, but it seems this week has been selected for a couple of big boners.

First, there is the story of Lowes under pressure from some right wing Christian fundamentalist group removing its advertising from a show on TLC which follows an American family around who happens to be Muslim. The group Florida Family Association whines that the show "The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.."

Damn you for appearing to be ordinary! We all know that behind closed doors Muslims kick puppies and eat Christian babies. And how dare that show actually show ordinary Muslims! Oh my goodness, because there isn't nearly enough coverage on the media about the crazies who claim to be of the same religion...oh wait, yeah, I forgot, Fox News. Heaven forbid that all that media frenzy and madness about psychopaths hurting people in the name of religion be countered with people, I dunno, actually living lives more in line with that religion, and those lives are actually pretty similar to those of zealots...except a lot less bigoted and a lot more educated. I understand, it's pretty scary when you're trying to promote "good Christian values" in a very wrong way, that the media actually shows one of the enemy not being very enemy-ish and way smarter, peaceful and loving than you. But there it is.

As for Lowes...seriously? Seriously? Maybe you decided that not enough Muslims were shopping so you could afford to alienate the bunch, but can you afford to alienate those Christians who take the Greatest Commandment seriously. *waiting as the fundamentalists look that one up because CLEARLY they don't know what it is*.

Get this world, as much as there are folks out there who are going to demonize Muslims and try to negate the possibility that like us, most of them are pretty fond of peace and just living their lives, there are folks like me who are getting pretty pissed off with your attitudes. Frankly, those Christian fundamentalists scare the crap out of me far more than any Muslim extremist ever could. And I've got news for you fundies, there's a good chunk of the Christian world who think you're not all right in the head and loathe the day you ever get into power of any nation, because we know that the minute you do, the body count will go up. You're no more interested in peace than terrorists and you've taken the acts of a few very disturbed individuals and used it to declare war on millions of others. 

Anyhow, next target of my rant is closer to home, tell me if you're surprised...the Harper government. I know, you're dying in shock that *I* would have a beef of them right? lol The last election night was greeted with such elation as my beloved NDP party soared to new heights, it was then greeted with dread as we learned that the Tories got the majority vote. I would be groaning enough if these were just fiscal Conservatives, but they're social conservatives, no matter how much they try to sell otherwise and that scares the life out of me.

So, if you're not living under a rock, Muslim women who wear the niqab have been told to take it off or be denied citizenship when it comes time to say the oath. Jason Kenney yammering about how it goes against Canadian values in supposedly treating women as equals. Now let me get this straight, the Harper government who has yanked funding from so many causes meant to ensure that us gals are treated as equals, who have told us to "shut the fuck up" about protecting our rights to choose are NOW coming in as the knights on horseback to save all these heathen women from the oppression they face by telling them how they should be dressing.

Lets just say in the extreme case that that woman is being forced to wear the veil by her family, how the hell is denying her citizenship going to protect her? If us Canadians, defenders of women's rights are so great, maybe we should be ensuring they get into the fold? And how about those women who choose to wear the veil, I know they're all considered backwards, stupid, poor little lambs ready for the Muslim slaughter, but assume for a second they are educated women who freely chose to veil themselves, how is telling them how they should dress any better than those men you claim to be protecting them from?

I don't want to be told how to dress by the Conservatives, I might end up in some God awful sweater or stuck with hair like Harper himself. Me, as a Canadian born woman, who's relatives have served in the world wars for king/queen and country, who has a long heritage on this continent, I am not happy with this sudden move to tell women how they should dress to be Canadian. I'll wear whatever the hell I please thank you very much, and so should any other woman!

The excuses of judges not being able to see if they are actually taking the oath, come on! My 6 year old comes up with better excuses...truly, he does. Anyone and their mother can say the words, but unless you mean them, they count for nothing. If it's THAT serious, how brutal would it be to have a girls only swearing in? Not very I'm assuming.

Don't like it? Well guess what? If you think for a second that when your ancestors came and colonized this part of the world they blended in seamlessly with the people who were already living here, I've got some news for you. The world is getting smaller, people who have been separated forever are now sharing communities together. The name of the game isn't assimilation, it's evolution, which means we all have to change a little if we're to progress into brand new shinier and better higher beings. It doesn't take much really, I think of all my Muslim friends, the biggest difference of opinion I have with any of them is choice in hockey teams. I know, shocking huh? What a gap, who knows if it can ever be bridged. ITS LEAFS VS THE HABS PEOPLE! While a war hasn't been started over it, any person in these two huge rocks of provinces know its only a matter of time.

Anyhow, time to wind this rant down since it's all over the place.

1. Christian Fundamentalists, get the plank out of your eyes. You're behaving like a bunch of bigoted barbarians and it's high time you actually sit, think and reflect on that book you profess to put so much stock into it. You're pissing the rest of us Christians off, and I don't know if you've checked facebook recently, but the groups for progressive Christians are growing exponentially daily.

2. Lowes, you're not getting my business ever again. Learn how not to bow to pressure of clearly insane bigoted groups of people and we might talk.

3. Muslims=Not scary puppy kickers. Pretty normal people who believe in a religion which is no more scary than any of the other ones kicking out there, least of all Christianity. Some have questionable taste in hockey know who you are.

4. Jason Kenney, don't tell Canadian women how they should be dressing and claim you are protecting the rights of women. Your government's track record of doing that is abysmal, and most of us are smart enough to see you lying through your teeth. Jason, see point number 3, lather, rinse, repeat til it sinks in, since if you're really honest with us and yourself, this is the real issue at hand.

5. Christians...fundies out there. When you have the choice to be kind and loving to your fellow man vs being willingly in the dark, frightened and lashing out, which choice do you think Jesus would rather you make? Something tells me it's the former. There isn't a war on Christianity. There has been so much blood spilled in the name of religion, and at the rate you're going fundies, you're going to spill even more. I've never been told not to say Merry Christmas in my ENTIRE life of living in a very multicultural city. My values have never been threatened nor has my way of life. Reality check, as far as Canada and the US goes, we're still in control of this horse and buggy. So stop being frightened and start learning how to foster loving communities, we have so much to gain from being stronger and united with those different than us and it is a remarkable opportunity.

Let me close by adding a quote by Desmond Tutu, I can only aspire to have as much eloquence and grace.

"The 9/11 attackers were labelled “Muslim terrorists” and evil personified was given a Muslim face. We were told that these Muslim terrorists were aided and abetted by Muslim countries. Clearly, this logic went, Muslims were not to be trusted. The West developed special security procedures and sophisticated software to identify and track Muslims. Adherents of the Muslim faith were harassed and humiliated across the world. It was the computer-age equivalent of the Nazis daubing yellow Stars of David on the doors of Jewish homes.

If these were “Muslim terrorists,” why did we not label the Oklahoma bomber a Christian Terrorist? Why did we not label members of the Irish Republican Army Christian Terrorists? The people responsible for the genocide of Bosnian Muslims were not labelled Christian fundamentalists, and nor are members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The simple truth that we all know is that there are many good Jews out there and some bad ones, many good Christians and some bad ones, good Hindus and bad Hindus, good Buddhists and bad Buddhists, good Muslims and bad Muslims. That’s the human condition. All of us have our fair share of frailties and imperfections.

There is no religion I am aware of that propagates violence, yet many are they who commit violent acts in the name of religion – and who falsely justify cruelty as something that is sanctioned by God. As Kofi Annan so eloquently put it, the problem is not with the faith but with the faithful.

We may be differently pigmented, have different facial features, speak different languages and worship in different temples. But we know that we can successfully transplant the heart of a member of the Christian faith into the body of a Hindu patient, or a Jewish accident victim’s kidney into a Muslim.

We failed the biggest test posed by the 9/11 outrage: In our anger and dismay we failed to recognize our common humanity, that we are made for love and that acts such as those committed on that day are an aberration.

When we looked at the terrorists we did not see ourselves, we did not consider how our actions and posturing in the world may have contributed to the crime. No. We saw “others,” and we demonized them."

Monday, December 12, 2011

He's six! I need an answer book!

Ninja has been hammering me with all sorts of questions lately, questions and statements. Seems less and less he is a little boy and more and more a growing boy trying to understand the world he is in.

Starting with the basics, he's asking for a definition of every word he doesn't understand. As I stood in his martial arts studio trying to define sensitive to him and doing a poor job at it, I picked on a friend and left him to it. I do normally try to explain words, but I was floundering with this one. Anyhow, karma came to bite me in the ass with that one because on the way home I got several questions and proclamations.

First of all, he told me I was going to marry one of his martial arts instructors and he's going to help. So my 6 year old has decided to be my matchmaker.  I assured him that it was okay, I don't need his services.

"But why?"
"Why? Why? I dunno, I'm not planning on getting married for a very long time."
"Why?" Crap, seriously???
"Ummm, because Mommy is going to be busy with school."
"But Mommy, if you get married, he can help you with school, he can take care of Adele and teach us martial arts and make breakfast." Why oh why did I name my kid after a lawyer?
"Marriage is a lot of work, and Mommy is busy with you guys and school hopefully, so no, definitely no."
Thankfully he seemed to accept this.

Driving, driving, driving, listening to Christmas carols.
"Mommy, how does Jesus AND Santa exist?"
Aw Christ!
"Well, Jesus lived a long time ago and we celebrate his birthday at this time of year. Then not as long ago, a man named Kris Kringle was so moved by giving and caring, he decided to become Santa Claus"
"Yes! Magic, isn't it awesome!!!" I cannot stress how much I emphasized the magic part.
"Is Jesus magic?" Somewhere God is laughing at me.
"In a way, he is, in a way we all are." I start panicking about having to explain resurection and heaven and the like. It's 6:30, I'm tired, I'm cold, I'm hungry, I'm trying to get us home and want nothing more than a nice hot bath and hot chocolate. I'm barely capable of higher thought, let alone theological discussions that will either stick with my child his entire life, or land him on the couch of a shrink.

"I think elves are really good little boys and girls who decide to go work with Santa"
"Honey, I think that is a great theory, I like it!" I'm so glad this is the new topic. "Would you want to be an elf?"
"No, I want to stay with my family and my Ninjago, if you're an elf, you won't be able to play as much."

A couple minutes later we pull into the driveway.

"Mommy, I'm going to tell my martial arts teacher that you guys should be friends"


Thursday, December 8, 2011

My kid is brilliant!

I was pulling into the parking lot today to take Ninja to martial arts. I pulled in gingerly next to this big white truckosaurus type truck. Ninja remarks that the truck belongs to his teacher, to him is part superhero, part deity. For me and every other woman in striking range, he's just all eye candy.

Anyhow, Ninja says "You don't want to hit his car mommy, he's a black belt!"

Very good son, I have taught you well.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas is pretty tough

I've been struggling for a week in getting this post out, trying to put a positive spin on it, looking at it from a larger cooler perspective, but it's not happening. I'm bummed and this post is've been warned.

They say that first events are the toughest, God they're right. Christmas so far has been brutal, I have no feelings of joy or anticipation. It's one big Hallmark holiday and Hallmark doesn't make a card for divorcing single mothers. lol

We put up the tree, which included the gabillions of handmade decorations made to signify the important events of our years together. A great tradition so long as you stay married. It was all I could do to keep myself from crying. Then Ninja wanted to put up a few ornaments that were clearly of Mommy and Daddy together and I told him that I didn't think it was a good idea, then he started crying...then I did. In retrospect it sounds funny, but it was pretty brutal at the time. He then started pressing me about whether or not I loved Daddy. Hallmark definitely does not make a card for this! I stumbled through an answer, which was pretty much every divorce cliche in the book, largely because I had no idea of what to say. After talking with a professional, I let Ninja put up those ornaments that were important to him, explaining to him why I was doing so. But every time I look at my tree, which is really, the only sign of Christmas in my house, I feel depressed.

Shopping? Normally I'm game no matter what mood I'm in. I don't want to shop, I haven't started. It's overwhelming and really, I'd like to just avoid this Christmas, birthday, New Years by hiding in my bed. I'm going to the US to pick up some presents for the guys hopefully at decent prices, a trip I'd normally be salivating about, but it's something I'm dreading a bit more for some reason.

Then of course there are all those parties, concerts, events where you have to be together and fake a smile, all the while pretending that this isn't ripping your heart out. Ninja begged me to come to his grandparent's tree trimming party. Admittedly, part of me wants to go, because I don't want to be erased from the important events of my kids lives, nor do I fancy the idea of eventually being replaced in those events. The other part of me is dreading it, because it's another reminder of my former life and my new one is so unknown and scary.

I have to slap on a smile, pretend I'm happy and be strong for the kids, I get that, but in reality I'm hurting, I'm tired, worn and I really question some days how I'm going to keep on manufacturing strength as if it were some renewable resource. Guess that's the good thing about blogging, it's a space where I don't have to worry about my kids reading, at least for the next few years and I can be depressed as I want.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Canada

Why is THIS acceptable? It happens coast to coast, in this case, in my province. It's something we don't talk about nearly enough, yet it goes on every day and like typical Canadians, we just ignore the things we don't like to discuss.

Just about every single one of us lives in some sort of privilege because this land was violently taken away from First Nations. To add insult to injury, our government added disease, poverty and worked their hardest to destroy a way of life through residential schools, which not only sought to erase that way of life, but erased any chances of hope of generations of children from growing up happy and well adjusted because of rampant abuse. Like Canadians though, we buried our heads in the sand.

When did it become acceptable that we do this? Why is it okay that 500K is set aside for infrastructure emergencies for an entire reserve, when it will barely cover the cost of ONE house in many Canadian cities.

Where is it acceptable that in a nation as rich as Canada, that there are communities where there are no schools? No health centres? No access to the services we take for granted? We put a great deal of lip service into wanting people to better themselves, but that's a little hard when there is no school.

How is it acceptable that our fellow Canadians (never mind fellow humans) live like people live in nations without all this wealth?

Why is it acceptable that our government and everyone else just keep turning their heads away when we created and benefit from people having to live in such horrible conditions.

Who do we blame? They government? Ourselves? The people living in those communities? The better question is, who can help change things? The answer is so easy...I'll give you a couple of cookies if you get it right...everyone! You've got it *ding ding!* Write the author, ask him how to hook you up. Write your MP, tell them you're pissed. If you're in Ontario, write your MPP, not that they listen might as well get your complaint on the record. Find groups in your community who are fighting this injustice, learn about the issues, talk to people, pass on brilliantly written articles from the Huffington and less brilliantly written blog rants written by yours truly...linking back to those brilliantly written articles. People need a wake up call, they need to be presented with this issue so many times that it finally sinks in and they are motivated to do something, hell anything! Just creating a dialogue can produce an important ripple. Bottom line is, do not ignore or turn away, it takes so little effort to do something like write a letter or hit forward, so you have no excuses for doing nothing, other than being Canadian and for all our many virtues as a nation, our ability to ignore uncomfortable issues and topics is not one we should keep.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Applications sent

I'm applying to university. Well universities, I have two choices and if I don't get in...well lets just say I haven't thought of plan B because I'm so certain plan A will work out. Well there is a small ping of doubt, but I don't think I've ever really felt so positive about something in a while. I can visualize myself getting the acceptance letters, and I stink at visualization with a capital S.

So I sent off the initial forms, which involved me paying extra to have my transcripts sent to the universities. Then came the supplemental forms, one of which required me to send in not only my college transcripts, but my high school transcripts. So I spent a week chasing them down, panicking the whole time that I'm going to miss my window of opportunity (the deadline is next year, but I'm a Capricorn!). And last Friday I sent one packing registered mail, and the other one I polished off online today. Kudos to the university that allowed me to handle all of that online!

So now the waiting game. This is the part where I am painfully bad at. Though, I can't imagine anyone being particularly good waiting to hear back on a university program. My marks are decent, I've supplied every scrap of school related paper, short of my kindergarten progress reports and I wrote two kick ass reasons why I must be accepted or I will simply perish in the gutter. I may or may not have paraphrased those words. You can imagine me flopping around like a cat on a harness trying to get a moments peace for the next few months...that will be the state of anxiety I'm in, and if I somehow get through this without pulling my hair out of my head, or biting my nails down to the quick, it will be by some sort of divine intervention.

I have a lot riding on this. It's key to the next phase of my life, getting my foot into the next chapter. Something that will enable me to stand on my own two feet, as well as offer greater direction, much more challenging work and, slightly better pay. It will also be a stepping stone should I some day decide to proceed with another direction in my life.

So fingers and toes crossed, every sort of lucky charm employed, a few prayers offering my assistance on every last church related bake sale to cross my path, a whole bunch of positive visualization and a bit of faith on my abilities to secure this next part of my life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just give me a cross to crawl up on.

I came across a book about ex partners, in which it referred to the ex wife and mother as many things, but one of them was a martyr and not in the good way...although I don't know if there is a good way to refer to someone as a martyr. I was annoyed to think of my role reduced to several snarky vapid terms in order to sell a bunch of print. And when someone refers to moms as martyrs, well that just pisses me off, because whether single, married or somewhere in between, the job is fucking hard!

5 days a week, I'm running mad. From 6:30 when I rise, til about 8pm when my son comes out for his final stalling tactic I'm on the go. Rarely, I get a moment (like this) to sit down and write a post before bedtime. At about 11:30, my youngest decides to wake up and demand some comfort, and if I'm lucky, he's down for the night, where I then try to coax myself back to sleep. If I'm sick, too bad, I get up at night and keep on going. I recently had an ovarian cyst burst and as I was laying in bed the next morning listening to the ruckus downstairs, I realized it took three people to get the kids fed, dressed, off to school and the dog taken care of. Something I do on my own.

I somehow manage to tread water with the gabillion forms school sends home, the special days, the 5 day schedules, the visits, the playdates, the parties, the lessons, practices and whathaveyou. I also do all those mundane things like cook, clean, mend. My days off, I'm usually catching up on stuff or passed out on the couch from exhaustion, buried under a pile of paperwork or laundry or take out.

A martyr does all these things, but what a martyr doesn't do is accept help. I do. I have a great support system, whom without, I'd be toast. A martyr doesn't have interests. I do. I pursue them regularly. A martyr doesn't have a social life. I do. I have the bestest besties that ever were besties, a great family and a great social life...when I'm not passed out on the couch.

I don't do what I do because I want to beat my chest and say "LOOK AT MEEEEEEE! I ROCK BECAUSE I'VE SACRIFICED ALL MATTER OF ME FOR MY KIDS, FOR THE GLORY!!!" I do what I do because I have to. Would I like my work load lightened, you bet, but it's not going to happen anytime soon, so I dust myself off, step up to the plate and take my swings. My kids have gone through a pretty rough event in their lives, and in order to help them through it, not to mention, just survive and avoid being buried under candy wrappers and Lego, I have to step it up. That sucks, but that's parenthood, that's life, nothing is static and you have to be fluid enough to accept your new lot and as I've been driving home to my 6 year old "make lemons with lemonade". The less PG version of that is to grab some tequila and salt, which would be my preference, but alas, those damn responsibilities messing with my fun.

That said, if someone tries to diminish this role in some snippy trite way, you bet I'm getting a soapbox because this job is freaking hard and I'm doing a pretty decent job at it! Try filling out umpteen billion insanely redundant university forms (totally different rant altogether) while bouncing a baby in one hand and explaining to your 6 year old lawyer in training, why he's not watching Transformers for the hundredth time. It ain't easy. I don't stand on a perch crowing about it, but I will stand up for myself when someone is snarky about me doing a hard job well. And if that makes me a martyr, then hand me that cross, I'll nail myself to it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Birthday today

Today my oldest guy as of 7:55pm will be 6 years old. Having three kids, I work hard to make their birthdays special...mind you, those young enough not to remember their birthday cakes might end up getting cupcakes instead. Those who are 6 are getting the full deal with me hiring my wonderfully talented, but smart ass friend to make his ocean themed cake. So when my kids are in therapy, their birthday cakes are not going to be a subject for discussion.

All that said, there is something special for me for my oldest's birthday, because it marks the day when I first became a mother. Sure, you can say that starts at conception, but it's a totally different deal when you have a baby on the outside and you have to change diapers, nurse around the clock and get less sleep than you could possibly imagine. You also get to experience that love and wonder for the first time when you hold that little gift in your arms and not to over romaticize it, you also get to experience the panic that you feel when you have your first bout of "Baby's crying and nothing I can do is making him stop!!!" Me, I bravely reacted to that scenario by crying my eyes out, in my defense, I was 36 hours post partum.

Two more kids for me and I can say that this parenting gig is pretty hard, but I somehow manage to do it pretty well...if I do say so myself! Once in a while, you'll get a parent to be ask you for a piece of advice, my best tidbit of wisdom is be flexible. People get all sorts of funny ideas when they first find out that they are expecting. They map out the child's life from the birth plan to education to what food they'll eat, what friends they'll have, what activities they'll do. While I'm not saying to abandon the big picture, I'm also saying don't be married to it, and all the bazillion details, are not going to be set in stone. Sure, you can have a detailed birth plan set in stone about how you're going to have that baby, but when something goes awry, it's tossed out the door and being disappointed about that when you're safe and have a healthy baby in your arms is not going to set a good pace for the next thousand years of parenting. Like when your kid picks up a friend's blaster and automatically knows what to do with it, despite your no guns rule. Or when they discover junk food and demand candy every day after Halloween for the next three kids have even started early on that bent. Or even when the bigger picture gets nuked and your family changes altogether, how can you deal if you're not prepared to roll with the punches? This last year has been hard for me and my kids. I was recently criticized on my parenting and the old me would have taken that to heart and been upset, but I turned out indignant and came back at that person very strongly about my parenting skills. My kids aren't acting out horribly, they're doing well in school, socially and emotionally and as much as it is their accomplishment in rolling with the punches, it is also mine.

Parenting is a crazy job. I think a lot of people love their careers, but I can't imagine being as emotionally invested in any job as much as you are in this. You're never prepared, you always have to think on your feet. I once had to apologize to God and offer my explanation of panicking because I compared Santa Claus to Jesus. I'm sure God will understand, obviously thinking on my feet is not my forte. You can be brought to tears, experience profound wonder and laugh until your sides hurt all within a matter of a few minutes courtesy of your kids. Your endurance will be challenged in ways that would make marathon runners weep and the rewards are plentiful and amazing. With all of this going on, can you see why my advice is to be flexible.

So happy birthday to my oldest. He is a wonderfully sensitive and strong little fella. He's the first to offer someone a hug and tell them how much he loves them. He's brilliant just like his ma with an insane obsession for sharks, dinosaurs and all things prehistoric. He's funny, silly and very much the little boy who still loves to bring me bouquets of dandelions and bottlecaps. In looking at my blessings this year, me being a parent to three wonderful little guys is tops on my list, and it all started 6 years ago with my Ninja.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Being Thankful

Lets face it, I've had a rough year and at first shot, thinking of things to be thankful for bring a bit of a cynical snort. A friend told me to start a list of all that is good in my life, what I'm thankful for is a good starter because I'm thankful for these good things in my life.

My hair: Just kidding, though I do love it.

10. My health: I know this is cliche, but really, the fact that I'm upright and relatively healthy. That I can race my boys in an orchard or pick up my baby with no difficulty is pretty important. And apparently I own healing.

9. Financial wiggle room: Money doesn't buy happiness, but not having to live hand to mouth everyday (I've been there) keeps the stress at bay.

8. Canadian healthcare: I know, it's weird, but I've been going to the doctor quite a bit, and it's been much needed visits. I'm glad that I have that opportunity and don't have to think twice if I can afford another trip.

7. My age: My life as I knew it was pretty much blown apart in a big Hollywood Bruce Willis scene explosion way. However, the good news is, that I'm young enough that it actually seems fairly feasible to start anew.

6. My resilience: "I get knocked, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down!" to quote Chumbawumba. I do have to say that some times I'm mighty proud of myself for getting back up again and not going Incredible Hulk smashing through any and all hurts. They say that divorce is like a death, it is in many ways in that you're grieving something that was very near and dear to you. However with death, it's final, done and you have to get over that one giant horrible hurdle. This is like one big giant hurdle, then a bunch of awful smaller ones, brings to mind the saying "death by a thousand paper cuts" and some days that is what it feels like. That said, I'm still here, getting out of bed everyday, being on for three very important little fellas and just in general, keeping on going on.

5. My kids teachers and caregivers: Someone once told me how important quality childcare is in helping you function during your day and it's so true. I can go along my merry business not having to worry if Ms A, Ms H or Aunty T needs me. I know my kids are safe and sound and in the hands of competent people with great judgment.

4. My therapist: Yes, I'm thankful for her. She's listen to me rant and rave, or tried endlessly to make sense of things in my insane Capricorn need to have order in the Universe, she's held me while I cried, she's scolded me for not relaxing while trying to massage me (she's multi-talented). She's built me up and praised me, and has constantly reminded me that I an a good person and very deserving of love.

3. My family and friends: Really, many of them overlap. I tell people that I would not be here if it weren't for them and it's true. They have the full time job (and believe me, I'm a full time job) of helping me through this. My family downtown has welcomed me home with open arms, the safety I feel there is like a drug and something I need so much now. My online friends and hussies have listened "read" me to me pour my heart out, to get my feelings out before acting on them and have offered much love, support and priceless feedback which always gives me such food for thought. I've had several new friends come into my life this year, they play a role because they know only "post marriage" me. They have nothing to compare me too and while this isn't a bad thing, the fact that they've only known post marriage me and will testify in front of a jury of their peers that I'm pretty likeable and not a bitter, ugly, jaded person is encouraging. My besties, well, what can you say about your besties...not enough! From force feeding me (food and once in a while booze), to coming to my rescue after I decided to take on a bus with my minivan, to pimping out their mates (for "icky man" jobs I'm unable or unwilling to do) to dragging me out for a fun night, to listening to me bitch, or holding me when I cry heaving chest sobs of despair. When people hear of the shit my friends have done for me, they look at me with awe and tell me how envious they are and they should be, because without them, I seriously wonder if I'd be here and as sane as I am...which is all relative, but I put up a pretty good front. 

2. My faith: Even at my darkest moments asking the inevitable "why me?" my faith has kept me on track. When I've wanted to do dastardly deeds, I would rely a lot on my faith to put me back on the straight and narrow. But it's also not necessarily just my faith in a higher power, but being able to open up my faith and just have faith in that things will turn out. It requires a lot of letting go on my part, and I'm not nearly at a reasonable level of accepting that I do not control every last thing on the planet, but I'm getting there. Letting go a bit does feel pretty good.

1. My kids: Some of you are wondering why I didn't start off with them...this is a countdown! Seriously, I love my guys, they are the lights of my life. I'm happy I get to spend my days watching them grow and develop. I admire them for coming through this hard year so well, they are little troopers. They always make me laugh...along with pulling my hair out, but they are quick to charm me back into adoring them again. My oldest won't get to escape this pain, he's not blessed with uber young age like the other two, but he's been trucking along like the best 6 year old survivor out there. His favourite song is Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, he even sings it complete with the accent (my kid is talented), but he has handled this with such grace and love that he inspires me to continue going on and being a good person despite everything that has happened.

I hope to update this list frequently, but this good to start off with. I think it was a good exercise writing some of the things I'm thankful for, I encourage everyone to give it a go.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Strong Women

When you have something you are passionate about, if you get a bee in your bonnet related to your passion, it continues buzzing until you satiate the damn thing. In my case, it's writing down my thoughts. Even when it's closing in on 1:30am and I have to be up in 5 1/2 hours to three bouncing off the wall boys and a very stoic poodle puppy. So I was having a chat with a friend, shooting the breeze about life in general and old times and it got me thinking about something that's been a good positive consistent theme in my life. So as I'm lying in bed thinking about the conversation, I can't get the topic out of my head, so I heaved myself out of my nice warm and ever so comfortable bed, and made my way down to old Betsy and here I am...nose inches from the screen because I already took my contacts out and I can't find my glasses. So this is going to be filled with oodles of errors because I'm tired and I can't see. Duly warned!

For those who don't know, I grew up in Regent Park. Most of it is rubble now, including my former home, but back in the day it was a community rich in culture, people and relationships. It was much like a small town in that we were pretty isolated from the outside world. We would do our food shopping and get supplies when needed, but for the most part, entertainment was local, schools were local, friends and family were local, churches, get the picture. So that consistent theme. Well everyone always thought of Regent as this scary place filled with drug dealers and criminals, and while the drug trade did find a convenient place to exist in that poorly mapped out community, there were families. Tonnes and tonnes of families. Thousands of people crammed into roughly 1000 units total. Many of these families were headed by women. I can probably count on my hands the number of dads who were consistently there and kudos to them, however fellas, I'm here to talk about the women...why? Because I am one, and it's my blog. :)

These moms were tough! I mean tough as nails tough. We never crossed the moms, didn't matter if they were our own or not, they'd just as soon chew you out, then go tell your mom, who would proceed to make your life hell for the next little while. They had to be strong, strict, caring and stand up to shield us as much as they could from a very chaotic world. On top of that they had to deal with poverty, living in broken buildings, several jobs and all the little things we take for granted, but were magnified because of all the additional crap we had to endure.

But there were those moms, those aunts, those sisters. In Regent, often your family was your friends and neighbours. I have so many people I consider family who I don't share a drop of blood with. You might squabble with them over the noise of their TV, but they'd also give you their last cup of milk if your kids were screaming. We watched out for one another.

One time, we had the fortune of having 3 crack houses on our floor! This caused a lot of night time traffic, fighting and just overall a terrible situation for the rest of the families there. The police did the minimal, the landlord too, so the moms decided to take matters into their own hands. For weeks, they'd whisper death threats to us kids to not leave our apartments (we never listened) and they would collectively stand at the elevator doors and harass anyone who was there to do drugs. There was a church lady there. And anyone who grows up in an inner city community knows that you do not FUCK with the church lady. She had an old fashioned school bells, so the first thing those folks were confronted with when that door opened was an angry Jamaican church lady with a very loud bell, giving them the well mannered, but in no uncertain terms chewing out that only an angry Jamaican church lady could give (God help me if she ever saw the language I use on my blog). But really, all these moms took a serious risk, they could have been hurt in so many ways, there were plenty of opportunities to get them alone, but they decided as a collective that this nonsense had to end and they'd fight like hell together to do so. Within a month, those crack houses had moved on.

Our community was enriched by many dedicated professionals who came in and worked hard. From the school teachers, to the doctors and nurses, the admin staff, the community workers. My sense of constant moral outrage comes from my grade 4, 5 and 8 teacher. She's way crankier than I could ever muster, but dammit, she'd be proud at my uppityness. I remember discussing my sexual health as a teenager with the caring doctors and nurses at our local health centre. I'm sure all you women can remember how much fun THAT was as a young woman. I can remember how much love and encouragement I got from everyone really. Our moms might have squabbled, but they left the kids out of it, that was a hard and fast rule. I used to write for the local youth paper and bringing my sense of moral outrage and uppityness, I wrote an article slamming the local community police liaison committee for classism and completely ignoring Regent Park in favour of the much wealthier communities surrounding our home. Well, didn't all these folks demand a meeting with me, where they proceeded to tear 16 year old me a new one. I was there with two of my 16 year old friends getting that beating. But my mom whom I whispered death threats to if she went all mother bear on me, was there and made sure that I was okay at the end of the meeting. Shortly after, I was at a local committee meeting and was presented with a journal from a lovely woman. She told me to keep writing and keep giving them hell, I intend to make good on that. I still have that journal.

And really, just thinking of how many countless people who have come out of Regent Park, with all the temptation to fall into despair and destructive activities, as folks who have avoided all that and have made good lives and relationships for themselves and others, is a testament in itself to the sheer force of will and soul our mothers had to get us to that point.

I've struggled in the past 8 months, God knows how I've struggled, but I've survived and I've come to a point where I know I'll survive. I've also noticed that the people who have circled the wagons around me, have been predominantly women. One of my most favourite recent memories, was coming home to my bestie aka my wife, my babysitter and our kids at home and dinner well on the way. How perfect was that? My only regret was that my life saving, I worship the ground she walks on, nanny and my mom weren't there. Just women doing what we always do, to take care of the kids and banding together to take care of each other.

I sometimes wondered where I learned how to be this strong, but tonight while chatting, it dawned on me or was presented to me, I'm sorry, it's late, I can't remember that I have this legacy of amazing women all throughout my life. They have been strong, opinionated, generous, downright bitchy if need be, terrifying and loving all at the same time. It's very humbling to think of them, because living or dead, even though their blood does not run in my veins, their wisdom and passion lives within my soul. It was an epiphany tonight, and I know the next time I feel burnt out at the end of my rope, I will remember them. Words cannot possibly express the gratitude and appreciation I feel, it's overwhelming, so all I can do is to vow to live my life with the same strength, fire and kindness that they do/did.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Puppy Love

Money can't buy you happiness...YES IT CAN!

How can money buy you happiness you ask? 


She is called Her Royal Highness, Prissy of Prissyness, Duchess of all things girly, and Mommy's little girl, even if she is on four feet. Otherwise known as Adele and she is all mine. I'm just waiting for the boys to get home, they have noooooo idea! Muahahahahaaaa.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Well the first thing about it, should have me questioning what the Hell I'm doing this late or early in the day writing blog posts, but I kind have had another "aha" moment where I've survived another challenge, where I thought I would falter. In fact I felt myself faltering and now I'm more tired than anything else...which makes sense given that its 2am.

I've been looking at old photos, reading old letters, thinking of the past and I'm gaining the ability to look at it objectively. My therapist told me that this would be the next step and it feels good. I can pinpoint moments where I didn't feel safe in my life, my relationship and it's been a lot of the time, and some of it was me, some of it was the relationship. Largely I've been focusing on the woman I was, and the woman I am just starting to be. She was always in there, I knew her when I was younger, in my teen years, in college. She's spunky, she has fire, life, beauty. It's not that the previous me didn't, but she was subdued, she hid behind her kids and let complacency settle in because she put her family and her husband above any and all needs for herself. Okay, enough talking in the third person, I'm annoying myself. I look at pictures of me a year, two years, three years ago. I look sweet and loving, warm and nurturing, just like a mom should be, but there was no woman in there. I lived under a shadow of never living up to this ideal woman, one I never could possibly be, so I think in a sense I gave up and forgot about who I was.

I remember a conversation with one of our mediators and she asked me, who I was before I had kids, before I put my family before myself. I stumbled along, remembering short glimpses of some spunk, and determination, but really I had a hard time picturing it. Mind you, getting up from a left hook to the jaw (figuratively) tends to dull your memory, and mine is shitty to begin with. But now, as I continue to live my life, on my own, as my own woman, I'm remembering. I was hell on wheels! Always ready with a rant or cheeky comment, all fired up and ready to change the world. That slipped away slowly as I put everyone needs and wants above my own and eventually lost that person. However the good news is, that I feel that person coming back. Now mind you, I'm planning on being a bit more tempered, and while I will move heaven and earth to make sure every one of my children's needs are met, I'm also going to honour some of my own too.

I need to be a woman. I need to have a life outside the home. I need to have goals and dreams (I already have them). I need to not define my life by supporting someone be the best that they can be. I need to feel safe, wanted and beautiful and not second rate, if I am going to be in a relationship. I need to take over the world. Most of all, I deserve all these things, especially the world domination.

I look at the woman I was a year or two ago, and the woman I am today, the woman I am today has a few more grey hairs, has a nice worry line in the middle of my brow (ITS THERE!) and has shed enough tears to fill a swimming pool. I am also stronger, more loving, more competent and way more hawt! Yeah, I said it lol I'm also more hopeful and more entitled to all those good things that I would wish for my children, friends, loved ones in a relationship. I feel more confident and ready to take steps out into the world for myself and plot my own course. Someone asked me today if I'm enjoying being single, and since I got my tattoo (What the hell was in that ink John? I feel like a brand new freaking person!) I can say I am. I'm enjoying getting reacquainted and learning about the woman I'm becoming and I'm liking her...a lot. That's more than I can say for a very long time and it feels amazing!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

*Queue James Brown*

I do feel good. I feel fanfreakingtastic, I mentioned it on facebook and was commanded by one friend to write about it, so here I am. It was a far better prospect than roasting a turkey that her brother suggested (BTW, Thanksgiving, if you're interested, you're of course welcome, Xmas too).

I don't know, I have faced a hurdle that I had been dreading. And you know when you dread something and you're terrified of it coming and when it finally does come, it's not necessarily as bad as you dreaded. You walk away feeling "hmph, not sure why I was fussing about THAT!" That's how I feel, except I feel like it still was a big hurdle, but I feel like She-Hulk that I survived it and I'm able to let go of so much hurt and anger and dread. And with that, not only comes a sense of peace, but a sense of power. I'm not saying that it's all going to be unicorn farts and rainbows, but I continually look back and see the peaks that I've scaled and see them progressively get smaller and smaller.

Something that finally sunk in for me on Friday when I faced the big hurdle was despite all of that relationship hurt, I was loved and worth loving. As I was trying to get a grip, I thought to myself, I have millions of amazing friends, all quality people who would and have done so much for me. I have a great family, (most of whom are not blood related) again, who would do and have done so much for me. I'm reasonably smart and attractive. I have a kick ass tattoo and hair that would make Eva Longoria envious. I've got three adorable bright boys who I love and who love me back with the ferocity of a million shining suns. Really, I'm worth love, I'm worth good love and damn good treatment. Okay, enough about how great I am and how loved I am, I'm trying to say in a million words or less, that I had an epiphany and its one that everyone needs to have for themselves.

We all have our crosses to bear, our hurts, disappointments and anger. Many of it stems though from feeling wounded and that wound ultimately can only be healed with time and with self care. It's vital to let that wound heal, and like any cut or scrape, you keep it clean, kept it nurtured and cuddle up to anyone who is going to give you a cookie. Same goes for those emotional wounds. My therapist once told me that you can only depend on yourself and God. That seems like a pretty jaded outlook, but I don't think so. I think spiritually, only you can take care of that garden of yours. You know what needs weeding, what needs to be staked, what needs a little extra fertilizer or warmth, and no one else is going to do that for us, not even God. If you're the religious sort, if you think about it, we're pretty much mandated across the religious board to love ourselves as much as our makers love us. And even if you're not religious, it's still a good exercise to really love yourself, work on that garden til you come to that epiphany of what you are worth (and believe me, you are worth loving, especially if you're one of my friends!).

I have to say, that that has brought me such a peace and happiness that I'm still pinching myself wondering if this is a dream. And isn't that the goal in life, to be at peace and happy? That happiness brings personal power, and that personal power gives you the ability to let go of your hurts, at least for a little while, and it will build a base, that you can revisit the next time you hit a bump in the road and the next. And then, letting go of your hurts, equals more happiness and it goes around in a big trippy rainbow unicorn circle. But hey, as much as I knock the rainbow unicorns, I had to admit, this feeling is pretty fan freaking tastic, so it's definitely a state of mind I will be pursuing a hell of a lot more in the future. In the meantime, I'm back to James Brown and my happy tunes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I feel pretteh, oh so pretteh

Just going to warn you right now, this post contains a lot of leg, and small amount of underroos (new word of my own creation) and a fair amount of cellulite. 

Today was what we call a loaded day. It's my wedding anniversary, it had the potential to go either very very right, or very very wrong. Fortunately I did something I rarely have the smarts to do....I planned ahead. I decided today that I was going to church come hell or highwater and I was going to stay the whole service. I'd previously made an attempt, but couldn't stop the tears and left the building. Today was a double whammy, being in the building where I was married, where my children were baptized, on the date of my marriage 12 years prior. However I did it! I made it! I felt tears coming a few times, but I stuck it through. Well I did miss the sermon due to fussy baby, but the point is, I didn't leave in tears. I also made a vow to myself in church to strive to move forward and to love myself as I should from this point forward.

With that under my belt, my inlaws (I think I'll always call them my inlaws) took the lil'uns for a hike with the ex and I spent my time getting supplies for the week, doing a bit of tidying up and I even took a soak in the tub, oh yes, in the vein of loving myself, I also went to get some awesome Hakka food (diet be damned) and found an amazing deal on Moroccan Oil!

Fast forward a few hours later, I'm up on a table with my leg on fire. After 17 years of wanting one, I bit the bullet and got a tattoo. I had been thinking of getting one for a few years, but could never think of what to get. However after some thought during these hard months, I thought that a phoenix would be the order of the day. I've had to reinvent myself in so many ways and I needed something to symbolize it. Everything fell into place really perfectly. On my anniversary of my marriage gone down in flames (sorry for the dramatics, I'm going somewhere with this), I'm going to go get a phoenix tattoo.

I went back to my home to have it done, the artist was on the solid recommendation of my downtown family, and believe me, they would know. Since I'm a wuss, someone I love dearly and consider part sister, part aunt held my hands the whole time. Despite the pain (and it fucking hurt, everyone who told me it wouldn't, y'all are nothing but a bunch of lying liars who lie!) I loved every moment. I felt safe, loved and supported in only that way family can. We shared many laughs, stories and winces on my part.

I just now had an emotional moment thinking about it. It's been happening a bit lately, it's a good sign, even if it does have me reaching for the tissues. I'm blessed that I'm overwhelmed with emotion because I'm starting to truly feel safe and loved again.

My safety duck, courtesy of a sweet 18 month old. lol

The pain, while not enjoyable was also symbolic for me, because in order to have this beautiful design on me forever, I am going to have to go through some pain. Likewise with my life, to be this beautiful strong woman I know is in there, I'm going to have to go through some pain...a lot of pain. lol That said, a teenager wise beyond her years remarked that I would feel a sense of peace afterward, and she's right, I do, it's like it belongs here, though I nearly scared the daylights out of me walking past my mirror and seeing this bird staring at me. That's going to take some getting used to.

awesome outline

Many thanks to John Bertrand for the amazing vision, skilled hands, patience and sense of humour to make this happen. I'm so not looking forward to the fill, but no pain, no gain. I think I'm definitely going to be that "one tattoo" type of person. Thank goodness it's so awesome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Well August was a brutal month. Not all of it, but the second half right into September, however two kids into school, the big guy loooooves it. I've loved our Montessori, but there is something very sweet about my guy having buddies that live right around the corner...freaking convenient too. Our local public school truly does have that community feeling, much like my public school, except with this time around, the parents are supervising their kids. Anyhow, that's a load of stress off my shoulders and now I've been working towards volunteering so I can give back and look all bright and shiny on my resume. I'm also working on being a little more selfish, in truly enjoying my time off without running around doing errands. Baby steps!

But that's not what this post is about. Today I hit a milestone. These are typically hard days, but this one sort of crept up on me. As of today, had things been different, I would have been with my ex 18 for a total of years. Wow. That is over half of my life. Ultimately, we're going to be a part of each others lives in different capacities til the day we die since we share children, but it's still an adjustment not being part of the day to day.

That said, I'm surprised that this day hasn't been rough for me...well it has seeing as I have the back to school plague courtesy of my darlings, but I haven't shed a tear, I haven't been terribly sad, reflective yes, but more objectively. Maybe it's the plague, maybe my head is too addled to really feel, in which case, I could make a mint just bottling this plague up and selling it to people who really don't want to feel crappy feelings for a week, the only side effect being that they get a dose of a whole other brand of crappy.

I ran into a mother at school who I haven't chatted with in a while, we got to talking and it turns out she is not with her little one's father either. I had suspected as I've seen them interact, and while it wasn't hostile, it had that same vibe it does with me and my ex, all business and a concerted effort to keep it all business. She told me that it happens for a reason and I replied "I truly do believe that, there is a bigger plan for me" and I actually believed it, I still do! Its a pretty good feeling.

For some reason, even though the mountain just jutted up 40 gabillion miles into the sky, the world seems to have a lot more potential. I seem to have a lot more potential. One of my besties remarked how I'm a different woman compared to a year ago and she's right, I've been through Hell, I'm still going through Hell, but the one thing I know now is that I can survive this Hell and that's a pretty freaking great feeling! Lets hope that carries me through five days into the future when I'm celebrating my former wedding anniversary by getting my first tattoo...Did I mention that I hate needles?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Are you my friend?

You might have heard me reference my friends in my posts...considering most of my readers are my friends, you are an amazing bunch of people. You've helped me during the worst crisis of my life, you continue to help, whether its providing an ear, an online chat session, rushing over for a coffee, or dragging me out of the house kicking and screaming. I cannot believe the amount of love and warmth you continue to share with me.

There have been some friends during this whole messy business who have been caught in the middle, they don't know what to do and I feel for them. We've had "couple friends" and they're kinda stuck in no mans land fearing to breathe for all the landmines of messy gooey emotion around them. Whenever asked, I've told them to please feel free being both our friends, and most have and for the most part, its business as usual. Although the women parts of these couples have been very generous in loaning out their guys for all the icky, gross or strong jobs I simply cannot do.

I'm taking this opportunity to brag, I've become fairly efficient at killing bugs and not freaking out. I actually came EYE to EYE with a moth at the gas station while pumping gas. I figured it would be in my best interest not to freak out and potentially blowing everyone in a 2km radius to kingdom come. That is an achievement!

Bug killing Joy is so great diatribe over, back to those friends. They have wandered through a really sticky mess and have come out the other end still committed to be friends to both of us in different ways and I feel blessed because of them. They didn't have the luxury of a cut and dried situation, they felt the shock and sadness and grief and they've had to deal with all of that on top of all the crap their own lives have thrown at them. They've had to do a tightrope line of support to both parties, it's pretty intense, I don't envy them, but they've shown their character and grace in spades.

All that said, I have lost some friends in the process. Some have just chosen to continue on the friendship with the other half, as they might have been closer to him. Some have been a bit two faced in running back and forth letting each of us know what the other had to say. Some have run off the deep end in gossip.

I can understand the decision to choose, sometimes the cards just have to lie where they fall and I don't bear anyone ill will because of it. I've had to amend my thinking and some practical issues because of it, but I guess there's bound to be casualties in all areas of life surrounding the break up of a marriage. It's just something I've come to accept. I'm actually a bit surprised about how easily I came to accept this, go fig.

The latter two categories of friends are former friends. Their actions can smart sometimes, but I'm generally more pissed about it, and not a defensive type anger stemming from hurt, but just a plain old "you're an asshole" type anger. Some have been reading this blog and have been turning it into gossip fodder, which of course works like a broken telephone, so if I say "the kids are great" it comes out the other end as "purplemonkeydishwasher". My advice...get a new hobby...purplemonkeydishwasher!

I think gossips of this sort, well they might be short term inflicting some wounds on the parties involved, but in the end, I think it will only hurt themselves. A friend once said something to the effect of "its a lot easier to heal from a hurt inflicted on you, than one you've inflicted on others" I'm paraphrasing, she's a lot more eloquent, but it's stuck with me, which is something because most days I barely remember my kids names. But they're wise words and if I'm firing on all cylinders, I try to remember it before acting.

Anyhow, enough negativity, I had to get those musings off my chest and to quote Forest Gump "that's all I have to say about that." Back to my good friends.

A lot of people when they've finally finalized a divorce and feel in a spot where they've turned the corner, they have a divorce party. I don't like that idea, I mean, it's the end of a marriage where presumably once two people loved each other. I don't like celebrating the end of love. So my perspective is, that once I've turned that same corner, I'm throwing a different kind of party. It's a friend appreciation party, because as one love ended, so many people have stepped up their love to fill in some of the gap. While it's impossible to fully do so, I feel that my friends have made my cup half full, so they better be prepared for one hell of a fiesta when I've conquered this hellish mountain of doom, which is uphill both ways and snowing on both sides, with volcanic eruptions, rabid rampaging moose and I'm butchering a pair of Jimmy Choos and my feet climbing it (just to put into perspective of what a challenge I face) but more importantly how much my friends have stepped in to make it easier.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Girl Vacation-St. Johns

I'm calling this my big girl vacation, because I've never traveled alone. But to be exact, I'm truly not alone. Well, tomorrow will be my first day on my own. Since getting here, I've been spending some much needed time with my bestie who grew up in this amazing part of the world. It's certainly made my first big girl vacation a lot easier when I'm lucky to have such a great friend and her awesome family to welcome me. Anyhow, last night after spending a wonderful afternoon with her folks, we went and enjoyed quite a bit of wine and great conversation. Thankfully I had my wits about me enough to drink enough water so that other than that really really dry mouth in the morning I was good to go.

So on to the quintessential whale watching tour. And like every other whale watching tour I've been on, I've seen a variety of birds, but no whales. And unlike every other whale watching tour or just plain boat I've been on, I got sea sick. So I spent a good deal of time hanging over the back of the boat, but once I recovered, I found myself, my back leaning on the railing enjoying the ride. Something I would have NEVER done before, out of fear. My bestie was in the cabin with her boy and came out to take photos of me. She said that I looked so happy, content and beautiful, she had to grab my photo. I don't know about beautiful, but happy, oh yes, I was.

I was out on the ocean, on my first vacation by myself, to a place that I've been wanting to go to for at least 10 years and it was just as beautiful as I had imagined. Someone was playing a flute, or it was being piped in, I'm not sure, the wind blowing in my face and for the first time in a gabillion years, I was doing something truly for myself. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, god willing not any moose or flat tires, but I will revel in the fact that it will be all about me and that I am capable of doing this all by myself.

Personally, though, I think I look happiest here 
with my friend Mom2Michael of Raising My Boys

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All my bags are packed

Okay not really, I can't pack to save my life. It doesn't help that my destination can't seem to make up its mind on whether it's summer or winter. The local weather report according to my bestie "It's fucking miserable!" She just be taking part in the national past time of bitching about the weather, however the Weather Network seems to concur, they might not quite use that description though.

Anyhow, I'm on my first adventure solo. Whenever I've traveled its been with someone, save for a short plane ride to Boston where I met ex for a good few days. Part of me is thrilled, the other part of me is terrified. Why? I'm not terribly sure why. I mean I'm staying in my country, going to a province with reputably friendly people, going to enjoy much of the natural beauty, I don't have to convert and worst comes to worst, I have several people on the island I can live with til I earn enough money to get back home.

I think I'm afraid of being alone in a new environment for some time. I'm good with being alone at home, I freaking crave it! But this is a little different. Not having access to my friends or support system in a pinch...not having access to cellular (damn you Rogers, would it kill ya to put up a couple of towers in Newfoundland?). I'm afraid of not being able to fill my day with distractions so I don't really have to think those deep important thoughts that people typically tend to think when they are alone. Though maybe now is the time to think of those thoughts, I'm usually inspired to reflect by reading or talking to someone, but it's very focused, maybe it might be a good thing to let the mind wander. Hopefully I'm strong enough to withstand where it wanders to.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Firsts and lasts

Go me! I'm on a roll today. Another thing I've been reflecting a lot on today is firsts and lasts. I was washing my hands this afternoon and for some reason, I started thinking of new years eve, and how this will be my first one ever where I'll be alone. It's such a couples event, and since most of my friends are coupled, well unless Alexander Skarsgaard magically walks into my life and I win him over with my charm and personality, I'm kinda goosed. My youngest is turning 1 in a few short weeks, and it will be the first birthday party, truth be told I'm kind of dreading it. Last year, we were upstairs in my room sharing a new life we brought into the world and a few short months after that everything derailed. Not to mention the party...can you say awkward!

Then about 15 minutes before I started writing this post, I was folding up some suits and shirts that the ex had left behind in the laundry room and thought to myself that this would be the last time I fold his clothes again. I was thinking about when we first started dating, I harassed him for an item of clothing to keep so that I could be reminded of him when we were apart. Us wimminfolk are supposed to have a highly developed sense of smell (that's why we can tell when the yogurt has expired, while the menfolk are shoveling it down their throats) and I wanted that item of clothing so I could smell my ex and be reminded of him. It smelled like his shampoo (Head and Shoulders). Back to now 20 minutes ago, I'm folding up his suits and shirts for the last time and I smelled one...and didn't it smell like Head and Shoulders. Gave me that good little needle in the heart.

That said, a few months ago I would have broken down in a puddle crying. Now, I shed a couple of tears and kept doing my work. Its funny because just when you think you're sailing along divorce being Wonder Woman, hear you roar, you are healed and dancing around to Beyonce's Single Lady, a first or a last comes and sucker punches you. There are going to be many more I'm sure, I guess I just have to rely on the fact that I've climbed up worse valleys and that there are going to be many great firsts. Like my first grown up trip all by myself. I'm half terrified, half excited to be driving around Newfoundland all by my lonesome, or my first tattoo, which I hope will be happening in September.

I guess bottom line is, life is full of surprises, at least I know I'm in for a bumpy ride for the next 2 1/2 years (they say it takes 3 to get over a divorce, I'm counting down the days lol). It's not like this is something new and unique, many people live through divorces and live to tell the tale, they all had to go through this and now its my turn. All I can do I guess is make sure my shocks are in good shape, break pads are new and a hell of a lot of renewable fuel.


There was a discussion on one of the forums about getting revenge on a partner who has wronged them. Some people came up with wicked ideas, some people with gross ones, a lot said "no way, why waste the energy". I didn't respond, rather I was inspired to write this post because it caused me to be reflective on my own behaviour of the past few months.

When my ex told me that we were finished, I was destroyed. I cannot describe the hurt. I honestly cannot remember how I got through it, other than by leaning seriously on friends and family and taking autopilot to new lengths.

Anyhow, back to revenge. When news got out, people were shocked with me. People were egging me on for crazy revenge plots and doing pretty angry things to personal property. I have memories from my childhood of my mother slicing through my fathers clothes and throwing them down the garbage chute, with every other female on the 11th floor. My father was a womanizer to the nth degree so it happened a few times. I remember being confused, because while all the woman and girls on the floor took glory in doing this, I felt embarassed. Yeah, she was getting revenge, but it just seemed like such a waste of energy, energy that should be spent crying over a cup of tea with a few good friends. I do admit I did little things in the early days, like hiding toothpaste, or removing one sock from each pair of socks. I felt so powerless and these little things gave me a momentary sense of power, but it wasn't sustained, the hurt returned even worse, because I had to confront the reality, that this has been done and I had no power, those little revenge items just delayed me realizing that. I had every opportunity to do a gabillion things for some serious revenge, but I didn't and people from my friends and family to his business colleagues wondered why. They remarked that they would not have been so gracious and sometimes i wondered, "am I being a doormat?"

Looking back six months later, I'm glad I took the high road. Honestly! I still feel hurt and I still analyze everything to death, but I feel healthy...or healthier. I spent that time crying to friends and family. I reached out for support and made sure I was doing work that would sustain me for a long time. Was it hard? Much harder than getting revenge, but it's left me in such a better place, which in the end is much more important to me and my children. The fact that I can break bread and not want to beat my ex over the head with a baguette marvels me and I take it as an accomplishment. Does it mean I have forgiven him? No, not yet, but I can see it the future. There is a lot of profound African wisdom around the topic of forgiveness, now mind you, many folks on the continent need that wisdom, but we have brilliant examples in South Africa or Rwanada about taking the higher road. It's not an easy path and it will take years, decades, who knows maybe even centuries to fully heal, but the alternative was to throw these nations and communities into further hatred and bloodshed and in the end, even centuries of painful growth seems a far better alternative. I remember reading a story about a Rwandan genocide survivor who had forgiven his neighbour who killed his family before him, after unsuccessfully trying to kill him. I always think back to his wisdom and I'm paraphrasing, but he said something to the degree that if you are sick, you need to take medicine to make you better, sometimes that medicine is not pleasant, but in the end, you will heal. Sometimes the medicine to hurt, is just riding it out, and having faith that it will end if you take care of yourself properly.

This event in my life, it was a loss, a deep and profound loss, but the fact that I have survived it and done a very good job in surviving it gracefully is an accomplishment I will always look back to with pride. And no amount of revenge I could have taken will ever come close to that very good and whole feeling of not only surviving, but surviving well. And that, my friends, that is power.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You get what you seek

Are you getting treated like dirt everywhere you go? Is there always some idiot annoying you? Are you having difficulties stepping out of your house without being assaulted by someone trying to cause you offense? Flypaper for freaks? Beacon for bitchiness?

Well, you're either one seriously unlucky individual, or you need to look at the common denominator in this case...which is, you.

That is the hard thing, looking at oneself in the mirror when it comes to trying to figure out why things are so crummy, because it means we've got to take some accountability.

I can tell when I'm in a bad mood, I go out and every little thing people in the grocery store/mall/gas station annoys the hell out of me. I was shopping last night and I swear I was looking to be offended. Normally I'm a live and let live kind of gal. I wasn't always that way. I'd get into snarkfests with random strangers because they were doing something that was a little annoying, but I'd take it up to DEFCON 1 (according to wiki, the accurate use of DEFCON is that it's a countdown, so DEFCON 1 is the most serious. So the movies are all wrong...or wiki-debate anyone?) Anyhow, the point being is, if you are consistently in a shitty or vulnerable or looking to be wounded type of mood, chances are, it's going to happen.

Why are we that way? I think everyone has a period in their life where they are that way. Well, we are feeling vulnerable. We're having a shitty go of it. We're dealing with systematic unfairness. It sucks, I know! However, by being annoyed and hurt by every.single.small.offense. we are drawing our strength from being angry at the small things, instead of finding that inner strength we need to get through what is actually being the hard stuff we have to deal with. Being angry can be useful, it gives us that fire, it draws attention so people can give you a pat on the back for standing up for yourself, but anger is a sprinter, not a long distance runner. Most of the challenges we face in life are marathons and if we spend all our energy up front, we're not going to make it to the finish line in good shape.

Life is not fair, I know, BELIEVE ME, I know. My life has been marked by hard times. Up until this year, the past 5 have been relatively easy. After my seperation hit, I was not only despondent by the events, but I was wondering and angry about the spiritual side of things. I mean "Why me? Haven't I already had a shitload of bad things in my life?" I was in that state a couple of months, til I mentioned it to my therapist, who is very keen on the spiritual side of things. She suggested that as the first part of my life was so hard, the second part of my life with my ex and family was a calming down recovery period from that Godawful hard part, but now it was time to get my butt out of recovery (okay, I'm paraphrasing) and it's time to start with my life. Basically...instead of seeing the bad in this, why not see the opportunity. It's hard seeing opportunity, when you're going through a hard slog, feeling tired, beat up on, or see a big challenge for the next umpteen years, but I do think it's important to start looking for the good things, however small in life EVERYWHERE!

The thing is, if you're constantly going to let life piss you off, beat you up, wound you in every little step, you're not a survivor, you're a victim. A survivor will put their foot down when needed, but will not waste energy on something that might make them wince a little. If you keep adding all the little hurts to your baggage, that's going to be a mighty big load to bear.

I'm not saying don't complain, don't bitch, don't vent. Most of the folks reading are women I suspect, we'd explode if we didn't have our bitching sessions, that said, most of us can also shrug it off too and focus on the gabillion more important things in our lives, and most of us are capable of leaving the house without being hurt by everyone and their mothers. In the words of Great Big Sea:

In this beautiful life, but there's always some sorrow
It's a double-edged knife, but there's always tomorrow
It's up to you now if you sink or swim,
Keep the faith and your ship will come in.
It's not so bad

The responsibility of how happy you are in life is your own. We don't have to be Pollyannish and be a rock, but relatively, compared to about 4 billion other people in this world, we have it pretty good. Sometimes we need to step back and look at the bigger picture and let that inspire us to start looking for the good in life as opposed to the annoying, petty, small offenses that try to wriggle in.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shared history

It's funny how you mourn the loss of that. I'm grieving the loss of the relationship for many things, but this week it seems like shared history, or just intimate knowledge is the topic.

A couple of nights ago, I hit a dog. He was lying on the highway seriously injured, there was no way I could have dodged him without killing me, my passenger and possibly others. I saw his tail wagging right before I killed him. I couldn't believe it for a moment, I had to ask my passenger what was it, and she confirmed it was a dog, to which I promptly wigged out. She was an awesome friend and likely in fear of her life in talking me down and to a place where I could pull over and I really started bawling. It was the type of cry that just comes out of your chest and leaves it sore for a while. My friend rocks, she hugged me, reassured me that there was nothing I could do, and logically I know she's right. I managed to get her and myself home safely, downed a couple of shots of tequila and cried myself to sleep.

Where the shared history comes in is, that I love dogs....I mean I really love them. I still mark the anniversary of my late dog Banzai's death. I used to show dogs, I used to work for the Canadian Kennel Club, I used to live, breathe, sleep dogs, no one knows this more than my ex who was dragged through living, breathing, sleeping dogs...mind you, when we split, we only squabbled over the custody of one item, and that was Banzai's urn. I won. Anyhow, ex did come over knowing how broken up I'd be about this to chat and console me. It was good, because we have been trying to get along, and nice gestures go a long way.

So as I finished this last paragraph it dawned on me that I needed to do the same (I'm quick like that). As most Canadians who pay attention to the news knows, NDP leader Jack Layton is stepping down (temporarily, because we all know Jack will kick cancer's ass!) due to the illness. What you don't know is that Jack has been a good friend of ex's for the past 20 years. He was one of the ex's professors back in university and they hit it off. Since, they've worked on oodles of projects together and Jack would check in twice a year trying to get ex to move to Ottawa. So I knew that this news was going to hit ex hard. Now believe me, there is still a whole mess of hurt feelings, sadness and even crustiness that I'm feeling, but sometimes that has to be put aside and I have to remember that I'm hurt because I do genuinely care about the guy and he's hurting, so I have to suck it up and give him a call, see how he's doing. He remember this is mid post, that only I would know exactly how this would impact him. Kinda creepy huh?

Looks like we both had our "shared history" type moment. It's hard because even with the most awesome-est friends in the world (and I have them) you cannot replace that person with whom you've spent the past 17 years of your life. And in a way, we're even lucky that we're still talking to each other and can share a few words of support. I think ultimately our kids are big winners in that department, in that mommy and daddy aren't trying to kill each other. However it's pretty different now. It's not that we cannot support each other, but the scope with what we do is pretty diminished. That said, I guess the challenge in going forward is creating new histories with friends, family (including ex) and my new husband Alexander Skarsgaard (he just doesn't know it yet) and filling that gap.

And on a very important and serious note, I'd like to offer my thoughts and positive prayers to Jack Layton in getting better. You are an amazing and inspiring man. Your energy, tenacity and optimism has seen you motivate millions of Canadians to build a party to speak for the people and values taking care of each other which I also hold dear. I pray that those qualities in you, will see you through this and you'll be back leading the way in no time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New life part 1.

It's been a long time since I've posted. I wish I could say it was because I'm a flake and nothing more has happened, but a major life change happened on February 27. It was the day that marked my seperation from my husband. The blow was tremendous as the love of my life, the only adult relationship I've ever had didn't want to be with me.

The next few weeks were a haze, a blur. The only thing I can definitively remember, was directly after he told me and I calmly told him to take the kids out. I emailed my best friends, went out to get some chocolate peanut butter ice cream and calmly sat on the couch watching TV and fielding calls. Talk about shock. Shock was good though, it protected me, of course it didn't last and I spent the next few months piecing myself back together again, trying to keep it together for my kids and relying heavily on my friends to help me get through easily the worst period of my life.

Somewhere in April, I realized that I wasn't going to save this marriage and my ego kicked in that I wasn't necessarily worthless, that this might indeed just as much a loss for him as it were for me. In May, I started smiling again, genuine smiles and laughs, it took some effort getting into the right frame of mind to smile, but once there, I started to resemble myself again. I also realized that yes, I was going to make it through, it was going to be Hell for the next three years, but I'll survive and God willing, be a better, stronger person.

Its now nearing the end of July. There have been so many peaks and valleys I've lost count. Its been very difficult to write this post as 1. I feel like a fraud having given so much talk and commentary on relationships and 2. How to discuss a very painful part of your life without lashing out, sharing too much or throwing myself into a valley again. I don't want to use this blog to give all the gory details or run down my ex, I'd like to be honest, but diplomatic and use it as a vehicle for reflection and reaching out to others who might be going through the same thing.

So, that said, I do need to write, and I want to share this part of my life as I get through the next few very tough years ahead. My first reflection came at me from the moment I received the first of many calls from my friends. (Though I didn't know it at the time) I am very lucky. Insanely lucky. So lucky that it hurts when it comes to the friends department. They have held me as I cried, bailed me out as I put my van into a bus (long story, I'll share it some time), they have force fed me food, they have force fed me alcohol. They have given me support, places to sleep, husbands to borrow, babysitting and an amount and the kind of love that you see in the movies.

Truly, I never thought that I'd ever be so lucky as to have friends like this. EVER! I remember I think the second time I met with the mediator, she asked me if I could see a silver lining in this. I couldn't, not for a lack of trying, I just truly wasn't in the head space to think of anything remotely good (maybe except for getting to claim the bathroom all for and girly products took over like two days later). That said, once I was capable of smiling, I saw my community who rallied to pick me up. Not just my friends and mother, but my mothers friends, my friends husbands, my inlaws, some of my extended inlaws, nieces and nephews, brothers, sisters, school teachers and principals, therapists, my hairdresser. Every cloud has a silver lining, but my lining was diamonds because when I think back today, I am still overwhelmed by the love and support I have received from everyone. In fact it was a couple of friends who pressed me last night to write about this and to start blogging again. This isn't an easy blog post, it's very hard, very embarassing, very emotional, but I do know that if it weren't because of my friends, I wouldn't be capable of standing on my own two feet from time to time, let alone write a blog post about surviving this heartbreak.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Why I've been MIA and what I've been doing for the past 5 months. I can't promise my writing from now on will all be lollipops and rainbows, or even terribly consistent, but it will be honest and genuine.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What they don't tell you in prenantal class

There are a million things people don't talk about when having children. Your deliveries will be beautiful, your birthplan will be adhered to, you'll spend your babymoon nursing in a sunlit room garbed in white, your baby will make your family complete and you'll all live happily ever after.

What they don't say is that you'll likely poop yourself during delivery, your birthplan may be radically altered in a blink of an eye, your babymoon will be filled with delirious highs and crushing lows due to sleep deprivation and your partner and you? Your marriage is likely going to be REALLY tested by this little new arrival.

That is the thing they don't talk about, but they really need to. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to moms who were at their wits end with their partner. Their partner having emotionally distanced themselves, burying themselves in work, games, hobbies or even less healthy activities. I'm not going to be inclusive and talk about partners in terms of men and speak from the womens point of view, because it's really the only one I know. It's like the guys see this new responsibility, which is going to tie your life down considerably and they panic.

I've known women with husbands who've cheated during their pregnancy, post partum, husbands who work like maniacs, get involved with online gaming, pick up several new hobbies, turn into grumpy emotional messes. I've known women who scratching their heads, women who would pin part of their PPD in part to their hubbies wigging out, women teetering on a knifes edge about whether they were going to leave their marriage.

Pregnancy is hard, post partum is brutal, nothing can quite prepare you for the toll it takes. In Canada, most women take the first year off work for maternity leave (yes, envy us Canadians) more often than not, mom stays home as we're the ones with the milk. So in addition to no sleep, wild hormonal swings, a mega dependent baby, we have a partner going through an identity crisis, but we seldom address the mom's needs beyond good nutrition, good lactation support, good post partum support and really, even that support is a joke.

And on the other side of that, what about our loss of identity? Our loss of independence. I've been childfree three times this week. Once for a meeting at church, once for an appointment and once to go grocery shopping. Maybe for a total of 6 hours, out of 168. And I don't count shopping or medical appointments, so 2 hours. I had to threaten to put my head through a badminton racket if I didn't get 20 minutes to write this blog post. I've purchased food, supplies, clothes, underwear, furniture with baby in tow. If I want to take a class, go to the doctor, or do anything for further health or mental development, I have schedule babysitters, drivers, schools and pray that no one gets sick,. My life is no longer my own, it's dictated by the needs of three children and as a SAHM, the buck stops here. If my child is sick, my plans are cancelled. Period! It doesn't matter if I have a date with the Queen, that's how it is, and it's not unique to me.

Our independence and identity has been changed to the nth degree. We are forced to sit still and just be. After being programmed for 30 or so years that we're nothing if we're not out making money or out changing the world, we struggle with the slower pace of life. We're not being the movers and shakers we were pre kids, so needless to say, it's a pretty big adjustment. And while moms do go off the rails, biology is a strong pull to keep us near our babes and exhaustion takes care of the rest and so that offers little opportunity to do much else than shutting down emotionally or being crabs.

So we might feel a little resentful when our significant others go squirrelly at the shock of their new identities when we are struggling with ours. I mean, a big part of me is like WTF? You get to PEE ALONE!!! You get to go to work! You get to have lunch! With people! And have a conversation! You don't have to go food shopping, or buy toilet paper, or clean the house 40 times a day or change 70 diapers a day! So in my less charitable moments, I'm not even the slightest bit inclined to see the other POV and to be honest, I still don't fully understand it, three kids later.

Is there a happy medium? I imagine there is, but I think it's a learning curve. I wish I could say I've figured it out, but three kids in, I haven't. I think time, patience, and understanding for how we're coping is needed. I think sensitivity in how we cope and how it affects our husband/wife is vital. If your inclination is to go to the computer after a hard day, do so after the kids are in bed. Stay up as much as you want, but be prepared kids wake up early and often and you'll have to be game ready. Going out drinking every week and coming home smashed...probably not a great coping mechanism. We need to cope, but we need to cope responsibly!

The marriage is going through a major change and the urge to escape the pressures is only natural, but how, and when and why we do it is key to determining whether this will make or break your marriage. I think even though our reserves are low, we need to dig down deep and pour in extra energy to make things a little more bearable for our partner, within reason of course.

We also need to identify our needs and get them addressed. Whether its swapping some babysitting, hiring someone, getting housecleaning, getting non work/baby time ALONE with some friends or not. We need to figure out our emotional needs, like touching, thoughtful gestures, space and we need to get them addressed. As emotional partners, we need to be prepared to meet our others emotional needs as well. (BTW, this is going for men as well as women, don't think for a minute I'm letting them off the hook).

Really, I think more time and study needs to be given to helping couples get through that first year or two. It's a major shock to the person, let alone the relationship and no one talks about it. It's like a shameful little secret, but the more and more I hear about it, the more I believe it's common, even normal, however it needs to be managed so that the marriage isn't staggering along, but rather evolved into something different, but better and stronger.

Sometimes I waver in what to do with my next life (post SAHM) and given that I've just spewed a bucketload of thoughts on this subject, sometimes family counselling doesn't seem like such an out of place idea. ;) Anyhow, my 20 minutes are up, I have two kids 3 and under melting down, I have laundry, shopping and a house to clean, before 2pm. So I best put away my superblogger cape and get back to my ordinary mom identity.