Breaking up with Facebook and a case of “the ends”

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I love Facebook. I do. For me, the incredible introvert, it’s the only way I can actually talk to people without feeling like I am a total idiot. And if I do feel so stupid? I can delete it and hope no one saw it. For me, it was a great way to watch family  near and far grow and change and to keep in touch with people. Until it wasn’t.

Recently it just made me feel blah. Like I was a dirty voyeur, watching the parties I wasn’t invited to and sharing crap no one really needed to know. And I just needed a break from it. So I deleted the app and deactivated my account. And I am not sure if I miss it or not. But I do know it has been nice to not know what I am missing. It’s nice to be intentionally invisible verses well, whatever the opposite is of that.

Facebook automatically reactivated my account Monday. They sent me a welcome back email.

I think I am what one might call an extroverted, introvert. While I would rather be in the comfort of my home etc., I do crave some interaction. I feel sad being “left out” and I miss friendships that dissolved for whatever reason. When I get sad I sometimes look up the friends of the past and it just turns into this horrible spiral of self loath and sadness. I thank Facebook for making people so available, ha ha.

I sit in between this need to be by myself; this inability to talk to people without sounding like a nerd or whatever and wanting to be the friendlies girl at the party. Devlynn’s amazing lacrosse team had a lovely party yesterday. Families invited and so she and I made it a date. But I didn’t think I’d know anyone and so I dreaded it. But I go because Devlynn is more important that my head games. And it was nice. I knew one families and two women went out of their way to talk to me after seeing me alone. I stared at my feet while I spoke with them but I was ever so grateful for that awkward but needed reach out. Sometimes it is nice to be with real people, instead of alone, on my computer, watching everyone else have a life.

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This is the week of “ends”. Davis played his last ever little league rec game. I feel like we just signed him up for tee ball and now I am trying to figure out where to put him to play next year. They had an ugly loss after loss bumping them out of playoffs in the first round and so I feel like our season got cut a little short. We had a great year though and so, it is what it is. He took his jersey off last night and I caught a glimpse at the man he is becoming and I felt both a bit of sadness and pride. He worked really hard this year but will likely never see the travel team he tried out for and really wants. He however did his best, worked and worked and he pitched like a boss for his last game and so I feel like all that hard-work finally paid off. He’s ended his last season as a pretty darn good pitcher.

Dexter will have his last day in Miss Joy and Miss Susie’s class on Friday. I feel so fortunate to have had such lovely teachers for him this year. The love and kindness they’ve shown him is priceless. A teacher isn’t required to love your kid, let alone like them and I feel like both Joy and Sue love him. I will very much miss seeing everyone on school days and I know he will miss the people and the routine of it.

I welcome summer but I dread the “the ends”.

I find myself saying, “we only have ____ years left”. It’s sort of a silly notion. Because it’s not like when they turn 18, they will stop being our kids. Hell, we will have a kid at home for another 16 years minimum but, I struggle with the big ones getting so big. The transition from kids to teen is swift. I never realized that it can literally happen overnight. That they go to bed your tiny toddler and wake up learning to drive.

Selfishly I have encouraged them to all go to local colleges. The big two agree but Drew is packing his bag for California or something. Hopefully he can go to San José to be with family. At least I know he’ll be well taken care of there.

I just wish sometimes it would slow down. For one more game in draw string pants with my Davis. One more day with mouse-y pigtails with sissy. I secretly hope she has to wear braces for a long time, because it keeps her my kid and not this stunningly beautiful almost adult counting the days til she can move out.  It’s a guilty thing, wishing the babies would stop being babies. That Dixon would wean and that Dexter would stop needing me to refresh his milk cup every five seconds. But then they choose to hang with their friends Fridays instead of dinner with you and you want to fetch the milk one more time. I think about it and spend extra moments tracing the curls on the baby’s head even at 4:00am.

Parenting is tough. Real tough.

I suppose they have to grow up sometime. I just hope they always know they’ll always be my babies.

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

On being beautiful

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I got married in a nearly black dress. I’d picked it from a clearance rack at a mall somewhere in Colorado mostly because it was almost black, covered my legs and was big enough to keep my enormous breast at bay. I didn’t feel beautiful in it and I certainly wasn’t a beautiful, white-clad bride. It made this funny swishing sounds when I walked and cost far less than the dress I’d purchased for Devlynn to wear that day. I’d taken great care and consideration in what she’d wear. I’d tossed my appearance to the wind. By the time I got married, I had already embedded in my head I wasn’t pretty enough to be a beautiful bride. I wasn’t beautiful enough for much of anything.

As a little girl I got mocked for being fat. It didn’t help that I’d already begun breast development by 5th grade and I remember getting my first bras around 3rd or 4th, but my dates could be off. I’m apple-shaped. My middle far exceeds my legs width. I had a round/square head and simple features. Short, mousey hair and bucky toothed smile. Boys didn’t like me. Girls didn’t like me. And I was “ugly” from right about 3rd grade on.

I started dressing more like a boy than a girl in middle school. I wore button up shirts to hide my boobs and tried to paint my eyes as dark as I could in hopes it would make look less like the mouse I’d created in my head. I wore a dress to the occasional dance but I’d never turned a head and no one ever stood there beside me telling me I was beautiful. In fact the two of the three dances I’d attended in my youth, I shopped alone. I don’t think there is a photo of the only homecoming I attended and only a memory of my best friends ROTC ball.

I stopped letting people take photos of me in my 20s. There are only a  handful of scattered photos of me and my babies. I can’t recall a single photo of me pregnant with Devlynn or Davis. And when we welcomed Davis into our family, I’m not sure there is paper proof I was even there. I’m basically erased from the photographic history of my family. I like to think it’s mostly because I am the photographer but I know it’s because I have excluded myself for so long, that everyone stopped trying to include me in the shot. I often wonder if anyone has ever thought of it.

That’s what happens when you don’t feel beautiful.

I’m now in my middle thirties. Maybe closer to late thirties and I have put on a staggering 45 pounds since getting married. There are no full length mirrors in our home, well at least not on the main floor. And I don’t bother with new clothes anymore, until the holes aren’t hideable anymore… because I know they’re nothing more than ill-fitting coverings to a body full of shame. I learned to contour and cover a face of estrogen spots and I wear the same, beaten gray sweater that covers my middle and I hope disguises the lump I feel like I have become. And despite doing everything I have read you should be doing, I gained 3 pounds after a month of charting food, walking every day and being really cautious about what I was taking into my body.

Not beautiful.

When I found out Devlynn was a girl I prayed she’d be beautiful and thin and very, very smart. And she is. Beautiful inside and out. It’s a lovely miracle I have in her. And I suppose she sees how awful I feel about myself even though I try very hard to keep it from her. I cannot imagine being a teenager these days. I think there has to be so much pressure to be physically beautiful. It’s not even beautiful anymore, it’s sexy and skinny and perfect. It makes me hyper aware of what she is eating and how she’s acting. I feel fortunate that I don’t see signs in her of self hate. I feel like she knows who she is and loves herself. Even though I know most teenagers, especially girls, have a bit of “yuck” in them.

7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends.

– Real Girls, Real Pressure: National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, Dove Self-Esteem Fund

How do I save my daughter from this? Am I doing a good enough job with her? Self esteem is a brutal thing. And I don’t know how, once it’s crushed, to uncrush it. I worry constantly that my child hides it from me. I worry she’s feels terrible and feels like she can’t talk to me. And I want her to know she is and always has been and always will be, good enough. I never ever want her to feel the weight of worthlessness. I never want her to feel not good enough to be a part of her family’s history.

I worry for my sons too. I think there is an unspoken pressure in being the most handsome or the most physically fit. Davis is a tween. Going over and around the lumps and bumps of the funny ages of 10, 11 and 12. He’s got friends on all spectrums of development. I can see which ones will and which won’t take their shirts off the play basketball. Beauty doesn’t fall short at our son’s either. They feel it too. And I hope and pray that he and the other boys can successfully wade through the murk of it.

I hope they always know how beautiful they are, inside and out.

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Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Yep, I’d call that passive judgement

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Dexter, Dixon and I spend a lot of time at Target. I can get milk there and then walk over to AC Moore should I need craft supplies. Which I often do. Dexter loves to look at toys and has even gotten to the point where he’s just happy to look and can walk away without actually taking anything home. It’s nice because we do it together. It’s our routine. It helps me leave the comfort of my house. It’s just a little “something”.

Recently, I’ve replaced Target with walking at various parks. One of the parks we really like happens to be by another Target. He sees it every time. Today, knowing I needed lightbulbs we popped in. Maybe not my best idea. The walk was longer than the little boys could take, there was no animals to be seen and a hill that made me want to cry. But if we plan on peeing tonight with some help from light other than what comes from the moon, I needed to stop.

Honestly, they were good through the store. Stopping to look at fitness bands, they both chattered away with each other and did fine until I did circles trying to find lunch meat for lunch. It’s laid out different than our Target and I was confused. It also maybe for a few minutes too long. For everyone.

As we walked up to the register, Dixon caught an eye of the snacks. I grabbed a box of Goldfish hoping to avoid him seeing the “pops” but was not so lucky and that’s when the screaming began. He was mad. Like really, really, really mad that he couldn’t have that pop and I was hungry and we were all done and of course the woman in front of us was using coupons (which is fine, but I just wasn’t prepared). I just turned around and waited for his fit to be over trying to reassure my one year old that he could have fish but a pop wasn’t happening at 10:30am. And then the checker looked at the baby girl in the cart in front of us, with a big, joyful smile, “aren’t you being so good. Not everyone knows how to behave in the store like you do sweet girl!”

Shut the front door.

The mother of said baby tried to sugar coat the literally poop that came out of the checkers mouth and I *THINK* make me feel better by saying, “well my older son acts just like that at the store! I get it. That’s why he’s home. He can’t. Boys.”

Are you kidding me? Are you seriously kidding me right now.

Then I was fuming. I stopped trying to calm anyone down, starred that checker in the eyes and didn’t say a word.

Bitch, you just judged the wrong mom.

There is this article  floating around, No One Is Judging You, Mama. I call bullshit (although well intended). Comments like the one above aren’t helpful. They’re not a doctor making sure my kid is okay. It’s nasty, full of nasty. Like nasty to the brim. It’s never okay. It’s never okay to make someone feel bad. I just don’t get why people don’t think before they speak. You just never know.

The article says:

Perspective is everything.

How should I have put that in perspective? Why do I have to?

Stop making comments to people; your good intentions may come at the absolute worst time. How about instead of interjecting with your fabulous, wonderful advice… how about you talk to screaming baby to try and help get the family through the line. How about we stop telling everyone boys are bad? How about we act like a fucking village instead of a bunch of advice swinging swordsmen.

I am sick of it.

That checker had no idea that my kid was hungry. She didn’t know that I’m battling what seems like a never waning thunder cloud and her comment just fueled my anxiety monster. I can’t have perspective right now because let’s be honest here, it’s an effing miracle I am staying afloat. Comments like that, passive and spiteful aren’t ever okay and that woman was judging us. I needed her to be in my village. Instead I am learning I’m in a village of jerks.

Maybe I should start sporting a tee shirt that reads, “I’m mental and my kids are ill behaved”. I think that would either make everyone laugh OR gasp but I am pretty sure they’d not comment for fear I was an insane person, which I very well might be.

My point though, is stop. Just stop. If it’s not kind and it won’t build someone up, just shut up.

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.