Tag Archives: feelings

Real Mom Talk– What I Think vs. What I Actually Say and How it Enables Toxic Masculinity

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Emily is in first grade now and the mean girl club has started with a vengeance. This has been a seriously rude awakening for both of us. For whatever lucky ducky reasons, my son (who is four years older and five grades ahead of Em), did not go through social crap in the same toxic, manipulative ways my seven year old daughter is already navigating with her peers.

Emily is a sensitive and empathic child, which makes the whole issue all the more heartbreaking. I’ve addressed it with parents, her teacher, and the principal and we’ve come up with some supportive ways to help Em cope with the stress of being a sweet little lamb in a lion’s den.

This week she went back to school after the holiday recess, and happily applied herself to her studies. She loves to read and is thrilled by participating in art. This morning, as I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, she approached me.

“Mama, when you go up to dress, can we have a talk?”

“Of course. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just need to do some talking about my feelings.” She said with a serious little face.

So, here’s another difference between Em and Jack. Both of them have the same goopy, social worker mom, but my son rarely willingly divulges his emotional space to me. Em on the other hand is all about the deep, emotional bonding.

As I pulled myself into my undies and leggings I asked her what was up. She disclosed to me that after school, when she was playing in the school yard, under the watchful eye of her babysitter, one kid had stolen her hat off her head and her special new toy, and run off with them,  and threw them over a fence.

She told me this calmly and clearly as if recounting the forensics of a crime scene.

My heart sped up and it was all I could do to keep the steam inside my head. I hugged her. Her glossy curls brushed against my cheek and I felt the little bones of her back under my hands.  We talked about how it made her feel and how she solved the problem and what she thought we should do next.

Then she wanted to play on the iPad.

She moved on, but I didn’t. I couldn’t.

I was pissed.

Had it been an isolated incident, maybe I could have let it go a little easier, but dude, I’ve been dealing with this social crap for the past four months now and I don’t understand why it isn’t getting any easier. It also seemed to suck and confound me because the bully this time had been an older boy.

So, at pickup, I approached the kid’s mom and mentioned to her that her son (who is four years older than my first grader) had been physically aggressive to my daughter. I let her know that Em is just super sensitive right now and I’m trying to keep tabs on things, and I knew her kid probably didn’t mean to hurt her hat, toy, body, or feelings, but that was the end result. I told her directly, but politely.

She told me it was inappropriate to mention it in front of her son and that she would talk to him and get back to me…….

Here’s what I REALLY wanted to say, “Heya bitch face, tell your poorly socialized excuse for a spawn to keep his grimy paws off my precious little baby and while you’re at it, maybe you want to have a convo with him about consent and how to treat women because clearly you are training him to be an abusive little shit! Boys will be boys after all!”

I didn’t tell her that at all. I smiled and thanked her for her time and then I went and privately had an anxiety attack that I had confronted this woman who was clearly pissed with me and didn’t have a grasp on where I was coming from.

TBH, I’m pretty much still shaking, even after texting and talking to several friends who validated that I was advocating for my daughter and did the right thing.

It is hard to address these issues with other moms. I appreciate that. Furthermore, I get that the other mom was also advocating for and protecting her son, but oh man, in this day and age, maybe we all wanna double down on those discussions with our sons about respecting the physical space of female bodies and set some good examples for future generations.

IDK. It got me thinking about all the things I sorta wanna say as a mom, but don’t.

Smile and nod. Smile and nod. . .

When does my politeness become complicit? When do I actually enable the abuse of my daughter on the playground by saying what is polite instead of saying what I really mean and feel?

What do you think?

Find Something Small

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Find something small.
Stay with it.
Give it your heart.
Ache.
Resonate with it.
Tell it your secrets.
Feel the urge to leave.
Stay longer.
Trace its grooves with your fingertip.
Find its secret scent of earth and salt.
Allow your tear to drip onto its surface.
Laugh, but do not leave, not just yet.
Realize the terror in adoring something tiny and tender.
Whisper to it that which you know is certain.
Pull your hand back and continue to find the energy pulsating.
Find something small.
Give it your heart.
Stay there.
Ache.
Stay.
Do it again.
Do it over.
And over.
Again.

……..

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/restart/

small enough

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if i make myself
small enough,
a lowercase letter
curled tight, unassuming;
if i fold up parts
of me that are
long and large,
that flap and billow
hard and angry in the wind;
if i make my footprint
that of a sparrow;
if i suck in my gut
and allow the ocean to dry
into a teaspoon of salt, maybe
in my vanishing act,
love will atone
as i become inconspicuous,
pedestrian as a blink,
eyelash brushing cheek
but for a moment.
i’ll tuck chin to neck
and knees to chest,
furl fingers to fists,
become tiny, scarce.
if i make myself
small enough,
perhaps
i will fit
in you.

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written as part of the wordpress daily prompt, “Vanish”
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/vanish/

Weird Grief Mash Up– the Election and Our Collective, Historical Trauma

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Part of me feels an urge to write a ragey post about what this new world order means for my daughter and for all of the already disenfranchised people out there.

Yet, I find I’ve lost my voice.

I’m swinging back and forth between being optimistically hopeful and being numb.  When I try to find the middle ground in between those two things, I get anxiety.  I start to shake and start rambling about stupid shit that probably doesn’t make much sense to others.

Opening my mouth seems to lead to wrong words, so I’ve been keeping it shut.

Silence isn’t such a bad sound if you don’t have a lot to say that will improve it.  And there sure is a lot of chatter out there right now.

It takes me a long time to process and digest.

I also do not want to give the president elect the dignity of my righteous indignation.

I’m trying to be here with an open heart for others, and for that most part it feels good and right.  I’m listening.  Taking it all in.  I’m sitting with it.

Social media doesn’t really feel like a safe space for me right now, not only because of the constant exposure to this national trauma, but also because being exposed to the steady stream of affect is difficult for me to bear.

I guess I’m kind of regrouping.

Listening to Ani Difranco helps, and sort of puts things into perspective in a weird way.

The grief of this election is getting mashed up with the grief work I am doing regarding the loss of E., and that does not feel like a good thing.

I can’t go there.

I feel like I’ve finally got my head back together, and I do not want to even peek back into that dark hallway.

But it is an interesting thing to contemplate.  When we grieve for one thing, often times past losses, fears, and traumas get dredged up.  And I do think it is important to acknowledge and respect that for a lot of women, gays, people of different ethnicities and religions, that is what this election has brought about.  A collective trauma response that harkens back through centuries of institutional misogyny, racism, bigotry, greed, and hate.

A terrifying side of America has been given not only a voice, but a spotlight into which they have stepped for their warped performance.

I’ve seen a lot of posts of people telling others to stop being sore losers because their candidate didn’t win.  That feels unduly harsh to me.

That isn’t what this is about.  We are not stomping our feet and whining.

We are grieving. We are scared.  We do not feel safe.

And I say this as a white woman, armed to the teeth with education, career, and all of the privilege that my heterosexual marriage affords me.  I feel guilty when I hold all of the things that technically make me “safe” and consider the vulnerabilities of some of my dearest friends.  Do I even have a right to contribute to the chatter on this subject?

Processing all of this junk is going to take some time.  We need to ride this wave of emotion so we can refocus and get back to work.

Because there is work to be done.

Please let us be loving and supportive of one another as we go through this time.  Please let the sun continue to shine.  Please let the collective power of kindness and compassion be greater than anything we have ever seen.

That is my prayer.

We are on the brink of something important and revolutionary.

I guess that is all I have to say for right now.  But if you need me, or if there is anything I can do or say to help you feel safe, I’m here.  I’ll stand with you and I’ll hold your hand.

Love and momaste to you all.

Chocolate Babka

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Eating chocolate babka
over the sink with my fingers,
the day violated me,
pinched my every nerve raw
with the constant need of me
to be all things
to all people.
It doesn’t matter that
it is all in my head.
I yell at my daughter to go to bed,
and stain the dish towel
when I wipe the chocolate
and cinnamon pastry from my hands.