Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A message for the 20 somethings

My husband and I really have something sweet going here.  I am in a place I never thought I would be.  A happy suburban housewife, in a loving relationship with 2 beautiful kids and a dog on the way.  Who am I?  How did I get here? If you would have asked me in my 20s where I would be in almost 20 years, this is not what I had envisioned. Honestly, looking back, my early 20s were not that great.  I was working two jobs, one office job during the day and a bar maid job at night.  I was going to community college 2 nights a week.  I had my own place but was an enabler in a bad relationship.  I was distant from my parents.  And I did not value myself or my time.  Of course, I did not know this then.  I was 22 years old and convinced I could change the people and places around me without changing myself.   I thought I was tough and independent, but I was just miserable.  I lied to myself and others about how I was right where I wanted to be. Lately, I have been seeing this thing on facebook about skin cancer titled "Dear 16 yr old me" or something like that. It had me thinking. What would I say to my self when I was younger?  So listen up all you 20 somethings, here are 10 suggestions through lessons learned: 1. STOP, think about what YOU really want.  Do not take ANYONE else into consideration  for a minute, not your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, parents, grandparents.  What is stopping you from what you really want?  Whatever or whoever it is, remove them from your life.  Maybe not completely, but set them aside, break free from their control. Whether it is your parents and their financial support/control, your boyfriend/girlfriend and their dependent/co-dependent control or your friends and their social control.  Whomever is blocking your way from who you are, whether they mean to or not, needs to be bypassed. 2. Get therapy!  It really does help.  Even if it is just for someone unbiased to talk to.  Find out who you really are, what you really want and how to go about getting it.  Because, believe me you are never going to have as much energy as you will for the next 5 years. 3. Move away, anywhere.  Nothing will make you feel more confident than when you prove to yourself and others that you can make it (even if it is just for a year) all by yourself, out on your own. 4. Travel.  Meet new people, learn about different cultures, see new environments.  Yes, I know that traveling costs money, but you can do it pretty cheap with friends. 5.  If/When you fall in love, don't stop being who you are.  Realize why they fell in love with you in the first place.  If you start trying to conform to who they want, although it may work in the short term, you will regret it in the long term. 6. Eat what you want when you want because your metabolism will never be this good again! 7.  Tell people how you feel, don't expect them to just know.  Learn to express yourself and be open to other's feelings.  This is sometimes harder than it sounds. 8. Admit when you are wrong and do something about it.  This was something I struggled with for years.  Sometimes I still do.  It's important to recognize when you make a mistake.  It is not always necessary to be perfect or to be perceived as perfect.  It is actually very freeing to let go and say "oopps!" 9.Recognize and appreciate friends.  I have had many friends along the way. Some have stayed and some have gone.  But each were in my life at a particular time for a particular reason.  Even the "bad" friends who may have even hurt me, taught me so much and helped me along the way. 10. Have crazy great sex!  Don't be inhibited. Enjoy your body and others (responsibly!) But enjoy it never the less.  You will never be as taught, fit and flexible as you are now. I would love to hear your "20's advice" in the comments below.
--Momma O

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What was I thinking?

Highlights..... What was I thinking?  For those of you who know me, you have either seen pictures or seen in person my new highlights.  Not for long; I am getting my natural hair color back in a very unnatural way from the hair salon tonight. My mom came out to visit for the day yesterday and I took the opportunity to go get my hair cut.  Wow, that sounds awful, but she does enjoy spending time with my little one who is home with me.  Not that I don't enjoy spending time with my little one, or my mom for that matter, but I need to groom, right?  I mean don't I deserve a hair cut once every 3 months? Why are you so judgmental?  I never get out by myself!  I know that the laundry should take precedent over my own vanity, so sue me!  Excuse my argument with myself. It happens daily, I really need to work on that relationship. I was driving to the salon.... Salon sounds so hoopy-poopy, it is a place I get my hair cut next to the Giant Supermarket!  Anyway, I was feeling daring.  I was thinking 'let's go short.'  Then I remembered 1996.  It was a year of many changes for me.  I broke off a long term relationship (good change)  I moved back home for a year (bad change)  I got a new job (good change) and I cut my hair short(really bad change).  Although at the end of that year, when my hair grew back, I fell in love with my now husband. (best change in my entire life).  Back to 2011,  in my minivan, deciding I wanted a change; I thought highlights. Now my hair is naturally a dark chocolate brown with white hair creeping in all over the place.  I don't mind the white, as it is pretty well hidden and only in certain spots.   I like my hair.  I always have.  It is the one constant thing I can count on.  Even it's frizziness is reliable.  So I asked the hair dresser if she had the time to do highlights.  Which is like asking, "hey, do you have time for me to spend $125 as opposed to $35?"  The answer was a resounding, "yes." Fast forward to 3 hours later in my room and me crying like a baby.  My little one was napping.  I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "stop crying you dumb ass!  This is what you asked for, Carmel highlights! Now don't be so goddamn vain and buck up!" I thought I would just deal with it.  Then my husband came home.  I did not tell him I got highlights before he saw me.  His reaction was priceless.  It was a mixture of shear panic, repressed laughter, and tact.  I kind of enjoyed watching him squirm as he looked for the right words, which were "Hey, look at your hair, it's a different color. (long pause, sweet smile) Is it kaiser permanente?" Yes he was trying to be cute with the "kaiser permanente."  It was right then and there that I decided to go back to any salon and get my natural color died back onto my hair. Now, being a somewhat liberal, somewhat feminist, this is hard to admit.  But I want my husband to find me physically attractive.  I won't change something that I like about myself in order for that to happen, but I will change something that I don't like.  So I have an appointment tonight for a re-transformation. This is all so trivial, so ridiculous.  In the grand scheme of things this just does not matter.  There are people with real problems.  Wait, you have not been formally introduced, Blog Readers this is my Guilt, Guilt these are my Blog Readers, please leave them alone and continue to plague me. I have anything and everything I could want and more.  Why am I looking for a change in my appearance?  If I really want to change my appearance, I need to get my ass back to my Zumba classes at the YMCA and lose some lbs!  That is the change I need.  Although is is so much easier to sit and eat. So I am giving in to my vanity and getting my hair back.  I will hopefully feel better and my husband will sleep with me again. Not that he wouldn't but if I don't feel sexy ain't no body feeling sexy!   

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ignore this post


A Mom's life....Just sayin'

We are always thinking five steps ahead.  Whether you work in the home, or both in and out of the home, mothers everywhere are on top of their game.  If they are not they are lam blasted by anyone who has an opinion.   I have young children and watch other people's young children.  When watching my kids or others my first priority is, well, them.  If they want to play, we play, if they want to eat, we eat, if they want to go outside, we go outside, if they want... well you get the picture.  I do this all the while planning my next 18 hours.  I am clock watching for, meal time, diaper change time, potty time (mine and theirs),  snack time, nap time, homework time, laundry time, reading time, TV time, bath time and finally bed time. As I am clock watching I am worrying.  Did they eat enough/too much?  Are they eating the right things? Did they poop/pee?  When was the last time they pooped/peed? Are they they on target developmentally?  Am I favoring one over the other?  Am I creating brats, who always get what they want? Am I too hard on them?  Do I expect too much/too little? Is my messy house a problem?  How do other moms keep everything so friggin clean and straightened up? How can I expect my kids to straighten up if I don't?  When can I get some "me" time?  Do I deserve "me" time?  Can I sneak in a nap?  Can I sneak in a nap and not feel guilty?  Do I hover over the kids too much?  Can I let them watch TV for over and hour?  What is with this attitude?  Is my 7 year old really rolling his eyes at me already??? How do I  get my children to wash their hands/say thank you/share/be kind to others/feel less anxious/pull up their zipper/tie their shoes/eat their food, etc.? While all this is going on in my head, I am playing Star Wars, preparing meals cleaning up meals, setting up paper and washable markers, cleaning up said paper and washable markers... Damn it! they really are not washable! Playing Play-doh, why does it smell like that? It has not changed since the 70s, is it toxic?  Everything in the 70s was toxic, right? Getting juice, no milk, no water, no "I WANT JUUUUUIIIIICCE!!!!!"  Making appointments, planning vacations,  researching pre-schools, illnesses, parenting skills, sexual predators in my area.  How scary is that!  There are just too many freaky people out there! I have only cracked the surface.  I am sure there is more, but it is 11 o'clock at night and I have used up my blogging time.   So I hope you enjoyed my brain, or lack there of! Oh yea, did I mention I have to maintain a good marriage, a weight, an identity, my medication and my sanity.  "Can we fix it, Yes we can!" "They're the really useful crew" "Now be a good little monkey" "Here we go go go go, on an adventure" "Rescue pack, coming to the rescue, a'rescate" "Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Let's start with something heavy and controversial: Roman Catholicism

My husband and I were both raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic schools, were married in a Catholic Church and our boys were baptized Roman Catholic.  I am a lector at my church and I also have taught CCD. 

With that being said, I am conflicted, confused, disheartened and torn.  I do not feel that I belong in this Church any more.  I really don't think I want my boys brought up in this Church culture.  My husband and I are both somewhat,liberal minded.  We believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  We both take comfort in the ritual and symbolism in the RC Church.  We believe that we are here to not only worship God, but to help others.  And that is where it ends. 

With all due respect to the Church Hierarchy, I just don't think it is headed in the right direction nor is it likely to change. The sexual abuse scandals that have come up and the covering up of those abuses has been a slap in the face.  I personally know of  people who have been abused by RC priests. Most of their lives have been ruined.  They are shadows of who they could have been, plagued by drugs, alcohol, and mental illness.   Meanwhile the priests who had abused them either lived out their lives, uninterrupted, or were sent away as if on a retreat, to think about what they had done.  It is a disgrace.  The fact that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is now funding a lawyer to defend Msgr. William J. Lynn, who is charged with putting children in danger is outrageous.   It is for this reason, I don't put money in my weekly envelope.  (Which I don't think makes a big difference, but it makes me feel better)

I have always had a problem with the fact that women in the Church were stifled.  There were some abusive nuns whom I encountered, but there were also some wonderful IHM nuns.  These nuns that I knew and loved have all but disappeared. I believe because of the Church's history of belittling and under-appreciating them.  Is it any wonder that the Catholic schools, who had such a great reputation in the past have fallen by the way-side and are closing left and right?  The nuns who ran these schools with the efficiency and excellence of the military are gone.  And they did it for free!  They did not get paid, they did it for the love of the children and for their Church.  Now, the Church has to pay lay-teachers to do this work and they pay them poorly. So as soon as a position in a public school opens up, they are gone, unless they are not qualified to teach in a public school, which many of them are not.  

The fact that Priests are not married also has alienated them from their own community, the very communities they are supposed to guide.  How can a priest relate to his congregation if he has never been in their shoes?  He has everything handed to him. His basic necessities are taken care of, i.e, housing, car, health insurance, pension.  AND he is paid a salary.  That is AFTER his basic needs are taken care of. Who gets a job with those kind of benefits?  How can he understand the juggling of finances all while raising children and taking care of extended family members? It's not like he has to worry about getting fired. He is a priest, the Church will always find a place for him, always take care of him.  Who, in the real world, has that kind of security?  

The Church's views on contraception, medically necessary abortions, who is and is not considered "in good standing,"  homosexuality and that we can not interpret the bible except through the Church are all stumbling blocks for me. 

I think I am looking for a church that does not exist.   My views are not meant in any way to offend or say that my way is the only way.  I am open minded. If you are a devout RC and follow everything the Church says, that is wonderful for you. I am just not there.  I guess it just comes down to how I want to raise my boys.  

It breaks my heart to think that my sons may not receive their First Holy Communion, or their Confirmation.  Why?  Is it because of the history of my Italian American culture? Yes. Is it because of the joy I felt as a child going through these rights of passage?  Yes.  Is it because I believe in transubstantiation?  I am not sure. Do I feel it is necessary to attend Church every Sunday?  Only if you feel that you need it or it helps.   I don't think voting democratic should have anything to do with my standing in church. I certainly do not believe that we are born with Original Sin.  A tiny baby is the most innocent being and can not have a stain on their most perfect souls. I don't believe that I have to tell a priest my sins in order to be forgiven by God. So I therefore feel like a hypocrite, like someone who does not have faith.   I am a hypocrite. I do not have faith in the RC Church.  I don't fault anyone who does, I just don't have it.  

I guess there are just so many questions.  So many unanswerable questions that I just don't know where the answers are.  

So there it is, my first blog post.  I hope you enjoyed my stream of conscience and my questions.  I don't know what my blogs will be like in the future, but probably not as heavy!