Tag Archives: kids

Bashing the Ex. Is this ever a good idea?

Like any good blogger, I’m inspired by real life events.

Today’s events are brought to me and thus you, via Facebook statuses. It’s actually a pretty regular occurrence in my newsfeed from Facebook friends or in most cases, acquaintances.

It’s the dreaded status that causes me to cringe as I read through it. What am I talking about? It’s the Facebook bashing of their ex-husband (have to be honest, never saw a guy bash his wife on my feed…yet. Good job guys).

Now, I’m not a naïve person nor are those privy to reading these public, written outbursts. Divorce pushes many emotions to the surface such as anger, bitterness, sadness, resentment, disbelief, and fear. I think I’m a reasonable person and understand this.

Whatever the intent of the writer on the reader may be, I still don’t get the public shaming or airing of dirty laundry.

Marriage is daily, constant hard work. No one knows what takes place behind closed doors and personally, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know the details of the demise of the marriage. I have enough problems of my own lol. It becomes burdensome and uncomfortable to read such statuses.

There isn’t a person I know who takes divorce lightly. There had to be some significant issues in that marriage for it to end.

Here’s where I differ from the women who take to their social media to publically whip their ex’s. Regardless of the circumstances of what caused the breakdown of your marriage. Regardless, whether you think this guy is the biggest dick in the world. You have children together!!! At one point in your life, you loved this person. Because you have children together, you are forever connected.

When I awkwardly read the statuses airing personal, intimate issues, I notice that most times the children are Facebook friends with the parent spewing such rants. I’m not sure how this is beneficial to the kids. If children’s well being comes first, how is this in their best interest? I swear, I don’t get it!

Well, now’s a good of time as any. Why don’t I get it? Who am I to judge? Well, I just went through a divorce. I guarantee my friend’s jaws just dropped reading this. LOL to that! Hi guys! I guess this is a public outing of me.

I can’t imagine talking disparagingly about the father of my children. I’ve spent half my life with him and my kids deserve a quality relationship with him, without it being tainted by any negative remarks from me. My relationship with him is separate from his relationship with the kids. Go ahead, read that last sentence of brilliance one more time.

I, like every other parent, want my children to thrive and be happy.  If my kid’s dad is happy, my kids are happy. I wish him health and happiness always. Why wouldn’t I? He’s an extension of my kids. We divorced each other, neither of us divorced our kids.

The onus is on the parent. We are the role models. Children model our behavior both good and bad. Choose wisely.

Lastly, I can guarantee whatever reaction these women are trying to illicit; most likely it is having a negative effect and alienating many. There are the few commenters who encourage the public shaming which seems to be a driving force for the bad behavior to continue.  Not a fan.

I wish everyone who participates in public shaming their ex on social media,  for the sake of their kids, their Facebook friends, anyone exposed to reading their bullshit statuses would just STOP and STFU.  Here’s my unsolicited advice for anyone out there reading this and more specifically, are guilty of the above. Thank me later.

I get that things will happen during the divorce that will infuriate you, but rise above it.

I get that you may have been hurt or blindsided, but rise above it.

I get that you have fear of the unknown, but rise above it

Bottom line is for the sake of the children…rise above it all! 

 

 

Why Do Some Baseball Parents Have To Be Assholes?

I love baseball. It is not only America’s favorite pass time but mine as well. I love everything about this sport. I’ve heard some (unreasonable) people say that baseball is boring. I don’t get it. It’s a game filled with anticipation. I wonder what will the pitcher throw, a ball or a strike. Will the batter swing? Will the defense react in time to catch the ball? Lastly, will the ump make a good call?

Much to my delight, my oldest boy plays baseball and, dare I say, he’s pretty decent. Baseball combined with one of the loves of my life translates into a pretty happy momma. Watching him play ball is my favorite thing in the world to do.

Naturally, attending his games has exposed me to all kinds of parents. Here’s the thing. Why do some baseball parents have to be assholes?

I’m a true believer in encouraging a kid or a team, positive reinforcement. It was only two games ago when I had to listen to an opponent parent scream “drop it” or “strike him out”. Of course, this made me want to gorge his eyeballs out. I thought everyone read the parent rulebook that says, lead by example and you’re kids are likely to follow in your footsteps. Clearly some folks missed that chapter.

To my delight, this parent was ejected from the game the very next inning for yelling at the ump for what he perceived was a “bad” call. The guy was a Mensa genius because a scout was there for his kid. While his kid made a few errors (all kids do..WAKE UP!), I’m sure the scout walked away with a sense of what comes with that kid to college. A troublesome parent. I imagine, it is every coach’s nightmare. Ball players are a dime a dozen. Dump the kid with the loudmouth parent, and go back to the litter.

Kids are never the problem neither in baseball nor in sports in general. It’s the lunatic parents that accompany them and they ruin it for their child. Mr. Douchebag’s kid actually hit an amazing grand slam the following game but I refused to give him the satisfaction of a compliment. The kid certainly deserved accolades for a beautiful shot to center field but the parent was a gloating jerk.

At a recent game, the opposing team’s catcher got ejected from the game. It was crass weather conditions and he was trying to delay the game which was duly noted by the officials. Low and behold, the catcher (probably standing 6’2”) then went after the umpires. Here’s the question. Where were his parents? I would have ripped my kid off the field then had him apologize to EVERYONE. Nope. The parent watched the events unfold from the sidelines and only after the fact, walked away with him. For God’s sake!

I try to make a point of congratulating a parent when their son does well. That’s pretty much come to a halt with some people. If I say “great job”, I don’t then need you to rattle off your son’s stats. ANNOYING! Just absorb the compliment and relish in it. Don’t become a bragging douchebag. Or if I say, “which one is your son?“, I don’t need to hear “starting opening day pitcher” or “he’s a starter”. Please just shut the fuck up and say my kid is on the mound or my kid is in center. Geez!

I’ve been on teams where the parents on the SAME team were talking shit about other teammates kids, in front of the other parents no less. Seriously, how can anyone think that is okay? That leads to a lot of hurt feelings. Idiots!

It’s baseball. It’s a game. Chill the fuck out! You don’t have to scream at plays. Remember, when you act like an asshole, you ruin the game for the people exposed to your bad behavior. If we allow ourselves to be realistic, chances are, your child won’t be playing pro-ball. Be happy your kid has playing time, sit back and enjoy.

Maybe I should comprise a book on parent baseball etiquette. It seems like common sense, but it’s apparent that some are lacking that sense. Be a gracious parent, thanking those paying your child a compliment. Just watch the game, cheering on your kid and his team. No one wants to hear your bullshit, least of all me!

New Year’s Eve: Resolve to Repent

Like any good party animal, I’m spending my New Year’s Eve snuggled in bed with a good book. For tonight, I’ve traded in my stilettos for slippers. While I’m all for a good party, and lots of dancing, the thought of sharing the road with drunk drivers is enough to keep me home year after year. I think the switch was flipped the day I became a parent. So instead, I stay home and I pass the party torch onto my kiddies.

I lie here contemplating my New Year’s resolution. I can’t lie; I don’t ever remember keeping one after it was made (quitter on my dad’s side).  I’m going to decline the “diet” resolution because that is never kept passed sunset on New Year’s day. I’ve succumbed to the sad fact that I’ll never be a size two. My love for food coupled with my Italian genes won’t allow it. I could commit to the traditional “being a better person”, but truth be told, I really don’t suck as a person (says me).

After much thought, I’ve decided I will try and curse less. Hey, I’m a realist. Eliminating cursing completely is nearly impossible for this f bomb dropper. It’s a horrible habit I admit but adding “fucking” to any story seems to spice it up and grab the listener’s attention.

If I can’t get it right for New Year’s there’s always the back-up known as Lent. You have to love the Catholics anticipating the quit in all of us, allowing us to sacrifice something for just six weeks.  Short term goals seem more attainable anyway. I suppose its better to have some resolution as opposed to none.

So in anticipation of the New Year just a few hours away, I just want to say happy fucking New Year. May all the bad shit you experienced this year open the path for better things in 2014. I’ll pray my resolution sticks, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be sure to repent in March during Lent. I fucking love do-overs!

Walk the Walk

Today I’m in a preachy mood and since you are my captive audience, you reap the rewards of such a mood.  Here’s the deal. There is a ton of shit I do wrong as a parent. I curse way too much as evidenced by my previous sentence. Someone recently told me there are so many other adjectives I can use when describing something. That’s true enough but sometimes cursing not only captures the description but also my mood. When I’m completely opposed to something, “definitely no” doesn’t adequately describe my distain, however if I were to spew “fuck this shit”, you get the idea. Obviously kids learn from example and f bombs are dropped way too often in this household without anyone really being moved by it.

I’m also not the mom that whips up grilled chicken, veggies and brown rice for my kids. Smart food choices are important but I’m Italian. Isn’t that explanation enough? My world revolves around food. To me, home cooked food equals love. While grilled chicken isn’t served up in my house, a nice hearty pot of sauce served with macaroni is a constant. Thank God my kids have good body genes (on their father’s side) otherwise every family picture would consist of three meatball kids (made myself laugh!).

This is where I take a reprieve from beating myself up for the things I do wrong and focus on the things I do right. It’s important for me that my kids see me walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Anyone can give lip service but how many put their words into action? These lessons are not just exclusive to my children but for anyone willing to tolerate reading this blog for a bit longer. (Brace for the preachy part).

I believe in being vested and giving back to my community. I have zero tolerance for the folks that sit on the side lines wagging their finger while taking no initiative to become part of the solution. If you don’t like how someone coaches your kid’s sports team, become a coach. If you don’t like the direction your school is taking or disagree with decisions being made, run for the school board. If you don’t like how an event is run at your child’s school, run the committee yourself. It’s so easy to bitch and moan about things you don’t like or see as deficiencies. Here’s one of my favorite bible verses (please pick your jaw up off the floor now. I’m multi-faceted. I know the good book well). Before you pull the splinter out of someone’s eye, pull the log out of your own first. God, I love that. So before you criticize someone else for a job you think they are doing poorly which might actually be their best effort, and unless you’re willing to step up to the plate, zip it!

Know that as easily as you point your finger, you can just as easily become involved. Go ahead. I’m waiting. I’m waiting for you to list every reason as to why you can’t get involved. You have kids, they have schedules to maintain, and you’re a busy person. You have a job. Time is limited. You have to feed the dog every night. Blah blah blah. WRONG ANSWERS! I challenge you to make a list of the rewards you will sow from such a commitment. Let me begin that list for you. Your children will see that one person can make a difference. It will show that you are interested and care about something bigger than yourself. You can make the difference in a child’s life. You can hone in on skills that can certainly cross over to the workplace such as leadership, budgetary and delegation to name a few. The question is why does it always have to be someone else volunteering? Why not you? God damn I am profound! This is quality shit.  That little Indian man had it right. Be the change you want to see in the world. That change starts with you. Wow, this is stuff self-help books are made of (pat on back).

Ok so now you are considering volunteering. Good choice. I believe in it. I advocate for it but there is a part two to this. Now that you have stepped up, it’s important to have a voice. Have an opinion. I can’t think of anything more unappealing, more annoying or such a sign of weakness than someone who rides the fence and plays Switzerland.  If you are passionate about something, let it be known. Your opinion matters. Regardless of whether people agree or not, speak your mind. Many times others will agree with your opinion and that feels great. But there will be times when you are standing alone; be strong enough to do that. Often time’s people aren’t forthright out of fear. Fear rules their spoken opinion. Fear others won’t agree with them. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being liked. Don’t let the fear overtake your desire to make a difference. If there is anything you should carry with you, it’s the art of persuasion. Be articulate enough and focused enough to win your colleagues over. Make sure you look at all sides of a situation, anticipating what challenges might arise and figure out a way over or around it for the best possible outcome. Holy shit, am I heavy on the advice today or what? (Rhetorical) Listen, all I’m saying is have an opinion and own it. Say what you mean and mean what you say. (Obviously on a quote rant today). This doesn’t mean you can’t be persuaded yourself; open mindedness is an important quality. My point is just be your own person and be comfortable with that.

So to wrap of this blog, sometimes I suck, but mostly I don’t. Take a look at your life and see what irks you.  Rather than fester in what bothers you, see if there is opportunity to change that particular irk. Like me, you can walk the walk. I’m stepping down from my pulpit now. Sermon over.

I’m Your Mother, That’s Why

For all the times when you were small and you didn’t want to hold my hand crossing the street. At my instance I’d grabbed your hand and say, “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is I would rather you be embarrassed by this gesture, then take any chance of you being hurt or killed by a car. I never want to lose you.

For all the times, I walked you to the front doors of school, leaving you with my departing words, “I love you” as you cringed with humiliation. As you protested, and asked me why I must do that, I replied “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is I wanted you to feel security knowing I loved you and I would be there the minute you were dismissed.

For all the times I asked you to clean your room and you told me it was your room, your space and complained. As I continued with the request, my explanation was “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is this teaching moment was about respecting your belongings and taking on responsibility.

For all the times when I didn’t approve of what you were wearing to school or a special event and made you change your clothes. You fought me, and I’d send you to your room, letting you know it wasn’t a request but a demand. I’d say do it “I’m the mother, that’s why“. The truth is I wanted you to take pride in your looks and not be unfairly judged based on what you were wearing.

For all the times you would come home frustrated that your friends came to school with the latest trends; the most expensive sneakers, handbags or even new cars. You would want the same things and I wouldn’t indulge you even as you objected. When challenged I’d say “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is as hard as the lesson and you might not even fully understand until you are an adult yourself; there will always be someone who has more or less than you. It’s not about comparing yourself to others or what they have. Be grateful for things you do have rather than focus on things you don’t.

For all the times you asked for money day after day and I wouldn’t always give it. You lashed out telling me that your friends received money from their parents, why couldn’t I just distribute it just as they had? I’d say, they aren’t my kids and “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is you will never appreciate a dollar until you earn it. You then have a sense of entitlement and that’s not what I wanted for you. I wanted you to appreciate that with hard work comes reward. I wanted you to be conscious of how much things cost and to make smart choices when spending your money.

For all the times I lent you my ear as you felt injustice at school and you weren’t treated fairly. I would tell you I’d talk to the school and clear it up. You would besiege me not to get involved and storm off and not speak to me. When confronted, I would look you in the eyes and tell you I’m doing it, despite your disapproval. When questioned, I’d say “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is I wanted you to know what loyalty and love felt like. Just because you are a child doesn’t mean you are always wrong in the eyes of an adult. I wanted you to learn that if you stand by the truth, if you are articulate and calm, change is possible even in what seems like the most impossible situations.

For all the times I asked you to set the table or fetch drinks to put on the dinner table and you would tell me it wasn’t fair. You lazily asked me why I couldn’t do it. I’d tell you “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is I wanted you to be aware other people exist besides you. I wanted you to learn to be a functioning part of our family and be considerate of others.

For all the times I went to your sports events or school events and cheered you on as you shrunk with embarrassment. You’d say, no one else’s mom does that, why must you? I’d say “I’m YOUR mother, that’s why”. The truth is I couldn’t be more proud of you. Whether the accomplishment is big or small, I want you to know that I’m your biggest fan and I’ll always be in your corner.

For all the times I’ve asked you to check in so I know where you are much to your annoyance. You see it as a sign of distrust or that I think you don’t make good choices. When you ask why day after day, I require this of you, I reply, “I’m your mother, that’s why“. The truth is I think you are incredible and have little doubt that you are making good decisions. I want to know you are safe.

For all the times, I say I love you and you don’t say it back. For all the times, I hug you and you brush me off complaining why. I will tell you, “I’m your mother, that’s why”. The truth is I never in your life want to reflect back and say, I can’t remember ever being told I love you or feeling affection from my mom. Even as you push me away at these moments because it’s not cool, I will continue to do these things. I don’t ever want to give you an opportunity to recall a time when you didn’t feel your mother’s love.

To my children, I do all these things for a reason though you might not be able to see that now. Everything I do is to give you a solid foundation for being the most positive, productive, and contributing member of our society. The truth is I love you unconditionally and it’s simply because I’m your mother, that’s why.

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Sandy Hook

About a month ago, my eleven year old son asked me why I have to walk him to the front door of school each morning. Why can’t I take the car through the school driveway and drop him off at the front doors like all the other parents? I explained that he was my youngest child, and it was his last year in elementary school which meant this would be my last opportunity ever to walk him to school each day. Dropping him off and picking him up brought me joy and I asked him to indulge me for the remainder of the year. He shrugged his shoulders and accepted this answer. Each school day consists of the same drop off routine. I walk him to the front doors of school and the same words are uttered from me to him, “Be a good boy. Have a good day. I love you”. I then gaze at him walking up the stairs until he is out of sight and then I walk back toward my car. I’m not even sure why I watch him ascend the staircase. I suppose I find solace watching him fade into the safety of the school hallways giving me the ok I need to start my own day.

On Friday, December 14, 2012, I like every other American, watched the tragic events unfold at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It was impossible not to put myself in those parent’s shoes. I imagined myself running up to my child’s school frantically searching for my son, and simply not knowing. I imagined it being his school, his principal, his teacher, his classmates, and the unspeakable..I can’t even say it… I imagined being that parent. Watching all the children being released one at a time. Waiting for their child to be released but never having their child come out. It’s unfathomable. It’s heart wrenching, even excruciating to imagine just for a moment, being the parent leaving childless from the school that Friday. My guess is they sent their child off to school that morning with similar words spoken, watched them walk into school safely, never imagining they wouldn’t walk out alive again.

Here’s the thing of it, I can’t shake this. The recent hurricane shook us, but we are recovering. Our houses will be fixed. Our lives rebuilt. Twenty little lives will never be recovered. This I can’t shake. The tragedy has rocked me to the core. This will stay with me. It’s odd to think, I don’t know these children. I don’t know their families, yet they visit me in my dreams. I’m attached to these children. I’ve questioned my attachment and I think I know the answer. The answer is because it could have been my children, my neighbor’s children, my children’s classmates. Those twenty faces are every child’s faces. The faces are interchangeable. Those children are our children.

I recently went to my son’s chorus concert and found myself seated near the kindergarten and first grade classes. I became transfixed on these little children. My eyes took in their every movement. Each subtle gesture was caught, The girl tugging the boys shirt next to her to encourage him to clap along to the music as her hair swept in front of her face and he smiled at her. I caught their smiles, their laughter, their hand clapping and singing. It’s then that I began counting, 1,2 3, 4, 5…18, 19, 20. Two rows of children equaled twenty boys and girls. That was a lot of children. My eyes were quickly drawn to their teacher doting on her class for her thoughts couldn’t have been far off from that tragic day either. I wonder if during the day, she perused her classroom and thought where might she hide these children if faced with the same events in her own classroom. My eyes became moist as I thought of the twenty-six lost souls at Sandy Hook.

I still treasure picking my son up at school each day but there is a certain sadness that comes with that task. I look at the children differently. And of course there is that silent counting I do in my head when the little ones pass me on the sidewalk. I can’t help but count the kids. I do it involuntarily up to twenty as if to account for the twenty babies lost to keep their spirit alive. I think of those poor parents and how they must carry on. I’m not sure how they muster the strength to get out of bed each day as I’m certain I couldn’t. I guess this is where faith steps in. Where everything I was ever taught or learned about God is now being tested. Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Dirty Jobs

When I got married, I vividly remember signing the marriage contract in church. I don’t remember the details of the contract but it was signed in God’s house with two witnesses, one coherent groom (so I thought), the pastor and me. I don’t remember all the details but I’m pretty sure there weren’t any specific rules listed in there. Maybe I should have read it a little closer. I swear I’m going to crouch down on my hands and knees and slither under my bed (should my post wedding weight fit under there) and find that firebox which contains that document from almost twenty years ago. I’m going to blow the dust off of the envelope and reread that thing – or truth be told, read it for the very first time.

What exactly am I searching for you might ask? I want to find the section that states “the wife is responsible for cleaning up all the kid and animal puke”. Yes you heard me correctly. Why has that been designated as my job? As if having ovaries or fallopian tubes better qualifies me as a puke cleaner. I’ve been waiting for a knock on the door for years from Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, with his camera crew, surely MY jobs rank up there with shoveling cow manure or cleaning out industrial size onion processors.

Nothing is worse than stepping in or sliding on cat puke. After sliding in regurgitated cat food one would think the natural next step (pun intended) would be to clean it up, but I would be mistaken. The sound of a cat gagging will send screams of “Mom, Mom hurry..do something!” (As if I took a training course on this or I should run and get my first aid kit, sheesh!).

Not long ago, I was in the middle of an important meeting when I was interrupted by my cell phone ringing. My youngest child was calling to inform me that he had just thrown up all over the rug at home. In my best whisper, I asked where his father was. Obviously his father was at home and my boy knew his dad was less than pleased to clean up the mess. (A house could be on fire but a child’s instinct is to locate the mom and tell her, even if not home, before notifying the father. It’s what kids do). I did what any smart woman would do. I didn’t go home right away ensuring the mess was cleaned up well before I arrived. (Brilliant I know!)

I came home that night to no remnants of vomit in the house. I actually came home to no rug in the house at all (I kid you not). Prince Charming found it easier to toss the rug than clean up the puke. Maybe women are predisposed to cleaning up our kids vomit. I know when my kids hurl, my hands fly up in reaction and I can dive like any of the best New York Yankees catchers in an effort to capture the vomit so a splash never makes it to the floor (gagging as I type this).

This beckons the question? Does a husband have an equal reaction to the sound of their child dry heaving? Is their reaction to run toward the vomit, like running toward a building on fire? (not quite but that’s how we women see it). Can a man cup their own hands as their child’s puke runneth over in them without puking on themselves in turn? It’s doubtful (sorry fellas). I’m wondering if it’s too late to amend my marriage contract.