Lesson for Mommy #49:

The Perfectly Imprefect You.

I spend a good chunk of my week checking out different recipes, crafts, parenting tips etc on Pinterest and Momma bloggers. And the one thing I see a lot is ‘perfection’. I  said this a long time ago, but I’m not perfect. And seeing so much perfection all over the net from all the mommy bloggers and pinterest creates this image that you should also be able to create this perfection.

You see white walls, clean children, a hot family dinner on the table, bento lunches for the next day, and the whole house top to bottom is clean. Um where are you finding the time to do these things? My 4 year old goes to Preschool, and I have a 13month old son- who is walking, but refusing to learn sign and just fusses all the time. I’m still breastfeeding and struggling to get things done; I’m finding it so hard to even find time to do something for myself. I try really hard to maintain everything, try to get wonderful meals, keep the house clean and tidy, and also take care of my children. But it’s really hard and I’m having to sacrifice a lot. In this time I’m also struggling to maintain some pain in my neck (from a car accident a while back) thats eating up time like crazy.

ARGH! I’m even skipping re-reading what I time and correcting spelling misteakes and snetence issues…you get the idea!

So when I pinterest, I feel awful! This image of a perfect home with the white walls, with perfect kids that just seem to do what they’re supposed to do, and meals that are just so healthy makes kale feel worthless; it all just gets me down. And a lot of times their ‘how to manage time’, ‘quick fixes’ aren’t so quick or manageable at all! Just more tips on how to be perfect.

I try to remind myself though that ‘this’ is just an image. An image of perfection, it might not be reality, not even for these perfectly perfect pictures. Sure there are some momma’s who just have it all together and just get things done like BAM BAM BAM, DONE! But with the amount of pinterest momma’s out there, it gives the illusion that they all have those white walls.

No one wants to show their dirty laundry on the internet, so instead they post the picture of their folded laundry. With this age of technology we momma’s are adding so much pressure on ourselves ‘TO LOOK GOOD”. It’s not just a body image issue now. It’s an everything issue. Way too much pressure. To look good with kids on both arms, a clean home in the background, with dinner on the table and everythings all sparkley!

I have my good days where everything just rolls and it all gets done and I’m like WOW is this how those Pinterest Momma’s feel all the time. But the point is that are we really this superficial? That we need to post ‘look how perfect I am’. And even when it’s something thats a fail they post it in such a way that it doesn’t even seem like a fail….like your minions cake looks awesome even if the yellow shade is slightly off….like wtf is that even a fail? That’s a huge accomplishment and your damn cake is so freaking awesome I wish I could eat it through my laptop !

So what is reality and what is ‘just for the internet’. The fact is that even these pinterest mom’s have tough lives. They’re just doing the best they can and posting their ‘best photo’ for social media. Some often talk about how many nights of fails and effort they put into their material. They try and try even if it means sacrificing sleep- but not all of us are like that. We don’t have an audience of readers waiting to see the next great blog post. These perfect momma’s though are maybe doing more harm to themselves then good, because they may be teaching their kids image is everything, perfection is everything. Post only your triumphs not your failures. And they may be doing harm to you as the reader, a mother who is just doing the best she can too with what she has. In this age of social media, we mommy’s are just putting more and more pressure on ourselves then we need to. Why are we doing that? You don’t see fathers doing this?

There are momma’s like me who post their failures, post their hard days and the real stuff that just can’t get any more real, so there is a balance. Because with all those pictures of perfection we need a reminder of how wonderful it is to be imprefect. How amazing that unfolded laundry is. Because I would rather sacrifice folding laundry and spend my time doing crafts with my daughter. I would rather forfeit making a super duper healthy kale on kale with guinoa dinner to let my nursing son explore the pantry with me (pulling down and disorganizing everything. I hate it sometimes, but I still do it. I feel bad about it sometimes, but I still do it.

You can be a perfect mommy and still have fails. Failures and messiness is how we know we tried, and I don’t want my daughter see me perfect, I want her to see my imperfections so she knows it’s okay to be imperfect, to have flaws and failures. Why not? In her lifetime she’s going to try and fail sometimes, she’s going to gain weight, loose weight, get pimples, have people who are better at something then her, I want to give her the emotional stability to cope with that. To accept herself. I also want the same for my son. He’s not lacking because he isn’t perfect in something.

Why do we post perfection on social media? Why do we need other people to think we are perfect and everything we do is perfect. Don’t dismay and think you’re doing something wrong, because that picture with the clean white walls might just be the only white wall in their house. Don’t fret and continue being the imperfect you.

And always, Good Luck!

Lesson for Mommy #48:

Don’t Be A Racist

The friend who I wrote “STOP, Don’t BreastFeed in Public” for, turned out to be kinda racist. Well maybe not racist, but anti-immigrant and anti-anything that is not white.

The people who stopped her from breastfeeding in public according to her, were immigrants apparently and like normal racist judgment, that means only non-whites could ever stop her from breastfeeding in public. I have a lot I want to say about her situation in particular and I don’t disagree: that these people should have never stopped her and they should be better educated as new immigrants into the country about the social laws of that country; and more importantly should be educated by the company about their policies. That’s not their fault. The system failed them, they company failed them, so in turn they failed this breast feeding momma.

I was very upset about the way she talked about immigrants, using inflammatory terms like ‘some black guy with an accent I couldn’t understand’. It just set off a weird instinct that may be predisposed- but damn this is getting racist is what I thought. And what’s worse, is that her daughter and older son were right there while she’s saying these things.

If these are her feelings against her fellow human beings that are not ‘white’, then she’s going to inadvertently teach her kids to be racist, to look down on people who aren’t white. And this is a very big problem.

If you’re racist, as a side affect you teach your children to be racist- whether intentionally or unintentionally. You are growing the next generation of bigoted ignorant fools. And with the world mixing, people blending and living together, these aren’t the values you should be teaching. Love, harmony, co-existence and respect is something every human has the right to.  I don’t want to get into the gritty history of this, but white folks, unless you’re still in Europe, you are all immigrants. If you’re white and you’re living in a different country then what you were born in- you’re an immigrant. Although the word ‘expat’ is thrown around a lot, that’s just a nice way of saying immigrant.

I also don’t want to remind these racist folks slavery’s long and rampant history that continues today anytime a ‘white man’ calls a ‘non white man’ a racist term. So why teach your kids these horrible things. Saying discriminatory things even if in the slightest is still teaching them that their ‘white skin’ is somehow better.

This friend of mine, wasn’t even all that racist, and had been a friend of mine for so long- so to hear her say these kinds of things really shook me. I even asked myself, are all white people a little racist inside even the one’s who aren’t racist? Is this natural? Should I accept this? But what about her daughter- who is this pure innocent beautiful little girl. I don’t want that little girl to grow up having a “little” racism against my son because he’s not white.

Think about it. What are you teaching your kids about other people- other skin colors, other races, religion? Have you ever fallen into the trap of saying ‘that stupid Chinese guy can’t drive’. It could be a small insignificant joke but to your child it’s pre-prep to a bias, to a bigotry that you may not even know you are instilling.

And racism isn’t limited to just Caucasian people- no ethnic people can be racist too against white people and other ethnics. Trust me I’ve lived it and seen it. And you don’t want your ethnic children feeling that white people are better or lesser then them- both are dangerous. Equals, that’s the message that we should be teaching.

When my daughter was younger, for whatever reason seemed to be a little afraid of black people and brown people with turbans and beards. And I didn’t accept that from her. I told her, there is nothing to be afraid of, they are people just like you. They have feelings just like you, and they live just like you. How they dress, what their skin colour is means nothing. I would explain to her that she is also a different color and that momma is brown and daddy is Chinese and you are a beautiful blend of both of us. And that man is black and beautiful and this man is not and still beautiful. It’s a tricky place because at the same time I was telling her don’t talk to strangers and don’t go with strangers…tricky indeed.

But it paid off, she has this wonderful sense of human pride. She plays with all kids of different ethnic backgrounds and doesn’t shy away or gravitate to a particular race. Like innocent children, her opinions about a particular person isn’t stemming from what they look like, but how they treat her. “Devon” a male classmate is white and he’s like a bff – best boy friend right now; and she loves playing with him and he loves playing with her. Then there are 2 other children she plays with who are from other backgrounds, one of them who can’t speak English all that well but my daughter doesn’t see that as an issue at all- somehow she just knows what this kid is saying. They all just play with each other and hug good bye at the end of the day- like lovely wonderful human beings.

That’s what the world should be like! That’s what we all should be teaching our kids! There should be no ‘inner racist’ that suddenly comes out when someone does something. I have to admit I have caught myself saying ‘typical white guy mentality’ and I had to stop and recheck myself- what the heck am I even saying. This isn’t right, just because a group of white people may have a certain belief or hold a certain value, that does NOT mean that ALL white people share that belief or value. In fact, just because this friend who I have known for a long time turned out to be a little racist, doesn’t mean that any of my other white friends are the same.

And I will not teach my kids that discrimination is okay and that being a racist because historically we were oppressed is okay. How  we view other people and what we say about other people impacts our children. And I don’t want my kids to turn into the kind of people who hurt someone based on their colour, race, religion or sexual orientation.

I won’t be a racist and you shouldn’t be one too.

Good Luck!

Lessons for Mommy #47:

STOP! Don’t BreastFeed in Public!

Come on ladies, your boobs are shameful. They are sexual things that need to be covered up, or completely showing in the most sexual way possible. If it’s not entertaining in a jiggly way in Hollywood, don’t pop them out in public breastfeeding- that’s just disgusting. Your baby is just going to have to go hungry and get his s*** together.

Them boobs have nipples, and so what if you’re baby is crying because he’s hungry, and so what if the only place he can get that milk is from your boobs- get a bottle kid! Eat some food. It’s 2015 ladies, does your baby really need those boobs? Breastfeeding is what mothers of ancient times did, we don’t need that now.

If you want to breastfeed get a room, put on layers of blankets, and have someone hold up a cover so that no one can even tell that you’re boobing back there. Instead of doing the most shameful act ever by breastfeeding your baby, you could just let him cry. But like the whore if you insist on breastfeeding that shameless infant of yours in public, then here’s some advice.

1) Go into the bathroom, where everyone is pissing and pooping away, the sound of constant flushing and farting will soothe him to sleep.

2) Carry at all times 2-5 blankets and perhaps a bed sheet so that you can cover yourself and your baby under hot blankets to ensure no one walking by will see your nipples. Because you know if a man was to see you breastfeeding, he might get a hardon and rape you. Bonus Tip- get your mother, husband or your other small child to hold up the sheet around you, like a tent.

3) Go into a corner somewhere. If you can’t find a chair, sit on your small child or husband’s lap- but make sure you face the wall as close as possible because you’re doing something sexual when you breastfeed and no one’s grandfather should have to see that.

4) Can’t find a corner, no problem if you’re in the mall, ask to go into a changing room with multiple mirrors so you can see how disgusting the act is. And I’m sure your baby will find the bright white lights in his eyes calming (mostly blinding) but eventually his pupils will get used to it.

5) At a family members house? Rush into a bedroom, if anyone asks what you’re going to do, DO NOT say you’re breastfeeding- even saying the word “Breast” is sexual. Instead say you’re going to do a 30 minute diaper change.

6) IF you are in a open place like the park or out in the city and you’re baby suddenly gets hungry for milk, don’t just whip out those boobs and start feeding. There are other people there trying to enjoy their time and they don’t need to see your nipples feeding something you gave life. That’s private stuff and should be done privately. So try to the cover/sheet method or let the kid cry for a little bit while you rush to the nearest public washroom. It will build his character.

7) On a family vacation or at a festival? Ask the women around you to surround you in a human shield so none of their men can see your boobs. God forbid if they did. Do you know how many of them would suddenly want to leave their women and marry you instead!?

8) Remember you can wear a bikini while breastfeeding, but if you have to actually breast feed- don’t. Go somewhere secluded, devoid of human life and pop your boobs out of that bikini top and then breastfeed.

Always think “My boobs are sexual items and just because the natural function is to feed a baby doesn’t give me the right to disgust other people with it. My baby is just going to have to grow the hell up”.

So there you have it, the most idiotic article ever. I’m being really sarcastic just in case no one got that.

You need to breastfeed your baby, BREASTFEED HIM/HER wherever and whenever you want. Doesn’t matter if people are uncomfortable or not, that’s their damn problem, not yours. Your boobs are there to feed the life you gave and it’s the most natural thing possible. Don’t feel ashamed, or nervous about it. Don’t give it a second thought. If you need to breastfeed your child, then do it. Pop out those nurturing boobs and feed your child.

Good Luck!

Life Lesson for Mommy #46:

My life!

Not living Just Functioning.

It’s been a long time since I had the luxury to post. I have been living pretty pain free, just tense and sore, and perhaps a headache maybe only once or twice a week- but that’s it. I thought that this is great. But today when I finally sat down to review my calendar so I could go back and figure out what to post here, I realized it has been a very long time since I last updated.

What was eating up my time so much that it had been so long since my last post? Was it my kids, the business, life, home making etc But still I always had time in the past, what happened then?

After carefully going through everything in my calendar, I realized I was spending so much time doing stretching, magic bagging, and more stretching, on top of the never ending appointments, to driving back and fourth…I was spending so much time trying to keep the pain away that I’m not really living anymore. I’m just functioning.

This really made me sad. I love posting on my blog and I still have so much material to catch up to, material that I had written before the car accident that I haven’t had time to post up on here.

I think I would classify myself as a ‘anxious’ person. I went through postpartum anxiety after my daughter’s pregnancy went down hill. But I recovered even with a small baby, I had my amazing support and I had no physical pain so it all just came together. So why did a car accident bring me down this much. I can’t get into the details because it’s a long and kind of sad story, but I think after assessing myself for a little while this last week I realized that the physical pain was taking a toll on my mood and taking a toll on my life. Which is why I was working so hard to be pain free… but now I’m not living like I want to. I’m spending a lot of time trying to stop the pain from happening at all or lessening it.

Breast feeding is supposed to be a happy wonderful bonding time, I enjoyed breastfeeding my daughter so so much. And had it not been the car accident I wouldn’t have had to stop. But this time around breastfeeding my son with all this pain, that I’m finding myself saying ‘I hope he gets off soon’…which is something I would have never said before. I…I don’t like this. I thought I was making real head ways in terms of getting my emotions on track and letting things go and moving on. I also thought I was becoming more zen in terms of positive thinking and telling myself that there is not going to be any more pain in my neck. I make it like some sad motto everyday and its’ helped, but I realize now that it’s because I’m doing so much to prevent it.

I’m finding it hard to accept again. And instead of coming on here and posting something meaningful for other momma’s to read and learn from, I’m posting how frustrated I am at myself as a person, as a woman and as a mom. Why can’t I be stronger then this? I decided not to stretch today and see where I am in terms of pain. And it’s creeping up fast on me. I haven’t had to take a Tylenol yet because I’m mentally warding off the pain by telling myself “I feel nothing”  and I also think I have become used to this type of pain- as sad as that sounds…But this pain is very much real. It’s a soreness, a tightness, it actually feels like my neck to my shoulder is swollen.

So what can I do right this moment after piecing this together? How can I cut down my neck maintenance time and start living and doing what I want to do? I guess the first step would be to stop being in denial about it.

Address it and deal with it.

I will up my water intake, since it does help with inflammation in the body and it’s good for me.

I will also go back to taking turmeric in my diet instead of relying on pills.

I will also stretch only morning, afternoon and before bed. I will try to train my body, my neck in particular to loosen up and stay loosened.

And the biggest one: I will also have to come to terms with the fact that I will have to take the injections my doctor suggested. It’s not my ideal but I cannot live like this: to avoid pain spend so much time avoiding it and not living.

I guess that’s what mothers have to do with hurdles. You just have to deal with them. I will try this method to deal with it. Because what I am doing right now isn’t the solution that works for me. If I am going to live properly, then I have to get this neck to do what I want it to do, and that is be loose, comfortable and pain free. I want to spend more time with my daughter doing crafts, enjoy breastfeeding my son, and do my blog, help my husband with the company, and just enjoy and cherish life like I used to.

I don’t know why I turned this way? Perhaps the stresses after the accident piled up and warped my personality? Maybe it was just the last one thing I could take? Maybe this was how I react to being thrown off the cliff- hold on to freaking anything and stay there as long as possible until someone saves me. I’m not going to wait there on that cliff, I’m really going to try to make the effort to climb up. And I will climb up.

I have so much more then what I’m living out of life. My husband and I have big dreams that a lot of people can only dream of. We are hell bent on making a reality. In order to achieve those goals, I have to be the kind of person who can adapt and change as I need to.

I guess there is no lesson in this. But maybe the lesson can be that if you aren’t living the way you want and just functioning; you’re not getting the full potential out of life. So if by making small changes, we can slowly achieve that goal of living, why not try it. My old self would have put the most negative spin on this, that there’s probably no point, the pain isn’t going to go away, and why did this have to happen to me etc

But I’m not that person anymore- no I’m not going down that stupid mental spiral. I will love this body and love this life and LIVE IT. I won’t let the poor decision of someone who couldn’t respect the road, to change my life to the point where I can’t enjoy it.

I think the lesson for me would be, to not let this accident take another year, another month, another day, another hour from me. These seconds, months and years belong to me and I don’t want to look back at my calendar and wonder- what did I do with me time?

Good Luck!