Homeschool?

What about friends?

What about social interactions?

Don’t you think the actual teachers are better to teach your child?

Homeschooled kids are weird.

You just don’t want to vaccinate, huh?

When people approach a family who has chosen to homeschool their children, they are so full of misconceptions and ignorance that they just usually spew it out like a Venetian fountain.

FRIENDS.

Who says that friends are only found in a public school classroom? I know that many of my BEST friends were found while I was out experience life. People with common interests. Not people I was forced to congregate with based purely on age and regional location. Forced interactions don’t friendships make.

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In the same breath, social interactions don’t only happen with peers. My child interact in stores, doctors’ offices, with their siblings and family. Nobody define social interactions as those only had within the walls of a government funded school.

Ahhh. Teachers. Teachers are great people. I’ve personally had some amazing teachers in my years. And I’ve had some who had checked out and didn’t care much. I actually had an Arts and Humanities class in 11th grade that was required for graduation. The teacher, who was a French teacher said that she didn’t like this class and she didn’t like teaching it. So why the hell should I like learning it? All of this is a moot point to the fact, I don’t have 25+ children running around that I have to attempt to teach. I have 3 that are being homeschooled. Each of them, my own. I carried them, birthed them, and subsequently taught them through their early development. I think I am perfectly capable and qualified to teach my own children.

Homeschooled kids ARE weird. If by weird you mean not pretentious jerks that are easily swayed by their peers and all follow Kanye on Twitter. (Not saying there’s anything wrong with Kanye but Yeezus, he’s not who I want my children aspiring to be.)  I’m going to make a massive generalization here, from my experience many kids in the public school system are ignorant, rude, sex driven little beasts with unrestricted access to the internet on their computers and iPhones. They’re self entitled titty babies who cry, “That’s not fair” when they don’t get to play first string.  Everyone gets a participation medal even if they suck.

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Children are never allowed to learn to cope with disappointment and failure. Failure is a part of life. It happens. Its how we learn to do better but now, they expect something for nothing just because they’re there.

Now as to my children’s vaccination status…

PUBLIC SCHOOL, PRIVATE SCHOOL, HOMESCHOOL, NO SCHOOL— my vaccination status and their medical records are nobodies business. Ohio currently allows children who are not vaccinated in the school as long as they have the proper exemptions filled out. This may change in the future but for now, it is what it is.

So the next time someone says, “Oh we’re homeschooling”. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the person who tells them they’re making a bad choice. Just because it isn’t the choice for you doesn’t mean its a bad one. People have their reasoning.

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It is 11:51 am and I’ve yelled 12 times.

For the last four years or so, I’ve been practicing gentle parenting. I don’t normally yell. I don’t spank. We use our words but the last few weeks have been hell.

My patience is wearing thin. My oldest is 9. She tests my patience to a point where I want to cry. I am so defeated that a 9 year old is getting the best of me. We start bed time routine at 8PM. They’re still fucking around at 9PM and 10Pm and occasionally even 11PM. They don’t even try. I’ve asked. I’ve pleaded. I’ve been nice about it and now the only thing left is being not nice about it.

My four year old laughs at me when I tell him to do something. He legitimately falls on the floor laughing at me. He cries and screams and tantrums to no end and then when its all over, he laughs.

My two year old doesn’t speak. She doesn’t listen. She doesn’t care. You try to talk to her and she just pokes you in the eye and says “Mama Eyes” and proceeds to point out everyone’s eyes.

So I’ve yelled and yelled and yelled and threatened to take away all of their toys. I’ve tried scaring them into submission. I’ve tried saying, “I’m calling dad!” Nothing works. They’re still not listening.

I’ve come to a simple conclusion:

My children escaped from my womb to make me want to run away. They elicit this fight or flight response every time.

So if you need me, I’ll be binge watching ID while eating giant Reese’s because #adultingsucks.

An unending cycle of dependence

In February of 2016, my husband lost his job. He had a very good job. It paid well and we were able to pay for everything we needed and have extra left over for fun stuff. We were middle class and I was okay with that. We didn’t depend on any sort of welfare to get by.

As soon as he lost his job, I applied for assistance to make it less stressful. My husband applied for literally hundreds of jobs and I applied for some as well in addition to my design work and art. He went to a few interviews and never heard anything back. After 5 months, he found a job making half of what he had earlier but I told him, “We’ll make it work. We always make it work.” 

So he’s been working for over a month now and he’s make 1/4 of what he normally does so far. The money is gone before the weekend is over with paying bills.

A few days ago, I got a letter from the ODJFS that we needed to verify income. That’s fine. I’m not trying to scam anyone and we send it in. They’re cutting our benefits in half. So seeing our predicament, I started applying for more jobs. Seeing as I have a college degree, I figured I could make more than minimum wage but alas— there are no jobs where I live that aren’t minimum wage.

So I look into daycare.

$500 a week. So I look up child care assistance… by working, I make myself ineligible.

So then I think, “What if we work alternating shifts?”

All jobs in my town seem to require open availability and won’t let me just work one shift and my husband has been working different schedules because of training.

Its a never ending cycle.

A happy medium

There’s this back and forth in the parenting world and it disgusts me to no end.

You aren’t CRUNCHY enough.

You’re too crunchy, ya hippie.

Your scheduled cesarean is a terrible idea.

You can’t have a natural birth. Drugs are there for a reason, duh.

You aren’t even going to try to breastfeed?

OMG the crap in that formula is going to make your baby retarded.

GMOS?! Eww.

You spend all that extra on organic?

It goes on and on and on.

The biggest competition (for lack of a better word) comes when you see the natural birth advocates versus the medical intervention advocates. Instead of educating each other, they bash and post malignant articles to shun the other side. Its sad. I mean from a personal standpoint, I find that there can be a happy medium between the two. I was lucky and had no complications from my cesareans. Would I wish it upon anyone else? Hell, no. Would I try to talk someone out of it if it wasn’t medically necessary? You betcha. Do I judge their choice? Probably secretly but I will be as supportive as I possibly can. Many people told me that a VBA3C (vaginal birth after three prior cesareans) was not possible. It was too risky and there were too many unknown variables. I did the best research I could with the information I could find and people’s stories and decided for me, it was in my best interest to try and have a TOLA3C in a hospital setting with constant monitoring. I would never do anything to put my baby at risk but it was pertinent for me to try and show other people that it can be done safely and to show myself and those doctors who denied me previously that I’M NOT BROKEN.

It was never about the perfect birth for me. I don’t have a perfect birth. I have everyone’s stories of their perfect births but my perfect birth is one where I am alive and my baby is perfect. Having the vaginal birth is just a perk. When things didn’t go my way with this last birthing experience, I couldn’t allow myself to be upset. I could have died but not because I chose to VBAC but because I had gestational hypertension that required magnesium and me sitting for my entire birthing experience. I was unable to use gravity and wasn’t given ample time before more interventions were used. Pitocin caused a post partum hemorrhage which could have cost me my life but thankfully the medical professionals acted fast and accordingly.

I skipped many of the extra tests during my pregnancy this time. It wasn’t because I felt the need to tell the medical field off but it wasn’t entirely necessary. I had my finger pricked at every appointment.

So when I say, there can be a happy medium where people can birth natural with safety precautions, I mean it. There’s no need for this garbage to continue. People are so set that their way is the only way but its not.

In times like we’re currently facing, we need to band together and be a community together.

Bullies.

Anti_Bullying

Ever since I’ve become a mother, I’ve learned that the biggest bullies are other mothers. So often I see women putting another woman down for her choices without knowing the whole story.

Oh, you didn’t even try to breastfeed? You lazy, selfish, person. You shouldn’t even have kids.”

“You’re not vaccinating? You should be sterilized?”

“You’re circumcising your son? What about his rights?”

“You eat processed foods? You’re killing your children.”

“Crying it out? Are you insane? They’re going to be retarded because of it.”

“You’re going to smother your children because you cosleep.”

“You’re a pervert if you cobathe.”

“You discipline by spanking?! You are breaking the sacred bond of trust between mother and child.”

Here’s my take on it. I am not a crusader for people to parent my way. If you are, then you ought to look for a new hobby besides pushing your beliefs down anyone’s throat. There is more than one way to raise a child and your way isn’t always the right way for someone else.

We are so stuck in this mode of though that involves being the best and knowing what is the best. Its saddening that mothers can’t turn to each other for support without getting treated like garbage.

That woman you made feel like shit because she didn’t breastfeed, had a double mastectomy to save her life.

That woman who doesn’t cosleep, has an alcoholic husband and can’t risk having her beautiful baby in her bed.

The mother who cobathes can barely afford her water bill as it is.

The woman who chooses not to vaccinate, lost a child to vaccine injury and is just too ashamed to talk about it.

We don’t stop and think about why people do things the way they do. We just take their choices at face value and attribute it to being a horrible person and parent. Its not fair.

As a person who runs a groups for moms, I am always seeing mother’s bashing other mother’s choices and it hurts my soul because in the end, we’re all mothers doing the best we can for our children. Parenting is already hard enough without having to listen to the constant barrage of insults.

BE KIND. EDUCATE. LOVE.

This is my group’s motto. Honestly, when I put it up there, I meant it. If you want to change how someone does something, attacking them will never help. It will never fix it. It will only make them defensive and angry and hurt. Attacking them will make them feel like they are less than human and they are pieces of crap.

Mother’s are always trying to teach their children not to be bullies but most of the time, we as mothers, are the biggest bullies and our own worst enemies.

Being A SAHM

My day started at six am with a poopsplosion from the youngest. She has had tummy issues for the last two days and it has resulted in numerous outfit changed on both of our parts. So bright and early before I’ve even had a cup of coffee, I am giving a 10 month old a bath and singing her a song because she hates baths— with a passion.

7 AM rolls around and the oldest is up. She’s hungry and I better make her cereal right then or she’ll do it herself and make a huge mess.

8 AM brings the boys awakening. He’s screaming and punching the door because god forbid I take my time. He also managed to pee through his diaper and the bed, his jammies, and he are all soaking wet with the awesome smell of piss and he crapped up his back. Just another bath to another kid who hates baths even more than Charley.

I have to hurry though because Adison has to be in language arts class at 9 AM and I have to stay on her like white on rice. She wants to go to Youtube and watch Frozen videos or play stupid Frozen games. She wants to fight with her brother because he’s being a jerk. Class runs until 10:15ish and then I have 45 minutes to go to the store and get what I need to get.

I get home at 10:50 and unload three kids plus all the crap I bought and then I have to get everything ready for my husband to get up to go to work. So 30 minutes to roll his cigarettes, make his lunch, get his clothes, and put everything into the bathroom for him. I wake him up at 11:28. I have to change two diapers in between there too because they all shit at the most inopportune time.

I haven’t eaten anything nor I have I sat down besides to drive the car.

My husband leaves for work at 11:44 and then I have to get the kids fed their lunch and then Adison into her school work which she has to work on until 1 PM when its time for math class. I have to keep Benjamin busy while Adison works and Charley naps and I still haven’t eaten anything.

Benjamin finally goes down for a nap around 2 PM and I get stuff done around the house. The last few days, I’ve painted the entire downstairs. Charley wakes up from her nap and Adison plays with her for a few minutes and then around 4 or 5, Benjamin wakes up and he’s hungry. So I start dinner and that takes usually 45 minutes. While I am cooking, I am asking Benjamin to “quit touching the lamp” or “stop climbing on the chairs.” Its always the same thing, every single damn day.

“Stay out of the fridge.”

“Quit licking your sister.”

“Quit hitting each other.”

“No, you can’t have a cookie. It’s almost dinner time.”

I feed everyone dinner and its yet again, a whole lot of me telling Ben to sit down and eat. We usually spend over an hour at the table. Everyone calms down and watches a bit of tv before bed. Charley falls asleep in her pack and play around 8 PM. I take Benjamin upstairs and put him in his bed and we read the ABC book (EVERY SINGLE NIGHT) and I tell him “Good night Tookie. I love you.”

And I get a cute little, “Lub du.” He doesn’t even take the cup out of his mouth.

9 PM rolls around! Adison’s turn. I then spend the next hour telling Adison to go upstairs with her coming back down to tell me something or ask if she can do my hair or something ridiculous. It goes on and on and on until I finally say, “Dad’s on his way home.”

She finally goes into her room for the night.

I spend the next hour or so picking up after everyone. I put all the toys away and do the dishes. I feed all the animals.

My husband walks in the door.

Me: “How was work?”

Him: “It was work. What did you do all day?”

Me: “The usual.”

Him: “Sooo nothing?”

I spend the next two hours getting homework done and making taking a bath or shower. Then I go to bed.

In addition to all these things, I am also supposed to take the garbage down to the end of the driveway, shovel the driveway, and in the summer— I mow.

What the fuck?

So men, if you have a stay at home wife, don’t be a dick. She doesn’t stop all day. Even if she did nothing else but take care of the children, that’s more than your job. You can at least escape to the shitter at work. If she says she needs a break, trust her. She does. Don’t ever say you have a vacation every day.

Lastly, don’t make her do what you’re supposed to do.

Unnecessary Cesearean Sections.

As a young, first time mother, I too was trapped into the “Let’s induce your labor the day after your due date” scheme. I don’t understand why so many people are so impatient anymore about letting babies come when they’re ready.

Labor has become over-medicalized. Thousands of years ago, woman gave birth at home with their mothers, sisters, nurses, nuns around and now we have a team of doctors, midwifes, nurses, anesthesiologists, among other medical professionals. Labor is sped up because we are the generation of “I want it now” and that includes our babies. We don’t want to wait and labor and be uncomfortable any longer than we have to. 

When I was 39 weeks pregnant with Adison, I was told by Dr. Tseng that he would induce on the 20th of June. Her first due date for the first seven months of pregnancy was May 30th and from seven months on, it was June 19th. Dr. Tseng didn’t really give me much option to go into labor on my own. At 39 weeks, I was not effaced and not dilated at all. Sadly, after sixteen hours of pitocin and laboring, I was told that I would be getting a c-section and epidural. I was twenty years old, I didn’t know I could refuse and that I could go for several more hours but the doctors wanted to go home. I made it to 4 cm and lots of back labor.

Benjamin was an sort of elective cesarean. I had wanted so desperately to try to VBAC because I guess I felt like less of a mother because I had a baby maliciously torn from my abdomen for the convenience of my medical staff. I wanted to find a doctor who would allow it and after switching doctors four times, I was heartbroken and feeling defeated because I was told that no one allowed VBAC. My second section was scheduled for 39 weeks pregnant and Benjamin came into this world, also violently ripped from the womb. I must say that this section was much more calm and I got a lot more of the things I so desperately missed out on with Adison’s birth. I didn’t have to go to a recovery room and wait for nurses to bring my child in. My husband was able to carry Benjamin from the operating room to the recovery room and I was able to nurse as soon as I was closed up. Much better experience all around. 

I don’t mind c sections but I feel that doctors nowadays are taking so much from woman to convenience themselves. Having a large gaping wound across your abdomen is not fun nor is it an easy recovery. Not all women have help after birth and must climb stairs and must carry things heavier than their baby.

I have so many people I see saying they’re being induced and I want to scream so loud because I know that nine times out of ten, they will have a c section and usually their isn’t a problem. Its just they’ve labored all day and people want to go home.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, c-sections are at an all time high of thirty one percent but I am inclined to think about how much of that thirty one percent are medically necessary?