Sunday, December 11, 2011

"And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships. " ~ Victoria Secunda

1st Mother: "And then you know what she said to me? 
You don't know how to dress. Who says that?"
2nd Mother: "A Bitch."
1st: "I know. I know, right? I mean, I put up with that mess in high school I'm not gonna do it now.
2nd: "I wouldnt even talk to her again.
1st: "Maybe I won't.
2nd: "Oh God, here she comes. 
1st: "Ugh, she's with that other one. What are they doing here?
Daughter: "Hey Mom!"
Daughter: "Mother."
*Whispering & giggling between two teenage girls*
1st: "Why are they so mean to us?"
2nd: "Because we're their mom."
1st: "God I hate them"

That is essentially how the opening scene of a new sitcom slotted during the "family hour" of a major television network begins.

Are you kidding me right now?? I will not even write the title. If you've watched it - you know. If you haven't - you can figure it out. I refuse to give this train wreck one more iota of credence.

If you're new here - let me tell you: I am the single mother of three teenage girls. I go to bed every single night worried about all of ways I have failed my daughters. If you actually know me - you know that I have clinically diagnosed chronic insomnia. That's a lot of time to be feeling like a failure. Maybe that is what has me feeling extra sensitive about this.

I had gone without cable TV for nearly 10 years. I acquired a cable TV package nearly a year ago. Let me tell you - things on the ole television have changed. Even the news is a landmine of uncomfortable discussions between myself and my girls. This garbage show is the thing that nearly sent me to have the cable TV package canceled and resume our lives; sans television.

I haven't been this fired up in a long time so please bear with me here.


Where did women start using their daughters as a stand in for their BFF? And more importantly; WHY? 
Is it because there are more of us raising our children alone? Is it loneliness that has women scrambling to reclaim their youth through the girls that they bear? Let me just say what someone has failed to tell you: 

Let me state this clearly so there is no confusion: You are their MOTHER, you stupid assholes. You are their moral compass. Their guiding light in the mess that this world currently is. You provide support, guidance, acceptance, and love so that when they go on to walk their own path - they know how to handle the sheer madness that awaits them. You teach them that they ought to love themselves FIRST because if they don't - they can love no one else. YOU teach them to have a backbone. YOU show them how to be able to provide and care for themselves. YOU teach them to go out and be a part of the community that nurtures them. To give back to the country that they were privileged enough to be born in. 

Teach them to love their body - no matter what shape it is. Teach them to love & support other women - not cut them down because they have something that she might want. Teach them not to be catty or shallow or bitter. Teach them that when one man hurts you - that treating the next one as though he is the same as the last will get you no where in life. Teach them to fully appreciate being alone so that when they might meet someone they understand that you both are a compliment to each other - not the end of each others story.  And if that person ends up not being the one you end up growing old with - that you will not fall apart without them. That it will hurt; but you process that disappointment and learn a lesson from it but you move past it. No one single person should have enough power to cripple your life. Not even your own mother or father. Love you,  FIRST AND FOREMOST.

What your daughter is NOT - is your friend, your confidant, the person who you go to in lieu of a therapist. You don't get to call her names. You treat her with the highest respect so that she knows her worth and won't accept anything but the highest form of honor and respect from ANYBODY. Lay the foundation for her so that she believes that she can become anything she sets her heart on. That does not only mean a reality TV star, or an American Idol contestant. Let her know that being a doctor, a business owner, the President are total possibilities if she is willing to put in the blood, sweat & tears. That no matter how hot she is - that she is more than just a physical & sexual being. 

Teach her that sex is wonderful & beautiful & healthy and completely OK as long as she is safe and doesn't give of herself to every undeserving prick that compliments her. Teach her how to protect herself from disease and pregnancy. Let her know that she can trust you to talk to you and ask questions about this stuff, even though it is awkward and uncomfortable for both of you.

Stop letting your children run your life. You are the dictator of the home that you share . You set the rules, the boundaries. You determine when she gets to have an opinion and when she listens to the law that you set forth. You are the guide for the very first steps on the path that these girls will take into the world that you will grow old in. Set the standard. Set the example. Illuminate the walk. Know that you will make mistakes and that for a few years she will hate you for every word that you speak but also know - this is a good thing! 

Do not watch this bullshit. Do not accept it as your reality because this was not how it is supposed to be. Yes; raising children - daughters, is hard. Yes, it will suck a whole lot more often than not, especially after the age of 12 when your word is no longer bond. Just know; and I mean this from the bottom of my heart: As a girl who was raised by a woman who wanted nothing but to reclaim her youth by any means possible - even if that meant letting me do every single thing that she herself wasn't allowed to do as a kid - your daughters want you to set boundaries. They want rules. They want to be pissed off at you for not letting them do what "everyone else is doing." It shows them that you care. That you want better for them. That you would rather risk having them hate you for a brief moment than letting them love you for a moment that they can never change or reclaim or recover from. 

You are the protector of their innocence. Of the beauty that is their youth. Do not fuck that up because yours was. Boycott this show. Because it is NOT the way that things should be between women and their daughters. My daughters make me crazy. Sometimes they say things that cut me to the very core. 

But I LOVE my teenage daughters.

I will not let some bullshit show or anything else dictate otherwise. Not even if it comes in the form of "comic relief." Turn the television OFF. Ask your children how their day was. About what they think. How they feel. Let them expound on their fears. Let them share their triumphs. Be sure that they know that you always have time for them. 

I know that this right now, with my teens -  it's just a phase. I know that they aren't and won't ever be perfect. I know that I am far from it! I DO, however; know that my girls will look back one day and appreciate every rule, boundary and limit that I set. And one day they will make their own decisions and mistakes even.... And I will be there to support them. To tell them that I love them; first and foremost. To tell them that I believe in them. Offer them some advice. 

And then I will let them walk confidently through the world. Because I laid the foundation for them. Because I've done the very best by them that I could and I trust them enough to make the right choices.
Because I am their MOTHER.
Because I love them. As my daughters. As my children.
I have actual friends for the other things...

*I decided to add something else to this. Someone commented that if I didn't like the show that I should just not watch it. Occasionally when we write - we get so wrapped up in how we feel about something we foget to put in something simple & relevant to the point. Obviously, I'm not watching this show. The show is actually besides the point.

It is this Toddlers & Tiaras, Kardashian, Stage Moms, Dance Moms, Teen Mom, Sweet 16 world we are currently living in that I have the issue with. It is the exploitation of our daughters innocence for entertainment that I take to task. It is the idea that we should be our daugther's friends and that they should be ours that I find so offensive. Our children are not here for us to recapture our own youth. We gave that up as soon as they were born, like it or not.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Say, my love, I came to you with best intentions. You laid down and gave to me just what I'm seeking. Love, you drive me to distraction ..." -D.M.B. Two Step.

It's amazing how little one has to contribute to a blog about love and life when one has no love. life...Much like a monitor that reads heart rate - there's been a blip. And some activity...

The real irony here - is that there seems to be some sort of love potion being pumped through the air for everyone in my life! My friends are all in love, engaged, and having babies. No seriously. Even my most jaded & embittered friend is on some sort of love high. Like - the high school kind. Giddy. On the phone for hours at a time. Having to upgrade cell phone plans kind of giddy. It's lovely.It's so exciting to see it all play out.

What's funny here is that I am legitimately so happy for all of them. You see; I have the most amazing friends EVER. I know most folks say that. But I truly do. I'm surrounded by smart,beautiful, loyal, kind AMAZING women. I am constantly surprised by the depth & generosity of the people I have been so fortunate to have in my circle.

My only concern was -  did Cupid forget about me?? Where was the fork in the road where I took a left and should have veered right? Is it my breath???

And then just like that- The Heartbreaker came back on the radar. You all are not familiar with him. He was the one before The Actor. He was the one who broke my heart. The one I went to therapy over. Got tattooed over. The one who changed the very foundation my earth was built on. He was the one I would have wagered money on. In one simple ding of an Instant Message - he was back in my world.
But first.... A little bit of background.....

I have not been a woman who has met men, exchanged numbers, gone on dates and then began relationships. Honestly  I'm not that cute. And of course there is that whole "intimidation" factor. Blah. Blah.Blah. I'm ALWAYS the girl who becomes friends first. Good friends. And then suddenly - things shift. The foundation for truly incredible relationships have been laid just that simply.   

But this guy? He was never scared. He called me out on Day 1. And he intrigued me from that moment on. I didn't even realize at the time just how deep under my skin he had gotten. I remember exactly what he said to me too. We had hung out all day. Me, my sister (who was his BFF at the time) , him & his uhh... female companion at the time. (Not worth any explanation further than that. lol No, seriously.) We spent the day at the lake. Laughed. Talked for hours. Forgot there were two other people there with us and just. Got to know each other. For hours. Literally.

After my sister & I were dropped off at our place he said how nice it was to meet me. And we hugged goodbye. And he said: "You give awkward hugs."

Wait. WHAT??? Did he just seriously say that to me??? 

And so it began.... Well, sort of.  
So much background. So little time....  

I've missed this. Missed writing. Missed feeling. Observing. Venting. Confessing.
I'm back kids. There is more to come. ;)