Generation Butthurt

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A few days ago I was standing in line at the post office. A mother and a young girl were standing behind me and I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. The mom asked how the child’s day at school was and the little girl (who was maybe 7 years old) told her mom that her friend bullied her. The mom asked what happened and the daughter said that her friend told her that she didn’t like her My Little Pony schoolbag. The mom gently explained that even though it might have hurt her feelings, that incident was not bullying and that it was just a difference of opinion. The mother went on to explain what an opinion is and how it’s okay for people to have different opinions. I wanted to turn around and high five her, because nowadays, we seem to be in the middle of Generation Butthurt.

Anything that anyone says these days (particularly online) causes somebody somewhere to get offended. I have had friends delete me over my blog posts because they didn’t like my opinion. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all had the same opinions? I have no idea where this heightened sensitivity suddenly came from, but it is everywhere. I’ll use a mommy group as an example.

I often see posts in a mommy group where someone asks a question like “My five month old seems interested in food. What’s a good starter food?” And then someone will respond by saying that the recommendation is to wait until six months. Suddenly, people are attacking the person who responded saying things like “don’t bash her, it’s her decision,” or “mind your own business, hater.” But all the person who responded did was state a fact! I could understand if someone said something like ‘you must be terribly uneducated to feed your child before six months,” or “I feel sorry for your child,” then I could appreciate why someone would feel like they were being bashed. But when people are sharing information and stating it as nothing more than a fact, then what’s the problem?

I have no idea why people get so butthurt (I just love that word!) over things that other people say or do online. A while ago I made a blog post saying that ten kids is eight too many for me, and some people were ultra offended. One girl even told me that I was not being sensitive to large families. What I want to know is why does my opinion affect someone else’s life so much? Who gives a shit if I don’t want ten kids? Why does that affect you and your life? If you want ten kids, go for it. Fill your boots and your home. But just because my opinion is different doesn’t mean you should be offended. It’s almost like people look for a reason to get offended sometimes.

Another incident I had online was about an opinion that I expressed. Someone didn’t like what I had said and challenged me on it. She ended up sending me a private message telling me that she was reporting me to the police for cyber bullying. I pointed out that an opinion (even if brutally honest) is not bullying. She told me that it was and she was reporting me. All I could do was laugh and feel sorry for her because of how naïve, ridiculous and uninformed she was.

It made me wonder though, how many people falsely report cyber bullying when it’s actually just a difference of opinion? In Nova Scotia, the courts recently ruled that the anti-cyber bullying laws that were in place were being overruled as they infringed on the individual rights of a person with regards to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion.  I’ll share a quote from a newspaper article that recently ran the story:

Privacy lawyer David Fraser said the law was always too broad and had the power to limit people from expressing themselves online. 

“People should be able to express their honestly held opinions, particularly on matters of public interest,” he said. 

“Anything that hurts anybody’s feelings, if it’s done online, it’s cyberbullying. You can be liable, you can sue somebody for cyberbullying, you can be subject to an order that can cut you off from the internet, confiscate your electronic devices. It’s absolutely Draconian.” 

I think that laws that protect people from being bullied are extremely important. No one deserves to be bullied to the point where they are depressed, withdrawn, experiencing mental health issues or are suicidal. No one should have to fear going to work or school because they are being harassed and bullied. And no one should be subjected to repeated and consistent harassment and bullying online. But people seem to forget that there is a massive difference between bullying and honest (and sometimes brutally honest) opinions. People are so sensitive to opinions that differ from their own and I have no idea how or why this happened? I’m all about being politically correct, but I (and anyone else) should be able to state their opinions online without wondering if we hurt someone’s feelings simply because we hold views that are different from others.

So, next time you are online and you’re offended by something someone says, the best advice I know of is to just move on. It’s easy enough to get caught up and start a battle of wits, but it’s also much easier just to move on with your day and life. And if need be, block the person that’s pissing you off. It’s that simple. The thing about opinions is that they are a lot like assholes, everyone has one and sometimes they stink. But don’t let it ruin your day!

 

 

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More questions that piss me off

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In the first year of being a single mother, I thought I had heard it all. I got a ton of nosy questions from a bunch of people I didn’t know that well. The questions were often inappropriate and really pissed me off. As time passed, I got better at answering them and I thought I knew how to respond to most questions that people would ask me. However, people never fail to amaze me and even when I shut them down with one question; they would come back at me with another. It’s like people have zero filter when they speak to someone with a situation different than their own.

My daughter is now 16 months and I truly am not sure if the questions will ever stop. And I’m also not sure why people think asking these questions is okay or how any of it is their business. Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting blog post. So without further ado, here are more questions that piss me off:

Why are you still single? Well, former coworker from ten years ago that I ran into at the grocery store, I should redirect you to my blog because I’m pretty sure I have already wrote an entire post about that.  But to summarize, I am single because I want to be. I’ve gone on a few dates and had no interest with the direction things were going. I could easily find a relationship for the sake of having a relationship, but that’s like eating a Big Mac when you aren’t even hungry. Empty calories. I’m content with my life and don’t need a significant other to be happy. But maybe you do? Otherwise, why would you ask that?

How do you afford it? Well, to put it simply; I haul ass. I work really hard and save everything I can so that I can (hopefully very soon) buy a house for me and my daughter. I gave up my maternity leave to go back to work early and I am currently looking at pursuing more education to further help secure my future. It hasn’t been easy and I am basically exhausted all of the time, but I am proud of the example I am setting for my daughter.

Do you plan on having more kids? **if I say maybe** But they’ll have different dads!??!?? No shit. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Would you also mind telling me what color my eyes are, I think I forgot about that, too. In all seriousness, this is something that I think about often. But I always remind myself that no two families are alike and as long as they are made up of love and respect then who cares what they look like? Non-traditional families are just as common as traditional families. It shouldn’t be some shocking revelation that there is a family out there that doesn’t have a mom and dad and 2.2 kids. And if it is that shocking you need to get out more because you are obviously ill-informed on modern family structure.

How often does her dad see her? I understand that most people ask this question and don’t realize how personal it feels, but the truth is; it’s a very personal and very sensitive subject. It’s like asking a person that just recently went through a divorce if they finished with legalities yet or if they figured out the custody agreement. It can bring up bad memories or make a person feel really emotional. If you are close with me then you know the answer already and if you aren’t close to me that means that you don’t know me well enough to ask. Please reference to this when asking a single parent this question. You could really save someone’s (very vulnerable) feelings.

I feel bad for you. I realize this isn’t a question, but I honestly don’t want your pity. Charlotte and I are more than fine. We are happy, healthy, have amazing family support, awesome friends and never have to worry or want for anything. We may not have a perfect life or situation in your eyes, but we are perfectly happy with being imperfect 🙂

Single parents don’t have it easy. We have to juggle a lot of different things and work really hard to provide for our families. So with that in mind, please use your filter when talking to us. When you run into us at the gas station or grocery store, please do me a favor and remember to NOT ask these questions. We’ll really appreciate it and maybe even toast a glass of wine to you that evening!

 

 

 

(toot toot) I swear it was the baby!!!!!

 

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I don’t like shopping. Okay, actually wait a second. Let me rephrase that. I don’t like shopping with a toddler. Shopping with a toddler is like trying to shovel while it’s snowing. You can’t get ahead. Whatever I put in the cart my toddler daughter throws out and when I am not looking she throws mystery items in. The cashier usually looks at me with a puzzled face when I start unloading the cart and realize my little darling has thrown in six containers of play dough and a bag of adult sized diapers. Thanks, kid.

All of that aside, I usually do take her shopping with me. She enjoys getting out and seeing people and sometimes she is super cute. She waves to people and pushes the cart (sometimes crashes it) and will occasionally blow someone a kiss.

Recently, I had to do some department store shopping. My daughter was with me and it started out well. We got groceries and then moved on to getting some Christmas presents. The store was quite busy but despite all of that, my daughter was doing well. She was occasionally picking things up but for the most part, she was happy and well behaved and was making the trip seem relatively easy.

When we got to the toy section I knew I was in trouble. She was running around and grabbing at everything. It was hard to keep up with her and even harder to pry some of the toys out of her hands, but I managed to get out of the toy section without any major meltdowns so I considered that to be a huge success.

Last stop was the baby department. I needed to pick up diapers and wipes. Of all the things I have to buy in the run of a month, diapers and wipes are my least favorite items to purchase. In the act of doing it, you are literally spending your money on shit. However, I tried not to focus on that because we were almost home free and all I had to do was grab a box of each, load them in the cart and then head to the checkouts.

I was browsing the shelves, looking for the brand of diapers I wanted when basically one of the hottest guys I have seen in a long time stopped right next to me and also began browsing the shelves, looking at the variety of diapers and wipes. Charlotte upped her adorableness by waving at him and smiling. I was trying to play it cool and not stare at him, so I focused really hard on looking at the diapers.

“Do you know where the Pampers Cruisers are?” I heard him ask the question and I turned and looked at him. He was even cuter when looking at him directly and had the nicest brown eyes. I smiled back and said “yup, they are right in front of you.” He looked confused and then I pointed at the box. He laughed and said “I don’t do this often. I don’t have kids and am picking these up for my sister.”

BONUS! If he doesn’t have kids then maybe he’s single? I know that’s a very presumptuous thing to think but at least he isn’t here shopping for his kids or wife.

I laughed and said “Yeah, the boxes all look the same.” Just then Charlotte pulled on my arm and I picked her up. She was almost eye level with Handsome Brown Eyes. He smiled at her and said “Hi cutie, what’s your name?” I told him her name was Charlotte and he said “Oh, you have the same name as a princess!”

Okay, this guy knows the name of the royal’s baby? Wow. He’s cute, he shops for his sister and he knows his pop culture. Marry me?

He smiled one last time as he picked up his box up diapers and started to walk away. I was wishing I had a way to continue our conversation but I felt like asking him if he was single was a touch too bold for a department store. Maybe if I had a few glasses of wine in me, but they tend to frown upon people being buzzed in Walmart.

As he walked away Charlotte started to squirm. When I set her down she took a few steps forward and let out the biggest and loudest fart I have ever heard. OMG! Did Handsome Brown Eyes hear that? He was only about 8 steps away. He turned around and looked me right in the eyes and laughed.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!! It wasn’t me! I didn’t fart! I swear! It was the baby!!!!!!!

I wanted to yell it out but I was so embarrassed I couldn’t even form a sentence. By the time I got my thoughts together he was long gone and Charlotte was looking up at me with a big shitty grin on her face. I looked at her and burst out laughing. “Did you toot?” I asked her. She laughed and pointed at herself, as if taking credit for it.

I picked up the diapers and the wipes and put them and my darling daughter in the cart. Life has a funny way of making sure that all of the sweet and mushy moments with our children happen in private and all of the embarrassing and mortifying ones happen in public.

As we walked to the checkouts I saw him standing near the front of the one I was approaching. I have never turned a shopping cart in another direction so fast in all of my life. As we checked out at the next line my darling daughter farted AGAIN and everyone in the line burst out laughing. She laughed too and began pointing at herself. I could feel the warmness on my face and knew that I was 50 shades of red.

Needless to say, our next stop after the shitscapades at Walmart was the liquor store.

THANK GOD for wine!

 

 

 

Life lessons from my one year old

I have always known that the power of forgiveness is a very liberating and freeing thing. I’ve always known that it could open my heart and allow me to let go of anger, which would make more room for love. I have always prided myself on being a person who chooses happiness over anger and have always killed people with kindness, even when they didn’t deserve it. Yet, despite all of this, I found myself in a position where I could not forgive someone. I do not care to mention this person’s identity, but this individual hurt me in a way that I simply cannot describe.

The hurt that was inflicted on me was sudden and unexpected and completely took me by surprise. It rattled me to the core and left me feeling bitter, depressed and miserable for months. I so badly wanted to tell this individual that what they had done was not only affecting me, but was affecting the lives of others I care about as well. I wanted to tell this person what a selfish fool they were being and I wanted this person to know that what they did to me unthinkable and unimaginable in my books. But instead of telling the person, I steamed and stewed for a long time, which did nothing but hurt me even further.

You see, my heart was full of anger and hurt. And that anger and hurt carried over into my personal life in so many ways. I was becoming impatient and was short with my words. I started to see things in a glass half empty sense, instead of my usual glass half full sense. And I started to become withdrawn. I didn’t want to socialize much anymore and always over-analyzed everything that anyone said or did. It was like the hurt in my heart had completely consumed me and was making me become a stranger to myself.

I knew that one day it was going to catch up with me, and I was right, it did. I was home alone with my daughter and she was pushing my buttons. She was misbehaving and no matter how many times I gently corrected her and explained to her that she was not allowed to touch the TV, she kept doing it. After the fourth of fifth time, I did what I swore I would never do. I yelled at her. “CHARLOTTE, STOP DOING THAT,” I yelled. The anger in my voice surprised the two of us. She looked at me and I wasn’t sure what to do next. She touched the TV again and without another word I picked her up and put her in her crib. I said loudly and firmly “You need to listen to mommy,” and shut the door as I exited her room.

I only made it two or three steps and I burst into tears. Why did I just yell at my daughter? She’s a baby who is trying to learn and grow and sometimes that means she will do things she isn’t supposed to do. After a few minutes I went back to check on her. She had huge tears rolling down her cheeks and was reaching up to me for a hug. I pulled her close and whispered a thousand apologies and within a few minutes, she was back to being my best friend and seemed to forget about what I had done and said.

That night, after I put her to bed, I lay quietly in the bathtub and thought about what had happened. I thought about how easy it was for my daughter to forgive me. I thought about how it could have been just as easy for her to stay mad at me, but how instead she chose to let go and move forward. My little baby, who is just over a year old, taught me the power of forgiveness.

In that moment, I knew what I had to do. I said out loud “I forgive you,” to the person who hurt me. I listed every reason as to why I was hurt by that person and said “I forgive you,” out loud for each and every one of them. By forgiving that person, it didn’t mean I was okay with what they did and it didn’t mean that person was welcome to be a part of my life, but it meant that I was letting go and moving on.

And then something happened. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. All of that anger and hurt I had been carrying around for so long was gone. The individual didn’t apologize to me personally, but they didn’t have to. Because I was done giving them brain space. I was done with letting them consume my thoughts. And most importantly, I was done with being bitter and upset. I let all of that go and let my heart fill up with love instead.

My daughter still has moments where she pushes my buttons and does things she isn’t supposed to do. And even though most of the time I handle it with gentleness and explaining, there still have been a few times where I have raised my voice. But I remind myself every day that neither of us is perfect and we are learning and growing together. She taught me a valuable lesson and it is one that I hope I can reteach her when she is older.

“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free, and realizing you were the prisoner” – Max Lucado.

 

12 days of Christmas (mommy version)

Santa Claus with Wine Bottle On Tray
4 more bottles, please.

 

On the first day of Christmas Santa gave to me
A completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the second day of Christmas Santa gave to me
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the third day of Christmas Santa gave to me
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the fourth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the fifth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the sixth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the seventh day of Christmas Santa gave to me
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the eighth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
8 full hours of sleep
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the ninth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
9 pounds of chocolate
8 full hours of sleep
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the tenth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
10 cappuccinos
9 pounds of chocolate
8 full hours of sleep
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the eleventh day of Christmas Santa gave to me
11 solo trips to the bathroom
10 cappuccinos
9 pounds of chocolate
8 full hours of sleep
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

On the twelfth day of Christmas Santa gave to me
12 free months of Netflix
11 solo trips to the bathroom
10 cappuccinos
9 pounds of chocolate
8 full hours of sleep
7 luxurious bubble baths
6 hours of babysitting
5 BOTTLES OF WINE!!!!!
4 Starbucks gift cards
3 bottles of Advil
2 clean bathrooms
And a completely cooked and stuffed turkey.

…a girl can dream, right?
P.S – I promise I have been good this year, Santa….sort of!

Why I hate the Elf on the Shelf

Over the past five years or so, I have noticed there is a new Christmas tradition that takes place in pretty much every household that has children. I have no idea where it came from and someone is obviously a marketing genius because it seems that everyone and their dog has an Elf on the Shelf.

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I do not like the Elf on the Shelf. There are so many things about it that annoy me and I could probably go on all day about it. However, I’ve managed to condense my list down to the top five things that bug me about this little character.

Reason Number One: The Elf has the creepiest eyes I have ever seen! I am serious. Those eyes follow your every move. Want to subtly scratch your ass? Not if you are in the same room as the elf. I understand the concept of the elf needing eyes that can see everything and report back to Santa, but he’s going to have his back turned to the wall if I am in a room alone with him. I don’t need anyone judging me while I binge on chocolate and wine and watch three straight hours of Netflix. That’s my business!

Reason Number Two: I’m lazy and I don’t have time to come up with hiding spots. I am tired at the end of the day. Actually, I am usually beyond tired and am more like a zombie.  After working all day, playing with my child all evening (AKA making sure she doesn’t break anything or hurt herself) and dealing with bedtime tantrums, I am practically comatose. I can barely remember to wear my retainers to bed let alone find a fun new hiding spot for the elf every day for three and a half weeks. I feel like the elf should come with an instruction manual so I can find new places to put him. (Please don’t tell me to look on Pinterest, that’s a very lethal addiction!)

Reason Number Three: I don’t want to clean up after him (apparently my elf is male). It seems like all of the elves have naughty behavior. I’m not exactly sure why, aren’t they supposed to be encouraging good behavior? Nevertheless, I always see pictures of elves making a mess with baking supplies, or moving things out of place or sitting in the sink with Barbie and having a bubble bath. This means two things. 1) I have to come up with the scenario (see above, I already described how lazy/tired I am). And 2) I have to clean that stuff up the next day. I am tired of cleaning; I clean up after a toddler all day every day. No way am I cleaning up after an elf that I have to shell out $30 for. Not happening. Aint’ nobody got time for that!

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Reason Number Four: It’s a competition. While most of my friends are really sweet and post pictures of their elves to make people smile and to give ideas, I have seen ladies in mommy groups go to painful lengths to outdo each other. If one mommy takes a picture of her elf attempting to bake cookies, a few days later someone else takes a picture of their elf smugly sitting next to a completed gingerbread house with such fine detailing that it would shame Martha Stewart. I don’t have time for that. Nor do I want to compete over a freaking elf anyway. I’ll consider it a success if I remember to move it every day.

Reason Number Five: He will (inevitably) make me feel like a shitty mom. My daughter is going to wake up one morning  and while I am busy trying to make lunches and get ready for work, she will excitedly be running about looking for her Elf. I won’t be able to stand the look of disappointment on her face if she finds him in the same place he was as the day before. It’s so much pressure! I know it shouldn’t be a big deal to remember to move him, but the truth is, is that I will forget and I can guarantee that when I forget I am going to feel really crappy about it.

So that’s my list. That being said, I’m not a total scrooge and will most likely give in to it in a few years when my daughter is old enough to understand the concept. I just hope that by then, I have my shit together and can remember to move him and at least attempt to be creative. Oh wait, here’s a potential creative idea: Maybe the elf could sit in my empty wine glass with chocolate smeared across his face? Ha! Yeah right, I don’t share my chocolate with anyone!!