DONALD TRUMP: THE FOUND POETRY - *I Never Thought* I never thought I had the ability to not watch what is unpleasant, if it's about me. Or pleasant. But when I see it's such false ...
8 hours ago
Toddlers make every single choice based on a single criterion: Does this have the potential to make me happy at this exact moment. I say at this exact moment, because the moments following something like lying down in a rain puddle, diving off the sofa, seeing if your finger will fit down the bathtub drain, and smacking the dog across the nose are accompanied by a decidedly unfun aftermath. But that’s not the point. The point is to not think, to just do. To give every possible opportunity for happiness, even if it’s fleeting, the chance it deserves.I have nothing to add...
Most of the time, I am the buzz kill to O’s high on life. BE CAREFUL. DON’T TOUCH THAT. SLOW DOWN. But sometimes, I follow him around and do what he does. We run wildly through the park with no direction. We put all the pillows in the house in one pile on the floor and throw ourselves onto them. We tear up magazines because the sound is so cool.
I also let O fall. A lot. I worry that if I ever had to take him to the hospital, they’d call Social Services because he is a mosaic of scrapes and bruises on any given day. But generally, if I am confident he can’t break his neck and probably won’t break a bone, I believe the aftermath is worth the adventure.
If you are having a bad day, you should stop for a moment and act like a toddler. And don’t give me that I have responsibilities BS. Go outside and just run without thinking. Stick your hand in some mud just to feel it ooze under your fingernails. Take something – just anything you see – and dump it on the floor to hear the noise. Make the craziest sound you can think of until you feel better.
I know my job is literally to follow around a toddler. I know, I know. My life is sweet ass. But like I said, I’m still a buzz kill to O 99% of the time. It doesn’t matter what my job is now, I still think like an adult. How much time do I have? What needs to get done? What’s the next step?
You gotta force yourself to think differently sometimes. O is right. Sometimes happiness is watching a plane float by. Sometimes it’s rubbing yogurt through your hair. Sometimes it’s spinning in circles until you can’t spin any more.
It doesn’t matter how much planning I do or how thoroughly I weigh the consequences, happiness really doesn’t ever change, whether you’re a toddler or adult…it is always fleeting. But I forget that. I keep forgetting it’s not a long-term accomplishment. I’ve been thinking lately about how I’m not doing enough with myself. I’m not “furthering my career” or “making the most of my time.” But when I look back at the people and things that have made me most happy in my life, they are a series of tiny, fleeting moments that can’t be quantified. Somehow they all just add up into one big general state of just feeling happy.
So when I’ve been feeling like that, I take a tip from O. I grab a little bit of happiness where ever I can find it, even if it’s fleeting. Even if there’s a mess to clean up afterward. It’s worth it every time.
A few weeks ago I got an email saying I was nominated for a “Top 25 Political Mom Bloggers” award. After deciding it wasn’t actually spam, I admit I got a little giddy. I’m none too savvy as far as these blogging awards go, and to be honest, I’m not even sure what it really all means (a pretty little .gif to attach to my site? meh. More traffic = more folks reading about gender, feminism, reproductive rights, etc? Yes please!).
And, I’m pretty sure there isn’t even an actual prize.
So why has it turned so ugly?
I’ll be honest to say that I’m more than flattered that somebody thought to nominate me for top political blogger. I also think it’s pretty rad that there are enough moms out there interested and invested in politics to even have such a category. That in and of itself speaks volumes to me, and energizes the little activist in me. Regardless of where these women stand, they’re still engaged enough to want to discuss the political climate in our country today.
But somehow, it’s become less about the actual politics and issues and more about “sticking it to the other side.” When I saw some blogs rapidly spike through the polling list, I became curious and visited some of them. Instead of just asking for votes, there were posts that demeaned and ridiculed other bloggers whose views didn’t mesh with their own. Attack the politics, sure. But the bloggers? Why stoop to that level. Over an internet poll?
I just don’t get it.
I’ll debate the issues all you want, but when you start slinging out insults like “commie mommies?” What’s the point? What happened to winning on your own platform? Why do we need to malign others to build ourselves up? Seems like a hollow victory in the end to me.
Turning this into a popularity contest just adds more weight to the whole Mommy Wars game, and frankly I don’t want to play if those are the rules. I’m not going to badmouth anyone, or try to instill fear that the end of the world is near if the other side comes out victorious (again, we’re talking about a random internet voting poll. This ain’t the Hunger Games folks).
Yet, here I am, humbly asking for you to click this link and shoot a vote my way. You don’t need to sign up for anything, and actually – you can even vote for more than one blogger at a time!
For instance, you could also vote for Blue Milk, Mamapundit, MomsRising, PunditMom, The Radical Housewife, Hello Ladies, Femamom, The Feminist Breeder , Viva La Feminista and any others on the main site that tickle your political fancy.
Please – share this post and encourage your friends to vote as well. You can vote once every 24 hours. If anything, think of this as practice for the real, actually important impending national election.
I started this blog for two reasons: 1) I was afraid being a stay-at-home mom was making a certain part of my brain mushy and 2) I was realizing that life as a mom “outside the Beltway” was like a slap in the face – there were so many things I thought I understood before, but clearly had no idea. Literally, my water broke, O popped out, and in an instant I went from insider to outsider, and started getting the education that came with it. I thought it would be fun to capture my thoughts and share them with my friends.
But what I hadn’t completely figured out was that leaving DC and becoming a mom in the ‘burbs of Illinois, where everything I knew and almost everyone I cared about was hundreds of miles away, had made me feel incredibly alone and sometimes really sad. I am so lucky to be able to stay home with O, but it’s been hard for me to redefine myself. Being a mom is amazing, but it’s also monotonous and isolating. It’s easy to feel like the whole world is passing you by.
This blog made me feel like I was a little bit “in the know” again. And people were sending me notes saying they liked a post or suggesting new ideas. I email with people I haven’t spoken to in ages. I even email with total strangers. It got me off my butt to start volunteering and getting involved with local issues. It was just what I needed.
I also realized there’s this whole community of moms who write about policy and politics. They are so much savvier than I am. And can clearly write faster in a baby nap than I can. I started thinking, wow, these people are taking the whole “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand the rules the world” thing and trying to change the way people think. About women, about our kids, about life. Rockin’. I want to do that.
So when some nice person nominated my blog for this Circle of Moms competition, I 1) didn’t want to be in last place (duh) and 2) thought, well, it’s not like I’m getting paid, at least I might get some positive feedback other than O not throwing the food I made him all over the floor. I also learned about some other awesome blogs. I even voted for two of the super conservative blogs because I thought they were well written. That was the point of the competition, right?
I’m such a dope. Somewhere between Capitol Hill and Mommyland, I got all mushy, moms-are-the-best, we-all-just-want-right-by-our-kids and totally forgot what a bunch of assholes are out there with blogs. Yeah, I know, I’m the real asshole. Here I was writing a blog from my own perspective, and despite being a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, trying to be occasionally really critical of the Administration when I thought they deserved it. I try to write as well as I can in the 45 minutes I have allotted. And then I was naive enough to think this competition wasn’t just about who could be the craziest person dangling by their pinkie finger from the edge of the political spectrum.
Last night I got on the Circle of Moms site to see that a bunch of the conservative blogs had put out a call to “stop the Commie Mommies.” At first I laughed about it with Tedd. Ha, ha, there go those crazies. And then, I got indignant. This is why people – especially people in power – think blogs are ridiculous hobbies by people with nothing better to do than spout drivel and propaganda to readers who already drank the Kool-aid. Some of these blogs are definitely not trying to make our kids’ lives better. They’re spewing hate on an Internet that already has enough crap on it.
Circle of Moms is a really great resource for parents and it’s clearly not their fault their nice competition got hijacked. If you are a mom in need of info, they have awesome stuff. And I bet I sound like a sore loser. I am honestly nowhere near as cool as the vast majority of political mom blogs and don’t expect to be. But this list – as least what it has become – isn’t what I’m about and I’m kind of sorry for asking everyone to spend so much time voting for me. Yes, at the beginning I had a longing to beat certain sites. But I realized now I’m just playing into the BS.
I’m sure in real life these people are probably decent and hopefully wouldn’t call me a Commie Mommy to my face. (Who am I kidding? – I’ve seen enough of their protests to know better.) And there are extremes on both sides that are equally as intolerant. But I only have a small amount of time in my day to try to do some good after the other 99% of me I pour into O. I’m going to focus on that.
Sigh. Motherhood is isolating enough. The world is hateful enough. And I already spend my day surrounded by poop. Enough already.
Peace, love & happy babies,