Women can be brutal to each other. Somehow we can be harsh to each other, have high expectations, and do little to comfort our fellow women, mothers, and friends. We need to change that. We need to stop cutting each other down and start building each other up. None of us are perfect. No one has all the answers.
This video from Similac called “The Sisterhood of Motherhood” reminds me how different we all are. Whether you are a granola mom, a working professional mom, or maybe right down the middle, no one is better than another. Watch this video (even with the slightly cheesy ending).
We need to stop judging and do more connecting. While I do not have kids I do not look forward to the PTA and gossip, the judgment, and back stabbing. Sometimes I think about it and am reminded that all these phases we go through in life are like little microcosms of middle school that we relive over and over again. I know someone who has neighbors that are a quite like Desperate Housewives. Lots of whispering, purposefully excluding certain neighbors, and often downright rude. Is it a woman thing?
Instead let’s have each other’s back. No judgement for whether you use formula or breast feed, fill a landfill with diapers or use cloth. We all have choices we have to make in life. How about we do them without judging each other?
Over the weekend I visited my sister and got to meet my three-week old niece. Her name is Charlise and they have been calling her Charlie. I secretly love calling her Charlie. She looks like a Charlie. Do not ask me to explain, as I will get defensive, just trust me, she is a Charlie. She is a feisty little one, even at three weeks. My sister always said she had a kicker, and she definitely lets her legs move or tighten at her own will. Especially when you change her diaper. She will tighten her little thighs (which I call chicken legs). She is very, very long for her size, has long feet, toes, and fingers, but the cutest thunder thighs (thus the chicken legs). When she does not want you to change her diaper (which hell must be new when you have just been pooping in the womb for all those months and now you have to wear a diaper). Anyway – she will tighten her legs/thighs and make it much, much harder to change her diaper. I love it. A fighter, which hopefully means she will tell it like it is, when she starts to babble and eventually talk. Right now, she communicates with her legs. My sister says she often kicks her while nursing. Little Charlie communicates in her own way.
Recently I came across this quote from Anne Lamott, and it made me think about how I felt today as I left my sister and my niece and boarded an airplane back to Portland:
“The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me, but each time it hit again and I bore it…I would discover that it hadn’t washed me away.”
Is that what it is like for most moms? I had a good afternoon yesterday. There was good energy in the office, but I kept thinking about my time with Charlie. Whatever it is, whether because she is so small and precious or because it is my sister’s daughter, I just feel such a strong connection to her. I will be there for her whenever she does not feel she can talk to her mom or dad (that is what aunt’s are for). I will be her “fun” aunt that teaches her all the sassy and fun things about life. I will pamper her, play with her, and above all else let her know that I am just another person in her life to love her to pieces. Hopefully I will not smother her with all my love for her, but that it will be just the right balance of spoiling her. Maybe I am making up for the fact that my parents are not here to dote on her. Even so I just want her to know how loved she is by her aunt and uncle regardless of the fact that we live on the north side of this country.
We already miss you tons, Charlie. We will be back soon.
My sister is having a baby soon, so lately our conversations have included the discussion of car seats, strollers, and diapers. I mentioned that no one tells you how much you will truly spend on diapers. Ah yes, the fun part of raising a kid, endless butt wiping many, many times throughout the day. In a recent conversation, my sister told me about new technology for diapers.
The compostable diaper. Regular disposable diapers can take hundreds of years to decompose, and cloth diapers require too much water to wash and reuse. The compostable diaper (I even found ones that are flushable) are diaper inserts that can then be turned into compost. One company will pick up your dirty diapers weekly, and has a commercial grade machine that composts the diapers and turns your babies poo into topsoil for landscaping. Or you can take them out to your own compost bin in your yard (although they say only the wet diapers, not the poopy ones). Your baby will help fertilize your lawn!
Why has this taken so many years to happen? From my research disposable diapers made their debut in 1961 by Pampers. How many disposable diapers are sitting in landfills? Wikipedia says that:
“An average child will go through several thousand diapers in their life…An estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used each year in the US, resulting in a possible 3.4 million tons of used diapers adding to landfills each year.”
Now multiply that times 52 years of diapers and you have 176 million tons of diapers have gone to landfills just in the United States. That is also 1 trillion, 424 billion disposable diapers sitting in our landfills. That is a shit ton of disposable poo. Two of the companies I found are in Northern California, I would be curious to hear if there are similar companies in other parts of the country. Definitely way past time for baby mommas to change the tune and start looking at alternative ways. I do not have the kid yet, but compostable diapers will be on the list.
Ah reminiscing. Over the weekend I went through a file folder of writing from childhood through to college. I came across a packet of writing from May 2000. It is a compilation from a woman’s writing class by all the women in the class. One of the exercises, I believe (based on the result), was writing our “woman seeking” ad. Here is my ad from 2000:
“single, white, midwest female seeking: single man who is not afraid of short hair or loud voices, who can listen and share, who is CLEAN and knows how to cook, who likes to sleep and demands comfy beds, who would rather know my thoughts than my bra size, who wants to influence this world, knows how to change a diaper, and can cuddle all day long.”
I laughed out loud when I read it. Then I found Chris and read it to him. See, it is a perfect fit. How did I ever know three years earlier that I would find my single man who loves to cook, sleep, cuddle? Who not only knows how to cook, but loves to, and he listens, shares, and definitely cares more about my thoughts, and just laughs at my bra size. I have seen him change diapers, but know once that day comes he will sleep less, continue to cook, and we will listen and share with that little one together.
Maybe now I should write an ad for what I want my next ten years to be like. If it comes anywhere close to what my senior year of college mindset gave me, life will be bliss.
I cannot help it. Every once in a while I have to go back and watch this video. It ALWAYS makes my day.
I have wondered what it would be like to be a twin. This video is one I know was floating around the Internet for a long time. I saved it. You know for those days when you are slow and you need something to keep you going? Yesterday was one of those days. I was pooped. No energy whatsoever. Watching these precious little ones have their conversation made me grin from ear to ear. What are they saying to each other? I know you have probably already seen it, but hey it is Friday, the end of a month, and sometimes you just need to put a smile on your face before you start the weekend.
Enjoy. Adda da da. Adda dada. Yeah what the ones in diapers said. I will have what they are having! Happy Friday!