Dear Other Mother at the Grocery Store

This post has been on my heart for a few weeks now. The woman ahead of us in the checkout lane at the store looked overwhelmed…and was doing her best. But I could tell she was struggling. So, here is my letter to her, and every other parent who feels the same way.

Dear Frazzled MamaDear Frazzled Mother at the Grocery Store,

You were ahead of us in line, with a cart full of groceries. You had a little one in the seat of your cart, and another Big Kid standing near the cart as patiently as a 5-year-old can. It was supper time and I could tell your kids were at that “hungry and crabby and need to get out of public NOW!” stage. I could see that you were struggling and trying your best to keep your cool, despite the little one’s fussing and thrashing, and the growing impatience of your big kid.

I could also see the careful, analyzing eye that you kept on the food on the conveyor belt and on your rising total. You were figuring out how much the bill was going to be. You were calculating how much you had left on your EBT card and how much you were going to have to pay out-of-pocket, and what you were going to have to put back. Hoping you had enough to cover all of what you needed.

I’ve been there. I’ve stood at the checkout line keeping track of my WIC items, fumbling with the vouchers and balancing my wallet on my humongous pregnant belly. I’ve also seen the dirty looks from people behind us in line, shuffling their feet and clearing their throats in annoyance at being inconvenienced by waiting for us. I’ve felt the burning stares at the back of my head and have heard the mumbles.

I’ve also been in your shoes, with bored and tired kiddos rapidly approaching the meltdown stage. I’ve felt overwhelmed with stuff to do, places to go, kids to care for, fights to break up, and a life to live.

And I heard the ignorant young cashier say as you walked away, “Somebody needs to control their kids…” Hear me, Mama: I came to your defense. Whether you heard it or not.  We mamas must support each other, not judge.

Hold your head high, Mama. You’re doing your best.

Deep breaths, Mama. Those who judge you do not know your whole story.

Live your life, Mama. Hug those kiddos tight and love them like only you can.

You’re doing okay, Mama. You got this.

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How NOT To Suck At Facebook

There are so very many ways to suck at Facebook. I encounter it daily, reading others’ pages and statuses, and seeing the moronic things that get posted via group/fan pages. People post way too often, share information that is way too private (or TMI), and generally talk out of their behinds.

I get it, I really do. The internet gives everyone a VOICE. It gives us a way to tell the world about ourselves, our lives, our cat, and our obsession with Ryan Gosling. How cool is that?! An audience, seemingly captivated by me, and hanging on my every word! My god, I should have a blog so that I can share every detail about myself with the world, and force them to read my drivel. *ahem*

And have you come across TROLLS? Holy cow, trolls are especially vicious creatures who hang out looking for a fight, and then proceed to try to make someone look like a jackass, but instead, end up making complete jackasses of themselves.

People can be assholes. Seriously.

golum internet troll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here is my list of ways NOT to suck at Facebook, because let’s face it, there needs to be a how-to on this kind of thing.

  • Drunken bars pictures on your Facebook (FB) wall are simply a bad idea. It’s lame, and always a potentially detrimental career move. Think about it. If you don’t want your boss to see it, or catch wind of it, DON’T POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Duh.
  • Don’t post pictures of you potty training your kid. If you want to mention you’re doing it, or want advice, fine. But we don’t need to see a picture of your kid sitting on the toilet. As cute as you might think it is, there’s no need to put that on FB. And not to mention, it could be dangerous…remember pedophiles?
  • No Vaguebooking. We’ve all seen it. Vaguebookers post a status like, “BIG NEWS!” or “In the hospital…” and not explain themselves, thus making us have to ask what’s going on. It’s annoying.
  • Don’t be a troll. (See above.) If you are going to complain about content on someone’s status, get a life. You DO have the ability to NOT read their stuff, you know. And if you are so inclined, you can block and/or unfriend them.
  • On a related note, if you don’t agree with the content on someone’s fan page that you voluntarily “like,” don’t just sit there trolling, complaining, and generally making an ass of yourself. If you don’t like the content, don’t report the content as offensive…UNLIKE the page and don’t let the door hit you on the way out the door. Duh.
  • Have a political opinion? Awesome. Have a religious opinion? Awesome. But pretty please don’t cram it down your FB friends’ throats by clogging up their news feeds with irrational rants.
  • Only posting pictures of your show dog, Mr. Muggles, and nothing else is LAME.
  • Do not make a FB profile for your pet. It’s weird.
  • Regarding kid pictures: only posting pictures of your little darlings, and nothing else, can be overwhelming to FB friends; moderation is key. (I’m guilty of this one sometimes, actually, so that is why I have tried to be kind about it.) Another thing to consider is that you may have FB friends who have lost a child or who are desperately trying to conceive a baby. Slap in the face, much?
  • Oh, you have a blog? AWESOME! Pretty please keep your posts on your personal FB about your blog to occasional links or photos. If you want to share more than that: multiple links to your blog, giveaways, contests, etc., you can start a fan page for your blog; that is the perfect spot for that.
  • If you do have a FB fan page for your blog or business, let me give you a teensy bit of advice: don’t worry about your stats, “likes,” or insights. If they start to fall, it can be discouraging and frustrating, and you are better off focusing on content, not numbers.
  • Keep FB game requests to people who you know actually play the game. Some FB games automatically post invites for you, but you can fix this by changing your settings.
  • Keep the Grammar Nerd Police in mind. Pay attention to spelling and grammar, or risk looking silly. (Related: if you notice that someone did happen to make a mistake in grammar or spelling, don’t point it out like a jerk.)
  • Don’t air your dirty laundry on FB. Fights with your significant other, your sex life, or complaints about your job are personalDon’t make it awkward for your friends.
  • If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see your status or photo (read: the content is embarrassing or inappropriate), don’t post it.

What would YOU add to this list?

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Much Needed Brain Dump

Headache update:  Thankfully the headaches have stopped. Rather, an increase in my medication made it so I am not in pain. Whatever. I’m just glad it worked. No seizures, either, so I am doubly thankful. The experience made me stop and think, though. It made me remember the last long run of no seizure activity, and how devastated I was when they started up again. I realized the other day that I have been overconfident and haven’t been taking as good of care of myself as I could be. The whole “take care of yourself, so you will be able to care for others” thing has kind of gone to the wayside. Wake up, dummy. You DO have people who depend on you, so make sure you’re able to hold up your end of the deal.

I haven’t written about the holidays, and I think it’s because they went by in such a blur that I couldn’t slow down enough to put my fingers to the keyboard and do a brain dump. Thanksgiving and Christmas were both wonderful. We spent both with my side of the family, which was nice. My husband’s family is 5 hours away, which makes holiday travel difficult, but we plan to make a trip down as soon as we can.

Thanksgiving was a busy, crazy day at my sister’s house, with the kids running around and playing, and lots of family squished together into a small house. It was nice…we enjoy just being together. My sister’s father-in-law and sister-in-law were there as well, and they have become part of  “our” family, so it was a blessing to share the day with them. It was my niece’s birthday the weekend after, so we took a little time aside and celebrated with her. I do believe that the girls (my daughter and my nieces) stole the show that day, marching around in dress-up clothes and having a little parade, with costume changes and everything.

Christmas Eve was spent here at our house, just the four of us, as has become our tradition. I love waking up Christmas morning, relaxing with a cup of coffee as our kids tear into their gifts. The best part about Christmas this year was laying in bed hearing our 5 year old daughter come up the stairs from her room and squeak in surprise and joy at seeing her pile of gifts. Priceless. We don’t make a big deal of Christmas presents, and I’m glad. The kids get one gift from Santa, a couple gifts from us, and their stockings are full. No huge piles of gifts so large the kids lose track of who gave them what. I feel like we are teaching our kids to enjoy and be thankful for what we have.

We’ve had some challenges with our kids, lately…well, I suppose I should say “as usual.” Our youngest is now 2 years old, and that simple fact has kept me from selling him off to the highest bidder some days: my mantra has been, “He’s 2. He is going to push buttons, and test boundaries. That’s what 2 year olds do.” That’s not to say that we let him run the show, but reminding myself that he is in a normal developmental stage keeps me sane.

Bee, our 5 year old, has shown some sass and attitude lately (as well as tattling and whining), which I’m sure is normal as well. Our kids are generally very good kids, so I am taken aback when she gets bucky. Oooh, the teen years are going to be interesting! I’m sure that some of her behavior has come from the need to stick up for herself while playing with her friends, and some her just being her emotional, sensitive self.

Even with those challenges, though, we have been noticing how well our kids play together. This is so fun to see, and we hope it continues. I remember being antagonized by (and antagonizing) my older siblings, so I know what it can be like! 🙂

This hasn’t been the 5 minute “Stream of Consciousness Sunday” brain dump, because I’ve spent more time than that letting my fingers just *type* but that’s okay. Hopefully I will be able to write more often, so maybe I can get back into that.

Have a great week, everyone.
xoxo

Deep Thoughts From Within My Shower Walls

I got to take an awesome, hot, unrushed shower today (gasp), and a few thoughts occurred to me (as all good thoughts tend to come to me in the shower, apparently).

First off, I LOVE the Eucalyptus Spearmint Stress Relief body wash and foam bath from Bath and Body Works. If I could buy it by the gallon, I totally would.

 

Second, my upcoming 2-year anniversary of no seizures (YAY YAY YAY!) seems to have coincided with the disappearance of some other random “symptoms,” if you will, that left me fuzzy and buzzy. Hard to explain, and weird. And its disappearance is weird, as well; especially since I just recently realized it was gone, let alone realize that it existed at all. Sorry…rambling again.

Third, as I was getting in the shower, it dawned on me that we are fairly unconcerned with modesty at our house, which for some reason struck me as funny. It’s a bit annoying sometimes, as it seems physically impossible for me to pee without a child in the bathroom or pounding on the door. But, overall it’s a good thing. My son now knows the word “potty,” and I’m hoping that this means he might potty-train early (HA!).

Fourth…ah hell. I had a fourth, I really did. But now my son is screaming and crying crocodile tears because I won’t let him touch the keyboard.

So, ta-ta. Thanks for reading…

xoxo

Stream of Consciousness Sunday

#SOCsundayWe went grocery shopping today, and I spent 20 mintues in the checkout lane, due to a new/slow cashier, and the fact that he couldn’t figure out how to do EBT properly. He ran it through 4 times (with me getting huffier and huffier–is that a word?) stressing about the possibility of me being charged the amount due EACH TIME HE RAN THE EFFING CARD. This, if you are not familiar with EBT, would begin depleting our account of funds that we use to buy groceries. (This didn’t end up being the case, but still.)

And yes, I said it. My family and I use an EBT card, or what was formerly known as food stamps. With us being “lower income” it became necessary for us to get some help with budgeting/bills/groceries. I’ve done a lot of budget cuts to make things work, we’ve recently had our mortgage modified, we are getting food support from the county, and we’re on WIC. I find nothing wrong with using the resources when they are needed and available. It allows us to put food on our table and clothes on our kids.

What I do find wrong is people who look down on “people like us.” There are the people in the check out line behind us giving us dirty looks because we are holding up the line. There are those who give us looks of pity, which drives.me.insane. There are the people who give us looks that scream, “You lazy bastards, go out and get a job and stop wasting my tax money.” UGH. Don’t even get me started on those people.

I work my ass off. My husband works his ass off. We pay our bills the best we can and balance our budget the best we can. I don’t feel like we are entitled, by any means. We feed our kids, they have clothes to wear, we do fun things and have hobbies, we spend time as a family, we do all the normal things a family should do. I just feel like, sometimes…the “getting by” is so hard. I recently had a conversation with a friend about this same thing: money, bills, stress, etc. and I said something about “figuring it out,” in regards to bills getting paid when a paycheck hadn‘t been received on time. She said, “Some day we won’t have to ‘figure it out’ right?” HELL, YES. There will be a day. Until then I refuse to be ashamed.

And now, a song:

Thanks for letting me be a part of your Sunday.  xoxo

 

***

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

 

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (it’s on the right side of her blog).
  • Link up your post to Fadra’s blog entry.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

A Target Snob No More

I am now a reformed Target snob.  We usually shop at Target, as the one we go to is connected to our mall and is convenient (and we use the Target brand diapers for our little one).  Not to mention the fact that our old Walmart was so scary that it could have been home base for the famed website People of Walmart.

Anyway, we now have a SuperWalmart which replaced our old Walmart on the other side of the city.  Fancy new digs, I tell ya.  We shopped at the SuperWalmart the other night, and as we were unloading the groceries at home, my husband was telling me what a good deal he got on this, and how that was a heckuva lot cheaper than at our grocery store.  This new store has aisles are that are wider, the staff is more helpful and the patrons are less creepy.  Holy cow!  Did we just become Walmart shoppers?

Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still shop at Target for a lot of things, but sheesh…how liberating it is to realize that the unwashed masses are not that “unwashed”?

**I humbly apologize to Walmart for using their logo without written permission.  As I am writing a fairly glowing review of their establishment, I’m hoping they will not hold it against me.

RNF: Reminiscence Edition

Looking back on the craziness of my college days makes me giggle now, because I realize what a clueless dumbass I was.

Small-town girl, moving to the “big city” of St. Cloud (sarcasm, there) to go to college. Living away from home, new and exciting ideas, exposure to many different cultures beside my own, having male roommates (*gasp* what a rebel I was!), my first gay and lesbian friends, my first long-term relationship (with someone who was NOT a white bread Midwestern, American boy, no less), my first first-hand experience with racism–in the midst of the aforementioned relationship.

And after my first year, I thought I knew it all…hence the “dumbass” comment above. Getting out into the real world, in a real job, in a real relationship…? That was something else entirely.

Okay, so all of this is beside the point.

Through the wonders of the internet and Facebook, I have stayed in contact with the closest of my college friends, 2 of whom I am meeting up with tomorrow. I’M BEYOND EXCITED. I haven’t seen one of these friends since before he moved to England by way of Pakistan…like 7 years ago. The other, who I have seen occasionally, has since then gotten married, settled down, become a parent, experienced the real world through the eyes of an adult. (He was also my first male roommate who witnessed my bold dive head first into the awesomeness of alcohol. Ah, many a fond memory–or lack thereof, as the case may be.)

So in anticipation of this reunion, I have been reminiscing and thinking that regardless of how grown-up we are now, it’s still fun to look back on our carefree days of fun when we should’ve been doing something responsible but really couldn’t muster up the true desire to do so.

Good times were had by all.