I Get Mad Sometimes

Is this really productive?

Is this really productive?

For someone who says they have a near-perfect life, I get mad a lot. At my husband. At myself. At my friends. At my kids. Why aren’t they giving me what I want and need? Don’t they love me? Have I, after all, gone down the wrong path, and now I’m surrounded by people who don’t really care about me, and now I’m destined to be taken for granted, an afterthought, mindlessly serving food for an eternity? Who really cares about what I have to say? Geez, do I even have anything to say anymore?

So let’s talk about what we give to others, and what we ask for ourselves. Because when I really think about it, after my brave words yesterday, I realize that I still don’t really ask for what I need, on a day to day basis–instead, I expect that others should “just know” what I need, and instinctively give it to me because I’ve worked hard enough to deserve it, dammit!

And if they’re not magic mind readers? Well, clearly they never loved me anyway and this was all a tragic mistake and fuck those jerks!

Let me say this: I love, love, love staying home with Sarah and Sid. This is a treasured time that is once in a lifetime. But my grownup time is severely limited, and I’m spending the bulk of my time giving to children who are not equipped–and cannot be expected–to take care of my emotional needs.

And that is hard. Not earning money is hard. Having a husband who works a lot is hard. Asking him to take time away from work to tend to me (when my own sense of self-worth is steadily diminishing), when he’s the only wage earner, is extremely hard. Also, I made a pie yesterday that kind of sucked. Pie is hard!

But I’ve come to the realization that my anger and frustration aren’t really helping the issue–letting things build up leads to venting, which leads to guilt, which causes me to shove my needs aside, which then resets the cycle anew.

So. On top of meal planning, and breastfeeding, and diaper changing, and listening to 2.5 hours of talk about Minecraft every day, I’m going to think about one concrete, sustainable thing I need every day. And I’m going to ask for it in a calm, reasonable manner. Hopefully.

What do you need today?

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The Myth of the Desperate Woman: Go Get What You Want, Ladies

So I meant to write a post about my 10-Item Wardrobe experiment, but a funny thing happened last week: my ex-boyfriend got married. On April Fools’ Day.

After our breakup, we stayed friends. In fact, I had just seen him the previous week during our Massachusetts vacation, during which he drove me and my husband and kids around, introduced me to his amazing girlfriend (well, fiancee–now wife!), and gave me time with “our” cat.

But it was a little hard for me, because we didn’t break up because we didn’t love each other. We broke up because I wanted to get married and have kids, and he didn’t.

Geez, that lady really wants a baby, huh?

Geez, that lady really wants a baby, huh?

Now, he still does not want kids (and frankly, if he changed his mind and did, more power to him–we broke up seven years ago, he owes me nothing). And I ended up re-meeting and marrying the love of my life, getting the best “bonus” gift in the world, his son, Sid (and Sid’s mom), and we now have an adorable six-month old daughter, Sarah. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

So I got everything I wanted, and just in the nick of time! I turned 40 three and a half months after giving birth to Sarah; picture me as Indiana Jones, just rolling under the stone wall that was slowly, yet inexorably, coming down to separate me from my fertility, forever.

But! I almost didn’t get it. I almost didn’t even try. And it’s partly because of The Myth of the Desperate Woman. You see, I didn’t want to be that woman: that poor, pitiable, desperate woman in her thirties who is “husband hungry,” “baby-crazy,” with a “ticking biological clock” and nothing to show for it. That’s what you get for not marrying your high school boyfriends, ladies!

I wasn’t a relationship novice: I was in a long-term relationship with my now ex-boyfriend, and I had even been married–briefly, long story–in my twenties. And yet I pussyfooted around having an honest conversation about what I wanted from my life–really important stuff–because I was stuck on some antiquated idea that the “right” way to get married and have a child was to be quiet and sweet, until some dude decided I was, what–good enough to be wife material? Ready for my promotion to Mommy? Looking back, it seems insane, and dangerously passive, on my part.

Ladies, we need to destroy The Myth of the Desperate Woman. Because at the end of that day, it comes down to this: what is desperate about knowing what you want from your life, and asking people for it? Can you imagine shaking your head and “tsk tsking” a 33-year-old man who proclaims that he’d like to be married with a child in five years?

It doesn’t have to be marriage and children: women are often accused of being strident, pushy, selfish, desperate, for wanting that promotion, or deciding they don’t want kids, or buying that house–alone, for themselves. Don’t you want to wait until you have a husband, honey?

But of course, the special sting of The Myth of the Desperate Woman is that women are actually defined, judged, and evaluated for just those two things: whether they are married and have kids!

So, just to recap: are you upfront about wanting to get married and have kids? Pathetic! Oh wait, are you unmarried and childless? Well, what’s wrong with you?

Fuck. That. Shit. Was that unladylike?

In my case, life circumstances finally nudged me to have that open, honest talk with the ex. It did not go well (in terms of our long-term compatibility). We stayed together for another year or so, in limbo. I was conflicted. Would I ever find someone I loved, and who would love me, and want the same things from life? Would I have time? Should I sacrifice a good thing for something that may never happen?

What I realized was, if I decided to look for what I wanted, there was no guarantee I would get it. But if I stayed where I was, there was a guarantee: that I wouldn’t get it. Unless I decided to act like a soap opera character and have an “oops” baby and trap my boyfriend into a life he never wanted. That would have been . . . awesome.

So I leapt (at the “ancient” age of 33), and it worked, and I’m grateful. But I still feel like I’m surrounded by women who are afraid to speak up for what they want, whether it’s because they don’t feel worthy, or they’re afraid of what will happen if the answer is no, or whatever. But I’m telling you. Life is short. Silence the naysayers–especially the ones in your own head. Kill that phantom, the Desperate Woman. And go get the life you want.

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Archie Betty Power Girl Dan Parent

Part of my Emerald City Comicon haul from last week: a gorgeous Betty as Power Girl by Archie Comics’ Dan Parent!

It’s a new week! A well-rested week! I’ve got a lot of blog posts bubbling in my brain, so look forward to some 10-Item Wardrobe postings, some Zero Waste recipes (and more–guest post coming!), and some musings on life, being a woman, and religion. You know, the light stuff.

In the meantime, please enjoy the following bits and pieces from around the Interwebs:

Did you hear that? Like millions of cherry pies suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced? David Lynch has reportedly left Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival, but is this the end?

In honor of Twin Peaks, by the way, we’re gonna plan a Twin Peaks Dinner Party. There will be sweater sets! And cherry pie! What other recipes seem particularly Twin Peaks-y to you? Meatloaf? This requires research.

The best rolls. Dudes, these Parker House Rolls from the Pioneer Woman are soooo good. I don’t even shape them into Parker House Rolls–I shape them into hotdog and standard rolls and they are sooooooo good. Psst: this is also the basis for her Cinnamon Rolls, which are also superb.

Wondering if you should cut out gluten? Food Spin says Dear America: Quit Flipping Out About Gluten (it’s from last October, but still timely).

We have a Latvian house guest this week and next, so I feel it’s my responsibility to take her through a tour of American food. Last night: Fried Chicken. I should definitely make some sort of homemade macaroni and cheese, right? My beloved Aunt Judy made this one for my family baby shower, and it is delicious!

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Not only is Guardians of the Galaxy 2 going to start filming in 2016, but Karen Gillan’s Nebula will be returning. Nebula was a great, albeit small, part of the first movie, and Gillan really gave it her all. Hopefully she has a bigger part in the second film! While you’re waiting, check out How Guardians of the Galaxy Should Have Ended.

Have a great week! And seriously: have any Twin Peaks dinner ideas? Post them below!

Hiatus Ending Soon

´╗┐Hello all! Just wanted to drop by the blog to say my hiatus has been a little longer than planned–taking a week after our vacation to Massachusetts and trip to Emerald City Comicon to recover.

Next week I should have some blog posts (and pics) of my 10 Item Wardrobe experiment, cooking stuff, and a how-to on putting a nursery together, even if you suck at decorating.

See you next week!