Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On a scale of 1 to 10, I think I want to throw up

Life is hard!

No one ever told me it would be easy, but man…some days are just downright difficult to get through. By the time I am done being mom, housekeeper, counselor, teacher, EA, cook, seamstress, chauffeur, referee, coach, personal shopper, hair stylist, plumber, electrician, laundry attendant, social director, banker, nail tech, and law enforcement officer to my kids, I don’t really have time for anything else.

So in the grand scheme of things, what I want to talk about today is not a big deal. But it is something that weighs, heavily on me every day, all day. It’s something that I constantly think about, no matter how hard I try not to. And if most women were being honest with you and with themselves, they would also say that this topic weighs heavily on them as well. In fact, I bet it’s something that men think a lot about too, but will more than likely rarely admit that they think about it as much as they do.

And that thing is…body image.

From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I am constantly aware of how I look, and most of the time (about 99.9%) I DO NOT like what I see or how I feel about myself. The sad part is, I can pinpoint the exact moment in my life where I started to become very self conscious about the way I look…It was the day that my Ex asked for a divorce. Not only did he take away my life as I knew it, but that night he also took away from me my future. Little did I know at the moment when he said “I’m just not attracted to you anymore” that my life would change as much as it did.

I don’t think men, women, boys or girls for that matter, realize how much damage a little comment like that can do to one person.

Before those words were ever muttered to me, I was confident, outgoing and fun to be around. My life, unfortunately, changed in the blink of an eye when I heard those fateful words. I stopped being me.

I was no longer confident.

I was no longer outgoing.

I was no longer happy.

I was no longer me.

To this day, I’m still not confident, I’m still not as outgoing as I used to be, I’m still not as happy as I would like to be, I’m still not the me that I so desperately crave to be. I’m a lost, broken woman still looking for myself.

But do you know what I have realized in this journey to find myself?

I’ve realized that I may never be that me that I was before. I have realized that in today’s society of “quick fixes”, like botox, ab chairs, six pack enhancers, metabolism enhancing over the counter meds and brazillian but lift videos, I have no chance of being that girl that I lost years ago. I’ve realized that the media has played a lot into how I “should” feel about the way I look.

Take this picture for example...

The girls in this picture are supposed to represent a normal size 8, size 12 and size 16 woman. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret…the media is lying to us! I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I am a size 10 (on a good day) and a size 12 (on a normal day), but I am a better representation of the size 16 woman in this picture. This, my friends, messes with a girls mind. This, my friends, is why it is so easy to believe it when my ex tells me that I am no longer attractive to him. This, my friends, is the kind of stuff that ruins women!

Or what about this picture...

This is a picture of Jason Aldean, a country musician. Look closely at this picture paying particular attention to his abs and waist. Look at how photo shopped he is. Look at how much distance is between his jeans and his waist. This, my friends, is the media telling us that sexy, hot Jason Aldean is not sexy and hot without a photo shopped waist or abs. This, my friends, is the media telling us that we aren’t good enough for each other. This, my friends is why there are so many hurting people on this earth with body image issues.

I can’t take it anymore!

I’m tired of waking up and immediately feeling like I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not enough of anything to be who society and the media say I should be.

I’m tired of waking up feeling like a loser because I don’t look like some celebrity that society has dubbed “the perfect woman”.

I’m tired of waking up every morning thinking I’m not good enough to be the object of someone else’s affection.

I’m tired of waking up feeling like I’m not good enough.

Bottom line, I’m just plain tired!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm a single parent, not a superhero

I’m not gonna lie, single parenting is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. The worst part about it is that there is no end. When I wake up tomorrow, I will still be a single mom. I will still be the one making decisions in my kids lives in an effort to make them better individuals. I will still be the bad guy, when I want nothing more than to be the good guy and I will still be the one who has to break their heart when they don’t make the team.

Yeah, it’s not all butterflies and cupcakes.

Being a single parent is exhausting! And I’m not even talking about the mothering side of things. Nope, it’s the everyday mundane tasks that often become huge events in my house.

Take the task of telling your kids at 8:45pm that it is time to come inside for the evening, even though all of their friends still get to stay outside and play. Do you know why their friends get to say outside and play? They get to stay out and play, because they all come from dual parent homes and they have a parent that will still be awake when they are asked to come in at 10pm for the evening. Unfortunately, that is not how things work in my house. I’m a single mom who has to get up and go to work in the morning. Therefore, my kids will come in at 8:45 because it takes them at least an hour to stop copping an attitude because I made them come in earlier, shower, brush their teeth, and get their clothes out for the next day, before I need to be in bed. Yes, I did say “before I need to be in bed”.

Or what about the little task of shopping. No longer can I swing by the grocery store after a sweaty work out. Nope, now I have to have freshly washed and styled hair, wearing the coolest clothes with four inch trendy shoes just in case the man of my dreams accidentally bumps into me while we are testing the melons for ripeness in the fruit department. Ok, I know that this scenario doesn’t have anything to do with single parenting, but if I weren’t a single parent hoping to run into my Prince Charming every time I stepped out of my house, then I wouldn’t give a S&*# about what I looked like…but I digress.

How about being the mom that has to tell her kids that we can’t go on a vacation for Spring Break, because I have to work. I have to work in order to pay the bills and put food on the table. This last year I worked really hard to become debt free (except for my house and car) and building up the vacation fund has been a low priority. But 11 and 8 year olds don’t understand that.

I’m also that mom who only allows my kids to do one extracurricular activity at a time. Not because I don’t think they would love to do more or participate in every single sport known to man like some of their friends, but I have a job. I’m not a stay at home mom (not that I have an issue with that at all), I don’t have nannies or even an ex that can help me cart them around. I’m a single mom with a 9-5 job who struggles to get home and put dinner on the table every night at a reasonable hour.

And laundry…don’t get me started on that one. I CANNOT for the life of me, decrease the size of my laundry piles, no matter how hard I try.

This is what my laundry piles look like every day. I could do one or two loads of laundry a night and never ever get caught up. It’s never ending.

I know one day my kids will learn to appreciate all the things I do for them. And by “things I do for them” I mean, make them come in early, do chores without getting allowance, stay home for Spring Break and participate in one activity at a time. But until that day comes, I will continue to broaden my shoulders and take all of the grief that they may dish out about me not being able to do it all!

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