Friday, May 31, 2013

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Headaches suck. 

That's a given. 

They're painful and miserable and bullshit. 

All of which are givens. 

People who only get headaches occasionally  don't understand when I talk about my headaches. They don't understand the intricacies of how headaches hurt and the different kinds of pain they cause.

A headache is not just a headache. 

I have a friend who gets migraines almost daily, and we spent a long time talking about the types of pain and location of the headache and the remedies that work for us. My husband looked on in confusion. 

For those who are unaware, there are throbbing headaches, pressure headaches, migraines (which are not just bad headaches), sharp headaches, dull headaches that are more just discomfort and about a thousand others. 

I am so used to being in extreme pain, that I don't spent a lot of time thinking about it anymore. I work through it. If I'm lucky, Sudafed makes them go away. 

The most common headache that I get is a throbbing on the left side of my head behind my eye. It can be incredibly painful or just there. I have gotten so used to it, though, that I can work through most of them. At it's worst, the vision in my left eye become blurry and my balance gets all whacky. At best, it's just kind of there.

Yesterday I had a headache that really knocked me off my game. I was confused by it because I had never felt it before. I didn't know where it was coming from. It was a consistent pain across my forehead that just made me feel tired. 

Then something really weird happened. 

I took ibuprofen. It went away. 

That has never happened ever in the history of headaches. 

It turns out that I am so used to miserable, intolerable pain that I just, well, tolerate, that an average every day headache was inconceivable. 

I called Doc because I was a little freaked out and told him where it was hurting.

"It just sounds like a headache. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. Literally."

I have never had a headache that responds to medicine. Ever. 

So, that's a thing. 

As always, it's hip to be square (and in moderate amounts of pain), kids.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Containers and Containing Myself

Three words for you people.




Thanks to our sweet, merciful Bob, we now have a Container Store. There are few words that appropriately explain my excitement. When I found out they were opening one here, I was more excited than the day I graduated college or the day I got married. It was THAT excited.


Anyway, I was alerted in advance to the fact that the General Manager was someone I knew and did not exactly appreciate. Pepper was also familiar with his existence and, for the same reasons, was not a fan. Regardless, CONTAINERS.

Pepper and I made time to head over there yesterday to get some supplies to entirely redo the file closet at the office. She had already been there twice and had yet to have a run-in with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. My luck dictates that I would not be so, well, lucky, but we chanced it anyway because, well, CONTAINERS.

The store was everything I imagined. I mentally reorganized by whole house with shiny boxes in pretty colors. I Elfa-ed my closet in my head. There was going to be so much fabulous.


I tried very hard not to make eye contact with anyone who wasn't Pepper for obvious reasons, and I handled it like a champ. Then, I had a moment of insanity or something because I let my guard down and came face-to-face with him.


I pleasantly smiled. We were looked at some kind of shelving unit and we instantly got very, very interested in it and hoped that we looked different enough from the last time he saw us that he wouldn't recognize us. No such luck. As soon as he was done with his conversation, he walked right over to us. I expected the first words out of his mouth to be something along the lines of "Well, hello..." Instead he said (to Pepper):

"Does your husband know you're here?"

She didn't answer.

He repeated it.

"Does your husband know you're here?"

You know, because she needs a fucking permission slip to leave the house.

She just cooly replied that she was working. He looked at her and kind of smirked and said, "Oh, this is work?"

To be fair, he wasn't being a dick at that point. I think it was a genuine question.

"Yeah," I said. "She's my assistant."

He got quiet for a second while he was processing the fact that I needed an assistant because I was busy and successful enough to need an assistant and isn't that weird that I worked for him and he has an assistant too who is probably better than my assistant and...

Okay. I don't have any proof that that was what was going through his head. I can't actually read minds. That train of thought was similar to what I do when my dogs are thinking about something and I assume I can interpret their thoughts.

We finished exchanging unpleasant pleasantries and got done with our shopping stat.

Since that exchange, we have made sure that Pepper has all of her permission slips signed and that her husband gets an itinerary of any time that she does not have a baby attached to her boob so that she is not violating any rules of the June Cleaver womanhood.

Someday, feminism will be a thing and we won't have to worry about this anymore.


As always, it's hip to be square (and allowed out!), kids.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sorry To Offend, But Not Really

I am going to say something that will instantly offend many mothers and mothers-to-be.

It will get plenty of argument and push back just for the existence of such a statement. 

I will be accused of being heartless and unkind. 

I will be accused of not being nurturing enough. 

And that, right there, is the very problem, and why it needs to be said.

Here goes:

I have no intention of breastfeeding my future children.

There. Hate me.

The fact that that statement can elicit so much hostility and anger is, in itself, the reason that there is so much parent-on-parent hate and parental guilt. (Okay. It isn't the only reason, but it's a huge reason on a long list of already trying hurdles that parents have to go through).

Every parent experiences mommy or daddy guilt at some point without it being pushed in their face by other parents or personalities. I say this, obviously not as a parent, but as someone who helps people work through the guilt on a daily basis. The decision to breast feed or not breast feed should not make a mother feel like she has to justify her choices to every other human in the world in order to retain her "good parent" card. There should not be guilt or shame associated with it. There should be no fear of recourse or aggression because a very personal decision was made.

I defy you to prove to me that this will somehow make me a bad parent. 

Let's support each other. Let's not make other parents or parents-to-be or people thinking about becoming parents fear each other because the decisions that they make for their child do not fit the Pinterest definition of perfection. 

If you are one of those mothers who looks at other mothers who decide to bottle feed and shakes your head or makes another woman feel even the tiniest bit inferior because there is no baby attached to her tit, then you are what's wrong with the world. You can disagree, but you do it on the grounds of what is right for YOUR family, not hers. For everything you put into the universe that builds your superiority complex, I bet I could find a thousand things in your home to chop you down. I wouldn't because that defeats the purpose of this whole tirade, but I know I could. So, chill.

Can we stop pretending that we have to be perfect parents and just accept that we have to be parents and that any child lucky enough to have that is fortunate?

Is there love? Yes. Will there be unending devotion? Yes. Will we be happy? Yes. Will I want to kill it sometimes? Yes. Will I try? I don't think so. Not intentionally at at least.

I may pop out a kid and totally change my mind. Maybe I will value the bonding time. Maybe I will understand the beauty of it. Maybe I will think that formula is too effing expensive. Maybe I will just want to do it.

Right now, though? Not on my list of priorities. 

And if that makes me a bad person? Okay. I'm a bad person who is going to love the shit out of some very squishy baby.

That's cool.

As always, it's hip to be square (and supportive!), kids.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sometimes You Have To Stoop To Their Level

I am a huge believer in taking the high road. I don't get down in the emotional mud with people often because it doesn't do anything to help the situation.

I ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

There are a ton of provocative people in my life who offer about a thousand reasons to start a bitch fight. As I get older, I get better at moving past it, biting my tongue and taking deep breaths.

Also, bail is really expensive. I could buy super nice shoes for what bail would cost. 

I really like shoes.

This past week, I broke my oath. I got down in the mud with someone who was ignoring the fact that I have been there for him on a thousand occasions, and he opportunistically created a problem from nothing just to garner attention. 

I'm used to this kind of behavior, but that doesn't mean it doesn't catch me off-guard sometimes. 

If I had to bite down on my tongue any harder, it would have started bleeding.

Stitches are also expensive. And painful.

So I said the things that I was thinking. I said things that I know hurt people. I said them out of anger more than any hope at being productive. I said them because I wanted to be sharp and biting and share some of what they were making me feel. I said them because I wanted to.

And I shouldn't have.

But I'm glad that I did.

It didn't help the situation. It did not get my point across any better. It did not impress upon the drama-creators that I was right and they were wrong. 

It made me feel like I got the flaming ball of hot shit out of my soul for, like, a minute.

Then it reminded me that stooping to their level does not prove the point that I'm right. It makes me just like them. The last thing on this entire planet that I want to be is like them. 

Oh sweet, merciful jee-bus, I do not want to be like them. 

Everyone has a limit. People who push you to that limit just for fun deserve the tongue lashing that comes with it. Be classier than that. That's the real payback. The real payback is watching them ruin the relationships that have been good to them and learning the lesson on their own.

That's the only way people learn. Screaming and yelling doesn't teach people anything. They aren't going to feel remorse for hurting you if they willingly did it in the first place. They'll only feel that if it starts to hurt them. And it will, but you can't make it happen. You just have to wait for it to happen. 

And that is just balls.

I took the low road this one time, and I see why it's called that. It's dirty and grimy down here. You get shit on your shoes. You feel the indigestion of eating 10 greasy orders of cheese fries without antacid. You can't shower enough to get the slime off of you. It's degrading and nullifies like a thousand of the things that I've worked hard for in my life. 

Being down there, though, reminded me that I don't want to be down there. The next time that I want to stoop to that level, I'll remember that it's not worth it. You don't have to let it go, but you have to let it get fixed on it's own. Address it as adults when and if both sides are capable of it. If they aren't, then you have to just wait. 

And wait.

And wait.

'Cause, let's be honest, people suck. 

And they'll only stop sucking when they're ready. 

As always, it's hip to be square (and classy!), kids.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moments of Inspiration Are Quickly Forgotten

Last night, while laying in bed, I had an idea for a brilliant blog post that was going to change the face of blogging forever. It was witty. It was poignant. It had lots of curse words.

It was forgotten.

Here's the thing: Sometimes I get inspiration while dozing off the bed. I love getting lost in thought as I drift off. These things would usually make great posts, and I think to myself,"Man! I really need to get up and write this down. I can just jot it down as a note on my phone and the...zzzzzzzz."

Laziness wins. Every time. I swear I'll remember it, but I never do.

So just imagine this post was coming from that brilliant inspiration and not the irritation that comes when the brilliants inspiration is entirely forgotten.

I'm sure I'll remember it.

Yeah. Probably not.

As always, it's hip to be square (and forgetful!) kids.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pledge to Me and Us

I'm making this pledge to me. 

To my future family.

To my husband.

To everyone who is sitting around and checking their watches. 

It's time for you to disappear. 

This is the last time I'm going to see you for a while. 

Our life is ready for you to go away for a bit and let something else, something magical, something loud, something time consuming, something life changing, come along.

I make this pledge for the next 30 days. 

If these days come and go, and you show up again, I'll make the same pledge. I've made this commitment. We've made this commitment. We aren't screwing around.

Well, I mean, I guess we are. Different contexts, you know?

I will not get unnecessarily wrapped up in your appearance if you do make another one. I will not feel like down. I will ask you nicely to leave again. 

Like a family member who needs some time to grow on his or her own, I'm setting you free in the same way. You'll be back eventually, but not too soon.

Stay away until it's actually time to come back. No early appearances.

So, this is it.

This is the end of my tolerance of you.

For a while, at least.

Catch you on the flip side.

As always, it's hip to be square, kids.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stay Out Of My Head

I say things to the Internet that I never say to people I actually know.

I thought that this would change over time as I got more used to the idea of being a married adult, but it hasn't.

Stay out of my biz, yo.

Unless you're a stranger on the Internet. Then it's cool.

I still don't talk about having kids. Or wanting kids. Or even liking kids.

I just don't want anyone in that part of my life. Except my husband. And, you know, strangers.

There is something majorly fucked up about that.


As always, it's hip to be square (and majorly effed), kids,

Monday, May 13, 2013

What Can I Do To Help?

I am not a mother. I have never been pregnant or delivered a baby. I cannot possibly know the stress or joy of it because I have never been there.

I have, however, seen mothers of young children with struggle in their eyes. Mothers who come into my office and sheepishly fill out paperwork wishing that they were anywhere else but here. Mothers who sometimes come in with newborn in tow and anger in their eyes because they feel like they have failed at womanhood by being in a psychiatrist's office. Mothers who say they don't know why they feel like this, but know that it has been the case since shortly after their first or second or third or tenth child was born. They know that they hurt mentally and physically. They feel that saying that it started with the birth of their baby means they are blaming the child and blaming the child makes them a bad parent.

I see women who have been hurting for far too long because they don't want the world to think they are bad or unfit parents.

We perpetuate this "super mom" image of a woman who should be able to do all of the laundry, cook entirely organic dinners while simultaneously nursing a newborn, keep the house spotless, get Child 1 to soccer, Child 2 to ballet and Child 3 into the carseat without batting an eyelash, all while being irresistible for her husband who only wants to impregnate her with more babies, which she is excited about. In reality, dirty houses with pizza for dinner and exhaustion in the bedroom (if there is a partner at all) are far more likely.


This comes up as someone who works in mental health, but also as a friend. Just in the last week, I have heard from several friends, from real life and the Internetz, who have finally started talking about their struggle with PPD or another postpartum mental problem. People who seemed to have it all together even to me, and I claim to be able to cut through the bullshit pretty quickly.

People like my friend Jen at The Martha Project (@thenextmartha) who wrote this incredible account of what she went through  here. Jen is the snarkiest person I know. She manages to be as close to Super Mom as possible while still crafting the shit outta ordinary objects and making the Twitterbox giggle on the regular. Her story on Postpartum Progress (@postpartumprog) is an amazing example of how these problems paralyze even the most prepared mother and mother-to-be.

Seeing so many friends endure this makes me want to scream from the mountaintops that HELP IS AVAILABLE. But I don't have a mountain. This is Florida. I have a blog.

I want to scream that I'm your friend and all you have to do is ask. That I will find you someone who can help you. That even if we only know each other from the Interwebz, reach out and I will FIND SOMEONE who can help you. That if you think you're crazy, you're not crazy and you don't have to feel that way anymore. People who are truly "crazy" think they're totally normal. If you know something is not right, there is so much that can be done to help you.

No one is exempt from the exhaustion, frustration and tears that sometimes come with motherhood.

You aren't crazy. You aren't crazy. You aren't crazy.

You haven't done anything wrong.

As your friend, I'm telling you, you haven't done anything wrong.

What can I do to help?

As always kids, it's hip to be square (and imperfect), kids.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Questions: Going Dutch

When I started a blog, well, I thought it was going to be all about me. I don't just mean the content of my posts, but also the marketing, networking, etc. would all be about me, me, me. Look at ME. Laugh at ME. Barf at ME.

Well, that is clearly not the case. 

In my just-over-a-year as a wannabe blogger, the most important thing that I've gotten out of this experience is OTHERS.

I have met some pretty awesome bitches. I have learned that there are people in this world who are as big of assholes as I am. I have also caught on to the fact that they are stupid funny and totally twisted, but in reality, they aren't even close to being assholes. They're like family.

Anyway, this community is so important to me that I wanted to introduce you to some of them one-by-one in a new series right here at Maternal Damnation: The Five Question Quiz. 

I thought this journey would be about finding myself. Really, it's been about finding others.

First, I want to introduce you to the lovely, talented and funny-as-hell blogger pal o' mine, Julie (@dutchbeingme). Julie has been working at her awesome blog for way longer than I've been at mine, and she has a loyal following. 

The thing that I love the most about my relationship with Julie is that we have fun, we laugh, we pick at  each other, and we support each other even though we fall on completely different ends of the political spectrum. She "Stands With Rand" and I have one of those irritating bleeding hearts that can only be satiated with very expensive public programs. YET WE'RE STILL FRIENDS. 


Anyway, here is my Five Question Quiz with Julie.


1) What is the name of your blog, and how long have you had it?

My blog is DutchBeingMe – a variation of “just being me” except that I’m of the “Dutch” heritage (my ancestors came from the Netherlands in the 1800’s). I’ve been blogging just over 5 years now.

2) What is the purpose or theme of your blog?

The purpose of my blog started out to share my weight loss journey as I neared my weight loss goal. Since that time, I’ve changed the “purpose” to be simply about me. What I like. What motivates me. What I struggle with.  I’m working on bringing my blog back around to my weight loss journey, while still keeping the “me” portion of it that I (and others) value so much.

3) What is one thing you've learned from social media that most people wouldn't think of?

I don’t know if this is something “most people wouldn’t think of”, but one of the main things I’ve learned from social media is that I’m not alone. Actually, it’s probably something a lot of people would say… but it’s the thing that has impacted me most directly and prominently. Without the connections that I’ve made – I wouldn’t have some of my closest friends, kindred spirits and business contacts that have made my life… and my blog… what it is today.

4) Is "settling down" in the future? If no, is there a reason why? If yes, what is on your list to achieve prior?

I would like to think there is “settling down” in my future… but honestly I don’t know when that could be. Right now I need to focus on me, and where the next steps of my life will be taking me. Being a single 30-something, I have lots of life ahead of me… whether it’s living it here with my nephews close by or somewhere far far away. It’s time for me to figure out things for me.

5) If you had all the power/money in the world, what gift would you give the blogging community?

I always said if I won the lotto (or somehow became miraculously rich), I would create a fund to provide scholarships (or sponsorships) for bloggers to attend conferences and learn more about their choice of business aspects, writing, crafting or any number of other things that would help them become successful. 


If you would like to do the "Five Question Quiz", leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you stat. You can also catch me on Twitter at @maternallydamnd. It doesn't matter how big or small your blog is. Everyone has something valuable to say.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are you Owlright?

I like owls. I liked them before they were everywhere. I'm like an owl hipster.

Except not.

Anyway, my husband named one of them "Owl Pacino".

He has now created a monster.

Hubs and my brother went around the house naming all of the owls. They are as follows:

Owl Pacino, Owlan Alda, Tim Owlen, Owl Gore, Owlbert Einstein, Owllen Degeneres, Owl Roker, Owlan Arkin and Owl Sharpton.

Pepper Potts added Owlton Brown for the kitchen. 

Oh, and Weird Owl.

You know, just in case you wanted to know what it's like to live in my house.

As always, it's hip to be square (and a hoot!), kids.

Friday, May 3, 2013

You Look Wonderful Tonight

My husband and I must have listened to thousands of songs trying to pick out the perfect song for our first dance. We had very different ideas of what we wanted to dance to, and most of the conflict came from the fact that I just didn't expect him to care. My example of marriage is my parents: my dad allows my mother to pretty much run the show 'cause it's just easier that way. I expected my husband to be a whole lot like that, but my husband is more like my mother than he is my father. I'm  more like my father and... well, you know.

Anyway, we were listening to songs over and over. Songs we knew. Songs we hadn't heard. Songs that we hated. Finally, a song that I had heard 1,000 times showed up on one of the lists that I was reading. All of a sudden all the pieces came together, but for reasons that no one else would understand.

We danced to "Wonderful tonight" by Eric Clapton. My understanding is that the way that song sounds and what it actually means are two very different things, but that's not why I picked it. I picked it because it reminded me of the moment that I decided my husband was my Superman. 

The place we worked out threw a party for us because we all worked really hard launching a new product. The party was at an upscale bowling alley with a bar (if there is such a thing). I have never been a big drinker. At some point in the fairly short time we were there, I lost count of the number of cosmos that my now husband had put in front of me. We are just recently started dating, so I don't think I was ready to be a drunk sloppy mess in front of him. He thought it was funny. 

I had never and will never again have that much to drink in my life.

The best part of the night happened as he went to walk me to my car, which he was clearly driving. A girl we worked with who was notorious for being, let's say, "not particularly scrupulous" about the men she went out with or the number of men she went out with, came up to me with a concerned look on her face. She kept asking me if everything was okay and if I needed a ride home. All I could think was "I'm here with my boyfriend. Go away." Apparently, I never actually voice those words. A day later, at work, she came up to me and said that she didn't know we were dating, and she thought he was just trying to take me home and take advantage of me. 


Anyway, he did take me home, but there was no advantage to be had. I was so tipsy that I couldn't shut up, and quickly started feeling like word vomit wasn't going to be the only thing coming out of my mouth. I lay down on the bathroom floor knowing that something bad was going to happen and within minutes all 567 (or however many) drinks I had came right back. It was fan-fucking-tastic. 

The things that followed are where he earned her proverbial cape and tights. 

Even though there was vomit everywhere, he sprang into action, cleaned up my clothes, threw me into the shower and then just stayed with me. Then, he put me into bed afterward, checked on me the next morning to make sure that I was done throwing up. He went into work late just because he was concerned. 

He should have been concerned, It was his freaking fault.

I'll leave that be. 

Anyway, the fact that he was so quick to ignore the grossness of the situation and get down and dirty (read: disgusting) for a girl he really didn't know that well yet was when I had my "aha!" moment about him.

If he could put up with puke, he could put up with anything.

Back to the point, in the song "Wonderful Tonight," Eric Clapton sings about being sick from drinking too much. He says that she drives him home and puts him to bed. That's the moment that I remember most about our relationship in the early days, and it was the moment that pretty much made sure that our relationship had many days left to come.

Because my darling, you look wonderful tonight.

As always, it's hip to be square (and reference other songs!), kids.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Off The Grid

Hey kids. 

I'm a little MIA at the moment. I had some writing inspiration for another project, and it has kept me busier than I anticipated. 

I have scheduled a bunch of posts over the next few weeks, and I'm making a really huge effort to get back to the regular MWF schedule. 

Life? She is a bitch.

But, you know, that bitch that you kind of really like even though she is a total hooker sometimes. 

Ya dig?

What are you all up to? Most of you are even busier than I am. Share what's up in the comments.

As always, it's hip to be square (and overwhelmed!), kids.

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