Archive for June, 2014

Size DOESN’T matter

June 30, 2014

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I don’t care if you’re big, small or in-between.  I hate the image the media has created for girls and woman to look up to.
I am in No way a fan of the super skinny image portrayed everywhere we turn. I want to raise my daughter to love herself for her. More importantly raise my children to see past the physical that we so often focus on.
Our size does not make us who we are.
There are those who struggle to loose weight, gain weight or simply be healthy.
But I would love for somebody to be able to tell me why social media, media in general finds it necessary to promote pitting women against women, simply based on our body type?
I am on the smaller size.  Though I don’t typically speak about myself, I am.
I wear a size four or small.
And that’s OK!
My daughter is built like me, but the men (and many women ) I love in my life are bigger than I.
And that’s OK!
I have seen so many “jokes” posted attacking skinny people lately though that my head is spinning.
I am no less a woman because I am skinny, as you are not less because you’re larger, and she’s not less because she’s all muscle!
Just because I am skinny doesn’t mean these “jokes ” don’t cut like they would on the flip side.
We as women ALL have our insecurities, heck I’m covered in scars and you’ll never see me in shorter shorts or swimsuits! we are ALL sensitive to weight comments.
Here’s a little thing many don’t know.
When I was younger, I struggled with anorexia.  My 5’6 self weighed in at a whopping 75-80 pounds.
Not only did I look like a bobble head, I was not healthy!
I look back on why I turned down that path, and I pin point it to comments from other’s. 
I remember my parents giving me anything I wanted to eat. I am pretty sure I lived off frosted flakes and hutterite cream (cream thick like butter! ), and chocolate ensure!
It was not fun.
I have not stepped on a scale in probably 15 years, aside from pregnancy and surgery.
I eat what I want,  I will not try this diet or that. Because I know enough of myself that it could turn out very badly!
So yes the comments hurt us “skinny chicks ” the same as they hurt the rest of women.
I can only imagine the self acceptance that would happen if we as women just simply stopped.  Took the body image game back into our hands instead of allowing media dictate to us.
What if we Stopped sharing ANY and ALL body image posts that pick apart any particular body type.
We need time lead by example for our daughter’s.

That it’s not your size that matters.
That there is so so much more to a person than the size of your clothes, or a number on a scale.
That you are No less a woman because of your shape or size.
That you are beautiful!
That you are good enough!
That you are smart!
That you are strong!
That you are loved!

I know I for one am tired of it all.

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No need to justify!

June 26, 2014

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I can not be the only person who wonders why we must feel like we need to justify ourselves?!
No I’m not talking about always. Because in life there really are things that need to be in order to be done.
I mean every day life things.
I’m an over justifier, I think it has to do with wanting to please others and avoid confrontation. But many a time my husband will say “you don’t have to explain “.
Why do I justify every little thing? Why I do what I do, why I parent the way I do, why I don’t do this or that. I have legit reasons for almost all of the things I choose to do in work and family and life.
But why do I try and justify to those that really don’t deserve or need a reason?
It’s not up to anyone else to make decisions in my life except myself. Period.
I’ve had a few conversations recently where the topic has come up. I see it constantly on line, heck I do it A LOT! 
Here’s the thing. I’m going to do and believe what I do and believe, as should you and everyone else (within reason of course! ). It is not my place to expect you to justify to me why you smoke, drink, do yoga, eat this, and not that.
Nor is it your place to expect me to justify myself and my actions.
You are doing what you feel is right,  you don’t owe me an explanation as to why you’re not doing something.  Your No, I can’t answer should be taken as that. 
As should mine.  We all have our reasons.
And quite frankly it’s No one’s place to question us (again within reason, obviously there’s time’s we/you must justify ourselves /yourselves ).
We each do the best we can. And that’s enough!
I am really getting sick and tired of other’s throwing their two cents into other people’s lives.
She owes you No apology or justification for nursing or not.  He owes you neither for his size.  I owe you none for smoking. 
Why the heck does there always have to be a side?!
How about we erase the lines?
How about we stop expecting and giving justification for everything we do and simply enjoy and embrace ourselves and our decisions?
How about we stop and just say, Hey they might not do it the way I would but if it works good on ’em?
How about we just worry about ourselves??

Dear teacher.

June 25, 2014

In the last school night of the year it’s time to thank those who truly make a difference!

Bestkids's Blog

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As the school year is closing, and I see smart ass teacher remarks, I figured it was time to write. I am the proud child of educators. I am the proud mother of two students. I have seen the worst of the worst,and the best of the best. This letter Is intended for the latter.

Dear teacher,

It’s June, and you’re crazy busy,exhausted, and worn out.
You’ve spent the last 10 months with countless children. Making lots of noise!
You’ve stood at the front of the class, but you’ve also sat with an individual as they’ve struggled. You’ve lost family time and sleep marking those countless papers. But You’ve lost more worrying about a student.

You started the year off simply as Mrs or Mr — But through the year you became a councillor ,a support and a mentor.
You’ve spent countless hour’s cheering your students on, while your own…

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Speak up.

June 22, 2014

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I don’t care if I influence one person or 1000! The truth is if I can make a small difference in even a single life that’s enough.

If every person tried to influence just one person in a positive way,  what a wonderful world it would be!
The sad part is is that so many are influenced by negative, and therefore stay in that mind set, and unfortunately pass that influence on instead of a good influence.

Hell the world is full of greatness.  But let’s be honest there’s a pile of negative.  And with social media and news those negative influences tend to be far more visible than the positives.
I stopped watching the news years ago. Watching it was watching all that was wrong with the world, and I tended to forget the good.

Yes we all have bad days! Shoot read this blog and you know i have my share! No I’m not ignoring reality.  In fact I’m pretty aware of reality.  But in life you prioritize what you can and can’t do, and that flows into where you spend your influencing energies.
We can’t all have the same passion or only one issue would ever be resolved.
Yours are different than mine.  That’s doesn’t mean mine aren’t important.  I run an anti bullying organization, and have had people scoff.  I promote mental health alot, and have I’m sure driven people crazy and had conversation behind my back.  Im not stupid.  I just don’t care anymore.  The people who scoff and talk have their own passions, and good for them .

Truth is our passions lie with things relevant and personal to us.
If you’ve never dealt with traumatic bullying or mental health disorders I don’t expect you to understand my passion to raise awareness for them . I’m not a bitch for saying that, I just don’t think people can grasp or understand what they don’t know.  And that’s OK. I know I don’t know much about certain things,  but I don’t question people that do and make them feel like their experiences are false or invalid.

So No I don’t care what people have to say anymore.  I don’t want to be an influence in the world by ignoring things I simply don’t understand.  I want to be an influence in the world by speaking my truth, weather you get it or not, weather you care or not. Because many people do care, and many people do want to understand what they don’t understand to make the world a better place for not just themselves but for others.

If we don’t speak up for the silent, who will?  So many people have a don’t see (or hear) doesn’t happen mentality.  That’s gonna get us far in this world in resolving and helping (insert major sarcasm ).

Just because I haven’t personally dealt with starvation, doesn’t mean it’s not a reality for so many people in this world!
We each have our own reality,  our own passions, and our own causes.

We need to influence the world (or that one person) with kindness and compassion.  Not with nit picking and questioning.  We need to respect that though we don’t know everything about everything, that that something is important to someone.  That that  something has changed someone’s life,and influenced them more than people know. 
So take that something and go!
Be visible, and vocal, and passionate.  Go out and make a difference No matter how small it is.
Go out and influence that one person with even just a smile!

Feeling useless, knowing better.

June 18, 2014

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And boy do I feel useless.
Even though it’s good change, how can holidays not be?!  It’s still change.  Add exams, change of aids yada yada yada. And you have a kid whose overloaded, overwhelmed, and done.

I know when rage,and despair hit, it’s not me, but man it still sucks!
Over and over I hear “you don’t understand! “, “I hate this  pain”. How can that not hurt your heart?
I get it, I do understand that he hurts,he can’t handle it, and cant just snap out of ot.
But No I don’t fully understand, who does?!
And that is heart breaking!
When your child is in the throws, and wants to just be done, I mean done,  not school, but life.  When they voice that they just want to not hurt, while cocooning so you can’t reach them, and they figure life would be better if: hand into gun, pull trigger.
How do you not feel useless?!

Then we better have a refresher talk with the sibling because it’s hard on them.  They’re confused.  And question and hurt.
One thing that dudes sister has been struggling with is why we don’t do things as a family like other families she knows.
We do our damndest to balance dudes life with his sister’s.
It’s not fair to her that she misses out on thing’s, and it’s not fair to force dude to do things that are hard for him. 
  That usually means she’s off with one parent, while the other stays home.  And typically Dad chauffeur her, mom stays home.  We do things as a family, but between work scedules and life not as frequent or as big as she would like.
So I feel useless as my daughter’s mother.  Because she’s trying to figure it all out from the side lines. We have time together, and talk a lot, but the guilt is still there.

You see bipolar is a family disease.  And each family member is affected. 
Life’s been good, as good as possible.  But with change and stress, the cycles and moods become deeper and more frequent.
And it sucks, and it’s hard, and I hate seeing my child in that sort of pain. And one feeling a bit lost.

But I know my support, my love and my guidance when this cloud passes will be their reason to smile.  As they are mine.
So though I feel useless, I know I’m not.

Dear teacher.

June 14, 2014

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As the school year is closing, and I see smart ass teacher remarks, I figured it was time to write. I am the proud child of educators. I am the proud mother of two students. I have seen the worst of the worst,and the best of the best. This letter Is intended for the latter.

Dear teacher,

It’s June, and you’re crazy busy,exhausted, and worn out.
You’ve spent the last 10 months with countless children.  Making lots of noise!
You’ve stood at the front of the class,  but you’ve also sat with an individual as they’ve struggled. You’ve lost family time and sleep marking those countless papers.  But You’ve lost more worrying about a student.

You started the year off simply as Mrs or Mr —  But through the year you became a councillor ,a support and a mentor.
You’ve spent countless hour’s cheering your students on, while your own children missed you at their game.

You’ve been expected to fix things that really aren’t yours to fix. You still try to fix them though because you care.

You’ve been belittled, yelled at,and complained about. And sadly not by the students.
But you’re human.  You’re a spouse, a father a mother, a grandparent, and a child. Just because you stand in a classroom, doesn’t mean you have armor of steel. You hurt, you care and you love.
Not everyone sees that, but some of us do.

You’re an educator. You don’t simply teach children a subject.  You teach them life. You give them skills and confidence that lasts long outside the classroom.

We as parents trust you with the most precious gifts we have.  Our children. For some of us that’s very hard. But you take them, and guide them without question. You listen to our worries long after you should have gone home. You let us cry at their struggles, and celebrate their succesess along with us. Because they are your successes too!

You’ve spent roughly two thousand hours with our children this year in the classroom, probably another 100 hours working at home.  You won’t finish your school year at the same time as your students, and you’ll be back long before.

You say it’s your job. But it’s so much more. 

You’ve stuck it out, when most would walk away. You’ve well earned  your piddly wage,and your holidays. So enjoy it.
Enjoy the time with your loved one’s that have taken a back seat for 10 months. Enjoy not marking.  Enjoy sleeping past 6am. Enjoy supper. 

Enjoy the peace and quiet!

Sincerely,
A grateful parent

Simply today!

June 11, 2014

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So here’s the thing. Every single child should be encouraged and rooted for.
Most moments I find myself celebrating, are those that many celebrated years ago.
Dude has a coordination disorder to top off his brain disorders, one would make athletics tough, both make it beyond tough.
Add to that the taunting, isolation and torment he went through early on when he even tried made for a child extremely reluctant to join in any sort of sport.

Last week he signed himself up for a couple track and field events.

What?! 

OK well kudos to his teacher for sparking the fire. For showing him it’s not about winning but how you play the game!
Dude loves to be part of things. As does any child, and rightfully so. His friends welcome and encourage him to take part.  Even when he knows he’s not the best, they don’t care. They take him as he is, accept and encourage him. As far as they’re concerned he’s one of them, and that’s enough.

I remember when he was 6 or 7 being told to steer him away from team sport. Ya I didn’t listen.  If he wants to do it, we’ll cheer him on. And though he may not be the most athletic, he has the biggest heart, and no one cheers louder for their friends!

Every single child should be welcome to play. I’m not talking high level sport here,there’s a team or sport for everyone in my humble opinion, and being part of such can be an incredible assest to all children, be it manager, score keeper or player. There’s a place for everyone regardless of ability. It may not be the big leagues but it’s big to them.

As anyone with mental illness, dude tends to easily isolate  himself.  But he has peers that draw him out. Who today cheered him on, as he took part.
He has avoided these activities for quite some time, due to fear of the past and absolutely zero confidence.
He’s venturing outside of the comforts he’s locked himself in. For this I am so incredibly grateful.

Being the brutally honest person I am I struggled big time with his choice to par take.
I kept my mouth shut!
See he was attending a meet at a different school, with a ton of kids. Both huge fears, triggers and stresses for him. But I’m not about to tell my kid no when we’ve waited so long for this triumph!
Off he went, I  stirred and stressed all morning! And for nothing.

OK almost nothing.

You see my heart hurts. It hurts because though all the kids included him, and cheered him on,it’s hard to watch your child lined up, looking unsettled, scared,and completely out there all a lone, just wanting to be a part of it all, when you know just how a lone he feels. How no matter what, he’s almost at his breaking point of noise, people and pressure.

But see though my heart hurts at that, it more importantly bursts with pride. He’s  there! He’s doing the best he can, and hell even on par with the majority of kid’s! He’s joking with a group of kids he’s never met. He’s holding himself together so incredibly well. Only a few will understand just how hard that is!
So ya know what? Better late than never! 
The resilience, courage and persistentance my young man of 12 years displays on a regular basis continues to blow me away.
And though I know it could all change tomorrow, I’ve learned to simply celebrate today!

Damn poor excuse!

June 8, 2014

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This cartoon came across my news feed the other day, and I thought hallefreakinglulah!! A simple cartoon that maybe, possibly might get through to some people!
I’ve talked, posted and shared for years just this. Mental health disorders are not all made up, not all in a persons head, and definitely not that easy!

It all comes back to seeing is believing.  And because people can’t see your inner workings of your brain, they either assume your full of crap, or that it’s not as bad as you think or as a physical pain or disease. Trust me I get it. One of my hardest struggles with dude was not seeing it. If he was bleeding, coughing etc I knew what to do.
So I suppose my struggle was not being able to see meant I couldn’t help heal.
I know this now not to be true. As with any chronic illness there are things those of us on the outside can do to help.   In my case it’s helping him maintain. In your case it may be something different,  but no matter what, chronic or not, depression, anxiety, bipolar, the whole gambit is just as real and scary (and potentially as life threatening ) as cancer, diabetes, and broken bones.
But we can help. And we as parents, families, friends and hell as a society need to do so!
It all takes time, and Yes a little frustration, a lot of patience, and even more compassion!

We need to first stop saying the things in the cartoon.  That in it self would be a huge success!

People suffering don’t need us to tell them to suck it up and move on. They don’t need us telling them it’s not that big of a deal. Do you not think they’d love for that to be true? It isn’t fun you know. 

Would you, really think about these questions, tell a cancer patient to suck it up?
Would you fight the doctor trying to tell you your loved one needed insulin to live? Or would you take the cast off your child’s arm as soon as you got home?

I doubt you would.

You would hold them. You would cry for their pain, and the unknown. You would do anything in your power to ease their pain. You would drive miles for appointments.  You would allow them sick days.  And days to just be. You would let them rest and re coup until they felt good enough to carry on. You would fundraise for cures.  You would move mountains to heal them or maintain their ideal health.  You would sympathize, and be there, not just for the patient but their loved one’s.
(I watched a video once and a mother was asked what’s the difference between your child being diagnosed with cancer and yours with (I think it was) depression? Her response,  casseroles.)
  Think about it.

If  we as parents, friends and society do all of the above for physical illness without question, why do we not do the same for mental illness?

Because we can’t see it? Think about all the other things you can’t physically see, yet believe.  I’m sorry, but having to see to believe is a damn poor excuse!