Mothers: No Returns, No Refunds

Update: I wrote this post over 2 years ago when my mother was living with me. She has since moved back.
Reading this post breaks my heart, knowing I was at a point where I had nothing good to say about her. I saw her struggles and sacrifices growing up. She did her best as a single mother to provide for me and my brother. Although we do butt heads, she has and will always be my cheerleader.
I was so ashamed that I wrote this post that I never finished, edited nor published it. Today I’m publishing it. I need a reminder to never ever get to this point with the one person who loves me unconditionally.
As a mother myself, I can’t imagine how devastated I would be should my own children write something like this about me. I love you mom.

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I’m married, have a darling four year old son and living with my mother.

7 years ago I moved away from home to a larger and more bustling city. I needed to get away from the life I had in a smaller city where everybody was connected to you by 6 degrees of separation. Life on my own was amazing. Of course I missed my family and friends dearly but I knew that I needed to step out of my comfort zone.

Fast forward one year I had a beautiful little boy and was in the process of planning a wedding. Fast forward another two years, my mother told me she was coming out here to live with me so she can help take care of my son while I was at work. It looked at it as a great blessing. After all, other than yourself, who else would care for your own child better than the child’s grandmother?

Thankfully, my husband, very laid back and reasonable as he is, thought it was a great idea also. He and my mother get along fairly well. I on the other hand SOMETIMES wish she still lived in a different city. 2 hours away by plane. 36 hours away by car, and just a phone call away.

Reason’s why letting your mother live with you is the worst decision you’ve made:

  • She drives me crazy! She always has to give her input about everything and anything, even if the topic at hand has nothing to do with her. Not only that, she always has to have the last say, in everything.
  • She does not let me parent my own child. When I’m trying to discipline my son, she always step in and intervene because either I’m being too harsh or doing it wrong.
  • Every decision I make always always has to go through her first. Okay, maybe not every decision, but it sure feels like it especially with a mother who is nosy as mine and is always in my business.
  • She makes the smallest things so dramatic. For example, if my brother doesn’t call her for a couple of days, she’ll suddenly go into drama mode and say things like “he doesn’t care about us anymore”, “why should I call him, if he won’t call me”. Come on! Seriously? I blame it on all the Korean dramas she watches. My mother is the ultimate drama queen.
  • She thinks that without her I am incapable of living life as a regular adult. It took almost a year of convincing her not to cook for us anymore. She would make dinner every single day, and say things like “If it weren’t for me, you would go hungry!”
  • My home is not MY home. My mother has is a semi-hoarder. She loves to stock up on suger, water, toilet paper, oil and canned goods. To the point that there is not more room for these things other than the corners of our kitchen and sometimes the living room! This drives me insane because I hate clutter! I guess it all has to do with all those years living with her. To her, she doesn’t feel right if she doesn’t have 10 bags of sugar lined up in the cupboards. It’s true, she said so herself.
  • She’s a perpetual liar. I’ve come to realize my mother lies. About many things. Okay, nothing crazy but more like white lies. She’ll lie about things like what time something has to get done by, she’ll ALWAYS say 10 am when really it’s 12 pm. Nothing really wrong with that, unless you are waiting outside in the cold for two hours because you thought you would be picked up at a certain time, when really she just said it so you would be early. Really early. Not to mention the he said, she said lies. I hate those.
  • I just feel burned sometimes.
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What Kind of Parent Do You Want to Be?

heartI’ve always thought I knew what kind of parent I was going to be. I was going to be patient and gentle. I would never embarrass my children nor would I lie to them. I would keep my cool and know how to comfort them. I would offer choices, not ultimatums. I would be fun. I would be the cool mom that always had her shit together.

Well, once my children was born that expectation of myself quickly dissipated. Motherhood is hard.

Instead my son plays by himself. My girls sit in front of the TV. I sometimes lose control of my temper and raise my voice. I get temperamental, and lie just so I can get some peace and quiet. I cry to myself and even feel sorry for myself sometimes.

Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My children are the one thing in life I cannot live without. What kind of parent do I want to be? I just want to be their parent.

I Wish I Was a Smoker

Sometimes. Okay, Not Really.

But hear me out.

I used to be a smoker. From when I was 20 until I turned 25. I was the only smoker amongst my friends. I wouldn’t say it was because it was the cool thing to do back then. It wasn’t, and my friends hated that I smoked. I mainly picked up smoking because it was something to do while I was bored, and I guess I was bored a lot.

I quit as soon as I found I was pregnant with my son. Cold turkey. It wasn’t even a negotiation in my mind. I never picked up that vice ever again. I tried once – having a cigarette, it made me feel nauseous and sick. My body rejected it. (Yaye!) The smell of second-hand smoke today makes me ill. I can’t believe that I ever subjected my friends to it.

I remember begging my best friend to let me smoke in his car. I used to even smoke in my apartment, and when friends came over, I paid no regard to their feelings or health.

I sometimes wish I was a smoker so I had something to do when I’m bored. So instead of snacking, I could just light one up. But seeing how horrible I was when I was a smoker, thank goodness I no longer am.

I’m happy I’m no longer a smoker.

smoking

No Thanks!

 

 

I’m Back

It’s been over a year since I’ve last posted. I pretty much forgot about this blog until today when I decided to start blogging. As I was trying to decide on a blog name, Dirt and Pixie Dust popped up into the field. How could I have forgotten?

Reading past posts, I’ve come to realize how much different my life is now than it was then.

For starters my family of three has become a family of five when I was blessed with two little darling twin girls. Needless to say, I have much more to write about now.

I hope to add more substance to my posts. In the past I was always hesitant to express my true feelings. Although I blogged about this and that, my posts were censored in a sense. That reading back in on it now, I questioned whether it was actually me who wrote it.

I’m looking forward to this.

Late Post (June 3, 2014)

Winter is finally gone, and spring decided to step aside after a week to give summer a chance to finally grace us with its presence. All I could say is; it’s about time!
This year we had, what seemed to be the longest, most dragged out winter ever. Thankfully (in my opinion anyways) it wasn’t that cold. (I was born and raised in Winnipeg, and nothing compared to the harsh winters there.)
Last weekend we finally was able enjoy the hot weather. My husband and I ran the Color Me Rad 5K. This 5K was all about colorful fun.
The Color Me Rad isn’t your typical 5K. What makes it special and much more fun is that at every kilometre of the run coloured corn starch is thrown at you. I believe it is the same stuff they used during the Holi Festival of Colours in India. By the time you cross the finish line, you look like a Picasso painting. It was an energy filled run and the fun continued on even after you crossed the finish line. There was Zumba, music, dancing and even crowd surfing! I didn’t do any crowd surfing for the sake of my fellow runners.
There was no pressure (since the races weren’t timed) and it was perfect for my husband who has never participated in a run or walk before.
Unfortunately we didn’t do much training leading up to the 5K run, so we probably were able to only jog a total of 1K out of the 5 (which isn’t too bad, considering how unfit we both are). It did however spark motivation in us to start jogging. My goal is one day to be able to jog the whole 5K without walking!
So there you go another thing to add to the list of goals. Jog a whole 5K.

Transcript of Look Up by Gary Turk

I could not easily find a transcript of this really inspiring video, therefore I decided to transcribe it myself. If you would like to watch the original video you can watch it here.

 Look Up – Gary Turk

 I have four-hundred-and-twenty-two friends, yet I am lonely. I speak to all of them every day, yet none of them really know me.

 The problem I have sits in the spaces between looking into their eyes or at a name on a screen. I took a step back and opened my eyes; I looked around and realised the media we call social is anything but.

 When we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut. All this technology we have it’s just an illusion. Community companionship, a sense of inclusion yet, when you step away from this device of delusion, you awaken to see a world of confusion.

A world where we’re slaves to the technology we mastered, where information gets sold by some rich greedy bastard; a world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion. Where we all share our best bits but… leave out the emotion.

We’re at our most with an experience we share, but is it the same if no one is there? Be there for your friends and they’ll be there too, but no one will be if a group message will do.

 We edit and exaggerate, crave adulation. We pretend not to notice the social isolation. We put our words into order and tint our lives a-glistening. We don’t even know if anyone is listening.

 Being alone isn’t a problem, let me just emphasize: if you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise, you’re being productive and present, not reserved and recluse. You’re being awake and attentive and putting your time to good use.

So when you’re in public, and you start to feel alone, put your hands behind your head, step away from the phone! You don’t need to stare at your menu, or at your contact list. Just talk to one another, learn to coexist.

I can’t stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train when no one wants to talk for the fear of looking insane. We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies to engage with one another, and look into someone’s eyes. We’re surrounded by children who, since they were born, have watched us living like robots, who think it’s the norm.

It’s not very likely you’ll make world’s greatest dad if you can’t entertain a child without using an iPad. When I was a child, I’d never be home. Be out with my friends, on our bikes we’d roam. I’d wear holes on my trainers, and graze up my knees. We’d build our own clubhouse, high up in the trees.

Now the parks are so quiet, it gives me a chill. See no children outside and the swings hanging still. There’s no skipping, no hopscotch, no church and no steeple. We’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.

So look up from your phone, shut down the display. Take in your surroundings, make the most of today. Just one real connection is all it can take, to show you the difference that being there can make.

Be there in the moment, when she gives you the look that you remember forever as ‘when love overtook’; the time she first held your hand, or first kissed your lips, the time you first disagreed and still love her to bits.

The time you don’t have to tell hundreds of what you’ve just done, because you want to share this moment with just this one. The time you sell you sell your computer, so you can buy a ring for the girl of your dreams, who is now the real thing.

The time you want to start a family, and the moment when you first hold your little girl, and get to love again. The time she keeps you up at night and all you want is rest. And the time you wipe away the tears as your baby flees the nest
The time your baby girl returns, with a boy for you to hold and the time he calls you granddad and makes you feel real old. The time you’ve taken all you’ve made, just by giving life attention. And how you’re glad you didn’t waste it, by looking down at some invention.

The time you hold your wife’s hand, sit down beside her bed, you tell her that you love her and lay a kiss upon her head. She then whispers to you quietly as her heart gives a final beat, that she’s lucky she got stopped by that lost boy in the street.
But none of these times ever happened: you never had any of this. When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you miss.

So look up from your phone, shut down those displays: we have a finite existence, a set number of days. Don’t waste your life getting caught in the Net, because when the end comes there’s nothing worse than regret. I’m guilty too of being part of this machine, this digital world, where we are here but not seen.

Where we type as we talk, and we read as we chat; where we spend hours together without making eye-contact. So don’t give into a life where you follow the hype. Give people your love; don’t give them your ‘like’. Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined; go out into the world leave distractions behind.

Look up from your phone. Shut down that display. Stop watching this video. Live life the real way.

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My Fitness Trainer is 5 Years Old

burpeeAs a mom to an energetic five year old boy, it’s a little tough to schedule in a good workout. I’ve contemplated about getting a gym membership, but that would mean taking away from the 3 hours I get to spend with him after work. (You see, I get home at 5pm, and his bedtime is at 8pm.)

So instead, I’ve opted to workout at home using my free weights, tension bands, elliptical and workout videos. I even have a nice little work out area in our master bedroom with enough room to get my Zumba on or skip rope.

When I’m not lazy pressed for time, I will squeeze in a workout between dinner and bath time. Usually I can get half an hour done with no disruptions, while my little guy is busy playing Legos with daddy. Sometimes, I can even get a whole hour in!
But usually when I work out, I have a little shadow following my every step, jump, or stretch. Even when I’m on my elliptical, my little guy will sit on the bed and patiently wait for me. We of course will have wonderful conversations about his day, and I’ll even try to squeeze in a moral lesson here and there.

I added burpees to my workout for the first time yesterday, and each time I would go down to the floor to start a new burpee he would run up from behind me and jump on my back.

I was starting to worry that I might hurt him, so I asked him why he was doing it and to stop because he would get hurt.

His reply to me was, “But Mommy, you are doing it wrong!”
Me: “Doing what wrong?”
Him: “Leap frog, didn’t anyone teach you how to play leapfrog?”

It was really cute that he was genuinely concerned, and because I cherish the fact that he loves participating in everything I do, I decided to let him lead me in my work out.

Me: “Okay honey, why don’t you show me your exercise moves and I’ll follow you.”

His beautiful brown eyes grew bigger with excitement. I turned up the music and for the next half hour he led me through the most rigorous workout I had in a long time! We did jumping jacks, marched around, did high kicks, and even slithered like snakes. He even asked me to carry him while we danced saying that it will help me get stronger.

Today, I can feel the ache in places my normal workout could never reach! Thank goodness I didn’t get that gym membership. Who knew my five year old was badass fitness trainer? Hmm, I wonder if I can market this, Jillian Michaels, move over! Ha!