Objectification total

I’ve got stonewash grey tight jeans, white Adidas high tops, a navy hoodie. Straightened long dark hair (flipped over to the side), minimum makeup (saving my face for tonight). A handbag over the crook of my arm, iPhone clutched in hand.

I stop to take a selfie. Cue pout.

I went running this morning, did some planks. I’m going to the library to study (digital advertising). I’m going out dancing tonight.

I could be anywhere between 14-40, living in New York, Paris or Sydney. It’s so iodine, so middle of the road, so zeitgeist.

Yet the whole thing makes me feel so normal. I feel so in-line with my generation, so strangely connected to what I’m “supposed” to be doing. It’s unreal.

I’m usually covered in children, toddlers, stains and shouting. This week we had nits and intestinal worms (not the first time for either). Broken stuff, shouting. Running from A to B to drop and pick up children, guitar lessons and after school clubs. Food smells and grubby floors. Chaos, total imperfection.

Selfies and straight hair and my i-Phone and looking hot make me feel in control for the first time in aĀ  long time. Belonging to the external world, having value in the external world through objects and the image they project of me. Objectification total.

Of course, the world that gets played into is manipulated, highly consumer and very external. Does nothing for my soul. But habits and routines that ground us in their repetitive simplicity – in the feeling that we are all doing it – they reassure you.

It reassures me to have clean, nice smelling clothes, to have material things that are unbroken, that are mine. I feel I belong to myself.

In this world, where does parenthood lie? Where do chaos and bad smells and mess and parasites and sleepless nights and never going out lie?

It lies at the other end of the value spectrum. It has no value in this external world, it is worthless, just an impediment to the real stuff, the stuff we want and are taught to want.

And so we feel trapped and impeded and held back by our kids, they become another thing to manage, to get done so we can get on with living, and run the risk of making them feel worthless and annoying.

Objectification of the self, objectification of life. Sweet illusion of control. We cling onto it sometimes, like a raft before going under into the (inevitable) undercurrent of chaos again.

Today is an exceptional day.

Objectification total

Tech-haters gonna hate

Look how happy he is!
Look how happy he is!

I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’ve bought my kids tablets for Christmas.

I’ve had so many incredulous looks and even a “I don’t like that” proceeding that utterance that I feel as if that is some kind of sick statement akin to “I’ve bought my kids machine guns for Christmas”.

But it’s not. And if I need to defend myself (do I? I feel I do): a) they are not going to have unlimited access to them, b) I am getting the use of my iPad and laptop back (which they hog), and c) last but not least they are gonna LOVE them. Win win.

I am for the record a hands on mum (again, why the need to justify?), I cook, craft and read to my kids. My kids in turn love to cook, craft and read. And game and watch. Yes, they love to watch cartoons (gasp!) and play computer games (bite me!).

Yes, I know Steve-bloody-Jobs’ kids weren’t allowed a lot of tech time (mine get about up to 2 hours but not every day), they had big, calm, talk-filled family dinners *instead* and that’s great, fine and dandy. I totes respect that and I also respect all the nannies and cleaners that made that even more calm and nutritious. But I do let mine use tech, and it doesn’t make me a bad parent.

Let’s talk about this word *instead*: let’s just break it down here. It implies (and this is the underlying implication) that you are either the “type” of parent that is strict on tech, has family dinners and are generally holistic with their kids OR you let them use tech and are slack and lazy. Something smacks of judgment here, and that’s how I feel these days, very judged.

It’s also made me realise that I’ve done some judging. I’ve judged kids on phones and consoles on buses when they are with their parents (something I think I wouldn’t do). How the heck do I know how that parents’ day has been? How do I know how that kids day has been? Don’t you ever want to just play, or chat over messenger to relax? Does that make any of us bad or – worse – unintelligent, because that is also one of the underlying messages here: that uneducated, lazy parents let their kids use tech. Clever, concious middle class ones don’t. And there you have it, smack-bang judgment.

So with all these subtle messages I feel that I’m being judged as a mindless, lazy parent by giving my kids tablets. And I don’t like being judged, especially for my parenting. Ouch.

And at the same time I know I’m anything but.

So, I have to use these feeling to analyse my OWN judgment, and also surrender and just remember that #hatersgonnahate.

And they are gonna LOVE them šŸ™‚ (as well as the books, crafts and other “real” toys they get)

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/evilpeacock/13235511974/”>evilpeacock</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Tech-haters gonna hate

Not so funny

I get yet another link to kids having tantrums and I just want to scream.

The first time last year (on Facebook, predictably) a colleague, knowing IĀ was a mother of children, thought she would show me “hilarious clips of kids losing it over nothing”.

It was children being filmed while being told thatĀ their parents have eaten or thrown away all their sweets. In these clips the children are very disturbed, crying andĀ sobbing and obviously in a lot of anguish.

I don’t care how small the reason is (to us) the last thing IĀ want to see are those kinds of emotional reactions. And to top it off they have been provoked by their own parents, called hilarious and then used to make a video that goes viral. IĀ quite frankly find it almost abusive.

A child has little or no private life or privacy, they have relatively few things they can call their own that they are not forced to share, so “small” things mean a lot. Yes, it’s “just” sweets,Ā but it belongs to them and stripping this from them makes them feel totally powerless.

Is watching an already powerless person be stripped of the little rights that they have funny?

How about “parents losing it when being told their houseĀ has been robbed” or “funny clips of people being told their loved ones have died in a car crash, then told it’s just a joke”. Hilarious.

This timeĀ I didn’t even follow the link, I couldn’t have watched. It annoys me that kids feeling are a) so undervalued and badly judged and b) taken advantage of and betrayed by their parents for the sake of a “funny” video.

Anyone else think it’s a bit weird?

Not so funny

Sweet, sweety, sweetalicious fun

I think nutrition is something most of us think about, worry about. At the moment it seems sugar (avoiding of) seems to be a hot topic. In my house we cook most of our food from scratch (avoids large amounts of hidden sugar), we allow the kids sweets once a week at the sweet shops (memory making, I think) and a free for all at parties (don’t want to make sweets “like diamonds”).

I also just let it roll that they eat sweets whenever offered really (banks, shops etc give them out here in Spain), plus the occasional treats when family are here, special occasions, or just ‘cos we feel like it. I try not to control, I think it almost always has the opposite effect in the long run.

But, of course I worry and I stress that I give them “too much” sugar. Sometimes it feels like there are endless birthdays and outings that involve large amounts of the sweet stuff which is, btw, more addictive than crack apparently. So I do talk to them about healthy balance. Sometimes we take a look at the food pyramid that’s pinned to our fridge and see, like a game, if they have had their portions of this and that for the day, usually it pans out more or less.

A talk about “treats”(!) and how we have them “from time to time” inspired this snippet from my switched-on 8 year old:

Me “Sugar … yada yada yada… empty calories etc…so, really in conclusion, sugar doesn’t give you anything, does it.”

Boychild “Well, yes it does, it gives you a nice taste.”

And that’s it really, absolutely true. It gives you a nice taste, actually let’s put this even better: it gives you an amazing, delicious, uplifting heavenly buzz on the tongue, its lovely, it makes you smile and your taste buds shimmer, yey!

And food, apart from food being The Building Blocks Of Life, and The Cornerstone Of Good Health, is also about pleasure, enjoyment…and just (GASP!) tasting nice.

Whats’ wrong with that?

Sugar is not toxic, it is not evil. It is food that brings pleasure, and when taken in ‘normal’ amounts is fun and tasty.

Pass the cake please!

 

 

 

Sweet, sweety, sweetalicious fun

Postcard exchange, woohoo

Image

Finally got round to posting this rather snazzy postcard I got some time ago all the way from Atlanta courtesy of atlantamomofthree. THANKYOU!!! And sorry it took so long, technical difficulties sweety darling.

Postcard exchange, woohoo

Super Sweet Blog Award

Cupcake4Another award post! Can anyone tell I’m trying to get through a humongous amount of writing? Nothing to do with impending return to work and total lifestyle change…yikes!

I got nominated by the lovely workingmothersassistant she’s got some really cool advice, tips and tricks and is a been there and done that mum/mom, working hard to keep her blog going, with all that “free” time we have. Good on you mama and thanks for the nomination!

The rules for those nominated:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. These can be found down below.

3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.

4. Nominate a bakerā€™s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.

5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

Here we go…

1) Cookies or cake? It’s a tough call, but if I had to choose it would be cake. Soft, sweet, glorious cake. Another cool thing about being a mum: kids parties=cake!!

2) Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

3) Favourite sweet treat. Milk/white choc napolitana croissant fresh from my local bakery.

4) When do you crave sweet things the most? After lunch or dinner.

5) Sweet nickname. Nope, no one has a sweet nickname for me. Sad, innit.

Nominations:

middleofthemess

myfamilybliss

goodnightmush

nikkiyoungwrites

mycrackedpot

thefascinationsofavanillahousewife

doodlemum

foolishsagewisdom

cynicaldaddy

momtimes4

OK, that’s it, ‘cos with the last 3 award posts I have exhausted all the blogs I know and read!

Happy weekend!!!

Super Sweet Blog Award

The versatile blogger award

Wowsers, another award…cool!

the thing I love about awards most is the awesome list of cool blogs you get at the bottom. It’s worth searching for blog posts of awards just to get some new blog recommendations…. just let me find that 25th hour to the day first…!

I got awarded by the mmmmmfamily blog. This mama is dealing with some serious health issues in her family of 3 kids under 5 right now, and writes about it with emotion, sensitivity and style. She also writes it as a diary and log for her husband and kids in the future. It’s very real, very grounding and not at all ‘poor me’. Inspiring. Thank you lady!

As per the rules I’ve got to state 7 things about myself, and thenĀ  nominate 15 (FIFTEEN??!!) other blogs. OK.

1) My fave colour is green.

2) My fave breakfast is a smoothie, but I don’t have it often as I feel guilty about waking up the neighbours at silly o’clock with the noise of the blender.

3) I cosleep with my partner and three kids…we have 2 double mattresses stuck together. It’s still not quite enough space though.

4) I had psoriasis before having kids. Haven’t had a proper ‘flare up’ since becoming pregnant for the first time. No complaints there!

5) I’ve been either pregnant or breastfeeding with no let up for 8.5 years… really.

6) I feel like I’m constantly washing clothes, I mean constantly. Summer has been so much better…but winter….uff, the bulky clothes and they take ages to dry (here in Europe we don’t have dryers).

7) I really, really want to get a dog. But each time we get serious about it, I get pregnant…haha.

Now the 15 blogs, sorry, no explanation, just go visit!

Scottishmommus

momtimes4

atlantamomofthree

windingroad

dadgitated

doodlemum

theadventuresoffannyp

mummyflyingsolo

from2to3kids

mamapapabubba

thescienceofmom

mamamillerparenting

mummyshymz

goodnightmush

mommaneedscoffee

Phew! Enjoy!! Thanks!!!

The versatile blogger award