#HAWMC: Dear 16 year old self…


Dear 16 year old self:

I’m sitting down to write this letter to you with nearly 20 years of wisdom on you. Wisdom garnered from the life which awaits you. There are a few things I feel you should know:

Stop slamming the bedroom door. Your parents mean it when they say they’ll take it away. It’s going to break in less than 6 months. And a curtain? Doesn’t have the same dramatic effect.

You’re going to say bitch in front of your entire AP Government class your senior year. It’s okay though, because there’s always someone who says it every year. Don’t worry, you stumble through it beautifully. A heads up though might just give you the extra oomph to be even more sarcastic when it happens. PS. ON THE BEACH. Not ON THE BITCH. Just saying.

College will both rock and be one of the biggest challenges of your life. You’ll lose yourself a bit too much in alcohol and partying but you’ll make amazing friends after that phase. You’ll become grandparentless. This will hurt like hell and make you want to go back to the alcohol. Don’t. Let it pour out, allow yourself to feel it, allow it to consume you until you’re through. It’s okay to hurt this much.

Kids – there are three of them in your future. They’re hilarious, witty, beautiful, amazing, and so much more. Don’t ever forget this, especially when things get hard.

Things will get hard, especially after you have daughters. Incredibly hard. But you know what? there are moms out there JUST LIKE YOU. You’re not alone and you will eventually get better.

All of this hard and then some to which I am not speaking in a public forum will make you an amazing woman who knows how to laugh, appreciate the little things, and not take life so damn seriously all the time. The good things are brighter, the happiness is sharper, and the joy is exquisite. Life is all yours – and remember, how people choose to react to you is their gig, not yours.

So go. LIVE. Be happy. Be sad. Get angry. But above all, be free.

 

An Unsung Hero: Dads


When a mother is pregnant, everyone showers attention on her.

“When are you due?”

“You must be tired. Have a seat.”

“Eating for two now! Have some more!”

Pregnant moms even get their very own parking spots at most stores.

But we often forget about Dad.

It is easy to do given that Dad is not the one undergoing a huge physical transformation in just nine short months. But he is still undergoing a psychological change. He is father. There is a new person growing inside his partner for whom he is jointly responsible.

Father.

A two-syllable word yet so powerful.

Any man can create a baby. It takes a real man to hang around and be involved.

Once a woman gives birth, the attention shifts to baby. Then back to her. In fact, one of the first things we hear even when celeb moms give birth is that “Mom and baby” are doing just fine. What about Dad? How is he doing? Did he faint at the sight of the needles? How IS he doing emotionally? Oh oops..wait. It’s not okay to talk about a Dad’s emotions. He’s a man. Manly men are brawny. They grunt, growl, pound each other’s chests, howl, and all that caveman stuff. Right? Right?

Wrong.

Dads today are involved more than ever.

I can’t tell you how many Stay At Home Dads I know on Twitter. Or how many Dads who do work and are actively involved in their children’s lives.

And let’s not forget our current Commander in Chief who is father of two young girls.

In 1994, a National Fatherhood Initiative began work to decrease Fatherhood absence in the lives of young children.

President Obama has been very supportive of this Initiative since taking office.

And this month, the National Fatherhood Initiative is challenging Dads to take a 30 day pledge to be a better Father.

You can also find Dad to Dad support at Twitter.com by simply utilizing the hashtag #DadsTalking. These Dads offer a large base of support, weekly chats, and a website. You can also follow them @DadsTalking.

There’s also a project called Strong Fathers over at Twitter.com. Their main goal is working with Dads and Kids in schools. Visit their website for more information.

Involved Dads deserve recognition. They deserve to be encouraged without being torn down, nagged, or attacked. Sure, he may not do things as perfectly as you think they should be done, or even the way you would do them at all, but at he is doing his best in his own way. Just as another mom does things in her house her own way, so does your husband/partner. Give him kudos when he helps out. Let him know how much you appreciate everything he does for you, for your children, for your family. It’s particularly important because according to the National Fatherhood Initiative, 24 million children are living without fathers.

It’s hard to provide recognition when struck down by a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Dads, know that if your wife is struggling with a Mood Disorder after a birth, she is grateful for any help you are providing. One day she will thank you for everything you did to help her recovery. She needs someone to listen, to help with daily household tasks, to let her know that she is not alone. She may need to sit in silence. She may need to rest. She may need you to watch the baby if she goes to therapy. Staying positive and listening with an open mind is one of the best things you can do for her.

Fathers of the world, thank you. Thank you for being man enough to hang around for the tough part. We, your partners and children, are eternally grateful.

Enhanced by Zemanta