Baby Love: Emma May

10502063_10153883799908363_5996945672507358323_nTwo and a half days later yet nearly 3 weeks early, Emma May Fast entered the world and changed the lives of more than she’ll ever know. On Saturday, February 20th at 2:15 in the afternoon I became an auntie for both the 1st time and the 4th time. I’ve been an aunt for over 7 years to three wonderful children on Channing’s side of the family and I love them just as much as ever. But when my Little Logan Sunshine of a brother became a daddy for the first time, I knew the world would never be the same.

12742324_10153883799993363_5634277584651143841_nEntering the ring at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 ½ inches tall; this little southern bell namesake of a girl warmed so many hearts. I don’t even know how to explain all the feels I’d felt since hearing that they were pregnant to thinking about their future to the birth of their little girl.

As soon as she entered the world, all my fears and reservations vanished momentarily because I knew that everything was going to be okay. Logan is turning out to be such a stand-up man and he’s going to be a phenomenal father. He’s going to do whatever he needs to do to make sure that life is good for his little family and I couldn’t be more proud to be his sister.

The Day You Were Born

12717406_10153883800223363_3671269714107456680_nI had drove home on Thursday after work because you were supposed to enter this world that day little girl. But of course, you didn’t. You must get your stubbornness from your mom or auntie. I had to go back to work on Saturday morning and you still weren’t here but that’s okay. You must have needed to cook for a little longer. I got a text from your grandma Julie telling us that your mom was dilated to 8 or 9. I can’t remember now. At that very second, my boss was standing next to me and told me to “go!” I couldn’t believe it. I cried for some reason on my way to my apartment to pick up your uncle Channing (Well officially he’s my boyfriend at this point in time but I’m calling him your uncle.) I don’t know if I was happy or sad, probably scared of all the unknowns. You were early and your parents were young and my brother was being strong, too strong. Your mom wasn’t showing how much pain she was in last time I saw her and I’d never had a baby so I have no idea what she could possibly be going through. But I was elated at the very same time.

12715376_10153883799838363_3626927763486935881_nYou’ll soon find out that you were the first on all sides. You’re the first grandbaby, niece, girl. Just like me!

You were born at 2:15 PM. At 2:15 PM, I was on I29 between Halstad and Hillsboro. I wonder if I’ll remember that 20 years from now. I hope so. We’re supposed to remember where we were when 9/11 happened so why is this life changing moment any different?

At that moment, you were born. My brother and his fiance became parents. My parents were now grandparents and grandparents were now great-grandparents. I feel like I’m seeing and realizing all of this stuff for the first time like I had no concept of it before. It’s weird.

12744170_10153883799763363_2473925917232538382_nI hope your great-grandparents live just as long and hopefully longer then mine did. It’s something I’ll always cherish. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Aggie’s house still like the back of my hand. I remember her buttered saltine crackers and her “funny” accent and her laugh. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Elsie’s letters and doilies. I remember her heart and her stories.

Anyway, we finally got to the hospital around 4 PM and only had to wait a few minutes with your grandma Julie before your dad came out. I lost it. It’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that my baby brother is now a daddy. I know I keep repeating myself but I don’t know how else to explain it. Nothing in his life will ever be the same. His entire world has literally changed. For the better. Everything about this story, about you, is good. There will be times of doubt and uncertainty, times of turmoil and arguments will arise but good will always prevail. I believe that and I hope you do too.

12745791_10153883800053363_3916493355841250004_nChildren learn more from what you are than what you teach. -W.E.B. Du Bois

Well, I suppose we’re nearing the end of this post. There are so many things I can’t wait to tell you about life and about your parents. I can’t wait to watch you grow, explore, and hear you laugh. I hope that you do everything you ever dream of doing, make friends, be kind and think for yourself. You’re already so awesome.

Love, your favorite auntie, Ori.

Bullies.

If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots.

My brother posted a Facebook status about a video that went viral locally. It was of a girl crying and her brother telling the camera that his sister had been being bullied.

I saw it on the news. It was sad to see. I had mixed emotions when it was publicly broadcasted on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news because I ran threw both sides of the story in my head.

For one, I think it is horrible that her mom had the damn balls to film her daughter balling her eyes out from being bullied and then publicly posted it. I’ve said it a million times, I’m not a mom but that doesn’t exclude me from having a very just opinion about something because one day I will be a mom and I’ll still have an opinion and still be entitled to it. I felt like I had to clarify for the “but you’re not a mom so you can’t have an opinion” speech.

Anyways, I’m sure that the mothers intentions were to spread awareness that bullyng is real and in our community. We already know this. In my opinion, video taping your daughter clearly upset and Facebooking the world is so far from comforting; it’s ridiculous. That alone isn’t only being a bully yourself but it’s going to encourage people to poke more fun. Kids are going to watch the news with their parents and see the video. Then they will bully the poor kid even more for being a cry baby and a tattle tale. Do you not think it’d be absolutely humiliating to see yourself clearly distraught on television? A round of applause for the “Inconsiderate Mother Of The Year” award everyone.

Bullying does happen. I’ve been the victim of it for many different things over many many years. From 1st grade to 5th. As a pre-teen and a post-driver. And even as a college student and full grown working adult. It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable in the disgusting, soul grabbing world we live in. It sucks and it hurts but stand up and fight for your damn self.

Kids are assholes but so are the grown ups. If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots. And I’m not saying that bullies should get away with being bullies. They shouldn’t.

The adults around should address the issue not only in general but when they witness bullying. They should be punished just as if they were late to class or caught smoking in the bathroom. If it is off school grounds, there are still opportunities to educate the bullies. Teach them about karma or even the golden rule. Teach them to be kind.

My brother would tell you to teach them to fight. Throw punches. Show them you’re tough. I get it. Heck, if my kid were being bullied; I’d want to punch the bully square in the face too but I don’t want to raise my kids knowing that violence is okay.

I want them to be physically strong but not to use it as a means to end bullying. I’m sure this is all easier said then done. If I had punched any of my bullies. I really don’t think it would have changed anything. I’d probably have been perceived as the mean kid. Not the bullied kid who took a stand.

Teach your children to stand up for themselves through proving the bully wrong. Teach them to do what they love no matter what anyone says. Teach them to kill with kindness and excel. Fight back with words instead of fists. And don’t fight back with hatred in your voice but with confidence.

If you guide them down the path of being strong and standing up for themselves, they will be fully capable to handle the real world because elementary is just the prologue to life.

So stop sheltering. Stop promoting a passive attitude. Stop treating your children like babies. They are going to be exposed to the world sooner or later, wouldn’t you want them to have as much experience with it as possible?

How Long Is Too Long?

I’ve noticed more and more women of the last few generations including mine are deciding to be stay-at-home moms. Heck, if I had the opportunity, I would probably opt to be a stay-at-home mom myself. In saying that, I mean it in the sense that if I had children and if my significant other made enough for my family to be content and well off without extra income I’d do it too.

Up until recently, I thought that’s what a stay-at-home mom was. She stay at home with the children. But how can you claim to be a stay-at-home mom when all your kids are in school? Literal terminology I guess. Or laziness. Or talentless.

Don’t shit your pants. I know you’re not lazy or talentless. You clean the house, you cook the food, you plan the vacations and activities, you help with homework, buy groceries, you do it all. You’re Wonder Woman but so is every other mom.

What’s the point of staying at home when your kids are absent from the home during the hours of 7:30 – 4:00? So you can what? See them off to school and pick them up after? What do you do in between? Watch soap operas and do a load of clothes? Bullshit.

MjAxMy01MmU5NDI2ZmYzNTU1MGRjI’m not hating on the stereotype because like I said, if I were in the position to stay at home with my babies, I would jump all over that shit but that’s not ever going to happen for one. And two, I wouldn’t abuse it like drunks abuse welfare. I’ve simply seen a rise in stay-at-home moms beyond the age of 5 or 6 and in the most simple sense, don’t get it.

The daycare costs alone are what I’m assuming is the most alluring point of interest into making that kind of decision. Great way of thinking, I agree. Getting to spend time with your children, teaching them the way you want them to be taught, ensuring that they are in good care, breathing while they nap, ect. All great points.

The biggest downfall I think we run into with the stay-at-home mom force is interaction with other children. I worked in a daycare for about a year and a half and interaction in the infant to toddler age range is crucial for social development. As long as you make it a necessity to have play dates with other children and/or enroll them in similar programs (mommy & me, gymnastics, water park, ect) your choice in staying at home will prove to be triumphant.

But we’re getting off track as to where this was going. Beyond the wonder years, beyond the first. We know all the positives and negatives about staying at home, raising them yourself. I’ve done research on some of it and I’ve concluded that if it’s for you and you can afford it, go for it. More power to you.

But there should be a line. And that line is kindergarten. Once your child(ren) gets enrolled into some kind of educational system that is set to a consistent 6.5 to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. It’s time for you to move on and do something with your life.

807a68b1596840bbbcfa7f8e0f08e0b960Why in the hell would you want to stay at home every day to do nothing? The ONLY downfall of going back to work would be not being home right when they get off the bus. But in the age that we are in, there are after school programs, and an hour in daycare (if needed) isn’t going to kill them or your pocketbook.

You can join the rest of us and do you laundry while you’re waiting for supper in the oven. Or better yet, teach your children how to do the dishes and sweep the floors. Give them work to do or they’ll be helpless by age 18. The earlier you instill little chores, the less likely they will resist. Make it fun, don’t bribe them to do it. Teach the importance of it.

Staying at home during the primary grades and beyond is just an excuse. It’s an excuse to close your mind to the world. It’s an excuse to avoid social situations and most of all it’s showing your little girls (if you are blessed to have one) that they don’t have a role model to look up to because you’re just a housewife.

I’m not just being some crazy jealous “I want to be a stay-at-home mom” women here. If I were in your position and my children were off at school. I’d focus on what I love to do. I’d pursue photography. Work my way into circles of graduating seniors or other families I know to build a clientele. With the arrival of Pintrest into our world wide web of ideas, I’d love to live my life antiquing and making projects out of my finds to sell on etsy and eBay. I’d work or volunteer a few hours here and there at a local craft shop, art gallery, or humane society in town.

I’d be a “work-at-home-do-anything-and-everything” mom. What about you?