5 Things Women Need To Stop Blaming On Their Pregnancies

pregnancy excuses

You may have heard me mention in the past, one of my guilty pleasures being the show Little Women: LA. It’s a Lifetime reality show that focuses on your typical potpourri of girl problems shared among a group of women whom can all claim a certain type of dwarfism. What they lack in height, they make up for with plenty of gossip and shenanigans. Lately it seems that the show would be more appropriately titled The Amazing Race since it seems like all the chicks are racing to see who can get married and have a baby first.

Although three of the ladies in the group are feverishly competing to see who can get a healthy helping of HCG in their blood stream the fastest, ultimately the winner is Terra: the least likely competitor who has an on and off again romance with boyfriend, Joe.

The antics of these women piss me off on a weekly basis and although I’m aware that most of it is scripted to keep me tuned in to the achon drama, I can’t believe that grown women, even if they are little in stature, conduct themselves this way. The whole show is all who got engaged first and which friend did they tell last and who copied whose wedding invitation patterns that all result in the clichéd confrontation over lunch and drinks these shows are known for. It’s all dumb shit, for dwarves and those of average height alike.

So it was no surprise to me that when Terra learned she had won the Clearblue Easy 5K, she’d take every moment to remind the audience and her “friends” just how beautiful, exhausting and life-consuming being three minutes pregnant can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying pregnancy isn’t life-changing and without its fair share of challenges.  Every pregnancy is different and I was blessed to have one that was healthy and uneventful in a good way.  But let’s be honest, some of you broads are milking the whole “living for two” time in your lives for all it’s worth and being super dramatic for no reason.  Here are 5 things I suspect that women unfairly blame their pregnancies for:

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You’re Sexy, We Get It, Now Put Some Damn Clothes On: Why Do Celebrity Moms Feel The Need To Remind Us They’re Sexy?

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock without a Wi-Fi connection, you may be aware that last weekend Amber Rose succeeded where Kim K. could not in breaking the internet. To the baldheaded beast’s credit she at least wasn’t completely naked and covered just enough lady parts with a few stingy pieces of fabric so that she COULD in fact post on Instagram. And let’s just get this clear, like her ex Wiz Khalifa stated: Yes, Amber Rose is fine as fuck. But we knew that already. The blonde bombshell could rock an Old Navy hoodie and some Adidas flops and still make jaws drop. What troubles me, especially now that I am someone’s mother is the need for these women to constantly remind us that they’re sexy and that most of the time “sexy” equals Instagram posts where their asses are more easily identifiable than their faces. I’m all about owning your sexuality and moms not feeling like they have to choose between being sexy and being a soccer mom, but it gets to the point where it’s like: We get it. Now what else do you do?

On Wednesday, HelloBeautiful’s Shamika Sanders posted “Haters Blast Amber Rose’s G-Stringy Bathing Suit & We’re Like Chill, Moms Can Be Sexy Too” , a piece that gave Amber props for putting her body parts on display for the Gram:

“If we had a body like Amber’s after giving birth to a child, you’re damn right we’d show it off too.”

Yeah…about that. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant and one of my major concerns besides squeezing a watermelon out of a lemon wedge was my ability to be a hot mom or MILF afterwards. So even now after I’ve escaped childbirth with a body that looks surprisingly similar to the one I had pre-baby, I think how silly it was for that to be one of my top priorities. I’m all for being against double standards. The fact that Instagram banned the hashtag #EggplantFridays which merely showed appreciation for sweatpants and dick imprints but can let Amber’s booty cheeks parade on a balcony is absurd. When it comes to owning sexuality I think there’s a way to do it, and we shouldn’t necessarily be applauding how hypersexualized either gender is. There are other ways to own your sexuality or even be a sexy mom besides looking like you’re heading out to amateur night at Magic City.

I don’t dispute the fact that Amber is probably an awesome mom, and I don’t think we should be calling child services for her thottish choices in attire. I do take issue with the fact that in this day and age where info is so accessible, I wouldn’t want my child to do a Google search in the future to not just see me twerking it on a handstand, but also the comments that are invited because of it. You don’t have to instantly commit to a life of mini-vans and Birkenstocks when you become a mom, but you do have to consider that your choices could possibly reflect on a person that didn’t choose to be here. I had a guy friend once when I was about 12 or so whom the neighborhood boys nicknamed “Titty”. He was mortified because the name referred to his moms ample chest blessings, so I can only imagine what scars he would’ve carried into adulthood if his mom were pushing them thangs on the glass every two seconds via an internet connection.

Godparents: Is It An Offer You Should Refuse?

choosing a god parent

Maybe I’m late in the game and too fresh to this parenting thing, but apparently choosing your child’s god parents is a big deal and not at all for the reasons I thought it might be. As you may know, I am not particularly religious and wasn’t raised to be so. My sister and I attended a Catholic school from kindergarten to eighth grade and when the time came when we were given a choice to commit to the religion I literally sat on the bench, while my sister walked down the aisle to take a bite of the holy wafer. Being 7 years apart I vaguely remember her participating in the sacraments of confirmation and Holy Communion, and it all started with the first sacrament of all: Baptism. And no baptism is complete without a carefully selected pair of godparents. My sister went into her baptism with an aunt and came out of it with a godmother. But what exactly do godparents do?

Well according to Disney they deliver elegant ball gowns and turn pumpkins into glamorous coaches. And as I’m learning, according to some people’s belief systems, real life godparents should do the same by turning their paychecks into regular trips to Chucky Cheese and name brand clothing for kids that they can’t even claim on taxes. Even without being religious, I was raised with the common mindset that godparents were a carefully selected pair of people who would care for your children in the event that for whatever reason, you were unable to. So if that’s the case why do I find in the world of ratchet child-rearing, women are choosing whom ever has the biggest bank account over whom has the biggest heart? For example, when I talk to some friends, they have no shame in throwing around statements like, “You know my friend Cocoa is gonna be my baby’s god mom because she keep a nice job.” What? Wait a minute. Does it matter not that Cocoa is battling a binge drinking problem and can’t read above a third grade level? When did we start choosing godparents according to who we’ll keep our children in Polo and Air J’s and not who can keep them in school?

What bothers me even more are all the women who are so eager to serve thinking the position is solely about footing the bill for bouncy houses and senior prom party buses. I almost want to ask, “You do know in the event that home girl dies, you’re going to be someone’s mom, right?” It’s not so much about the expected behavior of god moms that bothers me as much as it is the lost meaning and the label that’s put on what some moms might as well refer to as a glorified personal shoppers. Even in the least religious respect, “godparents” traditionally have been relied on to play a significant role in shaping a child’s character, and it seems more and more parents are just handing the title out to their besties instead of taking careful consideration into who is best fit to play such a prominent role in their child’s life.

5 Ways To Make Your Vision Board Work

vision board

I was recently talking to a co-worker about vision boards and the law of attraction. After posting “Ready, Aim, Shoot: Vision Board 2015” the other day, it occurred to me that although I faithfully create and share my vision boards each year with my family, friends and readers, I don’t actually keep you all updated on my progress and why it is that I even continue to commit to this process every year and better still: Is it even working?

I first began doing vision boards in 2012 after I read a post on Necole Bitchie in which she shared some of the messages she took away from the ever so popular self-help book, “The Secret”. I remember her putting the law of attraction into practice which basically states if you think about the things in life you want to attract, eventually the rhythm of the universe will match that thought pattern and bring those things into your life. Necole says while driving in her little beat up car, she’d imagine it was a Benz or something. She replayed the thought enough that eventually she found herself behind the wheel of an E-Class sedan.

My first vision board had pictures of some of journalism idols like Lisa Ling and Oprah Winfrey, a new car, cities like Las Vegas and Toronto that I wanted to visit, and some artsy black and white yoga photos that represented strength, relaxation and balance. I posted the board as the cover page for my Facebook and Twitter, put it on the desktop of my computer, even made it the wallpaper on my phone. And by the end of 2013 I had grown as a writer being published on several different sites, purchased the car I wanted completely on my own, and managed to achieve a balance of resting just as hard as I worked.

2013’s board focused on investing into travel and experiences, broadening my circle of friends and associates and “not freelancing forever”. That year my blog grew, and I traveled to Vegas, New York and took my first trip to Toronto to what remains the best OVOFest I’ve ever witnessed (I’ve only been to two, but that first one was EPIC).

But here’s the thing. I don’t credit just going all Pinterest with my goals as to why I’ve been able to achieve most of the things I’ve wanted to and living the life I once only saw in my head. Being happy is about way more the googling some high definition photos and copying and pasting them to represent the deepest desires of your heart. Positivity is a lifestyle and it requires a whole lot more than reading a Joel Osteen book and posting some inspirational quotes on your Instagram. My husband makes fun of me all the time about how I float through life on this fluffy cloud of sunshine chauffeured by the Snuggles bear. But you know something? It takes a hell of a lot of strength to remain positive in this world and believe things can be better. In fact, that shit is harder to do than succumbing to the fact that we live in a world where people are now assassinated for their sense of humor and creativity.

With that said, if you’d like to take a chance and do things differently this year, you might want to try a vision board. I don’t read too deeply into the laws of attraction and I like I said I don’t give my vision boards more credit than they deserve, but what I will say is that by choosing to always make a way and focus on the positive, I’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy my life for the past few years. You can view my vision board here, but honestly all I really want is patio furniture…really nice patio furniture (I promise you I am not this boring since becoming a wife and mom).

Here are 5 ways to make your vision boards work at making you see the world differently.

The Battle To The Birth: Unfortunately Some Friends Will Be Fallen Soldiers

losing friends while pregnant

A little something I wrote while five months pregnant….

I never wanted to be pregnant in the summer. Summer pregnancies are for lack of a better word, inconvenient. When I used to hear of my students and friends being pregnant for those 3 months smack in the middle of the year, a part of me mourned for all of the margaritas, rollercoaster rides and bikini selfies they’d miss without the reminder that at least for a portion of their life they couldn’t see their vaginas.

First off, I’m not the biggest fan of summer to begin with. By the time the end of June hits and I’ve gotten in my annual funnel cake binge and a day spent riding Hershey Park’s Great Bear repeatedly, I’m pretty much annoyed for two months straight by mosquitoes, sweat and those 3 days out the week God blesses me with the option to breathe through my nose or mouth because of my allergies.

Summer pregnancies are less than ideal. First there’s the obvious: the extra ten pounds you’re carrying on you during the days people would shed their damn cartilage if they could because it’s so hot. But then there’s something a little less obvious that takes a hard hit: Your social life.

People talk about pregnancy like they talk about ugly babies or kids with cancer: You don’t want to say anything bad about it because it’s borderline blasphemy. It’s like the 11th commandment or something that “pregnancy” and “sucks” occur in the same sentence.  And while most days I have to remind myself this is temporary, I understand how kind of miraculous this time is and makes me smile. In fact as I type this, fetus is kicking or moving an elbow or something and I can feel it. I still feel like Sigourney Weaver in Alien, but it’s nice.

But on to the bad: I planned a summer full of margaritas, burritos and a lazy hour or two at the beach before I’m reminded it bores the hell out of me, wine on the front porch at sunset, Friday night Ciroc shots blasting everything from Nicki Minaj to Nickelback and my second annual OVOFest. Instead I’ll be spending my Independence Day sober and saying a slow goodbye to the ability to paint my own toenails. And in some sense I ruined my friends’ fun too. The happy hours came to a halt when I realized by the end of the year I’d be someone’s mom. As hard as I tried to reassure my friends I’d still be in attendance, I’d just be exercising my right to pass, I think we all knew that it would be different. So inevitably I am realizing two things: 1) There’s a somewhat disturbing part of my leisure that is dependent on alcohol. 2) It’s true: Once you have children it changes the relationship you have with friends who don’t.

5 Things I Miss About Being Pregnant and 6 Things I Don’t

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Warning:  I’m about to be super annoying for the next year or so.  Just kidding, but I am a new mom and I finally get that fascination that new parents have about twenty or so times a day every time their newborn smiles, discovers a new appendage, or belches differently. I won’t pretend to suddenly be a parenting expert because there is a little person in this world sporting some of my DNA. What I will do is give you my very real opinion on parenthood. I’ll tell you as much about spit up down my cleavage as I will about those questionable men who would still hit on me despite the Hcg running through my body.

You know what I won’t do? I won’t preface everything with, “I love my child to death, but…” Let’s just get this out the way now, because I noticed I’ve been doing that lately to balance out any ill-feelings I may have about not being in love with being a mom 24/7 and it’s completely unnecessary. Let’s just say motherhood is like being a nurse. Most of us know what we signed up for and love our jobs, but honestly, who really enjoys cleaning up shit? So to be clear, I LOVE MY SQUIRM, but there are plenty of unglamorous, annoying and disgusting things about being a mom that I am not so in love with.

What no one tells you is that newborns sleep A LOT. I’m talking I didn’t know what color Camden’s eyes were until she was about a month old. When you first bring your baby home from the hospital you’ll feel less like the super mom on the Pampers commercial with something that kicks, coos and looks at you like you’re the most fascinating thing to hide behind two hands, and more like a roommate on the Bad Girls Club. There will be this new gorgeous roommate, who you soon discover cries a lot, doesn’t pay rent and leaves all of her shit for you to clean. What that meant for me is that I had a whole lot of time to write and shop. By the time I got back to work I had a week’s worth of posts for the blog and a bunch of overpriced items from Etsy for the Squirm like a custom-made elephant lamp which is virtually impossible for any person under the age of twenty-one to appreciate. She’ll probably end up writing her name on it in red crayon and completely break my heart.

But anyways, here are some things that I really miss about life pre-Squirm and some things I’m glad are finally gone:

Ready, Aim, Shoot: Vision Board 2015

Vision Board 2015

At the end of 2013 I was gearing up to read this little book called “Break Out” by a guy you may have heard of before named Joel Osteen. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most religious person. I don’t have anything against religion, I have just witnessed too many Warren Jeffs of the world and preachers who put more energy into their suits and shoes than their sermon. Religion has left a bad taste in my mouth. The business of giving people something to believe in can get very messy and somewhere after spending 10 years in Catholic school and hearing about all the great ways living your life could get you a VIP spot in hell, I found myself avoiding anything that ended with an, “Amen.”

I had reached a point of stagnation. Although I had a lot to be thankful for both personally and professionally, I felt like I had lost some momentum when it came to my writing career and to some extent even my personal relationships. I was e-mailing editors, pitching pieces like I had an MLB contract on the line and nothing seemed to stick. At the end of the day I was just another freelancer with very little following and no site to call home.

So one day I’m surfing the internet and didn’t notice whatever show I had playing in the background had ended and I had involuntary tuned into one of Joel’s sermons. What stood out to me the most what that Joel didn’t focus on a top ten list of what would earn you a first row seat in front of Satan. There was a lot of positivity in what he was saying. He made God seem like someone I could talk to that would understand how challenging living today can be and that if I changed my way of looking at the world ever so slightly, I could be a better person. After receiving “Break Out!” as a Christmas gift, I wasn’t reading for long before I knew what I had to do: I had to lose control.

Up until that point I believed that if I worked hard enough, wanted it bad enough and organized my life to death in a daily planner, eventually I would get the opportunities I wanted. I was literally doing the most and driving myself insane with frustration until Joel suggested that I had to lose the humility in my prayer and lose control of my life…or at least the illusion of control I thought I had. So I made my vision board filled with all of the opportunities I wanted to attract as a writer. I prayed and I accepted that whatever was meant to happen would happen. Before I knew it in February I was offered a writing position with a website called Besider that focused on my first love of sex-ed and a weekend editor position with Madamenoire, the website that gave me my first real chance at professional writing. As cliché as it may sound, I let go and I let God and my life went from stagnant to overdrive.