Motherhood and Generational Sexism

Tonight’s energy was off, far off. I want to blame it on the full moon however I don’t think it’s the full moon at play for a wonky day. This year and last have all been on paths not understood to many. Parents and kids alike are struggling with discomfort because we have not dealt with a situation with times like right now. Being a neurotypical human being at this time is a challenge. From dealing with boomers and old age opinions I think I’m at my limit with trying to understand the entire situation while trying to deal with marriage and kids.

I’m fighting with myself, my kids, my partner, and now adding to a slim list of people I wanted advice from my grandmother. Tonight I just wanted someone to tell me what I’m dealing with is going to be ok. If not ok just that I’m normal for feeling like I’m going to collapse from all the weight of being an empath. I cannot always be glue holding people together and trying to glue myself back to regular emotions. I’m human it’s not possible to deal with the weight of my family and weight of the outside worlds. Being neurotypical adds to stresses from breaking routines and not being able to cope with constant changes. Sometimes I cannot hold all my frustrations into a bowl without them tipping over and spilling.

I always tell my children that it’s ok to not be ok. I do this by holding them until they feel alright. Telling them often it’s ok to express how they fell openly. I never tell them to stop crying or try to work through the issues with talking. I never give tough love because I feel like it doesn’t hold merit to helping them in their mental growth. Tonight I was reminded why I choose this approach. Phoning my grandmother due to needing a shoulder to lean on she offered her tough love of your mother so hold everyone together and keep your peace to yourself. Feeling more lonely I had to walk away from the conversation. I understand her point of view but the take on it is outdated.

I understand that in times even before I was born woman were not allowed to express frustrations. The world told woman that we needed to keep the family from turmoil and provide only positivity and not let the men fall. There is a whole generation of women who keep these outdated values and pass the knowledge onto future woman with families. This advice blocks mental health and creates environments of depression. A Woman experiencing issues and frustrations should be able to find someone to talk to and have help from their partner in making their households safe. She told me that I should compose myself and make a better environment suited to the boys.

I cannot stress how these words affected a woman in my time. I’ve heard it from the generation as my mother-in-law and grandmother. They grew up in a sexist generation built on trying to dominate woman into silence. This generation my generation have grown away from the sexist values and are finding our voices to seek help. It’s a balancing act to find help, and it’s a balancing act to still help the home front but have independence to do both. My question is how do we build a village and how do we move forward in accepting damaging advice. It’s not about putting on a brave face it’s about actually being able to feel and to be human.

I don’t have immediate solutions to issues in the home right now. What I do know is I need to work and being told to quit my job twice by people above the generation because women need to sacrifice everything for their families is not the solution. Telling a woman to give up everything the love and have is not advice to aid one in a good direction. I don’t agree with the old age idea that woman’s purposes are for children and men only. We need independence. It’s time to have independence. Women have fought hard to get into a place to make a difference in the world. They should not be shunned by one bad day into retreat after fighting hard to stand among men. The equality I seek does not lie just with me, it lies with my partner in helping the home be a home.

The second one was saying that I should send my son who has Asperger away because we have had a string of meltdowns. The words that hurt the most was you need to get control of his autism. I am a neurotypical woman in a non- neurotypical world. My child is also neurotypical. Understanding at one point we would just medicate or force neurotypical people to act normal and hide disabilities from the outside world is not a solution to modern problems. Taking away from that it is sexist to assume a mother should hide her issues when it comes to disabilities and their children. I hid my disability to force normalcy to fit in. I used to take it that I embarrassed my grandparents for being different. What would the other woman say about them? It shouldn’t matter. Women should help women understand that challenges and frustrations with motherhood and special needs is something that needs to be helped not hidden. By sending my child away it states to him that he’s a burden when it’s both our fights to learn to grow and understand one another.

As much as I wanted to reach out for guidance I understand there’s a difference of time between us. I hope one day that if I meet a girl who needs help I won’t dismiss the woman from the time who fought hard the rights we hold to freedom today. I will hold the mind to heal instead of telling what they need to do. Wanting woman to be fierce, but I also want them to have a voice and know that it’s ok to not be ok.

My take from my lesson tonight is I can love someone with a different opinion however I do not have to take that direction when I felt dismissed and unaccepted. I don’t have to give up my job to make others happy, and I can figure out my village even when it feels far away. Motherhood and womanhood is not about giving all yourself to others, so they can be happy. What I do know is I am here, I will keep trying, hear me roar.

Written by Ali Johnson

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I’m The Least Sexy (Blogs of Motherhood)

My husband recently said that hes been trying to romance me and i’m not reciprocating it. Its a fair statement on his part but I wish he would understand why I’m not in the mood. It’s not his fault but at the same time I wish he would see I’m at my least sexy I’ve ever been.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

This conversation of being romantic threw me mentally. I used to be a sex craved monster. I loved it every single inch of my body and my thrilling adventures exploring. The appeal the cat and mouse chase all of it I thrived in being sexy. Then came along mother hood. I love being a mom, however I’m not thriving in wanting any human contact at the end of the night. I replaced my need to have nightly booty calls with just needing space and my cats. Mother hood has fried my brains and made any touch of the skin after nine pm feel like needles.

Mother hood photo

I used to go five rounds a night followed with a morning of breakfast in my underwear. Now my morning consist of me wearing day old sweat pants or black leggings and a bra of five years ago. I used to stand at my counter pre kid era and eat with grace by plating my new recipe, until recent my plating consist of whatever quick breakfast my kids like. Some days I don’t get to eat until supper time. My conversations with my husband before kids had substance. we could hold a conversation and it meant something to me and to him. We had time for sexy conversations not conversations about if today will be the day our three year old will poop on the potty. I feel like our conversations are either about work or about kids. The sexy substance of wooing my partner have been far and few between. Even our text messages are consisting of doctors appointments for our child with disabilities or mile stones for our toddler. Most of them are now are we going to the in laws for dinner. Then during the day; now that i’m back to being a stay at home mom I am having kid conversations all day. I’m talked about at nine in the evening because I have talked about trucks and Pokemon.

Photo by Dustin Tray on Pexels.com How my mind feels when my husband says lets talk at night.

I’m mentally and physically exhausted from being a stay at home mom. If i’m not being a referee of two boys, i’m negotiating the use of a toilet. I’m not sexy when I have peanut butter hand prints crawling up my pants. My sexy is depleted in this gross mom bun on top of my head with my hours old coffee mug firmly gripped in my hand. My thoughts to my husband are that I’m not sexy because I just clogged the toilet twice and changed kitty litter while singing the potty song. Everything is mess or tears or just chaotic energy. Then by supper is the witching hour our kids go insane. Bonkers completely bat shit crazy. If I’m lucky and your home on time I might get fifteen minutes to breath before we do supper and bedtime. I’m not mentally all there for my partner during this time. I feel like I tap out and just want some space.

It’s not his fault and I know it’s my fault to not put the time into romance. It’s hard to be that sexy woman I once was. He once was my soul and my time. Then we had two boys who have needs beyond the bed sheets of privacy. My dignity went out the door the minute I pushed out those sweet little boys. I cant look downstairs and the parts of me that used to have the most fun. Looking at my body I want to cry, I don’t understand how my husband can find it sexy. It’s wrinkly in the tummy from our last, my boobs sag, and I don’t look like the woman he once caressed for hours on end. As many times as I try to feel like a goddess I feel depleted. I don’t know who I am right now and I cant out think how any one would want me.

Trying to come to terms with how I look

It’s not easy being a mom and a partner. I’m battling with more than my husband knows. In my mind I’m not attractive. I feel gross and mentally I feel loopy. I’m not me, the me that is attractive is someone who likes themselves enough to give a piece of it out. I want to give the time to my partner because he deserves it. The human contact we all need. He deserves to be shown how much I love and appreciate him. I wish I could get out of this mom funk and out of my own brain to give him what he wants. It could be so easy yet it seems so far out of reach. Right now I’m at the least sexy I’ve ever been.

Written by Ali Johnson

Dear Juvenile Arthritis… I Really Hate you.

My son enjoying jumping in puddles on a good day

Today was nerve-racking as we had to make a call to my sons rheumatologist. A few days ago my son was awoken at night because he was really sick. Juvenile arthritis reared its ugly head back into our lives, it never really leaves but it likes chaos at my sons expense. I hate arthritis because no child or person deserves such an ugly disease.

I have talked about arthritis in previous blog post but I can never truly get the words out on how much I hate watching this disease hurt my nine-year-old child in vicious ways. When I envision arthritis in my head it would only be described as a glob of goo with malicious smiles smearing across its face. Everything about this disease is horrifying because as a parent, the feeling of not being able to ease their pain is heartbreaking. Telling your child they cannot do certain things because this disease takes away from it is gut wrenching. Watching your child not being able to walk for more than ten minutes, or watching them be unable to do things regular children can do is indescribable.

With each appointment, each version of medication not working, each symptom that can change any day is unfair to the child that lives with it. I’m angry with this disease so angry that sometimes it breaks me as a parent to my brave warrior. The pain is one thing but holding your child because he is depressed because he feels his body failed him make you as a parent feel like your failing. I’m a mother who has an amazing son and I feel like I cannot protect him from the bad in the world because it is his body attacking him. The immune system which is normally marvellous in the jobs it performs failed at the task of being my sons defender. I’m angry; I created this failing body. I grew this body for nine months and the first day I held him I promised to keep him safe. Failing in that promise is beyond my control, but his body and immune system is failing non the less.

Being scared of what’s next is part of the deal when you have a sick kid. Before every appointment even though not religious: I pray for good news. Especially during this difficult time of being in a pandemic. I remember the first time we got our diagnosis I promised my son I would be there for every appointment, so he won’t be scared. Praying and setting mental pleas to the universe it went unheard. I cannot be there for my sons injections. His stepdad will have to take him and I will keep pleading with the universe for him to safe. This disease is scary for everyone, yet somehow my superhero of a son finds a way to stay beautiful.

Three nights ago I was holding him while he threw up and had a bad case of diarrhea. Last week he was in so much pain from walking half a block to the mail box. He said to me last night I hate my body mom it’s not nice to me. Followed with why does my body hate me because I want to love it but it’s hard. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to take it all away from him. Instead, I will hold him longer and try to be there because he needs me to be strong for him.

2019 Halloween he struggled to walk more than a block. We had to pull him in a wagon because he was not going to miss trick or treating. Halloween is his favourite day.

I will say one thing that I admire out of this whole nasty disease is the children who live with it are so brave and fearless. They are true superheros in the face of adversity. My son and other children living with this disease are stronger than words can describe. I admire his courage and faith that he will kick this diseases butt one day at a time. Even though this disease is taking the piss out of our lives right now I know in my heart my son is the strongest little man and I can wish to be half as brave as he is.

One month after intramuscular injections. He walked Princess Macy to the vet.

Written by Ali Johnson

I asked permission before adding this photo. This was at sick kids before going in for his last procedure. He was telling jokes to the nurses because laughter is the best medicine.

Am I enough? Motherly thoughts.

Tonight I had enough with my children I just wanted them to go to bed. Our life has become somewhat abnormal due to home isolation. Time schedules are basic. In the past, everything was routine down to the minute. Unfortunately right now that has not been able to happen so my children and I are going off loose times. What that has done to my ADHD and my sons autism is allowing us to learn how to handle uncertainty. Especially when it comes to school work. My oldest and I are bulls in the China shop so to speak when it comes to sitting down and focusing on the tasks assigned.

It didn’t hit me until I got the email from my child’s school we are going to be home for a while. I have been alright mentally up to this point but upon reading the letter I had a slight panic attack. I’m not fully sure I’m cut out for this. My husband is working away for four days a week. It is my job to be the main parent, teacher, chef, referee, and many other tasks I had forgotten about because I went to work. Not to long ago I wanted to escape desperately from being a stay at home parent. The panic stems from asking myself constantly am I enough for my kids?

Today was bad the t.v. was on too much, my children had a minimal lunch, I was on my phone to mentally escape and I craved to be alone for just five minutes. At the end of the day we missed bath time and this is part of being a parent. Bathing your kids should be essential, and yet I was too exhausted to give bath tonight. I lacked the focus to play bubble beard, shoot the hose, race the cars and whatever nightly bath games ensue. Last night I forgot to brush their teeth. I am the mom who has caved to forgetting hygiene due to exhaustion.

Supper time has become our spectacle of amusement. Some moms post on social media they are taking this time for table etiquette. I sit at the table and hope my boys can be civil enough to not kill one another. Dinner time is either eww I don’t like inserted food here” or me trying to convince the toddler to sit down long enough to scarf some food without choking. My main goal is keep them alive. I feel guilty because other mothers are posting gourmet meals for their kids. Feeling like the poop smear who fed her kids Kraft Dinner and Salad is not what I wanted for my kids to eat. Last week I prayed I could find the food they would eat while the grocery store stood vacant. It’s a catch 22 feed your kids whole foods with non GMO vegan bullshit or make sure they are fed. Guess which option I’m choosing?

Arts and std called crafts. I have been trying to do crafts every single day with my kids. I plan them out carefully and prep the equipment. If all goes well we have a new project to work on for twenty minutes top. Once all the jazz of glittery gluey hell are over for my children I’m the one who cleans up. Stripping the toddler of his newly designed clothes: yelling please don’t touch that: having my oldest try his best wipe down: it’s ridiculous. The arts and crafts box has become a mess. I organized it last Tuesday only to have it look like a hoarders’ paradise just what I ordered. I purged my house before spring and somehow we have collected more junk being more inside than out. Marie Kondo would be ashamed!

All of that wrapped into a big ball I feel I am not enough for my children. If you asked them how was your day my oldest would tell you his mom started teaching him art. The two-year-old would proudly show the names of shapes he learned from watching Blippi. My oldest would say pizza and movie day are his jam. My two-year old would dance because his mom has taught him some groovy moves. I’m sure if the toddler could fully talk he would tell you all about the massive bubble beards we do make together and that mom made him a squirt gun to shoot the bath monsters. My nine-year old would say he has become the master prodigy player and has achieved new reading levels. Contrast to what I think I am as a mother, my children will tell you otherwise. Rewinding from my text above I am doing what I can do.

I am enough for them.

Written by Ali Johnson