What makes my family strong? As part of the Strong Families Mama’s Day Our Way campaign I wrote a very honest raw post about what makes my single-parent household strong. I’ve got the heart of a lion and will continue raising my daughter in a warm loving home without a partner muting the naysayers.
From my post: “Too many times I doubted myself and my capacity to be a good mother. Far too often I let these negative thoughts creep into my thoughts, haunting me. Making me question my own strength and resilience. It was often with a shaky hand and self-doubt that I moved forward and persevered as a young single mom.”
The goal of this campaign is to highlight the moms in our communities who are often marginalized, maligned by politicians and the media.
A friend of mine, who is a mother of 2 daughters, forwarded me this article titled How to Talk to Little Girls featured in The Huffington Post. The article by Lisa Bloom talks about girls & self image and how we as parents and adults play into girl’s self-esteem. Think for a second about your encounters with girls, do you comment on their hair or outfit? Are you quick to tell them how cute they are? (slumps down in seat).
Lisa says, “Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal”
Not good!! The article was enlightening to me; it made me take a hard look at how I interact with my own daughter as well as little girls I come across. I realize that I often comment little girls on their new haircut or sparkly tights. And while I never saw anything wrong with it, I am becoming more aware of how these constant comments can affect a girl’s self-esteem and expectations.
My friend Marlene who forwarded me the article had this to say after reading:
“It really opened my eyes to how I interact with my girls and other young children their age. I mean I am definitely one of those people that use compliments as an ice breaker with kids like “wow, you look beautiful in that dress” and even with boys “he look so handsome in that outfit” etc. And I also thought showering my girls with compliments like these would build their self confidence, but it’s actually counter-productive because now thinking back I can recall instances where my own daughter would get dressed and ask ‘Mom, do I look pretty in this dress?, Does my hair look nice like this?’ I always say of course you look great no matter what…..BUT now I realize that she was seeking my approval. I want my girls’ self confidence to be based on who they are and what they know and not how they look. I guess all we can do I acknowledge this and try to break the cycle. At least I do.”
This article made me think of a previous post of mine titled Does this diaper make my butt look big. In the article I talked about the poison that are Bratz dolls and how more and more kids are concerned with their image, when they should just be concerned about being kids! Raising a healthy and confident daughter is extremely important to me, and I know that in order to achieve this it takes a lot of patience and conversations with her. Though it seems that society is completely against my desires, promoting the complete opposite of role-models and putting so much pressure onto image.
Did you read the article by Lisa Bloom? How do you counteract society’s fascination with image when interacting with your own daughter or girls you may know?
So many of you know about my … difficulty with co-parenting. I’ve cried many tears over the end of my relationship with my daughter’s father. Beat myself up over and over and over because we aren’t the ideal co-parents. Wondering where in the heck we went wrong. But it all boiled down to pushing all the BS aside because co-parenting matters to me. Because my daughter having 2 functional reliable parents means more to me than anything. Anything.
So why are we beefing AGAIN!!!
Long story short: there was some name calling, some raised voices, and a phone hung up in my face. Now he feels I’m a neglectful parent…claims other people see it too….
How dare, how dare, how D-A-R-E he call me a neglectful parent when he is only a “parent” Monday through Thursday from 3-8pm. How dare he tell me I’m neglectful, when I ensure that all of my daughter’s needs are met…and more. How dare he, how dare he.
My blood is b.o.i.l.i.n.g.
I know why he called me that. A few weeks back he didn’t bring her home by a certain time; I got frustrated and said I’ll pick her up for the rest of the week. He felt I was neglecting my daughter from seeing her daughter. But neglect is not a word I would EVER use. I have never called him a neglectful parent, I’ve used some other not so nice words before, but never neglect.
I will NOT apologize for wanting my daughter to follow a schedule. And I will NOT apologize for feeling like he needs to be more communicative with me when changes occur. I mean, when she came home late she wanted to eat, and then there was our bedtime ritual. He is definitely not offering to come help me with that. That is on me. And when she was cranky the next morning, I had to deal with that. Not him.
So we are back at it again. Again, again, again. And I’m not so sure the end result will be a positive one for either of us.
So WHAT do I do??? I sent him a not so nice text after our conversation, and I have not heard from him, nor have I reached out again. I want to just get away, move away from him. But that wouldn’t be in the best interests of my daughter. Where is there a middle ground? I’m really not so sure it exists anymore.
Many of you know the struggles I’ve had co-parenting. It’s no easy task, and its something that I am learning to accept. Even though I get frustrated, even though I sometimes want to say its my way or the highway, I won’t. Because co-parenting IS worth the effort.
Welcome! I'm a sassy working mom to one sparkling seven year old daughter in Boston. My blog offers a candid view of motherhood, single parenting, learning to love fitness, product reviews, and more! Motivated by a life that has been rich in unpredictability and countless opportunities, I’m excited to share my thoughts and experiences with you! Contact: alexandra at alexandra-elizabeth dot com