Fuck, I’m going to miss you.

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The deep question that is ….

My brother posted this question on Facebook earlier today.

It is one of  those things that I have struggled with, and in some instances I have stood on top of the molehill and screamed “I am the King of the World” and in many cases I have been driven over by the proverbial 18-wheeler.

I spent much of today trying to write a post in answer to this question, but I got a bit stuck in my own stuff.

As you do.  Or as I do.

Maybe you know the answer – or can put some light on that path where we often find we stumble:

Question: When do you get to a point where you stop paying for the mistakes you’ve made in the past? Is that the point where you forgive yourself or when you stop seeking forgiveness from others?

 

Profound much?  My head is starting to hurt from the bigness of it all.

I am not above a bit of Facebook Stalking myself …

facebook_stalking

Source of cartoon – everydaypeoplecartoons.com

Why boys should not be allowed on Mommy Forums …..

I read an extract from a Mommalicious’ Mom’s Blog post this week.

To cut a very long story short, a journalist, Kevin Lancaster, had some less than generous things to say about Moms and their use of forums to assist them with baby health support.

{I personally quite like Kevin’s writing, but right now that might go down like a lead balloon on the Mommy community, so I best keep that comment to myself. Here is a recently written articles and I do tend to agree with his outlook on things parenthood related …. to a degree.}

I do not know Kevin Lancaster {Sunday Tribune Article} personally, so I am not going to comment on him, and what his short comings or strengths are in terms of parenting skills.

I am a registered user of Mommalicious’ Forum, but to be honest it never resonated with me.  I found it (at the time) less user-friendly than the Moomie Forum, so I forgot my user name and password and did not use the forum.

I have not been there in a very long time, and glancing at it now it is clear it has undergone several revamps and looks like a very funky place to be.  It enjoys a large, active and clearly enthusiastic community of moms who blog there, participate in the forums, and guest writers.

Again, I am not commenting on how good {or bad} Mommalicious is.

If you have never had a young baby, I do not think I can explain to you what a lonely time of your life it is.

It is probably the loneliest and bleakest time in your life.  Of course you cannot actually tell people that it is a bit crap.  You will need to tell everyone how wonderful motherhood/parenting is, unless you want to risk being voted off the island.

You think you are prepared for a baby – you have 9 months and change to get used to the idea.

You have people cheering you on – people throwing you baby showers, people wishing you well on Facebook, and books that show your baby’s size in relation to fruit.

You have friends offering to help where ever they can.  You have your husband/boyfriend/sperm donor talking about how “we” are pregnant.

It is possible to get drunk on the headiness of it all.

Having a baby (furnished from your loins or via alternate methods) is one of the loneliest (and most terrifying) experiences you will ever be lucky enough to enjoy.

You are suddenly responsible for this little being.  No matter how many books you have read {and I read a ton}, and how many children you have had {I have three} it is still an alarming/scary/frightening and intensely lonely experience.  You are constantly wondering what the hell to do and whether Medi Clinic has a returns policy.

Everyone appears so helpful and offering {usually useless} advise, but no one really seems to understand you or be listening to you.

Enter, from Stage Right, Forums.

You get to meet dozens/hundreds of moms who are going through almost exactly what you are.  They are scared, they may know more, some may know less, some are just total nutters.  But you get to speak to these women and they commiserate with you, and when needed cheer you on and they are there to lean on, and ask for advise.

You can talk about poo, about sex, about outings to the zoo, anything goes.  Somewhere in this new scary landscape you will find a few souls who you just click with.  Your days spent child rearing and nights crying in the bathroom will suddenly appear less scary.

You have found forum friends who you can talk to.

But ….. forums are not reality.  The information you are being given is advise that though given with the best intention is not gospel, or should be taken as medical advise.  I think that any user of a forum knows this — or I hope they do.  We all ask stupid questions, and we all need a wise mom to tell us what to do.  We also get imbeciles imparting old wives’ tales and questionable suggestions.

Forums have replaced villages to raise children.

If a mom ran to a doctor for every niggle that worried her, she would be there 8 times a day at a minimum.  Often a mom is over-reacting, and needs a sound board of sanity.  She can either pick up her phone and contact 6 of her friends or she can take the issue to a forum.  Same result.

I do think that Mr. Lancaster was being a bit flippant with his comment, but I also understood the point he was making.

Forums are where you raise an issue, test the waters with the responses, and once everyone has had their 10 cents worth you make a final decision as to what is best for you, your baby and your family.  Is there anywhere else in polite society where you can talk about the colour of your child’s faeces with such reckless abandon?

No.  Bless Forums and all those moms who give of their time, sanity and broadband to assist other moms.

I felt it was unfair for Mr Lancaster to “attack” Mommalicious, but again my guess is the colour or quantity of a child’s shit is not high on his list of things to worry about in his day.  And all the luckier he is for it.

If any of the moms on Mommalicious or Pampers or Moomie or all the other forums out there, tried to explain to the men in their lives why they feel so passionate about the forums, most men would not understand.  They would not get the allure and how you cannot understand the support and real friendship that develops in these forums.

And you know, they don’t have to.

Men sit and watch sport games together and then listen to two hours running discussion about the game, after the game.  This to them seems like a legitimate way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Woman?  Not so much.

Mommalicious, take it on the chin and move on.  And thank goodness, again for Mommy Forums!

Image burnt on to cornea …. please unsee …..

{I warn you this image will change you forever …. and not in a good way}

This week has been furiously busy with Happy Helpers and the Department of Labour.

My vote in “My Favourite person Who Really did a Good Frickn Deed this Week” is for Julz.  She gave me such a great piece of advise as to which DOL to direct myself to, that it saved me hours and hours of frustration.

She told me about a DOL which I would never have found by myself, and actually did not know existed.

I arrived.  I sat in a queue for less time that it took me to dig in my bag for my book.   I was in and out in under 15 minutes ….ROCKING IT LIKE A ROCK STAR!!

I was so stunned that someone was seeing me and taking my forms, and not sending me away that I sat there and just nodded with a stupid smile on my face.

The person at DOL stamped and stapled my forms.  Then sent me on my way with a smile and a quick history lesson in why he much preferred the communist party and how well Russia appears to have worked.

Like I am going to argue with him – I think I might have nodded and agreed.  Listen if he said Justin Bieber was the best artist in the world, I would have also have smiled and nodded.  People who can bury you in paperwork you tend to want to agree with and say … no, no trouble what so ever, what ever you say.

I was so dazed I forgot to ask “what now…?” so I stand with my DOL form stamped and signed, and seriously no idea what happens next.

Thanks Julz, you are so my super hero this week.

I have a few blog posts running in my head, but I just cannot seem to sit down and cobble a half way decent blog post at the moment. Too much noise in my head.

I realise that this might not have stopped me in the past (I have generated totally shite, and if you are lucky there will be more in my future). But I am trying to maintain a standard just above sh&t over here at Reluctant Mom – maybe I can lure a wine sponsor in with my use of prose and wit – or not!!

That withstanding, I saw this rather disturbing image and it unfortunately forever changed me.

I hate to suffer alone, so I wanted to share it with you, so you too could go into this weekend wondering “what the hell!”

Be warned it is not pretty, it will not leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling and disincline you to eat lunch ….. or touch anything anyone might have ever touched ….. with their bare hands.

The image was on Facebook and the person posting asked for possible caption comments — I picked two that were submitted by other people who clearly are permanently scarred as I ….. and now you.  If you can think of a better caption let me know!!

Have a good weekend, and if you are planning on going for after work drinks, I think this picture is reason enough to avoid putting your hand anywhere near the “free nut” bowl.

I will show you mine, if you show me yours ….

I really do think a potential employer asking for access to your Facebook account is a bit of an “ambush” tactic.

What I say and do on my Facebook page, has got nothing to do with what I do at work, and visa versa, but I like this cartoon.

You can win a cow … actual livestock …

If you really do not care for my opinion on Facebook status updates, please, I beg of you, click away now.

Really.

Click away now.  Go to where ever you need to go to keep you in your happy place.

If you continue reading, then it is clear that you are vaguely interested in MY opinion on this matter and are prepared to forego the warning  – the second one that I am now issuing.

I will miss you – but come and read another day …

<pause for effect>

Third and final warning.  I am reminding you that you are choosing to read this, even though I have warned you three times.  It will/may offend you.

Okay, so to you two who have hung around ……

The truth be told, there are certain Facebook status updates that really do my head in.

I love Facebook – well mostly.

I have been struggling with insomnia for some time, and there is always something happening on Facebook between 2am and 6am, of course that might depend on the sort of people you hang around with and their respective time zones.

No doubt you post some of these ludicrous status updates.  I probably post some Facebook updates that annoy ME and you equally!

These are a few that I see that raise my eyebrow slightly.

The “I love my husband more than anything” post – great, tell him yourself.

Unless he is in Alaska and the only way you can communicate is through Facebook.  But if you live in the same house, is it not just a bit odd?

<I will confess to posting a Facebook update to Kennith once, and asked if he could make me some tea.  In my defense I was in bed, and he was in the lounge and I knew he was on-line.  And I did not want to scream down the passage and wake the kids, nor did I want to get out of bed to go and ask him.  I did get my tea, so there are times when it does work if there is a clear objective.>

<I also asked Kennith on FB if he would buy us John Cleese tickets.  I felt I would get a quicker reaction has he have a very close relationship with his iphone….>

The only time this sort of Facebook status update is acceptable if your husband is Brad Pitt or George Clooney – then you mention him by name in EVERY SOLITARY FACEBOOK STATUS update.

But that status update is worth reading, because it would make me ludicrously jealous – and you have Brad or George, you really do not have to give a fig about what anyone else thinks and you can post pretty much anything you like.

You HAVE Brad or George!!

I am almost sure there is a link/study somewhere of the frequency that you must announce your love to someone on Facebook and the length of your relationship, or the time between the post and the pending divorce.

The “I am so sad” post – cryptic?  Yes, which means I have to ask why are you sad.  Me and 27 other people. Of course I cannot push the “LIKE” button as that will be weird.

So we all have to go “what is wrong sweetie?” and then the person picks one person and goes “Jane I will PM you …”

Fk that does not help the other 26 of us, because clearly it was favouritism, and I have been left out of the circle, unless I am Jane that day.

Use your 144 characters “I am sad because …. and then add something interesting… for instance “I am sad because I cannot access my tampon and need to get to the doctor so he can remove it” or what ever – just finish your damn thought already.

Why be cryptic?  You are not the international man of mystery.  Or are you?

Now that would be interesting.  But sadly the truth usually leaves us a bit disappointed.  Do not build up hype unless you have such a cool ending.

The “I am speaking to someone who is not on Facebook” post i.e. dead family member, your one year old baby or granny who clearly does not Facebook” – again… not sure how this works, but okay.

If you are wishing your child happy birthday – then do it with swagger, because really they are not going to read it.  Something like “364 days ago + 9 months I was having sex with Harry, and his sperm won the race and impregnated one of my ovulated eggs, and now we have Kerry!!  Cool day huh?”

Now that makes interesting reading.

The “I have just bought a goat in Farmville” post – seriously?  But yes, and it appears it is the coolest game around, with like a zillion players/members.  It is the most downloaded application.

Hey we all do things differently but if that sets your arse alight, well then clearly farmville/whoreville or what ever is fab.  It seems.

Maybe, just set it so that it does not update your status updates – because logic tells me that no one sees that and goes “Cool Jennifer has a new donkey, excelllent, good on her!  She is such a cool chick! I am so crushing on her donkey.”

My guess is most people (or it could be just me) are starting to think unsavoury thoughts of you and farm animals.

Well I am.  But again if Farmville is your thing, and you want the man in the dungarees pictured on your facebook wall, then rock on.

You have a few millions crazies with you on that one.

The “random copy and paste” if you know someone with cancer/bad breath/anal leakage” – again, I do not quite get how copying and pasting that is going to make one iota of difference to anyone’s world especially if you have cancer/bad breath/anal leakage.

I might be in the minority. These posts really do carry weight – because they get cut and pasted like mad – so they must make a difference. Especially if you put a ♥ after it or a dare “I dare you to post this if you have a super mom/dad/uncle/hairy neighbour or a spot of flatulence.”

I seldom can turn down a dare, but I can’t say I have ever been “enticed” to copy and paste a status update.  Well not yet, but I might be lured to the dark side sooner than you know.

I once joined a group “My wife said if I started a group and get 100 000 to join we can call my son Spider Pig.”

Do I think that husband was ever allowed to name his son Spider Pig?  Pretty unlikely.

But it made me smile enough to go along and click “Join.”  I did not believe it and I did not try to run around and get three dozen of my closest friends to vote either.  And I am quite fine with you judging me for it.

The thing that grates my frkn goat (at the moment) is the “please vote for my baby” – because it goes on FOR FKN EVER.  And it is everywhere.

Like a case of the clap on a Contiki tour.

Anyone can enter.  I am not 100% sure it actually has to be your baby.

Last time I checked the page count was a million pages and counting – of babies and babies and then some more babies.  I really started to dazed and confused by about page 10 of this.

I have always felt most babies look like each other – really!!!  I have often arrived to fetch mine and the only form of recognition is I recall what I dressed them in this morning!

So the competition is – you enter your child.  Then run around in a frenzy and get everyone you know to go to the page and “LIKE” your baby.  You paste the link back to every place you can. EVERY FREAKING PLACE!

There is no “DISLIKE” button I already checked.

And really the only thing that is happening is that YOUR baby is not winning.

YOU who has the most social media “friends” does, and I am using this term rather loosely.

Really your baby could be a troll, have three eyes, and a voice like Fran Drescher (from the Nanny) but if you can get 2500 friends to LIKE your baby, your baby wins.

Or goes into the top 10 or 50 I can’t recall – and then the crazy plea for voting starts again.  Everyone is down to zero and it is off again.

You are now within sniffing distance of the prize.  So it will be a frenzy and it needs to be on your daily Facebook status updates – because people can vote EACH DAY!

Oh my giddy aunt, can you say “panic on the dance floor?”

For the site who is running the competition – it is a simple – yet brilliant case of – advertising that gets you and your friends to go onto a page a thousand times a day.  Pushing up that page’s hit rate.

That page/product in turn can sell more advertising because they can say “our site gets 5 000 (or what ever) hits a day.”  They are a business, that is what businesses do – whether you actualy have the Best Baby is irrelevant, it is about who has the “most popular baby” or “who has the most deranged/driven mother.”

Even with my rather limited IQ, see this for what it is.

1.  A competition that is not about the Best Baby – because the Best Baby might belong to a mom in “impoverished area”, who has limited internet access, and 10 really great friends on Facebook – but she does not stand a chance.   So her baby can’t be Best Baby – sorry for you!

2.  The mom who is internet savvy, maybe who has a blog, or what ever, she can generate more Likes.  So odds are on her side as so to speak.

3.  There are FaceBook groups you can join – and then in this group, you are all meant to support each other and go and vote for what ever it is you are entering.  No seriously!!  You join a group of people you do not know, for no other reason than so they can go and LIKE what ever you have entered.

Here are a few you can go and look at – or join –  Exchange of votes here, Contests Exchange Votes/Likes, Vote for me / Vótame, 50 Likes or Votes – the bizarre thing is have a look around and see how many desperate moms (who enter these competitions) have these as groups on their FB pages.

Am I the only person who finds this strange, creepy and …. I was going to say desperate, but maybe that is not the right word?  Maybe it is all fair in competitions of this nature.

I like to win as much as the next guy.

Dude if you were going to give me R10 000.00 Huggies Nappies I would be way excited.  I might even do a few unsavoury things and poke a few friends on Facebook.

But I would sort of draw the line somewhere.  Joining groups of people I don’t know so they will go and vote me and I in turn “vow” to vote for them, might be one place I might not go.  But that is just me, it seems.

Moms dig this shit like there is no tomorrow.  Can someone explain why don’t dads get all excited by this crap?

I suggest if you do not like them – you keep that to yourself.  Moms who enter this type of thing get super charged about it, and best if you do not like the idea, to just shush.

Which brings me to the best competition that I have seen.

I saw a FB status update earlier this week to go and LIKE someone’s post on a National Braai Day competition so that they could win a cow.

A cow!  Livestock!  An actual moo-cow!

It gave me so much pleasure to go and vote for her and hope that she wins a cow, that it made me roar with laughter for several hours.  I used to really ♥ her, but now I adore her.

A cow!  She found and entered a competition to win a cow.  Oh my giddy aunt, it made my heart all sorts of glad.

We started picking out a name, and found the cow a straw hat and we had decided who was going to bring coleslaw.  It was seriously a great cheering up exercise.

She unfortunately did not win, there were a few other people who beat her.  But I believe the next win is a lamb. I am right behind that competition.

I like competitions.

I just wish there was a way that “sponsors” could make them more interesting.

Moomie is running a really interesting one now on “what I would do if I had more time on my hands…” clever competition.  And it needs a bit more thought than just voting yourself into a coma.  It needs a really interesting photo – and then the voting is done by the public and by three judges, so that sort of makes it a bit more fair, on the more socially-media-inept kids, which I like.

<Key note :  I am not suggesting to alter your facebook status in any way – for all I care you can wish a unicorn happy birthday and try to garner votes for it too. I am indicating facebook status updates that I do not enjoy so much.  It is YOUR Facebook and you can say what ever you like – just because I do not like it, does not mean in anyway that I am dictating what you should post.  Remember you wear big person underwear, so what is on your Facebook is your big person decision!  Try and remember that before you send me hate mail and sh*t yourself!>