Struggling to fit into the Living and Loving Mommy mould …..

This is the third part of a few parts.  What you can surmise from this is my inability to plan.  

The first part is here, the second part is here and the third part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story” – alternately you can just skip those and read only this bit:

…………………….

I started blogging not because I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

I wanted to understand what was flying around in my head.

None of it felt normal.  None of it felt right.  I know people say that motherhood is difficult and and and …. my issue was that it was not difficult it was bloody impossible.

I kept looking for the escape clause.  It was as if I was acting a part, and I just could not “get into character.”

The only workable option was to find a way to put it down.  There was something cathartic about putting it down on paper/on a blog as then it was not knocking around in my head.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down, and recorded for my children to come and read later.  But because I wanted to understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head is too busy and too chaotic most of the time, for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

Then I stopped writing.

As usual I had a picture in my head of how it was going to go and then when I struggled to put the reality into the picture or visa versa then I just stopped.  I could not continue.

In January 2010 I went out to dinner with a friend’s husband – he mentioned that he read my blog.

I was a bit surprised, as at that point I thought I wrote the blog, and some guy with his dog who lived in Parow were reading it. Just the three of us.

I was not writing thinking anyone was reading.  I was writing because I needed to write.

Mike (the friend’s husband) said that Anita (his wife) had struggled with post partum depression with both of her pregnancies and he never really understood what she was going through – until he read my blog.

He realised the pain, the confusion and what she was feeling because I could write it down.

He understood.  He got it.  He wished he had known that before when she needed his support the most.  But he just did not understand.

Mike said “Keep writing your blog, no one else is saying what you are saying, and there are people out there who it will help” ……

I didn’t believe him, but it did give me renewed energy to return to my blog and start writing again.

I wrote about everything, and I decide to write like I talk, and not worry about whether someone as reading it, but just that I was saying what I thought —-

I wrote passionately and sometimes in a deranged frenzy.  If I thought about it, then I wrote about it.

This post was about how I struggled to fit in with Mother and Baby Groups.

  I hate Mommy and Baby Groups – Part 1

I realize this rant is totally out of context, but I belong to a few women-with-baby forums and when I read through some of the threads I start to get a dull ache in my bum area.

For some reason this morning I recalled how much I loathed mommy and baby groups.

There is so much pressure to join one with your new little mushroom.

As soon as you get out of hospital and are able to take more than five steps, you start figuring out which group you are going to join.  You call the group leader and it all sounds so wonderful .

They are generally really really happy bubbly people.  Usually at this point I start to get uneasy – I am deeply suspicious of happy shiny people – I like my people a little bruised, a little dirty, a lot pessimistic.

You get your little bundle ready – dressed in their best clothes – you have already starting to buy into this under current of competition that exists at these things.

You don’t even realize you are doing it, but there you go.  You are so proud of your little Joshua/Sarah and can’t wait to get to the group, because your little one is going to be the best kid there – you know this.

In the car with your safety seat, getting the pram, the nappy bag and your bag in, buckled up, sort of figuring out where to go – because usually it is in a suburb off a side street that you really don’t know.

In your area, but you are not so sure, so odds are you take a few wrong turns, drive at 20km/hour to try to figure out street signs and basically get yourself lost.

You finally get there and it is usually a house in suburbia that has been revamped by a mommy with one or more likely two kids, who is using her love of kids to work from home, so there is a garage converted and lots of TreeHouse themed cushions and curtains.

You get all your kit unloaded.

By now you are a little flustered as you are late, and you have had to park about 500 metres away as all the more eager moms got there before you.  So you drag all your stuff all the way there.

By the time you get there and go through the alternate entrance, which usually is a narrow gate that your huge gi-normous pram does not quite fit in through the door, so there you are fighting the good fight, and starting to sweat a little, because odds you have over dressed, because you have not been out of the house by yourself for 6 weeks.

The weather has changed since you were last outdoors, and the only clothes that fit you are from the wrong season.

You sort of fall inside the sliding door.

To be greeted by a sea of usually attractive moms wearing their Sunday best and all their Joshuas and Sarahs are on little mats or cushions and everyone is so damn happy.

You, of course, have worked up a bit of a sweat, your Joshua or Sarah is a little cranky as you have transferred baby from safety seat, to pram, and now have to get baby out of pram as pram does not fit into room, so you are trying to juggle baby, your bag, the nappy bag, snug and safe and what is left of your composure.

The far-too-friendly leader of this little ensemble, comes over to greet you and refers to you usually as Mommy <well, it is tricky referring to everyone by name, so Mommy sort of makes it easy, and because you are a new Mommy, it kind of makes you smile that you have a new important title>.

You find a space and try to settle down.

At some point you are trying to assess the mood of the room, and then you start realizing that these moms are generally over achievers – like really over achievers.

When you are trying to find 10 minutes to read or sleep, while you are forcing junior to take a nap, more for your benefit than for theirs, these moms are busy reading Baby’s First Words or doing some sort of Baby Gym with their babies.

Damn, you are clearly behind with your baby’s development as you look down and your little imp is quietly gurgling and dribbling on his chin.

The leader takes her seat in the front centre, with her “baby doll” and everyone smiles and the excitement is tangible.  Everyone beings introducing them selves.

You start practicing a bit in your mind how you are going to introduce yourself and show off your offspring as you really only have about 4 seconds for introductions and really want to get bang for your buck here.

At the same time you are trying to remember names and baby names and ages …. and the reality is that you can barely remember your own.  So your turn comes around and all you can muster up is

“Hi I’m Celeste, and this is er…. Connor….. and he is ……hmmm….. his 4 months old.”  And the spot light moves away from you.

Then the real show begins  …….

 

I wrote subsequent posts about my issues with Mother and Baby Groups.

Expressing how I really felt about things, and showing people that I was not finding this motherhood malarkey easy, was so much easier than hiding it from people and saying “oh yes, everything is fine” — it was far easier.

I think the part that I found amazing and incredible, is that I realised I was not the only person crying in the bathroom at 2am.

I felt so alone, but I realised there was sea of moms out there, who felt the same.

Crying knowing you are not the only one does not make it easier, but somehow does make it less lonely.

Somehow.

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This website contains material for my amusement only.

I thought I would act grownup and put a disclaimer on my sidebar.

I am not sure what a disclaimer is. I assume it means if someone slips on a wet spot in the sanitary napkin aisle, they can’t lodge a complaint nor claim damages.

I wasn’t really paying attending during LA Law circa 1984 so my reference might be a bit sketchy.

If you need clarity on any of these issues, please feel free to raise your hand and let me know what exactly about this blog you find confusing.  I am really a wonderful people person.

I do not post happy pictures of myself and my children.  We are in fact all pretty happy, I just don’t feel an overriding need to rub my happiness in your face.

I really do not in any way give you the illusion that I have a happy, sunny, so fucking happy life.

I am (surprisingly) happy and content and have a great family.

I am beyond in love with many aspects of my existence.  But I see no point in lying to you about how freaking happy we all are — because really who believes that shit?  There are tons of blogs about happy families – how cute the kids are in every damn photograph – and how much the mom and dad are in love.  Sorry, I am not selling that shit over here.

At a glance you may get the impression that this blog is about “real life.”  Much of it spent cleaning dog piss off the toilet (on the side of the toilet, not in the toilet).  Arguing with kids about food, repeating for the 15th time “get in the car NOW I am leaving” …… and the joy does get sucked out of your very soul when you have to explain for the millionth time to any of your children why we are not going to be buying them a cell phone.  And I don’t give a shit who at school has one.

I will happily reverse my car out of my drive way, and hide in the cul-de-sac whilst sitting in my car just so that I can hear the end of a song, or listen to the end of a talk show without my kids.

I take pleasure in the fact that I am a parent.  But I am an adult – and mommy needs me time, and mommy does big people things. I have not stopped being an adult person because I am a mother.  I am a bit alarmed at how mothers stop being people …. and become “only mothers” ,,,,, yeh, not so much over here at Reluctant Mom.

Life does not stop because I have children.

I could not be arsed to put up recipes – you are clearly clearly looking in the incorrect place.

I try to photograph my food.  But really how many times can you get a good instagram of Egg McMuffin and Sausage with a Large Fries for breakfast in a bag, with a large Coke Zero on the side?

If the phrase FUCK. FEK, FREAKING, FREAKN OR WHAT THE FEK/FUCK/FREAK/FREAKING offends you – I need to direct you to the click away button.

If you are hoping motherhood and having children is all soft lighting and designer dribbling – then please go to your neighbour and ask her to smack you hard … with a frying pan.

One outing to Pick ‘n Pay once at the end of the month, shopping with your child(ren),alone should make you realise you are in fact a Nik Nak packet away from leaving your child in the frozen vegetable aisle. And possibly you can’t/won’t/will choose not to judge me so harshly when I have a few of my “moments.”

Whilst at Pick ‘n Pay, until they call you to come and fetch him/her from the Manager’s office – and you sort of dawdle to get there, then you know you have crossed a real threshold in parenting.  It is actually a fantastic babysitting service by the way.  Informal – and you cannot use it every time you go shopping, but now and then seems to be okay.  The kids always go to the Manager’s office, and then a supervisor sits with them whilst they get to play with the Pick ‘n Pay Manager’s stationery.  It really is quite a sweet deal.

I abhor mommy and baby groups.

If you refer to your husband as “hubbie” or your pregnancy as “preggies” – unless you are writing a telegram and paying per letter, use all your letters for goodness sake, speak English like a grown up.

I am pro-breastfeeding.

I am pro-bottle-feeding, I am pro-formula.

I am pro many things, and at the same time I will judge you if you put your child in a cut off sleeve vest.  Every time!

So here’s the sign above the imaginary door.  There will not be a test later, so feel free to glance over it.  Or not.

This website contains material for my amusement only.

This is the part where I tell you to be kind to animals, to help little old ladies across the road, and just give other moms who are having a kak day a bit of a gap from the insistent need to offer them advise on how to control their child losing his/her shit in the bread aisle at Woolworths.

My stuff here is {mostly} my own thoughts – and I do not amend my speech to adjust to your map of the world, or an advertiser or in a bid to make money from my blog.

I think that ship has already sailed.

Some days I am really proud of shit I say, some days I am embarrassed – some days I have no recall of what happened yesterday.

This site may contain personal misinformation or stuff written for stuff sake. A fair deal of swearing, and moaning goes on here.

Activities and parenting advise appearing or described on this site may be potentially dangerous.

Blink if you accept the above conditions.

Copyright © Celeste Barlow/Reluctant Mom Blog 2009 -2013 All rights reserved.

I actually like Miley … chicken bum and all ….

I watched Got to Dance earlier.

I am not sure if it was luck, or bad timing, but I watched an episode where a woman’s boobs hopped/were propelled out of her top during her routine.

It was one of those moments where the audience gasped, but the dancers thought it was for their incredible moves and just carried right on ….nut no, it was because your boobies were on show.

For ages. Her dance partner was lowering her on his shoulders, and did this slowly.  The entire time his dance partner’s breasts were on show, pretty much to anyone with satellite television.

It was quite disturbing.  I am fairly sure I will have a bad dream tonight.

Got to Dance solved it by putting red stars over the nipples (reminded me of Scope Magazine from the 80’s), but you could still see the breasts.

I can’t imagine that made the woman’s breasts who were flashed all over the world, feel any less embarrassed.

Two red stars are hardly going to make her feel better as her aunt and uncle watch the show.  In horror!

scope

{Cover from a rather old SCOPE magazine}

I looked at strange girls breast and then I thought of Miley Cyrus.

Miley has been on my mind quite a bit of late, poor chicken!

I know right now Miley Cyrus and her chicken bum comparison will be permanently emblazoned on our retinas. I have decided to buy chicken pieces as it is too traumatic to purchase a chicken with a bum and me reminded on Miley Cyrus as I rub olive oil and herbs into the chicken.

Not a vision/association I need.

chicken_bum

Other than that, is the performance at the VMA’s so shocking because it was shocking or because it was Miley Cyrus or because it was Miley Cyrus who used to be Hannah Montana?

She is a beautiful 20 year old woman {girl} – she has been performing since she was 10 or 12 or what ever.  I imagine that she has gone through various image changes – she is no longer the Disney Girl of the duvet cover and pencil case fame.

Miley has grown up.

I am not suggesting that twerking on the VMA’s was high art.  I think it could have been done with slightly more dignity, a better fitting pair of gold pants, and may less sexu.al moves with a life sized bear, but at the end of the day it was a girl on stage with a guy.

Granted the girl had her tongue out and was wearing a cat costume for a bit, and there was a lot of strange going on.  It’s been 10 years since Madonna lined up Christina and Britney for a bit of lip locking.

Remember the furor over that?   People went insane.   They ran around screaming like Chicken Liken and prophesying that the sky was falling down.

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Now we barely remember the incident, and it has all got a bit ho-hum.

I have said for some time that I feel that we are at that point in our society where “se.xu.al.ity” is being pushed to the point of short of actually f.u.ck.ing on the dance floor, there is not much further it can go.

Women are objectified, and they dress and act like strippers, and are either dry humping baggy denimed lads on the dance floor, or are re-enacting moves from the “Stripper than Could…”  But I am not blaming men and suggest we all stand around and sob about it.  Women choose to dress like strippers, and appear in music videos and take ridiculous “selfies” of themselves doing questionable things.

Girls do it, girls choose to do it.  Maybe we should be talking to our girls about choosing differently.  And maybe not wearing chicken pants in gold.  Just maybe.

I think at some point there will be a backlash.  I am hoping.  I am really hoping the Amish look comes back.  Soon.

Miley is a beautiful woman, and very talented.  I hope the chicken gold pants do not define her.

I hope that she finds herself soon before she finds herself in a relationship with Mike Tyson, or gd forbid in a sex tape.  I hope for her that her career carries on, and she is able to make the shift from “teen idol” to the performing artist or musician or entertainer she wants to be.

Miley, just not more tiny gold pants …. chick, you are way too good for that shit.  Get it together already!

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Anyway good luck Miley, I hope you bounce back from this and your next move is not partying with Paris Hilton and showing us your cr,otch as you climb out of a car.

Image source.

 

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-vote-for-me

{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

Tattoos and Goodwood Swimming Pool ….1983 flash back

I have been toying with getting a tattoo since I was about 10 or 11.

I saw a girl with an anchor tattoo on her arm at the Goodwood swimming pool.  True story.

She has denim shorts, a white t-shirt with rolled up sleeves (this was in the 80’s, so really try and think WHAM with a hangover) and she wore a blue “captain’s” hat at a rakish angle.

I was in love.

I wanted to be her.

I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.  I loved her tattoo —I wanted her tattoo.  I wanted her captain’s hat, and I  wanted the boys to also crowd around me in that lecherous sort of manner.

I don’t think I had ever seen a tattoo on a girl, barring those ball-point-ink-and-points-of-your-geometry-compass ones some of the girls at my school made on their inner arms.

I did not exactly go to the kind of school where parents were going to give you money for cool clothing or tattoos, you sort of had to use the ink at school and your imagination.

I have thought about girl-with-tattoo-from-goodwood-swimming-pool often.  I have thought about getting a tattoo for years.

Literally years, not the figurative ones that started last week Wednesday.  Actual years with months in them, and often a paper calendar where you forget to tear of the months, and find in September, that you are still staring at the PAPSMEAR date you circled on 15 March with Dr ColdHands.

Then I wonder, what if I had got an anchor on my arm at 16 or 18 because I thought it was cool.  How good would that look now?

When ever I think I like an image or an idea, I print the image out, and put it in my diary.  Loose leafed.  If in 6 months time I decide I still like it then I will look at getting it inked up.

The problem is I never like the same image in 6 months time.

The image always has some connection or emotional resonance with me.  So it is not a tribal arm band or a fairy on my arse (and yes, if you have a tramp stamp – god forbid a tribal tramp stamp then I am going to judge you), but true as nuts, I look back at the image and I think “Fark, I hate it…. what if it was a permanent fixture … yikes.”

And so the pattern repeats itself year in and year out.

I have always loved fonts and text — always.  Typography and collecting fonts is my little side hobby.

I often find a word or sentence or arbitrary thing that I think “is the one” – but time passes and I look at it, and I am again wondering how much I would then spend in laser treatment to have it removed.

I have been in lust about “white tattoos” for some time.

My brother in law is a very talented tattoo artist over at Metal Machine Tattoo and Body Piercing  – he d0es wonderful work, and his shading and detail work is {swoon} value.

I can’t count the times he has explained the tattoo process to me.  Given advise.  Given suggestions.  And I have thought about it, and have just not got to the point where I think I can commit to anything on me, done today,with today’s eyes that I would like to look at in 5 or 10 years time.

I saw this white ink tattoo recently, and it is so gorgeous — no the design has no meaning to me, and it is probably not right for me, but it is quite beautiful.

white_ink

I still do not quite understand (and this is not said in a negative or a judgmental tone, it is a real question) how someone makes a judgement and a decision on getting a tattoo and do they really still like it in 5 years.

Or do they just say they do, because they are sort of stuck with it.

I can’t think of wearing a t-shirt that I thought was cool 5 years ago now, because my definition and taste has changed so much.

How many people get tattoos, and regret having it done?

2nd Annual {Mommy Blogger} Competition is closed ….

The Kidz World Mommy Blogger competition has closed.

Voting ran until the 30 June 2012 – the fact that today is the 1 July and the page for voting is still open for voting, does make me mildly uneasy with how “scientific” this process is, but that being said votes ran from 1 – 30 June 2012.

The Mommy Bloggers who made it to the short list were (in no particular order):

Angela Lord – Autism Homeschooling Blog

Gillian Hefer –  A Daft Scots Lass

Natasha – Raising men/ Littleandbunny

Melinda – Diaries of a White Mother Raising a Black Baby

Jessie Mckay – Miss Preggie

Sharon – The Blessed Barrenness

Cassie Life with a lady bug

Celeste – The Reluctant Mom

Tanya Kovarsky Rattle and Mum

Stacey Vee – Theres a lionheart in my bath tub

I have no idea if the “winner” is based purely on the amounts of votes recorded, or whether there is a panel who use the amounts of votes, and then select the Winner Blog using another set of criteria.  I do not know.

But now that the votes are over, and what I say at this juncture should not influence or effect who may or may not win.  I thought that seeing as we were at the point “where the fat lady has sung” I will have a run at who I predict will/may win.

Reading and writing a blog is a very subjective process.  If it was objective we would be paid and would be writing on behalf of a sponsor, but the bulk of us write because we are driven by a different set of factors, which is unique to each of us – I assume.  Some of us tailor our blogs to appeal to sponsors, whilst some of us seem to move from alienating ourselves from mommies and then sponsors.  But that is another story.

Okay, so I will put my proverbial ck on a block and tell you who I think will take it.

I think the short list will have three finalists in it and these will include:

Natasha – Raising men/ Littleandbunny

Sharon – The Blessed Barrenness

Tanya Kovarsky Rattle and Mum

I am a bit torn as to who will take it.  So I am going to give you some of my thoughts.  Purely my thoughts ……nothing scientific or sane here, just some ramblings, and speculation.

Natasha works her blog like no one’s business, she really is a “player” when it comes to how connected her blog is in the social media environment, so I think she has a distinct advantage.  I love Natasha’s blog – I think it has lost a bit of it’s “grittiness and honesty” that was there before.  Much of her blog is about cool and fun stuff to do with her young family in Cape Town, so it has changed from what it used to me and possibly that might be in line with what sponsors need to see, or where Natasha prefers it to go.

Sharon has gone through an intensive rebranding, refocusing and direction change on her blog and now the Blessd Barrenness is with us.  The Blessed has not been around for that long, but Sharon is a very clever and well-connected blogger and she has brought many of her long-standing readers over to this new blog,  Sharon has a raw truth that she brings to her blog, and nearly each post leaves me with something to think about.

Tanya over at Rattle and Mum, is  a busy blogger and she always has so much going on over there.  Things you can win, things you can read, things you can gasp at — she is probably the most “professional” of us and runs her blog like a well oiled magazine.  When I am reading her blog, I feel like I am reading a magazine rather than a blog, but that being said Tanya supplies a good product and it is interesting to read, and continual lure of SWAG to win does make you go back and visit some more.

I like and read all the 10 finalists, but I decided I would give my opinion on what I anticipated was going to happen.

The winner *in my opinion* will be from these three, and my predication is going to go with The Blessed Barrenness and Raising men/ Littleandbunny coming down to the wire, with Sharon’s The Blessed Barrenness  taking it at the post by a nose!

I thought I would put it out there.

You may disagree, you may feel that other bloggers are going to whisk the prize away. Anything could happen. I have absolutely no idea, this is just the shortlist I felt had the strongest chance, and my prediction.

Who do you think will take it this year?

Blogs by the Numbers ….

I realized my hit amount had crept quietly passed 200 000 and I had not noticed it (there is just a little over 202 000 – which seems like a pretty good number)

I really should of at least organized a cake or something, maybe a special bottle of wine.  Ah, what the hell I am drinking a glass of Robertson Chenin Blanc as we speak “cheers..”

In the spirit of the number, I thought I would quickly glance over my other numbers.

My first post: Pee on a Stick why don’t you.

The date of my first post: 2009/08/21 (blog birthday technically)

My busiest day: 2,986

The amount of comments: 4496 (or there abouts)

The person who comments the most on my blog is from  countesskaz.wordpress.com

(bless her cotton farming socks)

The post that is probably my favourite post:   Throwing the Baby out with the Bath Water.  I have written a few others that I was really “proud” of, but this one is still one that I look at and smirk a bit.

The post that made me laugh: An Arrow from Parow.  I laugh at myself when I read it, because it is still true.

I am not sure exactly what the psychology is behind blogging and why someone carries on with it.  But I know that it is part of who I am and what I do.  I enjoy blogging and I get something out of it.  I am not sure exactly what, I can’t really quantify it, but I enjoy writing, and I really enjoy the comments when I get them.

Blogging does help me to work through some of my things, and does help me not feel so lonely that “it is only me who thinks this way.”  I have realised that many of my issues are not as unique as I have often led myself to believe, but there are many people out there who “try hard to appear normal” when inside they feel alone and not normal at all.

We mimic “normal” to fit in.

I will blog for as long as I need to, or want to, and then I will stop, because then I won’t want to, or maybe no longer need to.  Maybe.

I do not make money from blogging.  It costs me nothing more than time.  It does however somes times come at a personal cost – as I do sometimes do or say things that have a ripple effect in my life and those ripples are not always good, and sometimes have dire consequences.

I do feel that it gives me more than I have to give away.  I have met some interesting people through blogging – and forums.

I have reduced my social media interaction since late last year – and have reduced my blog reading to virtually zero, and dropped out of forums pretty much all together.

It is not that I do not want to.  I am aching to read what people are up to.  But I have realized that I am unable to keep a good gap between “other people’s stuff” and “what is my stuff” – so the easiest way to break the cycle was “to go cold turkey” – I no longer read blogs {and I miss it like a lost limb}, I do so want to read and catch up with everyone’s lives.

I will confess to sneaking on to Moomie twice and I trolled around, but I realized I cannot read forums without getting totally wrapped up in them, and some of the “old feelings” came back, so it ws better to click away.

I read other blogs on occasion – but seldom – the moment I feel that “twinge” that I am starting to get involved, I click away.  I don’t get involved, I get committed and consumed …. my stop valve does not work very well it would seem.

I have also “removed” myself from reality television.  I no longer watch shows about other people’s lives as a way to distance myself from mine.   There is nothing quite like watching your evening get sucked up in some mindless and senseless reality show — and then you start fretting about why Kim is such a bubble head, and why ……. ah never mind, really it is best not to watch them at all.

Thanks to you the 200 000 odd (both in number and type) if you are reading my blog.

And really THANK YOU (sincerely) if you have taken the time to comment – I enjoy every one.  Even the creepy guy Steven with the gmail account who leaves questionable comments.

{thanks}

Breast Cancer Awareness …. awareness is not enough …

So it is October, and it appears to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I think that is great – its a relevant subject and more awareness can’t hurt, right?

Okay, so I am aware of Breast Cancer – so now what?  I can join a Facebook group and update my status profile picture, but really what does that do?

The call to action here should be “Get your arse off the couch, and make an appointment and get that frkn mammogram you have been promising to get and never got!  Go now!”

However I find that does not translate well into a tag line or slogan.

I suggest if you are reading this you pick up the phone and give your local hospital a call, ask to speak to the X-Ray Department and make an appointment for a mammogram.

The test takes about 15 – 30 minutes (assuming you have the benefit of private hospital care) and is somewhat uncomfortable, but hardly as uncomfortable as a pap smear.

Medical Aid covers it (again if you have it) but no doubt you can book it at a public hospital as well.

Once done, you get to skip off and know that you have done a bit more than “be aware” you have got your sh&t together and got a test. Or you are aware that there is an “area of concern” that needs some attention.

Either way, at least you are being an active participant with your breasts, your life and your health.

My challenge today is to knock this message through to 5 bloggers, they in turn get tested – and then knock this on to 5 bloggers they know.

If they have been tested in the last two years they pass it on, as awareness (and hopefully get-off-your-arse-motivation to other bloggers, and readers alike!)

It is like a chain-mail but without the benefit of a promise of a large dollar pay-out, or a veiled threat at the end.  It is what it is – get the test, nothing more, nothing less.

You do get a cool x-ray of your boobies that you can look at, which is almost as good.

The 5 Bloggers I nominate to pick up this challenge are (in no particular order):

Sharon at I believe in Miracles

Laura at Harassed Mom.

Natasha at Raising Men.

Margot at Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog.

Wenchy at The Noctural Wenchy.

Questions (you can answer if you feel like it):

When did you have your first mammogram?  November 2010

Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer?  No, not that I know of.  My mom had a sprinkling of cancer on her skin, but it appeared to be related to sun damage.  I do pop down to a dermatologist once a year, and do drag myself kicking and screaming to a pap smear once a year.

Why have you not gone for a mammogram? I initially ignored all warnings, and figured it ‘would never happen to me” then I listened to a radio interview on CapeTalk and the presenter was interviewing a woman who went from ‘having no breast cancer’ to a full mastectomy within 6 weeks, that is how fast her cancer spread – and she was not even 30!  I poo’d in my pants a bit that day and made an appointment, pronto.

What were your mammogram results?  I had an x-ray which was free from any issues, and then I had a sonar scan, just because I wanted one – and then after a little rub and push from a doctor, was told all is fine and I should come back in two years.  Of course you never know if they have missed something, or something might appear within the two year window …. insert paranoid face here …… I know I should be doing self-examination as well …..

How bad is “going for a mammogram” on a scale of 1 to 10?  Probably around a 2, I’d rather do a mammogram exam than go to the dentist or have a pap smear.

When is your next appointment? I will make it for mid-2012, as the doctor suggested I not do it under two years (he might have said five, but I am sticking to two.)

Do you know anyone who has had breast cancer?  No, I don’t think I do. Unless I do, and they have not told me.

What is my point?  Maybe by bloggers talking about breast cancer and going for mammograms we can encourage other bloggers to make an appointment and readers as well ….. just maybe.

Acknowledge source of image  – David Jay Photography – and huge props to : http://www.thescarproject.org/