All posts by Jenn

I spent 11 years as a photojournalist in the Navy. I got to travel the world for work and for play during those years. I met my American husband while serving in Italy. We dated and even married in Italy. After our honeymoon we relocated to South Carolina with our two pups Marley and Gizmo and enjoyed our newlywed status before focusing on starting a family. Now we have Charlotte! We decided that I would stay home with her and focus on learning this new parenting role and enjoy all the time we can with her while she is little. This comes with its ups and downs, and I decided that in order maintain my sanity and sense of self perhaps I would join the rest of the blogger moms.

Wake Up

Anxiety and depression seem to be the most talked about mental health struggles these days, and yet I feel like they are the most misunderstood. People in the public eye are committing suicide and dying from overdoses left and right. This has been a reality for decades, but in recent years I think it’s become an epidemic. The narrative has changed and people are coming forward more and more versus the ‘keep quiet and keep up appearances’ generations of the past. I knew more about my mother’s hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy than I did about her anxiety when I was growing up. Which is odd looking back now.

In the world of medicine, research and treatment options are always evolving and if you have watched any number of commercials in the past 10 years I bet you can name at least 3 medications used to treat anxiety or depression.  Even with all the treatment options, the statistics on deaths caused by anxiety and depression is staggering. How is this possible and what is are we failing to do? Why is there an abundance of information about anxiety and depression, yet we are still losing loved ones because of it?

In the seven years that I have been treated for my mental illness, I have been prescribed 8 different medications. Weaning off one to introduce another. I have finally found one that works well, however, the side affects are no fun. But neither are weekly melt-downs and panic attacks, feeling like I want to take my skin off, hiding in my dark closet and not leaving the house for days.

I didn’t receive a diagnosis for my generalized anxiety disorder until I did my processing out of the Navy at the age of 28. In hindsight, I am not sure how I ignored all the red flags that I was suffering from mental illness in my twenties. I want to be clear here, I sought medical attention more than 15 times in my 11-year career, and was with misdiagnosed or completely dismissed and sent back to work. Fit for duty is the primary goal after all.

I wake up with the feeling you get when you are about to be in trouble for something you did.  The feeling that causes you to take deep breaths because you can’t seem to get enough oxygen in your lungs? For me, this is everyday, sometimes all day. My brain and my body feel like they are in constant “fight or flight” mode. I can’t remember a time in my adult life that I felt ‘relaxed’ in my body without a foreign substance being introduced.

This is why addiction is so scary and real for people like me. Before I was being treated for my daily struggles, I would feel unhinged and raw all day long until my first drink of alcohol and after I was treated I traded booze for pills. I traded feeling too much to feeling too little.

During the last seven years, I have not only tried with every fiber of my being to feel good in my own body, I have tried to be a good wife, a good mom, employee, friend and daughter. And when I am nailing it one aspect of my life, I am failing miserably at the others.

The person who has suffered the most is my daughter. Anxiety and depression can make it almost impossible to be a half-decent human being. Think about how hard it is to care for another person when you struggle to care for yourself. I suppose this is why my own mom threw in the towel and l left me with my dad  before I could even walk. I nearly depleted myself physically trying to keep my head above water and keep the attention on what a good mom I was and not how deeply I was spiraling. I hid it pretty well, until my appearance caught up with me inner battles. I think at my worst I was self-medicating in private and weighed about 110 lbs. I can’t even look at those pictures now without crying. I was in such bad mental shape.

My anxiety has created  issues in my daughter, she worries about my mood and yesterday said, “I am so glad you didn’t freak out mommy, I am so proud of you.” She is 4 and this absolutely breaks my heart. Traffic and being lost are triggers for me; and unfortunately I stay lost without a GPS and other people are allowed to drive at the same time as me so…

I guess the point of this post is really 2 things. To remind people that sometime the deadliest diseases are the ones you can’t see. We don’t need much more proof that anxiety and depression can directly result in addiction and suicide; even with all the advancements, research and treatment options. Keep an eye on your loved ones and care enough to have that ‘uncomfortable’ conversation, it could save a life. People tend to ignore situations believing someone else will intervene. It’s called the bystander affect and it happens everyday. But then we teach our youth to not put off for tomorrow what can be done today. Hypocrites.

The second point of this topic was to let someone else out there know that I know. I see you. I hear you. And I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting back out there… where have I been?

You guys, these past couple years have been nothing less than a shit show. Life came a knockin’ and it brought some gifts. Good, bad, really bad and finally exhausted and defeated decisions have been made as a result.

Since  2016 my revolving door consisted of starting jobs, quitting  jobs, starting a business, taking a break from that business to start and quit those jobs, trying new mental health treatments (some that worked and some that didn’t), moving out, moving back in, and a medical diagnosis that hit us out of no where.

Throughout this journey I have inadvertently invited people to judge me and to have an opinion about my life. I have distanced myself from family as I tend to do during down times, and I have managed to trim the access weight from my ‘friends’ list.

Ages 33-35 have been a blur of constant motion, trying to find a balance in my life all while watching everything I have worked for start to fade into the background. I was fading into the background of my own life. I was living this life in this body on autopilot for so long that I finally just lost my shit. I literally could not breathe; I was suffocating in this life I said I wanted. And I was freaking tired of being a big ol’ hypocrite.

It’s like after the newness wore off of motherhood I felt completely empty. I think becoming a mom was the last big accomplishment I experienced and I am one of those humans who needs to continue to grow, to learn, to set and meet goals other than new Pinterest projects, to feel important outside the house, to help people I don’t share DNA or a last name with… and I need to do all of those things on a regular basis. That is just who I am; and I have to accept that about myself and stop trying to fit into box not designed for me.

I remember I would lay awake at night and listen to my daughter breathe and in the same breath feel complete joy and complete ambivalence.  I started to feel ambivalent about motherhood, about marriage and about what was expected of me. That excitement and zest for life I felt as a photographer in the Navy, as a new civilian finding a spot for herself, as a graduate student, as a new wife setting up her home in a new state, as a new mom, it was all GONE.

Now, I don’t want to disappoint you, but I am not going to get deeper into details on this post. Even though I yearn to connect with others, tell my story and feel the weight lift off my shoulders as I usually do after a brutally honest piece of writing, there is healing happening here. There will be a time, but it not now.

But back to my disappearance from my writing; I may have continued to write every now and then but my heart left this blog somewhere around January 2017 when I was in full force life dismantle.

I was also deep into the vicious cycle of comparing myself to other women, which is like pouring acid on the feels part of your brain. I KNOW, I KNOW… I am like the spokesperson for telling people to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  But dammit if it isn’t second nature to the female gender. We have to seriously work very hard to rewire this out of our normal thinking process. We see someone dressed like a human at drop-off the day we don’t even have shoes on and there it is, we start comparing ourselves to the mom who appears to have it all together. And maybe they do, but that has nothing do with you and what you are doing in your life.

I let so many things get into my head the last couple years but I also fought for myself. You know, none of asked to be here, and sometimes our inner dialogue doesn’t match the dialogue happening around us. There are a couple things I know to be true in this situation; you can change your inner dialogue to mimic the dialogue around you or you can follow your inner dialogue and try and change the dialogue around you.

Now that I started choosing the second version I am finding my way back. Changes are in the works and I am leaning into those changes in the most positive way I can. I have always found writing to be therapeutic, to be a way to connect with people, to tell my truth while hopefully inspiring others and to leave a legacy. So here I am I am, yammering away for entertainment.

 

XXX-Jen

 

38 things that annoy me, for my husband’s birthday…

Hey babe I thought I would generate an overall list of things, silly to important, that just annoy the crap out of me.  So at anytime, you can revert to this list to check-in on why I may be throwing some ‘tude, shade, bitchiness’ and any other shitty energy your way.

I thought last year I went sappy, this year I will real in the emotions. After all this month has had enough tears with school starting.

What are the 38 things that annoy Jenniffer… ready… set.. go.

  1. passive aggressive behavior
  2. passive aggressive behavior
  3. chipped nail polish, just take the shit off. I mean if one out 10 are chipped, that’s fine. But any more than one means start over. Try gel polish, its 2017.
  4. nice manicured hands and fucked up looking toes. Why?
  5. people who don’t open the door for you when you are clearly struggling
  6. empty toilette paper rolls, and not a fresh one in sight
  7. shit left in the toilette. Just take a peak and make sure it’s gone.
  8. Yelling at me from downstairs or another room. If you want to talk, and need a response, get the fuck up.
  9. people who think wearing chakra stones means something. You have to do the work first asshat.
  10. people who don’t drink water. I don’t get it; we are made up primarily of water
  11. people who feed their kids shitty food, put ipads in their face, not worry about schedules or sleep and label them ADHD.
  12. women who do not support other women, but instead try and tear them down.
  13. prejudice of any kind
  14. prejudice of any kind
  15. screaming and laying hands on babies in diapers
  16. people who really think formula is just as good as hard working pumped milk that comes from tired, chapped and all around pained tits.
  17. people who do not tip at least 18%– servers choose to serve just like you choose to dine out.
  18. men who talk down to women
  19. people who enjoy belittling others
  20. people who take no responsibility in their lives.
  21. the forever victim
  22. not saying thank you
  23. or please
  24. small talk
  25. negative energy
  26. people who refuse to see anything positive
  27. uncooked onions
  28. bugs
  29. not being appreciated
  30. not having morning coffee
  31. bad attitudes
  32. girls who need help with everything (I can’t reach this and I can’t lift that)
  33. bad Italian food
  34. bad wine
  35. fake people
  36. dishonesty of any kind, even if it is to spare feelings.
  37. how my house continues to get dirty every time I clean it
  38. not getting a kiss good bye from you.

I love you mister Garvey.

Mother’s Day and other Hallmark Holidays

I will celebrate anything, really I will.

I like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s day (and no I am not a secretary), national donut day, etc.

Short explanation is that I like to receive gifts and I like to be acknowledged. We all do to a certain extent, some more than others.

I appreciate holidays, hallmark or not, because it is a day set aside to plan for, celebrate and enjoy; if you want. I love to give gifts as well as to receive them so shut your judgmental trap. The whole process gets me excited. The planning, shopping, packaging and watching the expression. I love it all.

I refer to myself as competitive gift shopper.

Now, while I can appreciate the two biggest arguments against said hallmark holidays, I can also provide a pretty good rebuttal.

Argument 1: shouldn’t we celebrate these people everyday? I don’t need a date on the calendar to celebrate so and so.

Really? And how is that working for you? Do you really buy ridiculously large stuffed animals and heart shaped chocolates all year round? Oh and you also treat your spouse to a whole day of being nice, gifts and a real effort in bed all year long. The fuck you do.

Argument 2: these holidays are just another way for consumers to be exploited. Whatever, you would normally use that money for online porn, shitty food that is killing your body, too much beer or something else insignificant. But of course beer and fast food commercials ARE NOT EXPLOITIVE at all. And besides, I have never met a decent woman who didn’t at least put out for just a little bit of effort.

I will always revel in the opportunity to celebrate my family and friends, even if the damn holiday was made up.

By the way, check out the 5 Love Languages. It might change your opinion on what it means to celebrate these holidays. Some of us (me) receive and give love this way. It’s a thing!

 

 

Root Chakra

Hey, welcome to the start of my Chakra center! Let me preface by admitting that I am most certainly a newbie to the study of Chakras, but it has changed my life in an amazing way. It has open a spiritual door for me that I wasn’t sure I would ever find. I feel peaceful and happy in my life everyday, and I want to share it. It is an easy concept to understand, empowering by nature and provides you with a sense of positivity and a healthy outlook on life.

You don’t have to trade in your religious believes for a yoga mat and Buddha statue, I promise.

The definition of the word chakra is “wheel of light” and it refers the spinning vortex of energy from the earth’s core that rises up to meet the electric energy of the cosmos. This energy propels our life force.

Each energy system is linked to  elements, colors, scents, physical parts of the body, spiritual personas and much more. I am going to focus  primarily on how the chakras work, what  physical characteristics they correspond with and in which way our own psychological make-up and behavior communicate the health and status of our energy forces.

ROOT CHAKRA

The Root Chakra sits at the base of the spine and is associated with the element Earth. Since this energy system sits at the base of the spine it supplies energy to the hips, legs and feet. This chakra keeps us rooted to the Earth… so it is our direct link to the energy we pull from the core of the Earth. Very important to keep this charka running smoothly and efficiently.

One example of how I struggled with my Root Chakra is when I was pregnant. The fear and loss of control and stability I experienced during my pregnancy was more than I could handle. It greatly affected my overall pregnancy and birth experience. Losing my mother during my pregnancy created this feeling of being on earth alone now, severing my energy flow. Add the mounting fear and anxiety every new mom experiences before you give birth and you have one miserable, giant and hormonal pregnant lady. I am not sure how my marriage survived it! (joking, mostly) But I ended up having a planned C-section; charlotte found a comfortable spot transverse style and stayed put. I didn’t think I could handle trying to get her to move during labor and would end up needed the C-section anyway. I gave up before I even tried, even though I really had my heart set on having her exit the intended way. I didn’t see that I have more power in my energy and mindset than I gave myself credit for. In hindsight, I wish I had used that pain and energy to try and have my daughter the way I felt was the right way for me. Maybe my mom would have been there, helping me through it. I gave up before I even tried, and I will never get the chance back.

In it’s unconscious state, the Root Chakra carries the attitudes and prejudices formed by family, church and culture. As these learned barriers are broken down and erased through developed awareness, more energy is available to live the life you choose. For example: who hasn’t heard the explanations, “this is how it has always been done,” and “because that’s they way I was taught.” When I hear that I immediately want examine their Root chakra.

A healthy Root Chakra recognizes that life is not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. Living your truth, whatever that is, is your right.

ROOT (Mulahadhara) CHAKRA, shades of red

Developmental Stage: 2nd trimester to 12 months

Developmental Tasks:  physical growth, motor skills and object permanence.

This energy system allows us to feel that we have the right to be here and to have. A balanced root chakra leads to good health and vitality, being well-grounded,  feeling comfortable in your body, a sense of trust in the world, a feeling of security, the ability to relax, feeling of stability and prosperity. Most importantly to me, the realization that you have the right to be here.

Traumas and Abuses that affect the Root Chakra

Birth trauma, abandonment, physical neglect, poor bonding with mother, feeding difficulties like malnourishment, major illness or surgery, physical abuse or violent environment, enema abuse, inherited traumas (war veterans, poverty survivors, holocaust survivors)

Deficiency: disconnection from body, notably underweight, fearful, anxious, restless, poor focus and discipline, financial difficulty, poor boundaries and chronic disorganization.

Excess: obesity, overeating, hoarding, material fixation, greed, sluggish, lazy, tired, fear of change and addiction to security, rigid boundaries.

Physical Malfunctions: Disorders of the bowel, anus, large intestine. Disorders of solid parts of the body like bones and teeth. Issues with legs, feet, knees, base of spine and butt. Frequent illness (can go either for excessive or deficient.

What to do…

Healing practices start with reconnecting with the body and complete when you have successfully reclaimed your right to be here.  Massage, yoga and bioenergetics grounding are all great healing practices for the Root Chakra.

 

 

 

 

There are tools such as crystals, meditation and a balanced diet and exercise routine that allow us to care for our Root Chakra.

If this is something that interest you and you feel you need a closer look at, hit that comment button or send me a PM. Let’s get that energy flowing smoothly!

as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

Thirty-Something Mean girls

The beginning of this year would probably sound terrible on paper to some, but to me, it has been liberating. Tough, yet, I have never felt stronger and more proud of who I am.

I couldn’t see it when I got out in 2011 but I realized this year that the military taught me integrity and at a very early age. I was 17 when I joined, and while other young kids my age struggled and felt miserable, I did not.

I suppose when you have to grow up fast, you are often taught the “rules” to life earlier than most. So for me, a community where I knew what was expected was a natural fit.

Learning integrity and living with integrity are certainly two different things. But I dare say, it is hard to find adults who have integrity outside of a military base.  Let me explain, in the military you can and will be punished for a lack of integrity. I shit you not, cheat on your spouse and get caught. Well, you and the commanding officer will be making a phone call to said spouse. Docking of pay for lying and being caught, you betcha. In the civilian world this would not happen, like ever.

How does this all fit together? Well in my youth I was unable to stand-up for myself mainly out of fear that I would lose a friend or look stupid. I would ignore red flags, make excuses and hide from any issues that caused me or anyone to feel uncomfortable. If I saw someone being picked on, I was the little shit that looked the other way and never a word. When I was being bullied, I took it. I let kids, adults and family members bully me for years. That is the opposite of living with integrity.

When I was in the military I found my voice among the boys. I could hold my own around a man or group of men. I was counseled on multiple occasions in regards to my ‘verbally abusive tactics’. I guess with the ratio of men to women, it was a sink or swim situation. But I have always been far too timid to stick up to mean women.

Then this year I stopped letting the mean girls win. I stopped letting myself get intimated by good looks and beautifully put-together outfits with accessories. The women that never let you catch them with out make-up and who always seem to have a fucking Starbucks coffee in their hand. The women who are pushing 4 quiet and well kempt kids around Target while they browse every isle they want. Fuck those women, I am not intimated anymore.

I lost a job, I lost a friendship or 2 and I was banned from The Stonermom for voicing an opinion she did not approve of. Cest la Vie.

My serving days finally came to an end after 4 years on and off. I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let those over-shadowed eye rolls bother me anymore. They were never about me anyway. I decided that I wasn’t ok watching a manager belittle her employees or verbally abuse them depending on her mood. It was not ok to be passively aggressively bullied because she had the power to make me clean-up the fucking salad station for a month straight just because I didn’t eat the bullshit she tried to serve.

By the way, I scrubbed that salad station so clean she could have asked that bitch “mirror mirror, who is the fairest of them all?”

I decided that even if it means severing a relationship that matters to you, you owe it to yourself to always be honest and speak the truth. The truth is not something that is not debatable or up for interpretation. There are no variations of the truth.

If you are worried about someone, tell them. If someone is mistreating you, stop allowing it. If someone is struggling with addiction, reach out to them. If you’re values don’t align with someone close to you, reevaluate the relationship. All of these are examples of clear communication and living with integrity.

Remember this one, “do as I say, not as I do”? Change the words, be a force of good, honesty and integrity. Do as I do, and not as I say. Be the example, not the discussion.

 

 

 

 

Authenticity Equals Longevity in the Blogging World

I would like to re-introduce myself and this blog. I am going to start this website over with a new focus. Authenticity equals longevity; and I want to grow not plateau. I am a new lady, going new places and for that reason we need to start over.

For most of 2016 I hid behind the term ‘blogger’ when people asked me what I did. You know the general questions: how old is your child, what do you do, how do you take your mom crack (coffee)?

I served on and off for about 4 years at the same restaurant. However, I always introduced myself as a blogger. It felt more like an age-appropriate gig. More so than letting people be assholes to you for shitty tips. Managers included.

Well, I have decided it is time to stop referring to myself as a blogger. Because I am not a blogger; I am an entrepreneur utilizing my website.

Last year, I latched onto “bloggers” that I thought I connected with for various reasons. I was really searching for myself in a life I didn’t recognize. I went onto to realize that I was suffering  mental breakdown of sorts that manifested in many ways: excessive shopping, cleaning, never leaving the house, screaming, therapy, medicine, more screaming, dramatic weight loss and excessive drinking.

Soon those bloggers that I looked to for a sense of community slowly began dropping off my radar. Their content that was usually funny and relatable changed to narcissistic bullshit. I can’t relate to mom’s who never have their kids and who care more about appearance than actually helping people. You can’t fake being a good person.

This is when I realized that most internet personalities are not authentic people. They don’t have to be gain a following. People will believe what they want to and that shit is for the birds. The blogger community needs more authentic people who build-up others based on truths and not half-truths. People who will be honest even if it means they are exposed. THAT IS INTEGRITY.

The bloggers that are actually making differences (in my opinion) are the ones who are in their 20’s learning life, sharing real experiences and who tell the truth.

Where am I going with this? Well, I have discussed the direction of this blog until we have all gotten blue in the face. One thing about a chick with severe anxiety is that I am consistent. I will consistently say I am going to do something, and then not do it.

But a bitch can be hopeful. Right? Stick around.

This blog is getting a make-over, but first I will be uploading lots of fresh content that is based around my life, my goals and all the business’ I am running.

-My photography business

-Pure Romance Consultant

-Mental Health– to include life coaching in areas of relationships, lifestyle, sexual health. (MS in Psychology and life coach certified)

-My reality as a cannabis consumer and mother

-YouTube Channel (because 3 people have told me I am funny now, it is time)

-Chakra Yoga (because it is free fucking therapy)

And when I have time, I love to cook, so I will continue adding family favorite recipes!

So, Welcome again.

Business Card Worthy? Just kidding.

 

 

Welcome 2017…

Do you do New Year’s resolutions? Do they work? Do you follow through with them throughout the whole year? Probably not.

–I will fill you in on a little secret, gang. If you wait all year-long to make improvements, you can bet by February you have either modified those resolutions or given up all together. People who really want change and really want to improve don’t wait for January to start–

Obviously I think New Year’s resolutions are just plain stupid, so no, I don’t waste my time coming up resolutions for the new year just so I can feel like shit when I give up on them. No thanks.

I am a goal oriented lady, always have been. Every quarter I visit those goals and review progress. If there has been zero progress I either let that goal go for now, because life, or I figure out what changes need to be made in order to meet that goal. No waiting for January to my best me.

This year, this blog will be getting a make-over to reflect my new goals. I have been working really hard lately, hence the absence.

2016 was the year of self-preservation and making BIG changes to get my mental and physical health under control. I had a mental breakdown around February last year and  it was about a 6-month ordeal.

It led me to understand spirituality in a way that resonates with me, to yoga, to meditating, to Lexapro and to other herbal remedies.

Handling generalized anxiety disorder, depression, chronic pain,  insomnia and PTSD is no longer more than I can handle. I am working toward becoming a certified life coach with focus on relationships and western therapies. I already earned my MS in psychology so this is the easy part! If this is something that interest you; you know where to find me. At home trying to write and mother!

 

So, here is to 2017. More to follow!

 

XOXO,

SM

 

 

 

 

The Curveball that is Life…

Life happens and plans change. I wanted to keep on a writing schedule and get this damn year-long project out of its infancy phase. But as I keep trying to teach my wee one, life is not about me or you but about us as a whole.

Life happens; bills have to get paid, people get sick, visits and birthdays happen even if it’s not the best time for YOU.

Despite my best efforts, I have not mastered running on less than 7 hours of sleep. Yes you read that right, I need sleep. I am a human who needs 7 hours a night. Yes, we all know people who do not “need” that much sleep despite what science tells us, and we will watch those people’s bodies break down earlier than ours, mmmkkkk.

Oh, and potty training. What a shit show that is. NO PUN INTENDED! It is a literal shit show. But we are on the downward slope now. She is fascinated by counting her poo-poo turds. You’re welcome.

I gave up nagging her about her nose picking addiction. I figure the mean girls at school will fight that battle for me. I just don’t have any more energy fighting the booger battle. I threw in the towel when I had to tell her that I would not join her in eating her boogers, or eating mine, because we are not meant to eat them (with a straight face).

Oh and I have the child that uses “fuck” appropriately. But really, everyone saw that coming. On the plane ride to California she told that she would not be sitting in her fucking seat. And if she cannot see her cookies when she opens the pantry, the f bombs fly. Where are my fuuuucccckkkinnnng cookies? I am working on it, please do not worry. I say fiddlesticks now.

The financial strain of buying a new house and immediately furnishing that house has also taken its toll. I totally understand how money is the number one reason for divorce. We are slowly and steadily getting out of the mess we happily put ourselves in.

Alas, here we are. Christmas right around the corner. I will be home! We are very excited to be celebrating our holiday season at home in this house that we love. Just the three of us. Just perfect.

Don’t let this photo fool you; there will be minimal if any baking going on.

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Perfect Little Family of Three

So anyway, expect new post.

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Times Have Changed… Are You Keeping Up?

I have been wanting to chime in about parenting today versus parenting past for quite sometime. The generational divide in parenting can cause tension, debates and even ruin relationships; and that’s just in my house.

Now, I understand that children are still children; that hasn’t changed. They still have developing brains and bodies, and are usually difficult and lovely all at the same time.

But the amount of information we have learned about their developing brains through research is nothing less than groundbreaking.

Times have changed, and in order to stay ahead of our children and provide them what they need to develop in today’s world, you have to acknowledge that. I want to kind of ‘explain’ where my generation is coming from and what we face as parents.

The days of busy signals and dial-up internet are long gone, you see. Days of playing outside from sunrise to sunset are basically fairy tales we will tell our kids to put them to sleep.

When my parents were growing up, bigger families were normal and often meant more hands to help out.  Parenting from this generation was about survival rather then fine-tuning a human being. If the basic needs were met, then that parent was doing their job and could then focus on keeping the family afloat.

When I was growing up I played outside all day, everyday and I was a “latch-key kid.” I came home after school, let myself in and was unattended until an adult came home. I did not have access to a computer, except at school where we learned basics and played Oregon Trail. I do not remember kidnapping or online predators being something my family worried about.

Things have changed in so many ways since technologically has taken over our society. We have access to immediate information, food,  doctors, taxis, porn… you name it. You carry a computer on your person, all day long.

We are over-run with technology! You may not be tech savvy, but that does not mean these things aren’t happening. Life with kids was VERY DIFFERENT in the 80s, which is when I was growing up.

Let’s start with the fact that I have absolutely no memory of having a car seat. Car seats weren’t even a thing when our parents were kids! Next, kids were able to walk around the city or town without much worry at earlier ages. You could let them walk to school, the corner store, a friend’s house. Now parents are turned into CPS if they let their kids walk to the park unattended.

Now, you have to add parental locks on every goddamn thing (doors, electronics, phones, TV). Kids have constant access today to technologies that were either considered a luxury or privilege or that didn’t exist in previous generations. ie. Phones, TV, laptops/tablets.

Can you imagine having a smart phone at 10? It is happening, and younger than 10! I had a pager when I turned 13 and let me tell you, I thought I was hot shit. It was bright teal green, by the way.

Kids also have tv’s in their bedrooms now. When was growing up we had one family tv and it was run by the man of the house. I got like 1 hour during the week and cartoons on saturday morning, and in my world I was lucky.

SIDE RANT: Social media is so important to today’s young people that they will delete pictures if they do not receive enough likes. There are countless stories of suicides tied one way or another to social media. Their goddamn self-esteem in tied to their social media accounts and how the “world” sees them.

Facebook, Instgram, Snapchat and tons of other apps that I am not hip to are something parents of my generation deal with. Having children who struggle to stay engaged because there is always a screen in their face is just an everyday struggle. Instant communication with who ever then want; instant internet connection at their under-developed fingertips (brain, not fingers y’all). It’s a disaster.

When I work on the weekends, family meals out mean head in phone and little to no interaction. Laptops are now an essential school item, like pencils and paper, so forget the notion that you just won’t give them any technology.

Was this an issue 30 years ago? No, no it was not. Parents today have to be one step ahead of their kids when it comes to technology and they have to monitor it.

Then we have the fact video games are changing the chemical make-up our youth’s brains’. We also have doctors over prescribing medication when there are organic therapies and options to consider. We have a school shooting epidemic to worry about. Oh, and the new common junkies are high-school aged kids who graduated from narcotic prescription pills to black-tar heroine.

Teen pregnancy is so last season. Now I am worried about my kid believing her self-worth is tied to her social media accounts, being targeted or preyed on by online predators, being shot at school (or anywhere) or trying hard drugs with friends.

 

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