I figured hey, I haven't had bangs since the late 80s, what could possibly go wrong?
But really, I think I like it. Will wash and wear a bit because I think a teeny more needs to be trimmed so I'm not getting stabbed in the eye with the ends.
I think you look great!!! They fit your face really well. I'm a huge fan of bangs. I've had them all of my life haha. I'm actually thinking of growing mine out which is a new weird thing and I'll probably wuss out :).
For those younger mamas, I can relate. I had DS1 around my 25th bday and whereas I didn't do a ton of socializing with other moms, when I did, I felt out of place. It wasn't so much the age difference, even though it seemed vast at the time, it was more of a life experience thing. I felt like conversations on the playground or at gymboree (which we did for a year or so) gravitated to what we had all done prior to having kids. So most moms talked about their careers and illustrious degrees and when it was my turn to share I had nothing to say. Didn't really want to say "Oh, well, I drank whiskey like a fish, did a ton of drugs, and slept my way around Europe?!" I mean, I don't regret my younger life... but I more wanted to "fit in", not regale a bunch of mostly strangers with my crazy tales! There was also an economic difference, too. Most of the women I met were pretty well off (like most city denizens who delay have kids) so I felt like a broke fish out of water.
Yikes, odinsmama, hope you guys are doing better!
I try to stay on top of "world events" or whatever but sometimes the news is just TOO DEPRESSING and I end up not wanting to hear about anything. We get the Sunday NYT paper and recently I've been ignoring all sections except for the magazine, for the crossword!
yup- this is me!
Speaking of which, I went to my first sort of informal "playgroup" (obviously for the mommies' benefit). 3 other women who took prenatal yoga with me, and their babies. There was a 10-month-old and 2 ~6 month-olds (1.5-3 weeks younger than Miss L). It was walkable from my house, so I took Miss L in the Mei Tai, though she only napped there for 25 minutes, so she was a tad cranky towards the end of the gathering, but not too bad*.
I was REALLY excited to see how other moms (all FTMs) interacted with their babies of around the same age, but I left realizing I hadn't observed that much because of the dynamic. It was a very ADHD kind of environment, all of us sort of shouting a question and the others trying to give an answer or contribute to the conversation before one of our babies needed us to do something... LOL. It was very comparative, though not overly competitive (how has sleeping been for you, we're doing X, I think she's starting to wave hello, oh, mine too, is yours trying to crawl, etc.) I think b/c we're all FTMs, just figuring things out. I REALLY enjoyed the way it broke up the day (3-4 hours total out of the house), and Miss L went to the toilet twice there (no wet/dirty diapers), so I guess I felt I was able to pay *enough* attention to/communicate with her (not just EC, but generally) while also getting some adult interaction.
But it was also kinda... Well... You'd think yoga would be a bit of a filter, but it's pretty mainstream (though our particular instructor was also a doula and taught my CBE hypnosis class). I could go on about this, but suffice it to say that I was by far the "crunchiest" mom there and I do NOT (except jokingly) really identify as particularly crunchy... After the group, I understood why "crunchy" people (particularly if they stick within a certain socio-economic class) end up gravitating towards parents who have similar experiences... At least for me, it wasn't because I thought myself superior (please!) or even because I "couldn't relate" to their medicalized births or CIO (well, that I didn't like) or formula feeding or disposable diapers. Because I mostly don't care, and we're all moms with at least vaguely similar interests, in a certain geographic area, blah blah blah. I mean, I can relate to 99% of what they are doing/thinking/feeling.
But... When people talk about their FF-- one by choice-- or medically-questionable C-sections (which they saw as necessary and lifesaving-- breech, pit induction that let to immediate but mild fetal distress), what do you do? You don't Monday morning quarterback, and you offer support, right? But if they don't ask you about your birth experience (and they didn't ask me or the other woman who had a birth center birth), then you don't share... I mean, it doesn't come up. And a lot of the group seemed to be like the scene in Mean Girls where Cady realizes that white girls bond by lamenting their imperfections, YKWIM? And I wasn't going to be disingenuous and say that vaginal birth is not so great, or that cosleeping isn't going pretty well for us, or whatever. Not to "bond" with them. I, of course, did participate in the conversation, didn't judge, did make jokes and commiserate about general new mom anxiety and that sort of thing. But it's kinda like those conversations sort of drift toward the most dissatisfied common denominator... or...? How to put it? It's like we're all supposed to realize that motherhood is this big shocking slap in the face that knocks us off our idealistic pedestals and haha let's "get real" (birth sucks, breastfeeding is too hard, husbands don't "help" that much, you have to sleep train, blah blah blah) and the thing is... I didn't start out idealistic (maybe the opposite! low expectations FTW) and I didn't make the choices I did to be Mommy #1, so if that's why you thought you wanted a natural birth or whatever, please don't project that onto me, you know? I'm actually pretty happy, shockingly (to me!) It will also be awkward if you expect me to laugh off certain things (CIO, for example) because not everything is some sort of natural mommy rite of passage for everyone. Some things, okay, I get it, the high price of formula or whatever-- but I don't have that much to add to the conversation, is all. When people say they are having trouble with [something I don't do] and they give me a "you know what I mean" sort of prompt-- I just smile and nod, or mayyyyybe if it's not too controversial a topic, I might breezily add that we do things a little differently (say, BLW). But I found that didn't lead to a lot of interest or questions (except maybe a little intrigue from the next-most-"crunchy" mama, but she seems the shy type)... It was more like they'd be, "Oh, that's nice, so, anyway..." Or their eyes would glaze over.
Just kinda felt... (<--- I use that smiley a lot, LOL.)
I would hang out with them again (at least give it another go a time or two), but it was just... Interesting.
As far as Miss L, I mostly realized that, in comparison to the two other little girls her age, I have successfully passed on my ADHD gene.
She was all about grabbing toys and trying to SOMEHOW keep up with the crawling 10-month-old, while the two other girls (who were just as social/verbal) just kind of sat there. Don't get me wrong, Miss L can't crawl yet herself, so it's not so much a matter of her being more physically advanced. But she wanted to twist and spin and jump and GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO
*I think she has been slightly cranky in general lately because she decided to work on crawling again... along with pulling up and standing, so she seems generally frustrated by the whole ambulation process. Actually, she has been stepping forward a little when holding onto our hands, so I have no idea WHAT she has in mind.
Hmm. Well, I feel like generally people don't have to agree to have a conversation. Like, if another momma is like "oh, diapers/formula are so expensive! you know?" I would respond sympathetically but honestly, presenting my point of view (since it's also valid). Something like "yeah, I totally get that those things can be expensive. I don't really know firsthand though because we cloth diaper and breastfeed. Cost was actually one of the many reasons we decided on it." And then just move on, unless there are further questions. I feel like in a lot of social situations, people aren't looking for these deep friendships, but rather just superficial "blah blah blah" type conversations. The whole "people don't listen most of the time because they're too busy planning what THEY want to say" thing happens, too. Maybe I'm just cynical, though.
*I* tend to want those deep "OH MY GOD, someone else is like me!" type bonds, but I've noticed a lot of women don't. For some, having the same favorite Starbucks drink and nail polish color is bonding enough. (I'm not trying to sound catty here, it's just what I've observed. And it's why I only have a few close friends. I'm kind of socially inept.)
I guess what I'm saying Buko, is that I feel you- but I also think your expectations are too high. I've found lowering my social expectations helps me out a TON. (But again- I'm a lot judgier than you, I think. Like, I DO judge when people "just didn't feel like breastfeeding" or when they can't be bothered to even recycle.)
I also think your expectations are too high.
I have been accused of that before. At least when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Then again, I have very deep connections with literally ALL of my friends... but even though we spend lots of IRL time together, I met most of them online (in, like, social justice type groups and whatnot). So there you go. I think some of it might be a class/race thing for me, too-- IDK. But I am getting together with a small Meetup group of moms tomorrow (haven't met before, but others who were clients of my MWs at some point) that might be more up my alley.
I just hate small talk. I mean, I don't hate small talk, but I do kinda hate tiny talk. Like, to me, small talk = how many siblings do you have, isn't it interesting how birth order affects us, did you go to school around here, did you see that movie that just came out that takes place at [neighborhood school], I saw it and it was terrible, here's why, blah blah blah. But tiny talk = the weather sure is brisk, have you tried the new latte at Starbucks. I mean, some tiny talk at first, okay, maybe. But when that's all it is? My mind goes numb.
ETA: But I think, in this case, it was less about tiny or small talk and more about bigger talk that just didn't include me. I do sometimes say something sooooorta like "yeah, I totally get that those things can be expensive. I don't really know firsthand though because we cloth diaper and breastfeed. Cost was actually one of the many reasons we decided on it." or maybe not exactly, as I sensed some defensiveness. But then it was crickets, so I didn't see the point. Like it didn't have much advantage over just smiling sympathetically (esp. if they could see I BF or CD or whatever) and then moving on. But it didn't do much for me either, YK?
I've now sampled four groups of local moms and I'm in crunchy central: Santa Monica! I live a couple of blocks from 3 raw cafes and a whole foods and about 10 yoga studios... so I guess I kinda thought moms here would be pretty into attachment parenting stuff and natural health, natural birth etc. I was so wrong! I'm more drawn to the mothers who have something other than kids to talk about so we can just skip all the baby comparing and daddy-bashing and try to find something to actually chat about. I think I might have to start my own club. ;)
Buko- I totally get what you mean. I hate small talk, too. I tend to crave true connection, which I get can sometimes take a little time- but also which doesn't always happen if you're too busy substituting small talk for substance. I really hate that some people just want to complain about their families/spouses. I like venting as much as the next person, but I just don't feel like complaining about my MIL or DH is constructive or healthy unless it's with CLOSE friends.
Typebug- haha! Ahhh I miss Southern California (I'm from San Diego). But I think you're right on the money re: the above, and also about finding people you GENERALLY connect with rather than assuming that motherhood is enough of a shared "interest". I find I have nothing in common with most women (I never have, really) and becoming a mother didn't suddenly make me more likely to be friends with them. That sounds harsher than I meant it. I just mean that I'm a total oddball, not really all that into girly/superficial things. Like the women in the community I nannied in prior to becoming a mama- they had an official Women's Guild and they were ALL SORTS of into things like their annual Spring Fashion Show, their Gala, etc etc. They'd spent ages planning it and sinking money into it. And that's cool, because that's what they were all into. But if I were a mama in that community, I would have zero interest whatsoever in participating so I know I'd feel left out. Idk. It's tough.
I have a local mom's group I'm meeting up with soon through Meetup and I have pretty high hopes (going against my own advice!) My husband is in the field of medicine and works crazy hours. A lot of those moms, I guess, are either going through residency with their spouses or have already survived it. I think that shared burden/blessing of being a "doctor's wife" (oh how I hate that phrase!) will be enough to get the conversation going. Cause I could complain FOREVER about how OMG NOT FAIR our life feels sometimes.
brilliant! i hear those soooooooooooo often when people ask, and i answer honestly and as politely as possible.
crunchiness is so relative. most of my closest mom friends do a lot of things different (most do breastfeed, many cloth diaper (i don't!), often some form of AP) BUT i moved to a way more crunchy part of Massachusetts and still find that there is not centered ground. I can't find a pediatrician who doesn't give flack on delayed vaccinations while my previous pedi was extremely supportive. Though it is really nice that people are polite about the size of my family and about us all being in public at the same time. one friend i moved away from said to me that she thought she was all prepared to hang w/ crunchy people b/c she knew me, then found out that i was barely the tip of the crunchy iceberg!
also, why do women like to get together and bash their family? i don't like to husband bash, if i'm having issues w/ him, i'd like to TALK about it and get serious, earnest and beneficial feedback, both about my role and the problem. my MIL is probably my best friend. my SIL my other bestie! and i don't generally like to talk critically about ANYONE. no matter what we do differently. i know since i'm a Christian (and can't not have that come up rather early as my husband is in full-time ministry), and rather conservative, my local mom connections in our crunchy community (many families of 2 moms and open marriages and single moms, and single moms who used alternate means to achieve pregnancy) assume that i might be rude, mean or put off by different lifestyle choices they make. it's kinda hard b/c i do make some very traditional choices in a strongly non-traditional culture. but i've never told anyone to make the choices i've made. i mean, that's kinda impossible, isn't it? that said, my long-term friends know that i can be encouraging, supportive and listen to their issues w/out coming out angry w/ their husbands/kids/family. so i do appreciate those people who are real and open on big issues.
which is a key reason i'm not leaving here anytime soon! you mamas have been so amazing in supporting, listening, being different but not critical (at least on the forums) of choices. I was sooooo tired of spending my pregnancy and first year pp ALONE (women friend wise), and when stressed, worried, overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling like a bad person, having no one who would really just understand. i was really sad b/c we moved to be closer to friends and that friendship has really died since we came out here, and part of it was that she thought my husband should be meeting all my family/woman/friend needs. and i love my man, he's not perfect, but he's pretty damn good, but he is NOT that network for me.
still giggling about *****crickets*****
home birth, milk-sharing, EC, gluten-free/paleo living, unschooling, non-vaxxing- so many people hear me say a little in the direction of any one of those, and WHOOSH- crickets.
really- there's a lot more to the story. i love meeting people who understand that. who know already that there is a lot more to their story than what they choose now, or what they chose in the past, but that we as people are complex and elaborate and fascinating!
I hope everyone finds moms they really connect with . I know I've posted this before, but finding like-minded mama friends saved my life. I'm pretty crunchy/AP and also live in an area where that is more of the norm... but at the same time I've found that my true connections with women really have nothing to do with some of the AP practices and whether or not we CD or co-sleep or anything like that. It's more... how I connect to their soul. Does that sound super lame? Haha. I think I'm more likely to find common ground with women who mother like I do... but sometimes it really has nothing to do with that. I've also encountered the whole AP pissing contest thing which I hate to say is a real thing and it's really damaging and isolating. I believe that different philosophies can be right for different women. One of my closest friends actually did CIO (which I would never do for the record and actually have strong feelings about) but I don't judge her for it. She was losing her mind, didn't have her husband's support, etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the women who we befriend as mothers are the same women pre-kids... so if you don't have a true connection with them outside of the kid thing, it can feel really forced. Okay, I'm rambling... hard to get my thoughts in order!