‘Tis the Season.. FaLaLaLaLa.. and All That Jazz

You know what those are? Stockings. You know what they are full of? Presents. Junk we don’t really need. You know what you need to fill them? Money.

 

I both love and hate Christmas. What a stressful time. It makes me feel overwhelmed, stressed, annoyed, warm, fuzzy, guilty, like making a difference, and selfish. 

 

Why do I feel overwhelmed, stressed and annoyed? Christmas SHOPPING. I always worry if people will like what I am getting them, Christmas shoppers are equally stressed and RUDE which makes me even more stressed (okay and a bit rude) and the obvious. Money. No matter how much money you have (Unless you are Bill Gates) you never, ever, ever, have enough for Christmas. Truth is, if you have more money, your kids want better stuff. The only solution here is a secret bank account. Don’t let your kids know you can buy them shit. (Genius, right?) No but seriously, we budget, we stick pretty close, and no matter how much you save, make, have, borrow, whatever, you always stress a bit about money at Christmas, right? Why? We ALL say it’s the thought that counts..but is it really?

 

For me it is. I get my kicks out of being around people I love eating really good food and just talking. Why does it take a day like Christmas to eat too much and talk a lot with coolers and wine and just each other? You know? That is my favourite, though. I mean, there are always things I want, and certainly things I need, but I could do without the gift part. I just like seeing everyone happy, excited, having fun, just because it’s some day on a calendar. 

 

The guilt and selfishness comes from complaining about money, and knowing that I have way more than some people. Some people don’t have any food on Christmas, or most other days, and they sure as hell don’t get presents. So this year I am starting my preaching early.

 

Instead of presents, maybe ask your friends to donate to the food bank, or the Lighthouse. There are always people who need help. Not only for Christmas either. For birthdays, get together with your friends and get them to bring a non-perishable food item instead of a gift, or even a few old articles of clothing they don’t wear but never bother to get rid of. DO something. If we ALL do something, we can really make other people have better lives. 

 

If you don’t have extra money or stuff, volunteer. Give up some time. If you don’t have time, surely you have some shoes you don’t wear or a can of soup you will never use cause you bought it for some recipe that you were gunna make but then you realized it called for shrimp and you hate shrimp.. right? It isn’t hard. I am not asking you to rally the troops and donate all your pay-cheques for the month (though, if you could it would be pretty phenomenal) just what you can spare. 

 

Visit the links to the Food Bank website and the Lighthouse website to get more ideas of what they need, and how you can help. Go make a difference, because if it was you, and who knows, one day it could be, wouldn’t you want someone to care enough to help you out? I would. I did. I wouldn’t have been able to take care of my son if people hadn’t helped me out. 

 

You can make a difference. So do it.

 

http://www.thelighthousesupportedliving.ca/

http://www.saskatoonfoodbank.org/

Labels are for Soupcans, not for Kids!

Here is one of my biggest pet peeves.. when other people tell you or your child WHO they are! Excuse me, but since when did you know my child better than he does?

 

Things like “You are going to be smart like your dad” or “Why are you wearing a girls shirt?” or “Only mean boys don’t share” can be so hurtful to a child. I even find myself putting labels on my kids from time to time, telling them they are smart, or they are so good at sports, or such “boys”. 

 

You wouldn’t think that telling a kid they ARE smart would hurt them, but it puts so much pressure on them. Do you ever get told things about yourself like how pretty you ARE or how smart you ARE? It becomes part of your definition, so when you have a day where you get a pimple and have greasy hair, or maybe you found a test you really struggled with, it isn’t just a “lazy day” or a “bad test”. It really hits you hard because it shakes who you thought you were. You start thinking “I am SMART so why couldn’t I do it?” or “I am PRETTY so what is wrong with me?” (Nevermind that being smart doesn’t mean knowing everything or that being pretty doesn’t mean never having a bad hair day or a stress pimple or whatever). 

Do your kids a favour, don’t put that pressure on them. Change your language. You CAN BE so smart! You CAN BE so pretty! (Pump them up and praise them, but don’t label them). I am not saying it is easy, I struggle, but it is possible and it would sure make kids feel like they were less disappointing sometimes.

 

Onto the other stereotypes: THE GENDER STEREOTYPES

Whomever said boys cannot wear pink had a serious stupidity break. All colours are great for all people! So don’t tell my child he can’t wear ANY colour, or any style for that matter. Maybe he wants to be a princess. Who are you (or I) to tell him it is or isn’t okay to be whoever he wants?

You hear about people who feel trapped in bodies that don’t match their inner gender, and the struggle they face just to decide to show the world WHO THEY ARE… stop telling them who they are before they are old enough to know!

“You are such a boy/girl”.. what the hell does that mean? Do you ever ask yourself what it means to BE a boy or a girl? How about “You can be such a compassionate child” or “You are such a tough kid sometimes”. Why label a label? Realistically, a boy can be sweet and quiet and caring just as much as a girl can be rough and athletic and destructive. 

Telling kids that they are “acting like a whatever” defines them and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You told them they act like boys, and boys don’t cry, and don’t wear pink, (and even the way people talk to boys or girls using more or less language or more or less emotion creates a gender stereotype) and so because they act like boys, they MUST be boys, so when they get older and maybe start feeling more “feminine” they struggle with their identity because WAIT A MINUTE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE A TOUGH EMOTIONLESS BOY!

 

Oh, and ladies, my favourite thing about this is that we tell little boys not to cry, to be tough, etc and then when they grow into men we EXPECT them to be caring, sympathetic and romantic, and even try to change them to be more “feminine” in those ways! (WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING?!)

 

I don’t want my sons to be emotionless robots, and if they cry.. GREAT, if they want to talk about feelings.. AWESOME… unfortunately it does take a village to raise a child and that village doesn’t always agree.

So I am gunna put it out there, PLEASE STOP LABELLING MY CHILDREN!