I love my kids, and how great they are isn't lost on me. My daughter is kind, compassionate and thoughtful, and my son is the literal sunshine to my chronically cloudy days. I speak highly of them often because I'm a proud mom, however biased, and think the world should know who'll be running the country in a few years. The thing is, sometimes, there's things — a lot of things — I would love to talk about instead of my kids, because no. Like, OMG no. They're the lights of my life, but I need actual adult conversation that doesn't involve the complex inter-workings of mini-humans. So, um, can't we talk about any of the thousands of other topics that would give the mom in me a break? Just for a few minutes, max?
Don't get me wrong: it's not that I tire of talking incessantly about the humans I birthed. But with so many other things going on, it can feel — what's the word — inconsiderate, maybe? Plus, seemingly never-ending conversations about my kids makes me feel like outside of their lives, nothing else exists. I don't exist. I mean, not to brag, but I do some pretty great things, too. I write, run marathons, do the mom thing, and can bake a pretty rad batch of cookies. I don't have to chat all about me, but a little perspective by way of any other topic of conversation would go a long way.
So, I have to ask: why can't we talk about anything else other than how often my 5-year-old son can say "fart" in a day? It's not that interesting, is it? Can someone ask me another question besides how I sleep trained successfully, how I handled drop off on the first day of school, and what I feed my kids on a regular basis? If so, here are some other topics I'd be more than happy to discuss instead of my kids. Please.
I know my kids are pretty cool, but considering everything going on in the world (wildfires, hurricanes, political trash fires, nightmare scenarios people are living through), I'm OK leaving kid conversations for another day at another time. As I sit in the direct line of a forecasted hurricane, how about we discuss climate change? Seriously.
Anyone who knows me can attest to how often, and how passionately, I talk about my therapy cat, Feathers, whom I adopted from a pet rescue. She'd been through various homes and while I wasn't looking for a cat, when her paw touched me as I walked past, I knew we needed each other.
Basically, if we must discuss my kids, let it be about her for a second because she brings me joy.
Why Monarch Butterflies Migrate
Monarch butterflies migrate all the way to Mexico every winter and, in case you didn't know, it's a pretty miraculous journey considering most generations of monarchs only live 2-6 weeks. They make this trip because it's ingrained in their genetic makeup and vital for the lives of future generations. It's amazing and I'd love to talk about it instead of that last fit my daughter threw about deodorant (don't get me started).
My Deepest, Darkest Fears
I've never been the type of conversationalist who enjoys surface talk. I don't care about the weather or what my kid's teacher does on the weekends. Let's talk about life, death, resilience, survival, and all the things that make us tick. Ready? I'll go first. I'm afraid of clowns, farm machinery, alligators, severe weather, plastic straws, bare mattresses, dying, falling off a cliff, being forgotten, and failing. Your turn.
The 'Planet Of The Apes' Movies
So I'm only slightly obsessed with this trilogy featuring Andy Serkis as Caesar. I think Serkis is brilliant and the new films are so well done, I've already pledged my commitment to stand with the apes when they attack. As much as I love talking about my son's fascination with what he calls his "nipple pockets" (the pocket on the front of his shirt), let's discuss these movies instead. I beg you.
There isn't anything exciting about this topic, except that I am slightly intolerant to milk and sometimes it sounds more enticing to talk about than, say, my daughter's complaints over the temperature of her breakfast sausage. Plus, 75 percent of the world are lactose intolerant to some extent. So, wanna talk about it?
Ways To Join The Resistance
I love talking about how little my kids slept last night, don't get me wrong. But there's no better time than now to use your voice to fight for equality and to call your representatives to speak out against a dangerous policy change and to fight against racism, bigotry, sexism, and hate of any kind. There are so many heartbreaking issues to stand up for, so, instead of talking about my kids, let's fight for the rights of others.
Charities To Donate To
Of course I'm proud of my daughter for getting an A on her spelling test, but with the damage Hurricane Harvey infringed just recently, maybe we should table that talk and find ways to donate to those helping victims of Harvey. The Red Cross is a good place to start, and donating blood is evergreen.
Mental Health Stigmas
Speaking out about mental health is important to me. Not only am I a mother of two (which we've established), I live with anxiety, depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). By talking about the state of mental health as often as possible, it's my hope to get others talking, too. Stigmas widely prevent those suffering from asking for help, so can we strategize ways to make reaching out for support a little easier?
I'll start by stating my truth: mental health is difficult to manage. Some days are OK, and others aren't so great. Let's talk about it so we all feel less alone and less ostracized.
The Collision Theory
My kids do a lot of cool stuff, but let's examine the Collision Theory, shall we? My young adult debut revolves around this theory and how some things are meant to collide, while others shouldn't or can't. It's slightly more fascinating than my son waking in a "sweat" that turned out to be pee soaked through his bed sheets.
Again with the planet, the resistance, and real talk, because turning away doesn't eliminate the need to fight. Planned Parenthood provides safe, affordable health care and there's no way I can say it as eloquently or thoughtfully as the rural women who rely on PP. This should definitely take precedence to discussions over my daughter's back-and-forth about wearing her hair in a bun or not.
I've been running for only a few years now, but there are very few people in my life that realize how running changed my life. From severe postpartum depression (PPD), to running marathons, I have dozens of medals glistening on my wall. But no one ever asks me about them. Instead, people ask me, "How are the kids? What are they into?" I get it, but if someone could notice I'm here, too (and doing things with my life also), that be great.