Friday, September 19, 2014

The 'F' Word

“Girls aren’t as good as boys at lots of things.” –Annabelle Age 5

That’s a direct quote from my daughter.  A quote I would like any anti-feminist, “Oh I’m not a Feminist” sort of women and men out there to digest for a moment.

This little girl, my daughter has grown up in a house where Mom and Dad participate equally in child rearing, where both Mom and Dad have University degrees, professional jobs, argue politics, religion, and speak about current events at the supper table.  We are comfortably middle class, in Canada, where we tote that there is true equality between the sexes.

Yet, my daughter, despite how we’ve raised her, has learned from society that girls are not as good as boys at ‘lots of things’.  She thinks she can't run as fast, throw as hard, or play sports better than a boy.
Now, save me from the stats.. I know that statistically men are stronger than women, and they are able to do physical tasks more easily.  That isn't up for debate. 
It's the general notion that my 5 year old has picked up from TV, school and the playground that girls just aren't as good at life than boys, that has made me both sad, and angry.

So what were you saying, those who argue that Feminism has no place in today’s world of equalizing, affirmative-action policies?

Because, guess what, this is not just happening in my house.  It’s certainly not just my daughter.  And I’m certainly not the first woman to start pushing back on this argument that Feminism is an ugly world, that is somehow denotes angry, hostile, men-hating women who are pushing a hidden agenda. 

In fact, Always recently did a commercial that went viral very quickly.  It’s called “Run Like A Girl”.  You can watch it here:

And it was the simple question they ask at the end stopped me in my tracks.

“When did doing something like a girl become an insult?”

It made me aware in a way I had never been before.  Call it being the mother to a beautiful little girl, or maybe just a ‘girl’ coming into her own, but suddenly I started questioning how the world was portrayed to a little girl.

Like, why did I browse through the card section and come upon a card that said, “Birthday Girl, You Can Be ANYTHING You Want To Be!!” ?  Because I’ll let you in on a little secret, little girls don’t think there is ANYTHING they can’t do.  Until society starts patronizing them and assuring them that, “Yes siree.. even YOU could be Prime Minister some day!!”.  Well, why not them?  Unless there is an underlying notion in the majority of society’s psyche that thinks it’s not as easy for girls as it is for boys.

Feminism, as defined by Google, is “the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

It means that anyone who is a Feminist simply wants the same opportunities given to women that are given to men. 

So I would hope that my dad is a feminist, and my husband is, and I will certainly be raising not only my daughter, but my two little boys as feminists as well.
Until there is a day when little girls aren't taught by osmosis that 'girls are less than', well I won't relinquish the argument that feminism is NEEDED still, in 2014. 
My name is Brittany.  I love my police-officer husband, my hockey playing boys, I love the color pink, I love anything glittery, I love horses and pop music, I love my beautifully clever and creative daughter, and I am a feminist. 
And look, so is Beyonce!
I hope you'll join us, too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Year's Resolution.. in September

It's time to get real.

I'm still sitting here struggling with everything I wrote about here. 

At this point.. it's clear that it's not going away unless I turn around and call this beast into an epic battle. 

Me versus self-doubt, insecurity, and a nagging feeling that I'm not living my best life.

The excuses are plenty.. and I don't want to ever minimalize the excuses.  Because all of us women have a plethora of reasons why we can't seem to get this weight-loss beast battled permanently.  And those excuses are legitimate.  We are busy, over-stressed, highly anxious beings who give so much to everyone around us and sometimes forget that it is just as important to take care of ourselves as it is our kids.  Like the flight attendants say, always get your own oxygen mask on before helping others get theirs.

Now before you get some mental picture of me being some overweight lazy, pajama pant wearing mom in your mind, know that I've had lots of success before.  And I know, short-term, I can get it done again.  Believe me, after the first baby, I worked out and ate right and got back to where I wanted to be.  After the second, same thing.. a little slower in the progress but I got there. 

Now I'm 31, with three hungry kids and an equally hungry husband, a hundred places to get in one day, and a bank account that has a propensity to look dismal sometimes.  I work part-time, I volunteer, and I have a passion for horses that keeps me on the go most months.

Like I said, I've had success, and I know that I can do it again.  Over a few months, I can lose all the weight I want, but then as soon as loosen the reigns just enough to find myself back at the beginning again a few months later.  Maintenance is an elusive Eden I have simply not found thus far in my life.

So here I stand (ok sit..) and I'm wondering if there is anyone else out there that wants to hop onto the Permanent Train to the Shangri-La of Maintenance
After all, there's plenty of room, and  I AM an incredibly social creature.  So let's see if maybe we can do this together.

But first, I guess you all might want to know what you are signing up for.

I am no professional.. I'm not selling any products or any lines of supplements that promise to make this easier.

I also don't have unlimited pockets to dig into for a professional food plan and personal trainer.  Workouts and food has to be reasonable and easily accessible.

I have three kids and don't have time to make separate meals for everyone, or time to prep each week for a thousand hours.

I like food.. I LOVE food.  And wine.  And places where I can go and enjoy wine and food.  And I vow to NEVER make deserts with whole wheat flour because that is gross.  So I need some wiggle room.  Or a cheat day. 

I pledge to eat as many whole foods as possible, minimal carbs and sugar, and to work out 5x a week.  And no diet pop. 

I am using this blog as a forum to keep me accountable, which is a reason a lot of people put a lot of things on social media, but really the greatest way I know to express myself and to come to terms with how I am feeling, is to write it down. 

I know I am not the only mom and wife of a busy household that is struggling with the inspiration and dedication towards permanent change, and maybe my daily struggles will help you get through yours.

Ultimately, I've learned throughout my life that the best advice comes from people just like me.  After becoming a mom, I realized that it was those around me that had the best advice for colicky babies, teething, breastfeeding, the terrible twos, potty training and sleeping through the night.  It didn't matter how many articles or books that came out, there was no 'one' way to do everything.  As much as we all wished, there was no book every single parent could buy in order to guarantee a happy, well adjusted baby.

So I figured, why not approach this particular type of Goliath, the same way I did parenting. 

We all know it takes a village to raise a child, so maybe it takes a village to find my happy, healthy place.

I plan on blogging every other day.. maybe every day depending on how things went that particular day.  I would love comments and recipes sent my way, and I'll post them on my Facebook page, or on here if I try them out and decide everyone must know.

(But please don't waste your time trying to sell me anything.. quite frankly it's back to school time and I don't have the money anyways.  ("The bus is HOW MUCH for two kids?!?!?!") )

So if you're on board.. awesome.  Let's do this..