Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Importance of Kind Words

During this holiday season, people like to talk about generosity or the "spirit of kindness." I try to be generous to others, as much as I can being a super busy stay at home mom on a budget. Yesterday I wrapped some gifts for some neighbors on our floor who are especially kind to me and my family. I also wrapped up gifts for my Irish Dancing class and it felt great to see their surprise when I brought out the little wrapped presents. 

I've been thinking about how kind words and gestures can help someone when things are difficult. When I was pregnant with my twins, I was in my early twenties. I had no idea what to expect with twins and I needed support and guidance. I had left college, lost friends, and I had to rethink my entire life. I felt so isolated. Kind words would have meant so much to me and my husband at the time. Even my father, who was excited about his impending grandchildren, shared this news with people at grocery stores or wherever we were. Usually people were nice about it, but once at Barnes and Noble, an employee was so rude, saying how sad it was that I was so young and having children. My father and I said nothing as we left the store. 

Instead, people were rude or insensitive, and they treated me like I had done something shameful. Even now, after my twins and baby G are older, I still receive hurtful comments. One time, in the spring of this year, an older couple were walking by and said hello to my kids. They then exclaimed that I looked so young and asked my age. I was flustered so I told them, which I shouldn't have, and they sighed in sorrow. Their faces were full of sadness, as though my being a parent in my twenties tainted my children. 

I used to believe people were good, for the most part. After having my children, I've realized that is not the case. I'm disappointed in people. I'm disappointed that when someone chooses to give birth to children, thus giving them life, people can be so cruel and unfeeling. I'm disappointed that people who should be more supportive, such as family or friends, can turn their backs on people like me and my husband. I remember going to a baby shower a family friend held for me when I was pregnant with the twins. I had no friends there, it was just their group of friends. Right next to me, my mother and a guest of the party started discussing my father very rudely. I stood up for him and called them out on it. Both ignored me completely. This was supposed to be my baby shower. I remember signing up for the local chapter of the Multiples Club when the twins were little babies and no one contacted me at all, which they were supposed to do as stated in the Club Information. My father, my husband, and I were all completely exhausted from taking care of the infant twins and some help, any form of help, would have meant the world to us. 

Now, Christmas is fast approaching. My kids are very excited about it, and I love to see their faces light up when I turn the Christmas tree lights on in the morning. Parenting is hard, being a stay at home mom is very hard, but I do it because I love my kids and I am their mother. I gave them life. Yet, the fact that people think its okay to be rude to me or look down on me is disgusting. I am a person, just like they are, and I have brought three children into the world and my husband and I are raising them and taking care of their needs. I don't need reassurance from everyone we see, but strangers or even people we know should keep their mouths shut. Those hurtful words are like thorns that stick in my mind, and on the difficult days when I'm exhausted, they come back to me and I can't help but feel like I'm not good enough. 

This holiday season, I urge you, my dear readers and everyone else, to think about what you say to others. Think about your words; are my words potentially hurtful? Making a person feel ashamed for doing something good or even something different is wrong. I'm a mother, even if I'm in my twenties. I'm an adult. My children are fed, clothed, clean, warm, happy, and full of energy and zest for life. No one has any right to be rude to me or to any other parents, be they young parents or older parents. We are all in this together and we are raising the next generation of people to take care of our world and our society. There are people in our lives who have showered my kids with love and give me a big hug when they see me. There are people who care about me and my family, so please don't think everyone in our lives has been awful or disappointing. I've been wanting to write this post for a long time to stress the importance of kind words and gestures. A neighbor holding the door open for me when I'd have trouble navigating the large double stroller helped so much. 

How can we, as a society, learn to love one another more? How can we hep our children grow up with examples of kindness and generosity? I think a kind word to someone, be they stranger or friend, is a step in the right direction. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Listening to The Nutcracker on a Rainy Day

Yes, that is what I'm doing. My three sweet cherubs are playing nicely together (miracles do happen!) and I am able to sneak some laptop time. Yesterday I even worked on my fantasy WIP for a little while and that felt really good! 

I have been incredibly busy and I really want to write my Feis post! The Feis was amazing and I can't wait for the next one in January! We adults are supposed to get a school dress made for it, but we still need to be measured. So I'm crossing my fingers that it will be ready in time! I'm also learning the Blackbird set dance for my Novice set dance and I love it! I'm trying to get the set part down, with all those fun rocks and such. ;) Oh boy! 

New goal: San Francisco Oireachtas 2016! I am THRILLED about this because we live right next to SF and my TC said I will probably be able to do the adult traditional set at the Oireachtas! She's going to help me prepare; I love how supportive my school is. Such a blessing! We are also trying to get an adult 8-hand ceili together; I am trying to talk my husband into it, hehe. Hopefully he can join us! 

Otherwise, I'm busy with housework and my kiddos. My twins turned 4 last Sunday and I am so proud of them. They are growing up so fast and are learning so much. Even Baby G, my 2 year old, is learning more new words every day! He's been a talker since way before he turned 2, but now he's asking more complex questions. It's fun! None of my them are napping any more, but I make it work. They just go to bed early. XD 

I've got a whole bunch of poems, flash fics, and even a children's book pending responses by editors, so that's good. Hopefully I'l hear good news. I have a bunch of poems that have been pending for almost a whole year.... I am considering withdrawing them. It's a little annoying, especially when I've asked that publication twice on Facebook when they are going to get back to authors. Fellow writers: how long should an editor hold your work before getting back to you? 

Tell me what you all are up to? I would love to meet more Adult Irish Dancers!! *waves*