Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Open Letter To President Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

Recently, you went on record being against stay-at-home parents, and in the video of your speech you can be seen saying, "Sometimes someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay at home with the kids which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. AND THAT'S NOT A CHOICE WE WANT AMERICANS TO MAKE." You then went on to talk about wanting to enroll an exorbitant amount of children into daycare and preschool programs by the end of this decade. Now, many news outlets and personal bloggers are writing up articles about how you disparaged or insulted stay-at-home moms:
We Don't want stay at home moms
Obama insults moms
3 reasons Obama is wrong

I don't think your speech was disparaging to stay-at-home moms, I don't even think it was insulting to stay-at-home moms, I think it was pure ignorance. Yes, Mr. President, I am calling you ignorant and not just on this issue. You are ignorant because you see money as the only value in this equation. There are many things in this life that hold unmeasurable value Mr. President, but money IS NOT one of them. You are ignorant because you are making the assumption that someone else is more qualified to raise our children than the moms that birthed them. You stood in front of a crowd of people and said that our children need to be in programs where the ratio is one adult to 5 or more children, vs in a home with the parent that is bonded to them and can give them the one on one time, attention, devotion, and nurturing that is critical to their formative years. You are ignorant because you are judging someone's worth by their income in this equation, people are so much more than the job they do or the amount of money they make. In fact some of the most worthy people in this life are the ones who have very little monetary value at all. The worth of a person should not be judged by what (s)he makes and instead by who (s)he is.

An excellent quote that I feel fits this situation is; “The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.” -Shannon L. Alder

Stay-at-home moms (and there are exceptions to every rule so this doesn't apply to all- but it does apply to a majority in my opinion) are the epitome of action with integrity -they put aside their wants, sometimes their dreams as well, for their family, for their children, for the future. They selflessly give of themselves nurturing and caring not just for the children they birthed but for the husband they bound themselves to, for the home they live in. These moms usually take very little time for themselves because they devote the whole of it to their family and they do this because they know an important truth that you have yet to let yourself learn Mr. President. They know that there is no greater calling on this earth than that of being a mother. They know that there is no more important job than that of raising our future. They know that there is nothing more rewarding in the whole of the universe than the raising, nurturing, and shaping of a life.

I feel sorry for you, Mr. President, deeply sorry not only for you but for your wife and your children because your choice to be a working family cost your family something precious that you will never get back. But unlike you, Mr. President, I can feel sorry and sad for you without judging your family for it's choice to be a two-income working family and I can respect your and your wifes choice to do so. I have never and will never say that "being a working mom is not a choice moms should be making" because it is that mom's choice. It is not my choice, it is hers. No one has the right to decide someone else's life for them. You have every right to feel that your wife made the right choice to be a working mom because it is a choice she made herself, a choice she is happy with, a choice that worked for your family. But you have NO RIGHT to say that those of us moms who chose to stay at home made the wrong one. My choice to stay at home was the best choice I ever made. It was one I will never forget, or regret. And nothing else I ever do in this life will ever compare in value to what I accomplished as a stay-at-home mom.

Sincerely,
Shell Stirling
Mom-of-five

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tug of war

This was never my favorite game to play back when I was young and it actually was a game. Holding on to the rope while someone else has the other side, both of you pulling and tugging with all your might going nowhere and gaining no ground. What was the point?

I see even less point now when both players are adults and the rope in question is 3 innocent children. How does one convince themselves that using their children in a game of one  upmanship and revenge is either ok or in the childrens best interest? And how does the other party keep from pulling on the rope while also keeping themselves from being pulled into the mud? Their is just no winning here for anyone.

Its just all so ridicilous. Im tired of seeing them hurt, tired of fighting a constant battle for their and my sanity, tired of the nitpicking, the double checking, the fact finding, asking 800 times for the same thing and getting nowhere despite court orders stating that Im entitled to the information I'm requesting. And on and on and on it goes....

The kicker though was being told I couldnt talk to one of my children because I had talked to her too long last time. And then also finding out that the youngest had not only been injured but that they were all instructed not to tell me about the injury. Because encouraging kids to lie and/or keep important information from their parents is such a good idea. 0_o

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Planning of a Hunger Games Birthday

Part one of planning a Hunger Games Birthday Party is having a young adult (in this case my daughter's turning 12) who has read the trilogy, watched the movie, and loves both incessantly.
Once you have confirmed the desire for such a party step 2 is in figuring out how to go about creating one.

First, get input from your child; this includes everything from color scheme to food, whether or not they want to re-enact any scenes (and which one), if they want guests to attend in character costumes, etc. In my case i was told she wants to dress up as Effie and the rest is up to me, i have since purchased a pink wig. 0_o

Next, you either Google "Hunger Games parties" or, if you're like me and have a pinterest account, you search pinterest for ideas. I found some great ones not all of which we'll be using.

Once you've narrowed down your ideas make 2 lists. List one states all the ideas you'll be incorporating into your party and step 2 is a list of all the supplies you'll need to bring those ideas to fruition. The dollar store and Walmart are going to be my best friends over the next 2 weeks. ;-)

After shopping's been completed you photographically document your progress on each project and link it in pinterest or your own blog so people like me can see it and use your ideas to boost our own.

Finally, you throw the party, take lots of pics (once again for pinterest and your blog) and make tons of memories - moments like these don't last forever.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Miss My Mind The Most...

Unfortunately my title isn't the prelude to a funny entertaining story about forgetfulness the way some might assume. We've all heard the funny saying "of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" and seen it on T-shirts, internet memes, etc and I'm sure like the rest of us you've snickered or giggled to yourself at the silly joke and went along your way, never contemplating the repercussions of what it would be like to actually lose your mind. Over the past few months I have been victim of a war my body is raging on itself. I do not know why the war began, how or when it will end, or what is keeping it going. All I know is that now that I am aware of it I am doing my best to fight back. As soon as my medical insurance goes through (quickly, please god) my best will become even better. When your body betrays you it is the worst feeling in the world think: best friend and fiance found in a compromising position on your wedding day and then times that by ten. No, I'm not kidding. It's worse than anything you can imagine because your body is intimately a part of you, it is bound to you from birth on, you are best friends, confidantes, team-mates- your body goes through everything with you; every heartache, your first steps, every fall, every success: your body was the one that helped you score that final winning goal for your soccer team or held you in your seat when the horse beneath you had a freak out, trembled but stayed standing during your first kiss, held on strong as you pushed through labor, etc - there is no one in this world who has been through more with you or is more intimately attached to you and all your memories (both good and bad) than your body so having that same body betray you is more than a slap in the face or knife in the heart: it is the absence of hope. Which in my opinion, is why denial comes so often to those diagnosed with things like cancer or given poor prognoses: we don't want to believe that our body is fighting against us because that is the one thing we need on our side to get through it- whatever "it" happens to be. While I definitely miss my energy and miss being able to do something as simple as walking up and down the stairs or even walking to our town park (only 3 blocks away) without becoming winded, weak, dizzy or sweat-covered I would readily agree to continue to deal with that for an undisclosed period of time if only the confusion, forgetfulness and fogginess would leave me forever. I know all of us have at one time or another in our lives dealt with the moment when you walk into a room to do something, stand there for a moment and completely forget why youre there then 30 seconds after leaving the room you remember, go back and get whatever it was you needed. Imagine if that wasn't only an every day occurrence but was a Multiple times daily occurrence along with mixing up your children, forgetting their ages, birth-dates, birth statistics: all things which have been an integral part of your memories as a mom and now sometimes you can remember them, sometimes you cant and sometimes what you remember turns out to be the stats for another child even though you could have sworn it wasn't. Wanting to break down and cry doesn't begin to cover the emotional roller coaster losing your mind puts you on. Of course its not just losing my mind that has me on the emotional roller coaster, all the other symptoms combined with losing my mind is what has done it, especially when they're added to the stress of the current circumstances life and a vengeful selfish ex have dealt me recently. I'm trying to take everything in stride and be positive though while also making plans for both future's: a positive one that includes finding out whats wrong and healing it as well as the negative one that I pray isn't on my life path at this time. But well-prepared is well-armed and my children at least deserve to have a well-prepared mom so that their futures can be put on the most positive note she can give them, whether she's here to see it or not. All I really have left to say now that my fears are out on "paper" instead of crowding my heart and mind with so much stress is to honestly cherish each moment, let all those who have touched your life know that they have done so and how it has made you the better, stronger you that you are today. To those that have touched my life: I cherish all of you because without you and your actions I would not be the woman I am with a wonderful family, brilliant, loving and kind children and a compassionate, loving boyfriend who puts up with so much with more patience than most would. Thank you all for touching my life for bringing positive and cherished memories and for being a friend, a shoulder and a willing ear in times both good and bad. I cherish all of you and am ever grateful for every moment we are able to spend together. Your lives have blessed mine. Thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tired of Being Broke...

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a someone utter the above statement I would give Bill Gates "worlds wealthiest person" competition. Currently Bill Gates has no worries in that department and I really have no opinion on whether that is a "fortunate" or "unfortunate" thing because I am honestly not of the mindset that wealth solves problems, unlike the "I'm so tired of being broke" "If only I won the lottery" people are. There are hardships that come with living hand-to-mouth or paycheck to paycheck and I would be the last to deny them as I've been living hand-to-mouth pretty much my entire life. But living is honestly all about perception, mindset and attitude. I have had a good fulfilling and happy life, I seriously have, despite living below the poverty level for 90% of the past 15+ years. I have been able to have quality time with my family, they know I love them and vice-versa, I have been able to give my children toys, clothes, food and fabulous birthday parties every year, they get to go fun places like the park, zoo, Disneyland etc. All it takes is budgeting, lots of planning and the patience to wait 1-2 years for the bigger more expensive activities while i scrimp and save little bits of each paycheck to afford those things. I'm willing to wait and willing to scrimp and save because I want them to have these experiences and I know there is no other way for me to offer them that. Complaining and saying "if only" or even worse; taking a piss-poor attitude around with me everywhere I go and letting that effect my relationships and life is pointless, selfish and self-destructive. I would love to have more money and I'm actually working my butt off to try and make that happen because that is the only way it WILL happen: by me working my butt off and going out, putting myself out on a limb and TRYING. There is no "get rich quick" scheme or "instant millionaire" packet out there I can use or do to get rich overnight. EFFORT is the only way to do it. I have come up with some products I think may sell so now I am doing what I can to slowly buy the ingredients and make the products, once I have some stock I will make a website and a business page and begin promoting and selling my products. I'm also finishing the 15+ books I have in different progress stages. Once those are finished I will be selling them in online form through kindle on amazon. And I'm continuing in my housekeeping until I have enough money through my other efforts to quit. I may never rival Bill Gates in the bank account department but in the fulfilled-life, happiness, family and satisfaction departments I'm pretty sure I can give him a run for his money. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Stoppped Loving You Long Before I Left You...

It's time for honesty. I'm not saying that I've been lying to you or anyone else because I have been as honest as I felt I could be, but I definitely have never given anyone ALL the information that maybe I should have. Sometimes it was to protect you and keep your feelings from being hurt, other times it was purely selfish and done to keep myself from being hurt by your lashing tongue and cruel acts as we both know how vengeful you can be when things don't go your way. Either way I have yet to give you 100% truth about the hows and why's of my leaving and with the gloves currently off on your side I figure its about time I take my own off as well and lay everything out there. Who knows, maybe you'll read this one day and it will help you see yourself in a clearer light so you can become a better person, or maybe not. At least I know that by writing this whether you ever read it or not I have finally purged you and our toxic relationship from my soul completely.

I wanted to love you, I did, and I honestly tried to keep myself from falling out of love with you but I failed. For the record you made loving you practically impossible with your snide comments, verbal abuse, explosive temper, random outbursts, constant lies, refusal to accept responsibility for ANYTHING and constant misplacement of blame onto others and let's not forget the cheating or the rape. The two final straws that shattered this poor beaten camels back.

I think the first moment that started the downward spiral of me no longer loving you was the day you bought my train ticket for me to go to my dads wedding but didn't buy your own. I asked why you hadn't bought your ticket and you told me it was because we didn't have enough money. I had written the budget out for that paycheck and the 4 previous paychecks so that we could save the money and have enough to get there so the money SHOULD have been in the bank. Not only should we have had enough money for all our train tickets but there should also have been an additional $100 for unexpected expenses as well as our cable bill money and grocery bill money as neither of those had been paid yet. Instead after buying my ticket we had $29 in the account. That's not what made the first crack in the "I love you" wall though. What made the crack was when you followed me into the bedroom and began pestering me about what was wrong. I told you repeatedly I didn't want to discuss it until later when the kids were asleep because I felt it was emotionally damaging for parents to fight in front of their children. Instead of respecting my feelings or taking the emotional well being of our 2 children into consideration you instead focussed solely on what you wanted since YOU always have been and always will be the most important thing and #1 priority in your own life. This was the first time in our 2 year marriage that I recognized that truth and I lost a multitude of respect for you because of it.

You got in my face repeatedly continuously badgering me in front of both our children, one of whom was being held by me, until I finally lost it and brought up how much money should have been in the account and why the hell wasn't it since you were the one who had the bank card. We ended up in a big argument in front of our children at the end of which I ended up having to call my sister, making excuses for you ( another big chunk of respect for you lost there and the love crack widens a bit) so I could borrow money for us all to be able to attend my fathers wedding as it was not practical for me to travel 13 hours on a train with luggage, an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old BY MYSELF, so you needed to go with. Instead of thanking my sister, getting your act together, admitting any wrongdoing etc you acted as though everything were fine, you had the right to over-spend our bank account and were entitled to monetary loans from my family whenever you damn well pleased. The mask was coming off, the charming veneer wearing thin and the egotistical self-obsessed, thoroughly selfish ass was showing through. I was beginning to realize I did NOT love that guy but "that guy" was who I was really married to.

It was about halfway through year 3 of our marriage when I realized that not only wasn't I in love with you any longer but that I didn't like you at all anymore either. The lying was out of control, as was the verbal abuse, the selfishness had reached new heights I hadn't imagined possible and any attempts made on my part to try and talk things through or fix the ever widening cracks in our relationship were brushed aside and ignored by you. I considered leaving you multiple times but felt that for our children's sake I had to continue the facade and stay married to a man I disliked, had no respect for, didn't trust and was no longer in love with. To top it all off I was repelled by his touch and just the thought of having to have sex with him was revolting but any punishment was fair as long as it meant my children's needs and wants were being met. So I continued to live with a man I didn't love and continued to sleep with him as well despite my lack of desire for the task. I even got pregnant one last time in an effort to try to find a connection between us, something I could love and respect you for once more, anything to begin rebuilding our relationship on. It didn't work.

But I will never regret our relationship or staying as long as I did because by doing so I received 3 precious and irreplaceable gifts, our wonderful talented generous smart and beautiful children and I woukdnt trade any of them for anything in this world or out of it. So thank you for your part in bringing those gifts into our lives. I will always be grateful to you for that though your treatment if those lives since their births, especially during these past 3 years has done nothing but insure that you will never earn my respect nor be a likable man.