7 Quick Takes #53 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

When it comes to my past relationships, my spouse thinks…

I had no idea, so I asked him outright, and this was the response:

“My understanding is that you didn’t have any serious relationships beforehand. I think that’s accurate? I don’t particularly stay up at night, worrying…”

It’s accurate. I didn’t. And he has no need to worry about any ‘Big Bad Past’…because there simply isn’t one.

Not for lack of option, I hasten to add. But because I chose that I would rather wait for The One. And hope that he had waited for me (he had).

And so we embarked upon the glorious adventure of writing our story together, with no History.

— 2 —

Having said that…there was this one time.

Several times, in fact.

My BFF and I were chatting about our ideal man (probably about ten years ago – LONG before Husby was part of my world) and we…er…invented one.

Farmer Boy.

He was SO gorgeous; corn-fed, muscly, with tousled blond hair, twinkly eyes and a Yorkshire accent (just because). He wore cable-knit jumpers and muddy corduroys, could parallel-park a John Deere, and did the accounts wearing tiny reading glasses, whilst drinking from a huge mug of strong tea.

He liked open fires and baby lambs and was kind-hearted and ready to help anyone. He also had a wicked sense of humour and enjoyed the odd practical joke. We reckoned he had a few devoted sheepdogs, but also had a soft spot for a cat. And just so it felt ‘real’, we reckoned he probably snored horribly.

He was pretty much perfect, and we’d spend (probably more time than was sensible, but it was oh-so-fun) hours intermittently chatting about him and what he was like.

— 3 —

On Monday, I showed you a little glimpse of what it looks like inside my brain:

— 4 —

If you haven’t yet seen this slice of PURE GENIUS, you must. RightNow.

Also, FARMERS, right? Amiright?

— 5 —

The week’s been hard. I think I can wrap up all my missed thankfuls for NaNoGraMo into two words: MY FRIENDS.

— 6 —

[A short pause for an entire change of tack into something a bit icky]

I had a fascinating moment tonight, when I discovered that ‘shaking with anger’ is an actual, real thing.

I won’t name and shame, but one of the groups I’m in on Facebook had a thread where a bunch of moms began joking about swapping their kids, or offering them as prizes to other people. And on the joke went for…a whole heap of responses.

I am trying to tell myself that I really do get that kids can be a lot to handle sometimes. And that parents need space to vent and wish that they were back to the ‘them’ they were before all the additional responsibility…

…but REALLY?

So I went from posting a truly shitty response, to feeling guilty, because before I ended up in this situation as one half of an infertile couple, I wouldn’t have given it a moment’s thought, either.

But words slung so lightly have the propensity to wound, even inadvertently. Jokes can be painful. And I guarantee that I will take each and every unwanted/underappreciated child. Every. Single. One. If that were only an option.

Because these women are just so incredibly, unbelievably, IMMEASURABLY lucky to have children – those precious offspring denied to me, and so wanted by me (and many other infertile couples I know) – and they take it for granted.

And that hurts.

[/endrant]

— 7 —
I’m gonna have a bet with myself on which TToT co-host gets in touch first, in a panic, because I haven’t sent round the codes for this week. My money’s on Joy, because she likes to have things organised early and know what she’s doing. As for the rest of the motley crew – will they even notice? Who knows…

Join us on Saturday to see whether any of them turned up!

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

51 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #53 x FTSF

  1. i have a cousin who has 3 sons who are all ADHD. they're all blessings, of course, but they drive her totally insane. and she does joke to me, “having no kids is perfectly fine, cuz, it's perfectly fine. believe me.” and she really is saying it from a place of love and laughter. so when i hear about women joking about their kids and not being seemingly grateful, i just think it's really just a moment in time that they're saying it and it's not meant to be insensitive.

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  2. Thanks Lisa – I like that he and I are doing this 🙂

    And thank you. Sorry I went all ranty…it got to me. I think it was bad timing, and that's 'stuff' at my end, and I shouldn't have blown up about it. I appreciate your response and the hugs 🙂 *HUGS back*

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  3. I love that you and your hubby are “writing your story together.” That is a beautiful way to put it. I'm also sorry that you were hurt by that FB conversation. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own selves that we forget who our comments can hurt. ((HUGS))

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  4. Lol good. But uh-oh! BUSTEDDD!

    We based Farmer Boy on the character Dickon, from The Secret Garden…a movie we both loved as children (and pre-teens, heck, and as teens) and had little secret crushes on a boy who was so gentle and Yorkshireish and mesmerising. So we kindasorta grew him up, and brought him up to date so that our little secret crushes were a little more acceptable!

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  5. LOL! I know, right? And the irony is, I'm married to the LEAST farmer-y person – a scientist! Hehehe. The video's AMAZING though. Makes me giggle so much.

    I'm glad that your husband would have no concerns about your past relationships. I guess his ex still struggles, which I guess is understandable – the breakdown of a marriage is always bound to be a very painful thing.

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  6. *giggles* Awwww you're not gonna say whom? :p

    Sympathy I'm fine with, and I love that my friends who are mothers feel they ARE able to let of steam when I'm around. Because I totally get that it's hard, very challenging work to be a parent to a small person (or even a bigger one). That's really important to me. But this wasn't that – it wasn't blowing off steam, it was just making the joke for the sake of it. And that grated. Bigtime.

    There's a huge difference between struggling with a challenge and trying to dilute the situation with humour, and making jokes in poor taste just because you can.

    To be fair, one person then tried to make amends, which mattered to me, and I felt happier and more friendly towards this person. The others involved…well, I guess they didn't notice.

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  7. Nah.They suck. Except the photos of them when they're tiny because EEEEP.

    Also loved some of the comments as far as the difference between complaining about cleaning up poop and not being able to. I get both sides. I also am *allowed* to talk about how different life is than expected, because I certainly never thought I'd be raising a kid that I'd have to defend from the “r” word. Ever. Never ever. Does that matter? Yes, it does. And no, it doesn't.

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  8. So, let's see….your made up ideal man is a hunky farm boy and then there's the farmer video….hmmm? Me thinks me sees a pattern! Just kidding….the video was hilarious! I love parody videos and I saw this one when you shared it on FB.
    My husband would say the same exact thing to me, I'm betting…that he doesn't stay up at night worrying about my past relationships. My ex-husband was smart enough to walk away and never look back. As for his ex-wife, hell hath no fury and all that, even 16 years later!

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  9. Every teenage girl needs a Farmer Boy in her life. Mine was a member of a boy band and I'll leave it at that. 🙂

    As for the FB group, I agree with Stephanie, Kenya and you. That's just the thing, as they've pointed out, having lived both realities makes you understand, agree and sympathize with each side. Or should, at least. What helps me in situations like that is to ask yourself when I'm disagreeing with someone what is force is driving that person and to judge the situation based on that. Doing that helps me distance myself from the situation. It sounds like you did just that and recognized that they were just blowing off some steam perhaps not in the most tactful way. I don't know if they've recognized the effect their words had on you. I hope they did. I actually think it's a good thing you've made that comment. If I pissed off someone or hurt someone's feelings, I would much rather know about it and have the chance to make amends than have them silently “accept it” while walking away unresolved.

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  10. I once saw a very compelling lesson at Sunday School, and it really stayed with me. It was quite amazing and made (and makes) utter sense 🙂

    Glad you're passing on the ideals 🙂

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  11. Well I sent it NOW….did you not get it?

    I DID send it, right? *horror*

    I love that you and your BFF made up a guy as well. Makes me feel MUCH less idiotic 😉 I need to know who Dan Fogelberg is now… 😉

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  12. Venting is fine. Seeking connection and support and struggling and being open and honest about that – all fine.

    But the pissy-assed dumb comments which just…trivialise…how precious parenthood is. They bug me. Bigtime.

    Thanks for being understanding.

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  13. :p

    What can I say, Don – sometimes there's something about being infertile (and hating it with every fibre of my being) which makes me want to reach through the internet and punch smart-ass jokey-ha-ha parents in the middle of their faces.

    Sometimes…

    Have a great weekend.

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  14. My best friend and I made up a guy as well… he was perfect in every way! The best part… he had the soul of Dan Fogelberg… we were such dorks! I noticed the HTML was missing but I can be patient.

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  15. I'll address your #6 because I've been on both sides. Yeah I one of the mom's that vent now from time to time, but I think I'm a little sensitive about how far I'll go in a lot of conversations about pregnancy, infertility, choices, motherhood etc. The thing is really, if everything has been normal for a woman in all aspects of the game they really don't know if/that they've offended anyone. I know that doesn't help a whole heap and I know you get it, I get that you get it, but I know and understand how you feel 😉

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  16. Hahaha, farmers. You women are something else. Joking about trading children. Shame on all of them!! I would certainly never joke about such a thing or about drop kicking my two year old out the second floor window because it'd just make him mad anyway. Have a great weekend!

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  17. I'm so glad you like the Farmer video – and hey, now you can ring the changes at home.

    Each couple does what works for them, in the end – that's how it has to be. Husby and I may not have the 'history' factor, but we have a whole lot of 'other' going on…no marriage is perfect.

    I totally get that, and I'm really cool with parents who are genuinely burnt out and need to vent, because that's how life is. And they need somewhere to be heard with sympathy and to get some nurturing and solidarity. I absolutely don't have an issue with that. And if they're friends, I will be there, supporting them, trying to say encouraging things. Because that matters to me. I don't want any of my friends to feel they can't have a genuine complain about their situation and how much it sucks (which it does sometimes) just because I'm in the 'Can't Have Kids' club.

    It was far more the attitude of the joke, because this wasn't done in a 'I'm at the end of my tether and need support' way. It was far more of a 'Hey, I've got something fun to show and tell, and if you go and share it around, I'll give you $1000000, and chuck in my kids, too…” attitude.

    I know you've been on both sides, and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me such a detailed comment. If I ever get the chance to be on the other side, I hope that I won't be too ashamed of the way I've conducted myself on this side of things.

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  18. See, that's one thing – as a private joke between a couple of mothers who're both stressed out…no problem. But making a big deal of it in a public forum…well guess who took the collateral damage :/

    I know you know how lucky you are though, and that's awesome 🙂

    And no – though I suspect it happens more often than people think, which is cool 🙂

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  19. Well, first of all, thanks for The Farmer. We watch the Fox video at least 5 times a day in my house. We all pretty much love it. So seeing the Farmer one was quite fabulous. Second, I will admit that it can be quite complicated having a marriage where each one of us had a LOT of prior history. Mostly we just don't talk about it! 😉
    And lastly, the FB group. I feel very conflicted about this issue. Often, I try to imagine how someone who doesn't have kids–not by choice– would feel about a snarky comment. Then I swing to the other side- I know many moms who feel so much guilt, anxiety, and resentment, and they are given a gift when other moms admit that they are struggling- that they miss their old lives, that they are burned out, that their kids' behavior worries/upsets them. I think it is hugely important for parents to have that space. So where is the balance between gratitude and reality? I have been on both sides- I have been the mother who just miscarried who wants to punch out the woman who is complaining about how much she needs to pee every day, and how nauseous she is. I have wanted to shout, “I would give ANYTHING to have morning sickness right now- shut up, lady!” But then, when I was the one barfing, didn't I have the right to complain? This is a tough one, Lizzi. Sorry for writing a book on your post here. This issue raises a lot of stuff for me.

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  20. I have to admit, I'm guilty, too, even though I'd never put it on FB, but I did offer, as a somewhat sarkastic joke after an especially stressful day, to swap Violet against her pre-teen. I know I'd never do it, but somehow talking about it does indeed relieve stress. I know how lucky I am, how incredibly lucky.

    I like that you and your hubby waited for each other. Doesn't happen often nowadays!

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  21. Oh you're BACK! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 😀

    I never 'ranked' anyone in my life! Perhaps that's why I ended up inventing someone! You'd like him a lot – he's adorable. And very manly, and can fix things. I'll lend him to you, if you want 😉

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  22. No. Bless his boots 😀 He's safe. I love that bit, too. It's special to us, and we'd like to keep it that way. For us, this is definitely a 'forever' thing (I really, really, really hope).

    The farmer vid is SO SO FUNNY! Did you laugh at the 'vrooom's?

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  23. *giggles* Thanks Kelly. You have a thing about farmers too, huh? Also – I added the creator of the vid on Twitter, and told him he was a genius, and he FAVOURITED MY TWEET! Total fangirl moment! 😉

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  24. *checks the cap* – it fits 😉 Doesn't mean we aren't a WONDERFUL motley crew…

    Jinxy is a)spelled correctly and b)too close to the bone to mess with. Definitely.

    Farmer boy is gorgeous. I've had a lovely few minutes reminiscing today 🙂 Cats ARE nice – we just don't get to appreciate them because of all the sneezing and itching…

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  25. OH NOOOOOOOO *realisation dawns*

    We're gonna have to do something BIG for our first TToT Christmas…and it will have to be better than what we're doing for our 25th!

    *panics*

    I might have to call an emergency e-meeting – HOW COULD I FORGET CHRISTMAS?!?!?!

    Augh!

    But on the video front, scott – tell the rogers they get the chance to look beautiful, tell the scotts they get the chance to show off, and tell the clarks they can write the script and do the editing. Group effort, innit – appeal to their natures… 😉

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  26. Hey who you calling a motley crew? And yeah, I don't like it when people talk about swapping or trading their kids, either. It feels too jinxy for me and I don't like to mess around with jinxsy stuff. How the hell do you spell jinxsy?? Anyway. Your farmer boy sounds awesome, snore and all! Except for the cat soft-spot part. Yuck.

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  27. No need to apologize. No thunder stolen.
    The kids and I were talking about it. I even suggested that your Christmas card be a video this year, doing this type of song. That idea was shot down in 0.5 seconds. I think I'd have to write it and present it before anyone was really on board.

    (Hahaha!)

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  28. Different audience – you really should put this one. Sorry for stealing your thunder.

    HEY you could put your version of it on…cos I KNOW you're gonna want to make one, right? Right?

    (Ahhhh my imaginary farmer was such a sweetie – I mean, he did other irritating things too, like not remove his muddy wellie boots and leave mud-tracks on the floor. I was also a GREAT housewife in this fantasy, and had a clean floor to get messed up…all so many realms of the unreal!)

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  29. That video made me laugh out loud for real. Especially the “Vrroooom” bit 😀

    No, I'm certain they weren't either. And yes, venting is healthy and necessary – I do get that. And you need other moms to connect with and have that shared understanding of being driven crazy by your kids. It's completely healthy and acceptable and (dare I say it) vital.

    But the joke. Ack.

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  30. They so would. And like you, they'd be doing their utmost to be mindful and remember what a precious gift they have in their children, even as they struggled and faced the challenges.

    Because life with those challenges in it, is SO much less painful than a life without them, when they're wanted.

    Thank you. *hugs* It does me good to hear that you try to remember and be thankful. Complaining's allowed – I do realise that…it was just the eagerness of the joke which got to me (I think…)

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  31. The ridiculous thing is, I really do 'get' it, and how frustrating it is, and how there are times when you'd quite happily leave them on ANYONE'S doorstep, just to get a moment's peace. And I 'get' that there's a need to have a sightly jokey vent, and let off some of the pressure of that feeling.

    Which is why I felt guilty posting the response I did.

    Ack.

    Bloody mutual guiltfest, this. I reckon we should all draw a line in the sand under it and start again.

    *hugs* We're good.

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  32. The fact you had to make your imaginary perfect farmer “real” with a snore makes me laugh and laugh. That video was going to be on my TToT this week I love it so much. Instead, I'll put one of their other ones. (Did you notice they have a bunch?) So stinkin' funny.

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  33. I just saw the farmers video today – so funny!

    And as for the comments about the kiddos, I'm certain those women weren't saying their children were unwanted or unappreciated, but that they simply needed a break from the relentlessness of it. We absolutely love and appreciate our children, but sometimes it's healthy for us to vent. But I agree 'joking' about giving away our children likely isn't healthy, either.

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  34. I can totally understand why you would shake in anger as this “joke” was going on in front of you. I have become very sensitive to this topic because of the blogs I read. Many, many women would like to have my days of screaming, wiping little cute butts and picking up a million toys and I'm so aware of that fact, that I try really hard not to complain. I won't go as far as saying that I never do, but I truly try to stop myself and thank God for the wonderful little miracles walking around my house.

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  35. I know I sometimes joke too during the crazy times with my kids, but you are right and deep down I know I am so lucky to have them. Lizzi, I am not sure what was said, nor do I want to, but can tell by your words that you felt pain and hurt from this and for that I am sorry. No words, just hugs my friend!!

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  36. Oh Lizzi. I have felt so guilty ever since the day I wrote that FB post to you about sending you one of my children. As soon as I wrote it, I thought how insensitive and terrible it was for me to say, even if I WAS just trying to be funny. I am so sorry about that. You are right, no matter how crazy they make us, they are a gift that some women would give anything for. It's easy to take for granted in the midst of a toddler screaming for hours on end, but you take the bad with the good. I am so sorry if I hurt you.

    Like

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