Are you hormonal?

How often are hormones blamed for a woman’s “attitudes”? How often do others mutter under their breathe, “she must be hormonal”? Depending on the stage of life our moods are attributed to PMS or the various stages of menopause. 

How often are men approach and asked if they’re hormonal? How often do you walk away from a conversation with them thinking, I’ll just avoid him for the next couple of days until the coast is clear? Never?!?! 

When a friend of mine decided we needed to have a heart to heart in which she danced around my new found freedom to speak my mind, her questions came back to, are you hormonally balanced? As I rolled my eyes and threw out some random justifications I reviewed the last five years of my life.

Divorced
Began working full-time after 10 years of being a stay at home mom
Moved twice
A year long custody battle
Incurred legal fees out of the wazoo
Although I’ve been working for the same company for five years I am in my third department
I have four active kids
Attended grad school for two years
I have a teenaged son (enough said)
My ex has been unemployed for about two of those five years (no financial support during that time)
I made some commitments to myself to become a better leader, mom and eventually partner. You see, I typically avoid confrontation but a few years ago I decided to stand my ground and express my opinions.

The answer to the question is maybe but why is that the first thing that comes to mind rather than reviewing my circumstances or just patting me on the back and saying, “congratulations on your personal growth and for not only surviving the last five years but excelling in school as well as work and coparenting four amazing children who are well rounded, funny, and intelligent, all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being a great friend to many”? 

I still wonder if I were a man would we have had the conversation at all?

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Oh my gosh!! If I see another post on Facebook about what a real man will do, I might just scream. Have you seen them? A real man will: change, love you better, not do this or become that. So many women jump on the “what a real man will do” train and give virtual high fives to author of the posts. I question personally whether or not the author’s of the post have ever met a “real man”.

Perhaps I’m hypersensitive because I have three real men in the making in my household. Here is my list of things that will increase the probability of you or your daughter getting a “real man”.

1. Take a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental inventory of yourself. Where are you hurting? What is lacking in your own life? Where does your healing need to occur? What kind of wife, friend or mother of his children will you become?

2. Ask yourself why would you consider being with a man who needs to change? I know everybody has room to change but why would you knowingly enter into a relationship with a man who has a long list of things you think he should change? I can hear you saying, I just want him to stop cheating, drinking, smoking, cursing, hitting me, doing drugs, calling me names, divorce his wife, pray more, dress differently, rub my feet daily, give me money, get or keep a job and start going to church. What’s wrong with that? I can’t say anything is wrong with it on the surface but go back to #1 and ask yourself why are you dating the type of man who doesn’t currently meet your standards and you might find the real change should occur in you. (side note, if you don’t have any standards go back to # 1 and create some when you are done with your inventory)

3. Stop giving ultimatums.Who decided it was a good idea to give ultimatums? Let’s take a quick poll, how many of you stuck to the action you threatened to take if he did not change? How many ultimatums have you given? When are you going to actually leave or stop tolerating the rest of the things that are on your list?

4. Ask yourself, what do I bringing to the table? I mean that literally and figuratively. I have a young male relative who is in his 20’s. A female asked him his name and he asked her if she could fry chicken. I laughed out loud when first heard about that conversation. He refused to give her his name if she couldn’t fry chicken. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and shaking your head but I’m giving him a fist bump because he has requirements and isn’t willing to compromise, give ultimatums or enter a relationship that doesn’t meet his expectations. What are you offering other than your body and the privilege of being in your presence? I am not just taking about material possessions.

5. Are you willing to change? Are you willing to become the person he needs so he will want to come home and love being there? Are you ready to stop complaining, nagging, manipulating and whining? Are you willing to cook, be his friend and not his mother, compliment and encourage him?

6. Be patient. Desperation doesn’t look good on anybody. I know you are ready to find Mr. Right and begin a life with him. He’s looking for you.  Keep doing #1 until he finds you.

My ex and I are doing the very best we can to raise men who will become good husbands. I am sure a woman will come along some day and tell them all the things they need to change. I will be there to tell them, if she can’t accept who you are today she is going to make you miserable tomorrow.

Looking for Mr. Real Man

Like a Man Does it

On any given day I hear Stud Muffin (7) or Little Dude (8) say, “let me show you how a man does it!” They are usually saying this to each other since Honeygirl and I aren’t all that interested in how a man does something and the Teenager is usually somewhere being a teen. I do watch them when this is occurring because it’s funny and I’ve learned that a man will do lots of manly things if someone is watching and gives him praise.

The Teenager is the person in charge of bug and critter disposal. The younger boys scream like a girl if they see a gecko or even a beetle. Now mind you even the girl doesn’t scream like a girl when she sees a bug but that’s neither here nor there. One morning Stud and Dude were in the kitchen, the other two were still asleep, when I heard a scream. I ran to the kitchen to see Stud pointing at a bug. Little Dude said, “let me show you how a man does it.” He grabbed a paper towel, picked up the bug and put it in the trash. After which his chest was stuck out, his head was held high and he looked at his brother and said, “that’s how a man does it!” I smiled and walked back to my room. I hear that phrase at various time during the day. I always smile at them when they show how a man does something.

Yesterday, Stud Muffin was sitting at the table drinking a cup of hot apple cider. He said, “mom, look at me I’m being a maaaan.” I turned my head to look at him and asked if he wanted to show me his cider mustache, he replied no. I asked him if he had just done something. He replied, no, I’m just sitting here being a man. I nodded and smiled at him.

I don’t pretend to know what it takes to be a man but I have learned what it takes to encourage and speak life into a man. Sometimes it doesn’t require any action on my part. I  am honored to have the privilege to watch them transform from boys to men.

I am jealous

I have finally decided to admit to myself and anybody who cares to read this, I am jealous of men. I’m not jealous enough to try to become one but I am jealous enough to be a bit envious and well, jealous. Why you ask? Why am I jealous of men? I will tell you it has nothing to do with salaries. It does have everything to do with almost everything else.
First of all, they get to carry wallets. I know they sometimes stuff them full of things but all in all, it’s a wallet. Not the big satchels the stores make for women. Yes, I know there are small handbags and I have started carrying those. But even that begins to weigh down my shoulder. So just go get a wallet then, you might be thinking. Most of my pants and skirts don’t have pockets. Even the clothing industry is in on me not carrying a wallet.
Men don’t ever have to worry whether or not a pair of jeans or a dress makes their butt look big. You will never hear them ask if this swimsuit makes their thighs look big or if the shirt makes them look five months pregnant. Never! Beer bellies are fashionable for men.
Men don’t have girdles, push up bras, corsets or any of those other gadgets women squeeze in to hide their perceived flaws in their bodies. They don’t walk around sucking in their stomachs and clinching their gluteus maxiumus to give the illusion of smallness or tautness.
Men don’t look at and then judge other men. If you walk into a room of women, you will be scoped from head to toe and back up. Somebody will comment on your hair, clothes or shoes. Men don’t say look how his pants fit or can you believe he wore that shirt with those shoes? Women make it hard on other women.
Speaking of shoes, a man’s shoes will last for years, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of loafers. The quality of men’s shoes is better. Women are provided impractical shoes that will only last a couple of fashion seasons. But then, who would dare wear the same shoe for more than one season? I do but hey I have four kids and will only allow the pressures of the fashion industry control me to a point.
Men can sit down on the weekend and zone out watching or participating in their favorite activity. Women are still working on the weekends. We don’t get off the clock until we go to sleep.
Men don’t have to worry about their hair. Now I know there are some exceptions but for the most part, their morning routines don’t include curlers, flat irons, rollers, scarves, shower caps, gels, hair sprays or moisturizer.
Speaking of morning routines, men don’t feel the need to wear makeup. How did they get off not wearing makeup? Do you know what some people pay for lipstick and eyeliner? Who invented makeup anyway. Why is a man’s natural handsomeness fine but a woman’s natural beauty needs tweaking? I don’t understand.
Yes, I am jealous. I wish I could get away with a beer belly, no make up, a buzz cut and shoes that don’t coordinate with my outfit. But if I did that, a gaggle of women would cut me down and make me feel like nothing or worse.