Friday, June 28, 2013

A Few Highs and Lows

I'm a little behind on my domestic duties, so I'm going to cut right to the chase today.

1) Getting harassing emails and blog comments from some lunatic against circumcision. I understand the argument, I really do. But do people really think they’re going to get you to come around to their way of thinking by name calling, bullying, illogical metaphors, and using anti-Semitic rhetoric? And do people out there really think that they care more about my son’s well-being than I do? People truly amuse me. 

It was a humbling experience, to say the least. I’m fairly naïve and tend to think that people out there aren’t capable of truly harming or hating a perfect stranger. I have this little blog where I try to be open and honest, to give my readers an accurate and ambivalent portrayal about what it’s like for an American girl-next-door to live abroad. I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I have to say, but I guess I did expect a certain amount of respect for what I put out there. 

After some of the hate mail I got, I really considered ending my blog. I kind of wanted to go back to living a private and anonymous life where no one can judge me for my parenting decisions because there is no way for them to know. 

But then I realized that no matter what I do, people will judge and criticize me. If I circumcise my son or if I don’t. If I breastfeed or if I decide formula works best. If we vaccinate him or decide it’s the safer bet to take our chances. If we enroll our child in public school or decide homeschooling is the best route. No matter what we decide, someone is going to think we’re doing it all wrong. Some might even go so far as to say that we don’t deserve to have children at all. 

Some people are opinionated and self-righteous. All I can do is try to remember how this judgmental person made me feel, and try not to do it to someone else. I’m going to try to trust that every parent out there has access to all the same information as I do and they just came to a different conclusion than I did. That is their choice and their right and their child. 

The ultimate goal for all of us is to raise healthy and happy kids who become healthy and happy adults. There’s more than one way to skin a rabbit and there’s surely more than one way to raise a well-adjusted child. So let’s treat each other with grace and respect, shall we? 

I’m still moderating my blog comments for the time being, so if you leave a comment and it doesn’t appear right away, it’s just because I’m weeding out the crazy. 

2) Feeling lethargic. I feel like I’ve regressed in my pregnancy a bit this week. I’m not sure if its pregnancy or asthma/allergy related, but I have been breathless and fatigued all week. Even a simple chore like vacuuming leaves me gasping for air and feeling like I need to lie down for 30 minutes to recover. It makes for slow going in the chore department, and I’ve spent a lot more time playing Sudoku than cleaning house over the past few days. 
Jonathan frequently admonishes me for falling asleep on the couch at about 8 pm. I can’t help it. I’m so tired. Yesterday he asked if I could get him a cup of water from the kitchen, and just the thought of walking the 20 feet to the kitchen for this simple task left me feeling hopelessly overwhelmed. I finally had to look him in the eye and say truthfully, “No, honey, I can’t.” 

Even now, I’m fantasizing about guzzling 4-5 cups of strong coffee just to push through the day. Caffeine has been a much harder sacrifice than alcohol (or goat cheese) has been. My one measly cup of morning tea doesn’t even put a dent to the physical and mental fog that is following me around these days. Anyone have tips for how to zap the pregnancy fatigue? 

1) I’m kind of relishing my lazy days. 
To be fair, I do get all of my weekly chores accomplished. I have dinner on the table every night, and my dogs get plenty of exercise every day. But once those tasks are complete, I guiltlessly take pleasure in snuggling on the couch with the pups while I get lost in a good book. 
Or retreating upstairs for some after lunch hibernation or Gilmore Girls marathons. I know that once baby boy is here, I won’t have the option of taking a slow morning to laze around in bed or spend an hour reading with a brown eyed spaniel warming my lap. 
2) I just bought Marc Broussard’s new live album and I have now listened to it 6 times in a row. It’s fantastic and makes me feel connected to my home state, despite being oceans away. Take a peak: 

3) Baking apple pie with the girls. Yesterday afternoon, we all gathered at Liz’s casa where she taught us how to make this delicious dessert. 
I feel like I truly earned my American Housewife points yesterday! Plus the sun was shining, so while we waited for the dough to set, we got to sit on the patio and enjoy the vitamin D. I’ll write more about the pie cooking experience, including the recipe, next week. Yum Yum. 

Well folks, part of the fatigue I’ve been feeling means that my week was pretty boring and there aren’t too many highs and lows to share with you. What about you? What were your highs and lows? You know the drill. 


  1. Dear Laine,

    Sorry to hear that you've had unpleasant comments. Wishing you and your little family all the best.

    Sandra (Irish Aberdeen expat and Mum of one!)

  2. I know everything there is to know about raising children. All of my opinions are right and anyone who disagrees with me is nothing but a child-hating communist. Bow down to my superior mind and bask in the glow of my all consuming knowledge.

    Where did I get all of this knowledge you might ask? I picked it up from my godlike parents and I must spread it by trolling other people's blogs.

    Yep, people are awesome.

  3. My son is 2, and we decided to have him circumcised. Our decision was based on a couple of reasons, but the most compelling for me was from when I worked at a daycare during the summer between college semesters. One summer I had a child who was 6 who had to go and have a circumcision one day because of the vast amounts of bladder infections he was getting, because he was a 6 year old boy who didn't understand the extreme importance of properly cleaning himself after he urinated. The worst part was his grandmother taking him out of daycare early that day, and explaining the situation to me, telling me that she had just told him that they were going to visit the doctor, it was no big deal, and they had to leave early because friends were coming over; neither of which was true.
    On the flip side, I have friends who decided not to circumcise their child, and they have had no issues, and their child is just as happy as everyone else's. Parenting issues are weird, everyone forgets to tell you that it's like talking about politics and money at a party, it just gets everyone fired up. I'm sorry that you were attacked for your completely legitimate decision, people just suck sometimes.
    Highs: Spending time with family on vacation in the Colorado mountains.
    Lows: Getting a stomach virus while on said vacation....and then driving 12 hours back to TX :/

  4. So sorry you were harassed :( Nobody has the right to judge anybody for their decisions especially their parenting decisions. I had 2 of our babies in the States and a few people judged me negatively for not circumcising - I have no strong opinions either way, I just decided to go with what is the norm in the UK. But they did succeed in making me question my judgement which was horrible at the time. I love your blog, it reminds me exactly how I felt moving from Scotland to the States and the culture shocks I experienced. I'd already lived overseas in Asia and Europe but I expected the USA to be more similar to the UK than it actually was! There's a chance that we might move back to the UK in the next few years but now I've settled in the States, I'm kind of worried about how difficult it will be to resettle back home!! Crazy :) Your blog reminds me of the good and the bad things of back home, so thanks for that! Don't let a loony dissuade you from blogging. Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well and that the delivery experience also goes well! Cheers from Tennessee, Pam.

  5. I have always admired your ability to be so transparent here in your blog. People want to hear the truth, otherwise it's just bad writing. That's why so many people love to follow you and your blog. You are a beautiful writer and already a wonderful mother. I'm glad you aren't going to let crazy, mean, rude people stop you from being who you are. I know it's easier said than done and praise you for your fortitude and strength.

    I love you, admire you, and miss you! You are so stinkn' fabulous!!! XOXO

  6. Sorry that some people can be so mean. There are only two people in the world that can make the final decisions for your child- you and your husband. Family and friends can give suggestions, but the final thought is your own. I am the mom of two high-school students, and believe me- mistakes and second guesses go with the job that God gives us as parents. Follow your heart and what you believe to be the best decision, and leave the rest behind. Love that baby unconditionally. Hold him, kiss him, and pray for him- and it will all be okay. I think you will be fabulous parents!