Shady

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some pop music. I’ve been a huge fan of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, along with a bunch of other cheesy pop acts, including Carly Rae Jepsen. I was an entertainment editor, so I follow popular culture. I’ve largely kept silent about the feud between Katy & Taylor because I enjoy both artists, but the other day, after reading another interview about Katy discussing her side of this saga (again) & I found myself asking a friend;

I write about my life. I’m not gonna shade someone for writing a song about another human. I write about my reactions to certain things have shaped me. I’m sure some people out there aren’t happy with my opinion of their behaviour. That’s nice. But in the end, the lesson is what I learned from those experiences. It’s why I enjoy Taylor Swift as an artist. Her songs are about her feelings as they relate to certain  experiences. Sometimes she calls herself out for her own missteps (Out of the Woods, Back to December, and the forever soul crushing All Too Well). This applies to Bad Blood. Bad Blood isn’t some diss track; it’s someone expressing their feelings over the loss of a friendship. The “diss” was about actions, stressing what the person in question did and how it made her feel. But more importantly, Taylor never revealed any details, except it was about a friend creating a professional issue and the friendship ended. 


Taylor was called a fake feminist, catty, and a snake. What was meant to be a minor point about the 1989 writing process turned into a major event.  Leading the charge was Katy Perry, who revealed herself to be the subject. In fact, despite saying she doesn’t write songs about people, she released her “anti-bullying anthem” Swish Swish. The song was chock full of thinly veiled insults towards Swift and the promotion for the song has been about how she was the victim and is the bigger person and how Taylor overreacted. Perry constantly says “I’m done talking about it” and then proceeds to speak out more about she was wronged because of the song Bad Blood while promoting a song bullying Swift. What appears to be an almost obsessive need to appear as the victim of some unfair attack almost validates Swift’s position to ignore her and feel like she was being targeted professionally. But more importantly, it looks like Perry is using Swift to help boost sales of Witness, which is sad as Katy Perry is talented enough to sell albums on her own. 


This isn’t the only account of Perry’s bullying of other women. Earlier this year, she mocked Britney Spears’s mental breakdown a decade before. She regularly makes comments about Spears’s mental health. This is not how women should behave. You don’t need to belittle other women to elevate yourself. There is room on all of our phones for Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. Heck, my phone has 128gb of storage; there’s room for Gaga, and Carly Rae, Selena, and Beyoncé, with room left over for Nicki Minaj & maybe some Gwar. There’s no need to attack other women to elevate your status as HBIC. 


Maybe we as humans elevate the need for girl drama. Look at when Fifth Harmony member Camilla Cabello left the group. It wasn’t about creative differences; it was obviously about catfights and jealousy. When Zayn Malik chose to leave One Direction, it wasn’t rumoured that the guys were jealous of Zayn’s face and hair. It was “oh. He wants to go solo. Good for him.” Look at how fans pit artists against each other on social media. They’re still fighting about Britney vs. Christina. It’s been 20 years since they released their first singles. Is it the women, or are we obsessed with these supposed girl feuds? I’m guilty of it too. I was talking about it with friends. I just called attention to Katy Perry’s bullying of other women. Maybe the narrative continues because we encourage it. 


Or maybe, we should hold women accountable to walk their talk. Katy Perry talks about how women should build each other up and she wants to empower, and in the next breath shit talks another woman. She tells a story about how she stole background dancers from Taylor, and knew it would be a problem, but she’s the victim because Taylor wouldn’t apologize to her and wrote a song about her feelings. Then says women should build each other up, because she’s a feminist and not like that mean bitch Taylor, who could end all of this if she just apologized to Katy, the victim. Poor Katy. But don’t worry, she’s not crazy like Britney. See? She loves all women, just not ones with mental illness, or that made her feel bad. They’re bitches. She’s so sweet. That is true fake feminism & it makes all of us look like catty bitches who are desperate for attention. 


It’s okay to write about feelings. Some of the most powerful and moving songs were written by true life events (as long as they’re written by men, but that’s another rant for another time…wait, I’ve already written it!), but using those events, or the misfortunes of others, to build yourself up to sell records isn’t. And we need to stop hanging on every tidbit of gossip and shade like the world is a human soap opera. Those are real humans with real feelings. We need to stop listening and tell people who participate in this kind of pettiness that if their work was good, they wouldn’t need to use other successful women to give it a platform. It would sell on its own…

…swish swish. 

Strip That Down

Today we’re going to talk about the man romper. 

Ever since they hit runways last week, there’s been a ton of feedback, mostly about how man rompers aren’t for straight men, no “real men” would wear a dude romper, etc. 


This really made me sit back and ask myself one question; 

“Why the actual fuck are we so concerned with what other dudes are wearing? Like, seriously?”

I have never understood this concept. Mostly because I wear whatever the Hell I want and don’t really give a flying frog’s ass what you think of my clothing. Unless you are paying my bills, mama wears whatever she feels comfortable in. This means I’m going to go to Sephora and buy my highlighter and rock my Sailor Moon shirts and a big middle finger to those that don’t like it. I pay for it; imma wear it. I didn’t put on the makeup to impress you, or because I wanted attention; I like it. The end. 


Which brings me back to the dude romper. If you’re a dude and you want to put on a romper, knock yourself out. Rock that romper. Wear it to the mall. Wear it to get chicken wings. Do you. It’s a piece of clothing. If you don’t want to wear one, don’t. But questioning someone’s masculinity over a piece of clothing is weird. What makes a “man” anyway? I always assumed you identified as male, generally you have a penis, and that’s about it. Like, obviously there are really good men, who respect their mates and pay their bills on time and don’t commit major crimes vs. Fuckboys, but that’s another story. To be male, you would need to have been born male or transitioned into being male. How would the dude romper affect that? Is it a magic romper? I’m confused. Please help me. 


Life is too short to judge people by what they wear or how they look. Wear the makeup or don’t. Dye your hair pink or don’t. Wear the dude romper or don’t. And don’t call people names for having pink hair or wearing the miniskirt or buying the dude romper. Don’t shame people for wearing a fatkini. At no point in time are you ever allowed to tell an adult what to wear, unless you are asked for advice on what colour man romper your bro should buy for himself. 


Humans all need to treat each other better. The best way to start is with the policy of “not my body, not my business.” The sooner we realize that, the happier we’ll all be. So stop calling women whores because they showed off their legs in that cute mini skirt. Stop calling men fags for wearing pink. Stop yelling at that girl for finally feeling confident enough to wear a bikini. Not your body, not your business. 

Finally, because I was already asked once, as a heterosexual woman, I would TOTALLY  date a dude in a romper. Seeing as my requirements are

1. Don’t be a douchebag

2. Like kids

3. Like dogs and cats

4. Like crossfit

5. Enjoy eating chicken wings and telling me I’m pretty. 

Any of those things can be done while wearing a romper. 

Spiteful

Today I discovered the most amazing thing! It’s called “Alternative Facts!” 

KellyAnne Conway, aka President Donald Trump’s campaign advisor/uhhhhh what is her job now? Said that Press Secretary Spicer wasn’t asked to lie, just present “alternative facts” about the inauguration. My friend Liz made her own list of alternative facts. In honour of my friend Liz being rad, here is “A Series of Alternative Facts (50 of them)!”

This is not my friend Liz. My friend Liz is much hotter and knows how to dress in public. This is not an alternative fact.
1. I am a size 4

2. And Britney Spears. 


3. I have a PhD in Unicorn Studies from Hogwarts. I was sorted into Gryffindor. 

4. My diet consists of cake. Cake makes you thin. 

5. So do carbs. 

6. YOU CAN MAKE FRIENDS WITH SALAD. 

7. My kids are the most well behaved children ever. 

8. My house is always clean. 

9. I did not order Swiss Chalet because it was easier than cooking after working 11 hours last week. Everyone knows I make sure my kids only eat organic food from Whole Foods every single second. 

10. We also didn’t have Mucho Burrito for lunch. 

11. I’m married to Seth Rollins. 


12. I’m also the WWE Universal Champion. 

13. And I’ve won as many Oscars as Meryl Streep. 


14. I’m totally a millionaire. The cell phone job and the freelancing is a clever ruse. 

15. And my hair colour is totally natural. 

16. The film Gigli was an underrated gem. 

17. So was Batman vs. Superman. 

18. And CM Punk’s UFC career is totally promising. 


19. ET is totally adorable and not at all terrifying and scary. 

20. Geese too. 

21. Nickelback is a really great band and we as Canadians are proud of them. 

22. Tinder is a great way to meet people. 

23. Poutine is an overrated snack

24.  Fifty Shades of Grey is super romantic and not at all about stalking. 

25. Kevin O’Leary is a great choice for Prime Minister. 

26. I absolutely care about your pointless FB status humble bragging about your life. I only rolled my eyes to make sure my brain was excited too. 

27. Coldplay is amazing “pump you up” music. 

28. My quality of life didn’t improve by playing Skyrim. 

29. I absolutely didn’t pre-order my Nintendo Switch before I registered for driving school because I am a responsible adult. 

30. I also did not book a week off from work to play Nintendo Switch. 

31. Jacked up pickup trucks in the city are total panty droppers and do not infer that you have a tiny penis. 

32. Chris Brown is a gentleman. 

33. I can see John Cena. 

34. When I spoiled the ending of Prison Break, I was HELPING Paul, not ruining his TV experience. 

35. I love running. It’s so great. 

36. I would totally listen to an entire Pitbull album over being smashed in the face with a bottle. 

37. Van Hagar was better than Van Halen. 

38. Beyoncé is my best friend. 


39. Facebook statuses about Thoughts and Prayers are totally helpful. You don’t need to donate money. Also, bragging about your good deed makes you look altruistic and cool. 

40. I can deadlift eleventy million pounds. 

41. My cat Peachy can cure cancer, she just chooses not to. 

42. Vaccines for sure cause autism. I read it on the internet. 

43.  Ross and Rachel were on a break.  

44. I can’t believe so many engagements from the Bachelorette/Bachelor fail!

45. Ice cream sucks. 

46. It’s totally normal to dislike animals and not at all a sign that you’re probably a psychopath. 

47. Donald Trump is a perfectly rational thinking human being. 

48. And the epitome of class. 

49. With a thick skin and an ability to take criticism well. 

50. Alternative facts aren’t complete bullshit. It’s just a different way of looking at something! 

Goodness Gracious 

Every once in awhile, I interrupt my normal adventures to mention something that really grinds my gears (I promise we’ll return to the regular format of “today I made choices that weren’t completely awful” later). 


Today’s topic: why douchebag people need to stop being douchebags about other people’s kids. 

This past week, Ryan Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife Blake Lively and his two daughters, James and her sister, who’s name has not been made public. The internet was delighted to see the rambunctious two year old running around and clapping. She even dropped the mic when she decided the ceremony was over. The entire display was adorable as all get out. But of course, the sanctimommies were out in full force to criticize James’s dinosaur coat, her out of control curls, her behaviour, and her name. To those people, please do shut the fuck up. 

(Before you ask why there are no photos of James and her sister accompanying this post, it’s simple. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have asked that their children be sheltered from the public eye as much as possible. As a parent who does not post her own children’s photos here to protect their privacy, I feel it would be inappropriate to post photos of their children. If you want to see them, you’re welcome to Google)

These horrible commenters are the very reason that Reynolds and Lively opted to shield their daughters from the public eye. They have stated repeatedly that they want James and her sister to have a normal childhood. That James & her sister did not choose a public life; their parents did. They are under no obligation to tell the public their children’s names, show you photos or justify why they named them what they did. They don’t need to justify why their daughter wore a dinosaur coat. They’re not ugly. And anyone who can spew venom at a two year old and her three month old sister needs to get some serious help. 

I can understand why people who are dissatisfied with their lives could have an issue with Ryan Reynolds or Blake Lively. Here are two attractive and successful people who have found a great love and have a lovely family. But that’s no reason to project your bitterness onto them. I read such classy comments that the pair must have wanted boys, look at the “boy clothes” they were dressed in and James’s name. First of all; James was in a dress. Hardly “boy” clothes. Secondly, there are no boy or girl clothes, just clothes. And most importantly, Reynolds named his daughter for his beloved father, who passed away shortly before her birth. And even if Reynolds & Lively named their kid Princess Banana Nut Muffin, it is none of your damn business what Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively named their kids. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT RYAN REYNOLDS OR BLAKE LIVELY NAME OR HOW THEY DRESS THEIR KIDS. 


I love pop culture, but kids should be off limits. Paparazzi shouldn’t photograph celebrity kids. If celebrities choose to post photos of their kids on social media, and you must comment, leave the same comment that you would leave on a friend or family member’s social media page. If you can’t be nice; be quiet.  Would you tell your friend or family member that their kid has a stupid name or they were dressed poorly? Would you Shame a friend for not breastfeeding or belittle them? This happened to Kristin Cavallari and her husband Jay Cutler when she posted a family snapshot. Her choice to give her kids a vegan diet was questioned, with people accusing her of starving her kids, saying they needed a cheeseburger, etc. While I do not agree with her decision to not vaccinate her children, I respect that she is their mother and it’s her call. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT KRISTIN CAVALLARI AND JAY CUTLER FEED THEIR CHILDREN. 


Kids didn’t choose to be in the public eye. They are not “fair game” because their parents are famous. This argument was common online when WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens’s wife Karina was forced to delete her Instagram account because bullies insulted her son Owen & daughter Elodie. They used the justification that since Owens is a bad guy on TV and uses his social media in character, that it was “fair” to insult his eight year old son and two year old daughter and harrass his wife. Karina is not famous. She lives a quiet life with her family in Quebec. She didn’t deserve the abuse. That would be like someone insulting you because your husband got drunk at a family gathering and pissed them off. Isn’t that stupid?

Let’s all say it together; YOU DO NOT GET TO INSULT KEVIN OWENS’S FAMILY BECAUSE HE BLOCKED YOU ON TWITTER. 


I know celebrities seem larger than life, but they’re people too. They love their families. They want the best for their kids just like you or me. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t owe you access to his kids (so you can call them ugly) because you went to see Deadpool AND the Green Lantern and you watched all six seasons of Gossip Girl so Blake Lively best share every gory deta of her birth stories. They have every right to protect them from trolls and bullies, just like you would protect your family from online abuse & mean strangers. 


So, the next time you feel the need to question a famous person’s parenting, ask yourself how you would feel if someone did it to you, because I bet someone has and it super pissed you off. I always tell people that the world would be an infinitely more wonderful place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. Let’s try not being an asshole. 

Welcome to the Show

It’s been a weird few weeks. 

I haven’t really felt like blogging. I’ve been writing, as I’ve been working hard at the magazine as I AM GETTING ASSIGNED STORIES AGAIN! But I didn’t feel like blogging. I even pulled the app from my phone for a bit. I’m all about being more selective about what I share with people. Even my close friends aren’t learning as much about my life. I guess I’m internalizing a bit. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think there are people who use my blog to figure out my mood, etc. instead of actually communicating with me & I’m kind of over that. But I really wanted to share this tale of how strong women inspire strong women & maybe it’ll motivate other strong women. 

But I’m losing the plot a little bit. Hold on, let me back up the train a bit. 

  

This week, my girls were talking about heroes & women who inspire them. I’m always interested to see who catches their attention & motivates them. For my oldest daughter, it was Sasha Banks. 

  
My teen daughter has made it no secret that she wants to become the youngest WWE  Women’s Champion in history. She’s also been told by her father, grandfather, and maternal grandmother that she can’t. She’s lazy. She’s selfish. Spoiled. So she’ll never make it. However, she keeps on training. Working on her athletics in gym & her theatrics in drama class so she can become that girl that has her moment. I always remind her that for every AJ Lee & Sasha Banks, there are hundreds of little girls that didn’t make it, so she’s gotta put in the work Sasha & AJ did. I tell her that she’s capable and while I fully intend to be at ringside when she wins that title, it’s always good to have a university education in case of injury. Last week, Sasha Banks showcased her Wrestlemania Diary, where she revealed a journal where 10 year old Mercedes (Sasha’s real name) wrote about her dreams to become the WWE Women’s Champion. Last Sunday, my eldest child, decked out in her Legit Boss gear, got teary when the opening notes of her favourite’s music hit and as Sasha Banks got her moment, she said “Sasha did it, and in a few years, that’ll be me.”

  
Regardless of the outcome of the match (which pissed off every one of my kids), Sasha Banks inspired many little girls who are told that they can’t, like my daughter, so she should be proud of what she accomplished. Much like little Mercedes looked up to her heroes, in a few years, my daughter will describe how Sasha Banks walking to the ring helped inspire her. That’s gotta be amazing. 

Later this week, I introduced my daughters to THE GREATEST CINEMATIC EPIC OF OUR TIME; Legally Blonde. My 9 year old, whom we call the Overlord called me at work to tell me;

“MOMMY. ELLE AND THE DOGGY SAVED THE LADY AND WON THE CASE AND SHE DID IT ALL BY HERSELF AND THEN TOLD THE JERK BOY TO GO SCREW HIMSELF. SHE IS AWESOME.”

I take flack for loving Elle as much as I do, but she’s pretty bad ass. She got into Harvard Law all by herself. And she became a lawyer all by herself. She didn’t hold it against Vivian that they fought for the same guy, because he didn’t deserve either of them. And Elle just wanted to make the world better for people. She kind of rules. The Overlord kind of wants to be a lawyer…and I need to watch my language, as screw yourself shouldn’t be in a kid’s vocabulary. 

  

 And my youngest daughter told me this week that I’m her hero. Because Mommy writes for a magazine & moved to a Cow Province to be the best writer & sells phones & works hard & gives hugs & takes her to Zootopia & does crossfit & I would never blow up her planet like Darth Vader blew up Princess Leia’s planet. It was kind of cool.

  
But it reminded me why I need to make sure that I’m being my best self every single day, as there are little people who are watching me. Little people watch how you treat people, how you carry yourself, how hard you work & emulate you. While its great that Sasha Banks & Elle Woods inspire my kids to become champions & dog toting lawyers, I’m the one they see every day. I need to be the bad ass woman that conquers the planet, works hard, and treats people well. I’m the one who will teach them what kind of woman they want to be. I don’t want them to be like me; they will accomplish far more than I will, but my character sets that blueprint. I need to make it a good one. 

  
So, the lesson here is, never be afraid to be the best version of you. You never know who is watching.

  

Playlists & Apologies

I never thought I’d see the day when I would defend Kim Kardashian West, but here we are. 

Yesterday, Kim Kardashian West posted on her personal website a statement that is taboo, unheard of, and something no mom should ever say;

She hates being pregnant. 

Mainstream media outlets picked up on it & suddenly, every mom from here to Palookaville was calling Kardashian West every name in the book. 

Some of the amazing comments included;

“Oh she is such a self centered twit. She complained about not being able to conceive now she is saying being pregnant is the worst experience of her life? Do us a favor and just shut up.”

“and honey….pregnancy doesn’t look good on you either….win, win! shut your pie-hole and just give birth already! I can’t believe you have 2 1/2 more months to go, you look like beached whale, boom!”

“Can you imagine the amount of women out there not being able to get pregnant and having to read something so outrageous!?!?!? Do you know how many people would LOVE to be able to get pregnant? Become a mom? Apparently, this means no biggie for Mrs. Kardashian-West. Hope and pray your children don’t feel any remorse toward you for making such horrific statement!”

These were just some of the amazing comments that people made because a pregnant woman said she hated being pregnant. How dare she?! She had fertility struggles! She should be grateful!

Wait. Nowhere did she say she wasn’t grateful for her daughter North or her unborn son. In fact, she said they were worth all of it, but being pregnant just sucks. Kardashian West has made no secret of her struggles. During her first pregnancy she suffered from preeclampsia. She had several surgeries to correct issues with her uterus before she could conceive her son. Her pregnancy weight gain is mocked by literally every human being on the planet. I can see why she hates it. 

  
Here’s a secret about me; I too hated being pregnant. Every second of it. From the time I peed on the stick until the first cry, I hated being pregnant. I had two high risk pregnancies & one uneventful one. I had Hypermesis Gravidium with all three. Sciatica. I gained tons of weight. My one uneventful pregnancy went 11 days overdue. My hair fell out. I looked like death all of the time. Being pregnant sucked. 

  
Miscarriage, infertility & infant loss are all terrible things, but women need to stop denying women their right to their honest feelings about their personal journey because theirs is different. I lost my father at a very young age. Imagine if I told my friends growing up that they were so ungrateful because they were angry at their fathers because mine was dead? Same idea. Women are competing with each other about everything. Who’s pregnancy was more magical, who lasted longer in childbirth without drugs. Who makes the most adorable organic snacks in Pinterest. Who loves their kids the most. Please do shut up. 

Kim Kardashian West hates being pregnant. I hated it too. I hated it so much that even the thought of having another kid makes me kind of dry heave because I couldn’t imagine putting my body through the emotional highs & lows, the weight gain, the pain, the time off work, the fear of going back on bed rest, etc. My best friend struggled with infertility & also hated being pregnant. That doesn’t make her ungrateful, it makes her honest. Perhaps Kim Kardashian West’s candid confession will allow some woman, who is reading her mommy board & how everyone feels so feminine & sexy & empowered while she feels like a fat slug who pukes a lot & can say “omg me too.” And suddenly she won’t feel like a bad mom, because it’s okay to not like the process. 

  
I would much rather read Ms. Kardashian West’s blunt honesty than the normal celebrity garbage that is designed to shame moms, like the time Gisele Bundchen said labour didn’t hurt & women who don’t breastfeed don’t love their babies & need to go to jail. Being a mom & carrying a child is hard enough. Stop shaming women for their honest feelings about pregnancy & childbirth. More moms need to build each other up, not make it a pissing contest over who felt more like an Earth fairy & held off the epidural longest. Drug free birth or lack of morning sickness doesn’t make you a better mother. Your commitment to your child does. Seeing as most of us have not met Kim Kardashian West or her daughter North, we don’t know what kind of parent she is. Don’t make judgements based on one comment. 

I’ve criticized the Kardashian crew in the past, but this was just wrong. Bashing a pregnant woman is wrong. If you can’t relate to her feelings, then be quiet. Her feelings are still hers, and still valid. 

  

Writing’s on the Wall

Parenting a teenager super sucks sometimes. 

I’m fortunate that I’m raising a mature & well rounded teen girl. She’s not concerned with gossip. She doesn’t waste days on social media. She likes boys & fashion & selfies & reality TV, but she’s not caught up in celebrity worship as much as her peers (except for Queen Taylor Swift).  

I’m perfectly fine with my daughter loving Taylor Swift. She’s a good person who loves her friends and her fans. She promotes the concept of women building up other women. She responds to criticism with class and poise. She isn’t afraid to stand up for other artists. Taylor Swift is a fine role model for young women & I applaud her commitment to retaining her true personality despite her growing fame. 

However, my daughter’s new school friend recently teased her (good naturedly) for her obsession with the E! Reality show Total Divas. She adores the Bella Twins (Brie & Nikki) and enjoys their adventures as they climb the mountain to become the most dominant Divas in WWE history (a feat they’ve accomplished as Brie is the only Diva to co-main event a PPV, and Nikki recently held the Divas Championship longer than any Diva in history). But her friends are more concerned with Keeping Up With the Kardashians, most notably, their “style icon and role model,” Kylie Jenner. 

My daughter argues that her reality show is better, because Brie & Nikki Bella have an actual skill, whether their skill is respected by mainstream entertainment fans or not. Brie & Nikki can wrestle; they train to wrestle. Nikki has continued to compete through three separate injuries over the 301 days she was Divas champion. Brie & Nikki travel often, missing weddings, family functions, all in the name of entertainment. Brie most recently missed her first wedding anniversary because she was touring. My daughter often points out that Kylie has no discernible skill, nor do any of her sisters. They don’t have actual jobs, or a talent, or anything that makes them special, so why are we keeping up with them. But I overheard her friends this week telling her that Kylie Jenner is an icon & they should all aspire to be like her, get her signature pout & her relationship with rapper Tyga are “relationship goals.” All of this sort of makes me sad.  

I don’t know Kylie Jenner. I’m sure she’s a very sweet girl. She’s quite pretty. If she is a wild child, it’s probably more due to a lack of adequate supervision from her parents, Kris & Caitlyn Jenner. But there are so many more interesting things for young girls to aspire to be than pretty with a full pout. There is so much more for young women to accomplish than dating a 25 year old man while underage and bikini selfies and launching an app with makeup tips. These girls are 13 and 14 years old. They can grow into women of distinction; they can change the world. Why are they limiting themselves by wanting to be more like a woman with no discernible talent & her only goal is to be pretty & desired by men? Is this how my parents felt when I was all about Madonna?  

Girls, please don’t sell yourself short. If you must look up to someone famous, why not Hailee Stenfeld? This young lady was nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 14. She recently released her single “Love Myself,” which is quickly climbing the Billboard charts. The catchy song is an anthem for self love, reminding people that as long as she sees her worth, she doesn’t need anyone to validate her. What about Malala Yousafzai, who took on the Taliban, survived a gunshot wound & now advocates education for women in underdeveloped countries. Both of these young women are the same age as Miss Jenner & their messages are so much more positive. Love who you are, grow as a woman, seek knowledge. While neither may have Miss Jenner’s perfect pout, they have something so much more: goals & aspirations & a desire to make the world better.   

Somewhere, did we as parents fail our children? We can blame the media for giving the Kardashian-Jenner clan attention, but we are responsible for their infamy. We comment on their articles, we download their games, much like the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Episode, if you ignore them, they will die. We keep them alive with every retweet, click and comment.   

But maybe it’s deeper. Maybe we as moms have failed our children by our own example. Why do our daughters aspire only to be pretty? They don’t learn from celebrities, they learn from us. We can blame Barbie, even Kylie Jenner, but we have to ask what kind of example are we setting? Do we acquiesce to our husbands? Did we abandon our goals? Do we focus too much on our own aesthetic so that out daughters see us fearing aging & obsessed with being “Cougars” because either we are single moms hoping to meet a mate or because we still want to feel sexy? There is nothing wrong with these things on the surface, know there are times I’m too caught up in my appearance, especially my weight & my weight loss journey & I need to be mindful of that for my daughters.  But perhaps we need to use them as talking points, while aspiring to be more; professionally, personally.   Perhaps we as moms need to start setting goals for ourselves to showcase that we as moms are strong, brave, smart and beautiful. Then perhaps our daughters will look up to us, admire us, and not Kylie Jenner. Because your daughter’s role model should be you, not the flavour of the week on TV. Maybe if we kept up with being the best version of ourselves, our kids could keep up with us, and not the Kardashians.   

From Here to Zero

I’m a strong believer in my personal privacy.

I post pics of my kids on my social media, but never on my blog because while I choose to write about my life, I also respect that they do not choose to do that, so I don’t post their names or photos. My number one pet peeve in life is those parents who post literally every personal milestone of their kids lives (photos of them on the potty, telling stories of them smearing poop on the walls) on social media. I try to limit stories about my kids to when they are doing hilarious things. Adversely, I blog about my personal life, as I write to sort through my own feelings. I’ve been through a lot when it comes to my interpersonal relationships and I know I still have some growing to do, I still need to learn to trust better and I need to stop fearing the idea of a legally binding lifetime commitment because fear only holds us back from truly being happy. Writing about it helps me find my way. But I never post it on social media (that’s not true, there are TWO photos on my Instagram).

There was a random mention of my significant other on my Facebook on my birthday, when I excitedly wanted to show off his adorably thoughtful present to me. When I first moved here, I was beyond excited to find penguins in the West Edmonton Mall, as penguins are the most awesome animals on the planet. One night, when I was dreadfully homesick, he sent me a text message, telling me that I would adjust, it would be okay, he loved me so and he would do whatever it took to help me feel at home here, including find me a penguin to be my pet. My penguin may be cuddly and stuffed, but the gesture was very sweet, and now my penguin sleeps with me at night (judge me, I don’t care). I had a couple of people ask me about my significant other and overcthe past few months, some of my closest friends challenged me on my comfort level about my relationship because I never mention it online. But it’s not for a lack of faith in my romantic life that keeps me mum on the details of my romance online or to the masses, it’s quite the opposite; I keep it mine because it’s mine.

 

Isn’t he the cutest?!
 
It’s not a secret who I am dating. My friends and family know who I’m seeing and his friends and family know as well. But the seriousness, the depth of our commitment, the things that are personal are not for public domain. Obviously my closest friends are in the know (So Erica, Melissa and the Gleason Table), but I really don’t feel that the general population needs to know the ins and outs of my love life. That is mine. It’s a part of my life that is very important to me, much like my career and my children. Obviously, I wouldn’t post my job satisfaction on the internet, or personal things about my children, so why would I post things about my love life on the Book of Face?

I used to, but I also see that before I was VERY insecure about my relationship. I was always afraid the relationship would fall apart, so I thought if I said I was happy, then I would convince myself I had nothing to worry about. I see now that was actually stupid. I was inviting the peanut gallery into my relationship. That brought about mistrust, which combined with my insecurities and his fear of long term commitment (and mine) prompted the relationship to implode. I see people all the time on FB talking about people poking into their relationships and telling their friends/family to mind their own business and I often think, then don’t constantly put your business out there with memes and statuses and stuff. But, during the evolution of MHC, I realized that in order to be a decent partner, things needed to change. One of the things that needed to change was my reliance on the acceptance of others. It doesn’t matter if my friends like my boyfriend; I am in love with him. It doesn’t matter if he posts a million cutesy things on Facebook, in fact, we rarely interact on social media. We communicate away from social media. We talk, we text, we cuddle. I learned that to keep a relationship healthy, you need to keep your relationship in house. Facebook does not need to know that I love my boyfriend: he does. Every time I see these over the top FB declarations of love or passive aggressive statuses or the constant switch from “single” to “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.” Yuck. Why do you need to convince the planet you’re in love? 

 There are exceptions to every rule. I have some friends that post the odd cute photo & they radiate love & you feel happy for them. My two favourite coaches at my old gym are those people. My friends Nic & Sarah as well. But again, these are vacation photos, rare snippets in time. Not an all out assault of “LOOK HOW IN LOVE WE ARE.” They are sharing small snippets of their lives, which is the point of social media. It’s about small pieces of your life, but the story is for you alone. Sometimes I think about how people like Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds recently had to cut a friend out of their lives to protect daughter James’s privacy. Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux had to hide their wedding plans & take their guests cell phones to protect their privacy. WWE interviewer Renee Young put fans on blast because a harmless photo of her & fellow broadcaster Corey Graves taken on her birthday was misconstrued, followed by insulting comments asking about the whereabouts of her longtime boyfriend, WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose. She chooses to keep their relationship private, and fans get angry that she isn’t sharing photos. All these people want is to enjoy their private moments. Then we regular folks abuse the very same privacy by putting it all out there to be analyzed & get angry when people do. 

  
Maybe someday I’ll feel comfortable sharing snapshots of my life. Maybe not. But until I reach that place, I choose to protect my personal life & my children’s privacy. You do not need to know when my child used the bathroom. You do not need to know the intimate details of my personal life. But the little bits I do share, I enjoy sharing with you, as I enjoy those rare snapshots of your life as well. 

  

Raised On It

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been reading about the Ashley Madison hack and I find it completely hilarious.

I’m not one to revel in the misfortunes of others, but watching guys like Josh Duggar, who for years have tried to make LGBT families, divorcees and anyone who doesn’t fit into their traditional mold of marriage feel like they are somehow deficient try to squirm their way out of this makes me giggle. Watching them try to blame Satan for their hypocrisy warms the cockles of my tiny black heart.

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However, the fall of the Ashley Madison website brings me a personal joy for a more personal reason. During my year as a newlywed, my former husband & I had a million and one problems, most of which stemmed from the fact that we were far too young and not ready to be married. But he worked midnights and my roommate and good friend had discovered that this website was real. So, we looked it up and were horrified at the number of people we knew that were on this site trolling for affairs, one of which was my ex husband. In the infancy of our marriage, maybe even before we had said our I do’s, had been looking for an affair. I chose to stay with him for the next seven years, and I’m glad I did as we later had two beautiful children, but the shock and betrayal stayed with me, as our marriage was marred by a lack of trust, which was pretty valid as he cheated on me pretty much all the time. After our first year of marriage, I discovered that the weekend he sent me to visit friends in our hometown was so he could meet a friend in a hotel for a tryst. About two years ago, he admitted to me (while heavily drunk) that he had slept with the stripper next door. I received an email from his former friend’s wife confirming they had been sleeping together while I was pregnant and on bedrest with our second child. And he was once banned from working as a photographer at two separate bars in our old hometown for sexually harrassing the staff. These all stuck with me for years, negatively impacting my future relationship. I would remember the female friends who weren’t platonic friends, the comments about how if he didn’t think I’d get mad, he would be trying to get with our female friends, or the time he propositioned my best friend to have a three way with him and our friend Sarah. It bothered me so much that I didn’t know how to trust a man who said he loved me and it took three years of therapy to feel okay and accept that not every man on Earth was out to hurt me or cheat on me.

I sent an email to the creator of Ashley Madison and blasted them for providing this service. I asked them how could they sleep at night knowing that they were making it easier to break the hearts of so many trusting souls. The reply I got was that maybe I should have been a better wife and lover, and my husband wouldn’t have wanted to stray, a sentiment he would tell me when I would put him on blast for his flirting, or whatever I caught him doing (that he would always say was misunderstood, or he was misunderstood, because he was the victim and why wouldn’t I just do *insert sex act here* and he wouldn’t have to want to cheat?).

This is why I laugh when I see the cheaters on Ashley Madison squirming and crying about their privacy.

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I feel for the victims, and by victims, I mean the actual victims. The spouses who used the tool on Wired and got the unfortunate surprise of “Guess who’s email address was compromised?!” or the stammering conversations where they explain their behaviour. I don’t feel the tiniest bit badly for the “victims” who’s privacy was breached. Oh, I know the dark side, this could happen to anyone and boo hoo and credit cards aren’t secure and the like. But a bunch of horrible people are going to be exposed for betraying their spouses and I’m glad. I hope they feel violated and like their integrity is compromised and awful. You know, the way their spouses have felt for months when they have suspected for months that their partner was cheating, or when they found out the truth.

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I have had a few friends who have said to me that since I was a staunch defender of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence when they had their private photos leaked online last year, I should take the same stance on this. I disagree. There is a big difference between private photos that were meant to be viewed by one person privately (such as Jennifer Lawrence’s photos for then partner Nicholas Hoult) and cheating on your mate. While yes, cheating isn’t illegal and having your credit card information compromised totally sucks, you were betraying your partner, and in the case of a guy like Josh Duggar, you were doing it while condemning other people for not living life according to a belief system that you yourself weren’t following. So, I don’t feel totally badly for these “victims,” just the people they have been victimizing, for having to learn that the person that they are with actually sucks in such a public way. Even if you didn’t pick anyone up on Ashley Madison, you had an account, the intent was there and you sir or madam are a raging douchebag. Your partner deserved a million times better and you should feel violated, because you are walking a mile in their shoes and I hope you wear them well.

  
Maybe I’m biased, because I know how it feels to find out that your spouse has an account with a website designed to help him cheat on you and I know how people like Anna Duggar feel. I hope Anna Duggar takes her kids and leaves him and finds happiness with a man who recognizes how beautiful and special she really is, but I doubt her religion will allow it. Ironically enough, her church will likely badger her with the same answer that Ashley Madison gave me and she will stay with her unfaithful husband. If she does, let’s not shame her or call her stupid. We are not walking in her shoes. We don’t know what her “church” has done to devalue her. But for all of those who are scrambling to “save” their marriage and blaming the Ashley Madison hack, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, because you already destroyed your marriage when you strayed (or attempted to stray) from your partner; it’s just now everybody knows you were doing it.

  
And to those encouraging people not to check the list for their partner; I disagree (although I haven’t for reasons that make sense to me). Chances are, you won’t be shocked by the answer. My Texan bestie looked up her own email & hubby, even though she knew the answer just for the lolz. But most people who are checking are either;

a) bored like me or

b) confirming an answer they already knew subconsciously, an answer they have every right to know. 

Hey Mama

Because I’ve spent many years covering entertainment media, I read a lot of celebrity gossip. 

Let me rephrase: I read comments on celebrity gossip. 

I prefer the comments because I think it’s funny that people waste their days calling celebs names. I comment, but even my constructive comments get maligned with replies with poor grammar & calling celebs whores. Such fun. I love the Internet. I once talked about how parents wonder where their children learn bullying from. They learn it from you BULLYING STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET. 

But the Kelly Rutherford/Daniel Giersch custody case has been interesting, as it covers a world of issues, from parental alienation, international coparenting & what is truly in the best interest of the children (you can read the decision here). As someone who is now attempting to cross country coparent, I was very interested in seeing how this plays out. 

  
The decision references that while both are good parents, Ms. Rutherford’s attempts to marginalize her ex husband’s role as dad prompted the judge to choose to give him primary custody of the couple’s two children, as the minimum time he proposed for mom to see the kids was more than the maximum time he would have seen the kids with her plan. As Ms. Rutherford demands her American children be returned to America (the kids hold dual citizenship with the EU), one of the comments I see most is;

“Children belong with their mother, only their mother. What a horrible dad for taking those kids from their mother.”

Wait. What? 

One of my favourite blogs is Daddy Doin’ Work. Doyin Richards is committed to promoting the role of dad & encourages women to also allow dad to embrace their parental role. Kids need two parents that are active & emotionally present. You only need to step up when one parent doesn’t step in. And we need to stop with the antiquated idea that dads don’t matter. 

One of my best friends is a single dad with full custody of his son. I won’t violate his privacy with details, but he stepped up in a situation where a lot of men wouldn’t & he rose to the occasion & is raising a fine young gentleman. Another one of my friends from public school is fighting tooth & nail every day to be a hands on and present father for his children. Yes, there are deadbeat dads & yes, they suck. But if you are a mom lucky enough to have a partner or former partner who wants to be an active father, don’t be like Ms. Rutherford. Don’t shut dad out. 

Dads are damned if they do & damned if they don’t. Look at Stephen Curry, who brought his daughter Riley to all of his playoff games, & press conferences, etc. Women pissed all over him for not “leaving his brat at home with mom” instead if commending him for wanting to share his big moments with his family. But if he left his wife & owed back child support, we’d string him up for being a deadbeat. 

  
I know some of you are thinking “But MHC, you just moved across the country. Didn’t you shut dad out?” I once let myself think that way, but then I realized the difference. Mr. Giersch wants to parent. My former partner blows off Skype dates, and spent less than 10 days with them during his month with them, often leaving them with their grandmother for days. I would call & ask how Daddy was & if they were having fun with him & they answered “he’s at home”. He doesn’t call often. I can give all the access in the world & even offered to help him if he wanted to move closer to give him more access if need be, but he didn’t exercise his access when they were nearby. However, I will always try to encourage him to be a father, to the point where I practically force him, telling him he can’t send our teen daughter home after a few days because she’s annoying him, or demanding he call. If he wanted to parent, he’s got the opportunity. Maybe this idea that dads don’t matter bugs me because while I would kill for my kids to have a dad that’s invested in his children, other dads are being denied the opportunity to coparent. 

The other question I read from the “moms are the only option” supporters are “what would you do if you were Kelly?” If I were Ms. Rutherford, or the NCP, I would do the only option; I would move to where they are. Part of being a parent means making the tough choices. This was not an easy choice, but making more money & having full time hours while being able to supplement my income doing what I love made so much more sense than working two jobs & never seeing my kids to put a roof over our head. Sometimes you’ve gotta look at the big picture & do what’s right, not what’s best for you. If I was the NCP, I would have packed my bags the minute the CP said this was the plan. I would have been in the same city with them, so I could attend parent teacher meetings, doctor’s appointments, and birthday parties. 

We could all take a lesson in “what’s best for kids” from another celebrity; Britney Spears. 2007 & 2008 weren’t kind to Ms. Spears. But she got it together. We should all commend her for pulling her life together & conquering her mental illness & personal struggles to be the successful woman she’s become. But when she had it together, her sons Sean & Jayden were happily well adjusted in their father Kevin Federline’s Tarzana home. So, she didn’t try to get custody. She put her sons’ needs over her own. And Federline & Spears coparent well. She’s been spotted playing with Federline’s daughters with new wife Victoria Prince while cheering on her sons at soccer. They throw joint birthday parties. Her sons spend all their school vacation time with their mom, and Sean & Jayden win.  

Dads matter. If dad doesn’t want to be there, stop forcing him to try to be there, a lesson I’m learning. Trying to make a man parent only hurts the kids. But shutting out a man who wants to parent (or ridiculing a man for wanting to be a parent) hurts them too. So, even if he wasn’t an active dad, but wants to turn that around, let him try to be a dad. If he’s been a good dad all along, let him be a good dad. But what’s best for the kids isn’t just mom. It could be living with mom, or living with dad, or living with grandma. What’s best for kids is the life that is actually best for the kids.