Archive for the ‘woman woes’ Category

PR in the Family?

This image has been circulated around Facebook lately:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.03.09 AM

…and many of my (girl)friends generally agree this is true to reality in their home.

I know it is in mine. In fact, DH often tells me that I’m in charge of PR in our home. I think that’s pretty typical. Honestly, I’m pretty sure nothing like gifts, cards, birthday wishes would be sent if I wasn’t around. This goes for appointment making, rsvp’ing to social engagement, getting & bringing host/hostess gifts to such engagements, etc.

If you live with someone else, who is in charge of “PR”? Is it mostly on one person, or is it shared?

Why do these tasks *typically* fall on women?




Nicole & Maggie had a post about this the other day, but I had written and scheduled this before so I figured I’d still post it. 

One of my most embarrassing behaviours is the fact that I tend to tear up when frustrated or angry.

This is incredibly annoying when I’m in an argument with DH and I’m trying to be angry, but I end up crying.

It’s even worse when it happens in a work environment. I feel like it makes me look weak, like I can’t handle things. It clearly can leave a bad impression, and it can make people uncomfortable.

I don’t know how to stop it, and it drives me crazy!

I’m a very emotional person in general, and have a hard time hiding my true feelings. I find it hard to lie, even in situations where I know that I should just SHUT UP. These could be seen as strengths, but in some cases it really gets me into trouble or makes me look really bad.

Any one else like this? Anyone able to overcome it (especially the tearing-up)? Tips? Suggestions?

Body Image Limbo

I recently wrote a bit about my struggles with body shaming, and touched on how I’ve been trying to see my body in a different light over the past few years.

I’m definitely more positive than I used to be about my body. I would use the words “hate” and “ugly” and “fat” a lot about myself and specific body parts (mostly my stomach) and, honestly, I’m surprised my body is still around after that much abuse. I mean, really, I would NEVER say those things to anyone else…why would I treat myself that way?

So, I have been making a conscious effort to try to love my body as is, but it is REALLY hard and is something I have been struggling with lately. I feel like I’m being torn between:

1) I must love my body as-is because that’s the best thing I can do for me, and to fight the body shaming brought on by patriarchy, society, and media.


2) Sometimes I just feel gross and fat, and I can’t stop these thoughts no matter how hard I try.

And if I’m feeling (2), I not only feel crappy about myself physically, but I also feel like a bad feminist and woman in general. I shouldn’t CARE if my pants are feeling snug or if I can feel my belly has gotten bigger. But, I do. I DO.

This has all come to a head now because I’m back into my normal weight range after losing a sickening amount of weight after I had my stroke and spent weeks and even months not eating nearly enough. My weight went up slowly in the months after, but then plummeted again when I started having serious anxiety attacks when C was about 6 months old and again when I started school last September.

Of course, even though the way I lost all that weight was not healthy, I felt great because THIN = HAPPY, right? DUH! I received so many compliments on how good I looked. How could I not love that? What’s the big deal though, right? Well, now I find myself hoping for an anxiety-inducing situation so maybe I’ll lose a few pounds again, and I have to fight those thoughts off. That is NOT healthy.

Changing my mentality about my body is a work in progress, and will probably be something I work on for perhaps my whole life. Thankfully, I came across this post written by someone who is battling the same thing, and I know I’m not alone.

Effects of Body Shaming

I’ve noticed  in my social media circles recently that there has been a lot more attention given to body shaming, and how it needs to be addressed and abolished. There are nipple activists (why do women’s nipple need to be hidden, when men can “out” them whenever they feel?”), there is a movement toward ethical consumerism toward companies that support body-positive outlooks, and a growing resistance to over-the-top diets, what’s an acceptable bikini body:

Thank God, and it’s about time. I know that maybe I’m just seeing this more and more because of the social circles I travel in, but it is refreshing.

I’ve been battling bad body consciousness for most of my life (save the first few years of my life when I was blissfully ignorant and unaware of what a girl’s/woman’s body is supposed to look like). How could I not when all I heard from the women and girls around me was “diet” this, “workout” that, and don’t forget all the images and “advice” from helpful teen magazines on how to look hot to get the guy (because that’s what life is all about, of course).

I went through adolescents believing I was ugly because I – gasp! – had glasses, and a bit of hair on my arms and upper lip, and because I didn’t have boobs, and then because I did. Because I didn’t have a perfectly flat stomach, or because I had “flat” hair.

When I gained weight in university, and went ALL THE WAY up to a grotesque 145 pounds, I thought it was the end of the world. And, I was proven right when I lost over 20 pounds after a very bad breakup and everyone told me how great I looked. I spent the rest of my 20s trying to get back to that magical weight where I was loved and appreciated by all for my looks.

When I turned 30, I started to be conscious about trying HARD to love my body the way it is at any state. Be that my “normal” state, during pregnancy, or being down to my lowest adult weight after my stroke. But, it’s a difficult thing to achieve, especially with the constant comments from others about whether I look good or or not (during pregnancy, is the WORST, of course, because somehow your body becomes public property).

I try my best to stay positive during “ugh, I have to diet” and “I hate my flabby arms” conversations that seem to crop up with groups of women…but I usually end up going away broken hearted. Why does this have to be the way women feel about themselves?

But, I’m definitely not immune to thinking negatively about myself. Recent, I’ve been wanting to stop shaving my legs…because what  WASTE of time and effort, am I right??…but I can’t seem to “pull the trigger” because I know what others would think or (even worse) say.

I would also love to be happy with my body and wear a bikini (or even a regular swimsuit) without feeling totally conscious. I have never felt that freedom, and doubt I ever will. Knowing that is a pretty shitty feeling.

I hope the body-positivity keeps growing, and that women as a whole can give themselves permission to love themselves as is, instead of striving for something the media tells them is better than reality.

Evolving PG Feelings

I was thinking the other day about how my feelings about pregnancy – or, more specifically, getting pregnant – have evolved over time.

Of course those feelings started out as they do in most women – Oh, please God, NO! Not Now! Anything but this! Not now!! …PHEW!

Then, things changed after I got married and we decided to start “trying”. The first few times I POAS*, it was actually kind of weird – like I was being bad or something! I spent so long trying to prevent two lines, and now I was hoping, excited, and almost craving them to appear.

When I got my first positive, I was over the moon excited! We were starting our family! Wow! How amazing is my body to be able to do this!? I wonder if it’ll be a boy or girl? What names will will we choose? How will we decorate the nursery?

Then, it happened. I had a miscarriage. Dreams crash and shatter.

We picked up the pieces and started “trying” again. This time, waiting to see those lines appear isn’t exciting. Instead it’s nerve wracking. What will happen this time? Will it happen again? That ignorant bliss of getting pregnant the first time after deciding to try is washed away forever.

That story ends happily with the birth of Evan, but with some unexpected hardships shortly after.

Then a few years later we decide to “try” for #2. This time waiting for the lines isn’t exciting either. It’s more filled with thoughts like “are we sure?” or “what are we doing?” or “is this a mistake?” or , but also — “ of four!?” and “we’ll be complete!”.

Then, it happened again. I had another miscarriage. Sadness takes over and and hopes dashed.

So, back to “trying” again and waiting for those lines is nerve wracking again, but for so many more reasons. Will I have another miscarriage? Are we doing the right thing by adding another child to our family? Can we handle it?

Then, Carter arrives, safe and sound in a perfect-for-me birth. And then, my brain bleeds. Stroke, caused by pregnancy.

We were never planning on having a 3rd anyway, but now that choice has been taken away because I would be at risk of having another stroke. Even without Evan and Carter depending on having a mother, that’s not a chance I’d be willing to take.

So, now at 35, my feelings about getting pregnant are back at square-one again: scared shitless. But for much different and “weightier” reasons. Not because it would put a hamper on my life, or put things on hold for a bit, but because it would literally mean a choice between life and death — either mine or the baby’s. That’s not a decision I want to make.

*Peed on a stick – sounds so much nicer as an acronym, don’t you think?

The M/C Saga Continues

Thank you to everyone for all your kind words and thoughts. 
This miscarriage has been far worse physically than the last one. It started on its own on Thursday, which I was relieved about. However, come Saturday morning, the bleeding got out of control and I ended up in an ambulance to the ER.
I spent 9 hours in the ER. My hemoglobin levels dropped about 30 points in that time (125 to 96), and it was decided I needed to undergo a D&C. At least that meant I got to go to a more private ward, but I had to wait another 5 hours before being called to surgery at about midnight.
Thankfully, the surgery went well, the bleeding has pretty much stopped, and my hemoglobin levels were rising again. I’m still feeling pretty awful today, but mostly because I have a brutal cold and my muscles are really stiff (from all the IV fluids going in and out quickly, or maybe from my blood levels?).
Here’s hoping I’m finally on the mend.

Bayer (Maxidol) Response

Last week, I posted about the Maxidol commercial that was offending women across the nation. I emailed Bayer, and heard back from them today. This is what they had to say:
Dear Alyssa,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about our advertisement for Maxidol®. 

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from a small group of concerned consumers, such as yourself, and have taken this feedback to heart. After closely reviewing the matter, we have decided to withdraw our advertisement. This decision will take full effect by September 14, 2012.

At Bayer, we’re proud to help women live healthier, more empowered lives and sincerely regret if our advertisement suggested otherwise. We value the loyalty and opinions of our customers and hope that our actions demonstrate this commitment.


Amanda C. RN*
Bayer HealthCare
Consumer Care

Well, shit — taking a stand does work sometimes! Kudos to Bayer for knowing when to own up to a screw up and actually fixing it. Hopefully I never see that ad again.
*Last name shortened for privacy.

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