Category Archives: Bullying
“Here ya go, just undress and put this on”, she nonchalantly said as she handed me a minuscule ziploc bag which contained what looked suspiciously like a tissue.
“Um, by undress, do you mean all my clothes?”, I stammered, nervously and naively hoping I was misunderstanding her words.
“Of course! But don’t worry, you will still be wearing those.”, she kindly reassured me, pointing to the little baggie I was clutching in my sweaty palm. The baggie that was so tiny that it couldn’t possibly contain anything that even loosely fit the description: clothing.
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VULGAR.My blood is boiling over this. It is so very wrong on multiple levels.
This picture is not pornography.Know what is pornographic? The countless images that Facebook thrusts on to my newsfeed as ‘suggested’ stories – images of emaciated teenage bodies accompanied by information about the diet pills I should be taking/milkshakes I should be drinking to look like them. These images are vulgar in their message that, somehow, I – a 38 year old mother of three – should aim to look like them. Know what else is vulgar? Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: annorexic, baby belly, droopy boobs, facebook newsfeed, hero of the day, insult to injury, lose weight after baby, media pressure, perfect body, perfect woman, post-baby body, sad images, saggy belly, self-esteem, stretch marks
If you were an alien visiting the Earth and found yourself in a Western country this past week, you’d have learnt the following things about the People Of Earth:
ONE: Miley Cyrus is Very Important and has magic powers. With a few shakes of her rear (accompanied by an unnaturally long extension of her tongue), this young earthling can make poverty, murder and impending war d i s a p p e a r. Yep – anyone who witnessed Twerkgate was privy to the instantaneous vanishing of the murdered Syrian children, threats of WWIII and… well… anything of actual importance from world news. Poof!
TWO: Twerking is horrible and slutty. HOWEVER, women should be allowed to twerk to their hearts’ content because we own our bodies, so quit judging and back-off. ALTHOUGH, even though we shouldn’t Judge Miley (poor, poor, poor Miley, naive and expressing her rights) she really did behave like the sluttiest slutty slut from Sluttsville and Read the rest of this entry →
“Is this luggage yours?”I looked up and beamed. “All mine.” I declared. The Qantas lady raised an eyebrow quizzically, “Did you pack it all yourself?” The beam grew, “Yep, every square inch of it!” She looked at me funny (What? Never seen a Mum experiencing the unparalleled joy of a whole suitcase all to herself before?) “Ohhh-kay…” She handed me my passport and boarding pass and I gleefully skipped off, arm in arm with my lovely friend who stayed up late and braved the cold to take me to the airport. This was as close to a girl’s night out as I’d come in the past year. Woot! We sat down for a quick coffee and revelled in uninterrupted conversation (okay, we interrupted each other, but that doesn’t count) and suddenly it was time to say goodbye and board that long-awaited plane. As I clipped my seatbelt clasp closed, a thought struck me. I flashed back to the check-in lady’s question, “Is this baggage yours?” This question is of paramount importance at a check-in counter – physics and all that jazz – but we really shouldn’t stop there. We should be asking ourselves this question every time we interact with anyone. I often find myself weighed down by something that someone has said to me. The angst! The endless conversations with Darren about why/how/who/what – the self-doubt, the frustration and the heartache steal too much time. Enough! Ineed to teach my kids, by example, that when someone hands them an ugly, heavy, smelly piece of luggage, they don’t have to – unquestioningly, pick it up and carry it. Like Mum always has. Like Mum does. Like a donkey. I’ve always been that girl – the one who accepts, wholesale, the words and actions of others. The problem is that the next day, I routinely wake up, see all that extra luggage (ugly luggage that makes everything around it look sad) and guess what I’ve always done. Yep. Hee-Haw. No more! I need to stop doing this. All it takes is a closer look at the baggage people hand over to me and decide who it belongs to. Mine? Sure – own it, pick it up, carry it, unpack it. Get rid of the stinky stuff and repack. Not mine? Hand it back! Are you a donkey? C’mon, look closely and be honest with yourself. If you find yourself carting around other people’s crap, repeat after me:
I am not a donkey. I do not have to carry anyone’s luggage but my own. I do not have to unpack anybody’s luggage but my own. Other people’s luggage is none of my business. I can choose what luggage I pack and carry.I’ve been making a conscious effort to be more discriminating about what I’m carrying. Not easy for a serial yes-girl, but who said it was going to be easy? This weekend, at the BlogHer 2013 Conference (which you’ll hear all about in a couple of days because – wow – did Mama grow!) I had the chance to meet a lot of the faces I’ve only ever seen on this screen. I’d like to say I wasn’t starstruck, but some of these bloggers have been my unknowing heroines for a long time. What blew me away was the way in which these accomplished, talented women (approximately 6000 of them) embraced me into the fold. There was one exception. A blogger, who has consistently given me the proverbial cold shoulder online continued to do so at the BlogHer Conference. I’d love to say it didn’t upset me but that would be a lie. It hurt! I started with the internal “what did I do? Why is she like this?” dialogue but was interrupted by a hand grabbing my arm and spinning me around. It was one of my new friends, who had given me nothing but love and acceptance from the word “go”. She grinned and said to another blogger, “You HAVE to meet Michelle Lewsen! She is goofy and funny and we LOVE her!” I looked around me at this sea of new friends and colleagues who had welcomed me and showed me more love than I ever could have imagined and it struck me: focusing on one bad apple and wasting a minute anguishing over why/how she was behaving that way is utterly stupid. I looked inwardly at the ugly bag of snot she’d handed me, laughed at myself for picking it up in the first place and threw it away. It’s not my baggage. I have my own baggage. It’s colourful, messy and filled with my favourite things. My hands are full. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you liked this post, please share it with your friends using the icons below, and I’ll love you intensely if you click the thumbs-up button at the bottom of this post. I’d really love to hear your comments, so please don’t be shy (comments make me do a happy dance). You can also join the fun on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. [blog_subscription_form]
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Tags: American racism, Austistic boy, Beauty, Black people, facebook, George Zimmerman, Jews, lego, Pinterest, politics, Racism and ethnic discrimination in the United States, Shooting of Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin, trial, Twitter, United States
“Daniel called me an S-WORD HEAD!”(She actually said “S-word” head because she could NOT bring herself to say, ‘shit’.) Miss M was six years old. She came running to me after school, upset because someone had used *gasp* the S-word. She was horrified and devastated that a child could use THAT word.
It was then that a light bulb switched on and I had an A-HA moment. Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: bullying, Daniel, empowerment, facebook, Fuck, Idiot, inner power, kids can be mean, Mother, name-calling, pants falling down, poo-head, Profanity, resilience, school, Shit, shit-head, Shithead (card game), swear words, word power, words
Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
Yes….and no.I have tried to raise my kids with good manners, compassion, respect for other people’s property, the ability to share and a sense of kindness for everyone around them. I thought I was doing the right thing. I wasn’t wrong. If we lived in a perfect world, that is.
Problem: This isn’t a perfect world.It is a world where other kids are not necessarily taught to say please and thank you, not to swear, to share, to be kind, to not hit. It’s a world where other kids will snatch, steal and be downright cruel. By teaching my kids to always be nice, have I indirectly rendered them incapable of coping in a less than perfect world? I didn’t think so for a long time. I wasn’t that cynical. I was a firm believer in raising my kids to always be kind, polite and certainly, to never hit.
Until Little Man got punched in the guts. In pre-school.Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry →
You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?The Test It was 1986, a temperate Summer’s day in Johannesburg, and it was almost time for the school bell to ring for break. I was crazy-obsessed with playing elastics with the girls in my class and looked forward to the chanting, jumping, giggling joy only a ten year old knows. That bell rang, it’s Pavlov’s Dog effect causing excessive shrieking and laughter, and we were dismissed. I ran with a gaggle of little girls to sit under a tree and eat our lunches as quickly as possible (I was not one to ever skip a meal – even for elastics). As we ate, we talked about the important things in life, like whose mother packed them a chocolate (not mine) and who was wearing what colour knickers (don’t do handstands in a dress). Then it started. She was sitting by herself, eating her egg-mayonnaise sandwich. She looked sad. Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: adult bully, bulllying, epic proportions, etiquette, hiding behind a keyboard, I met a troll, internet troll, little trolls, mamapedia troll, man trolling mommy bloggers, mental giant, small man syndrome, social media, tantrum, temper tantrum, tips for dealing with trolls, troll, why do people troll
Tags: american presidency, Barack Obama, elections, facebook, Fox News, Fox News vs MSNBC, kindergarten rules, media circus, Mitt Romney, naughty spot, politics, pre-school rules, President Obama, Presidential Candidate, Presidential Race, ps and qs, shameful behavior, sheer spectacle, sitting in the corner, Ten things the presidential candidates could learn from my child's pre-school teacher
Tags: bullying, crying girl, how to deal with bullies, letter to the parents of a bully, mean girls, sad little girl, teaching your child to deal with bullying, were you bullied?, what age do girls start bullying, why do kids become bullies?