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Changing My Viewpoint!

My mom’s take on being a grandmother to my step-daughter Belle! ❤

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It was love at first sight. But, I dared not come on too strong. Don’t be the first to hug or kiss. Take it slow. Let things take their natural course. Whatever would be, would be.

I played things right. The object of my love was a sweet two and half-year old girl. She came into my life when my daughter married the toddler’s father this summer. And, just like that, overnight, I gained a son-in-law and a grand-daughter.

Leading up to it, I’d never given much thought about this new chapter of my life. I had no expectations at all. Let me tell you what I’ve learned so far…

Grand-children make you see the world in a better way. Because you want them to experience life to the fullest, you view things differently now.

When you plant your vegetable garden, you buy rainbow-coloured Swiss chard with rainbow-coloured roots…

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Step-Mom’s are Moms too!

Okay. I have been holding out on you. I am a mom. A step-mom. I have a wonderful step-daughter who I love, adore and cherish. And who I have chosen to raise as good as if she were my own. 

Okay. I have been holding out on you. I am a mom. A step-mom. I have a wonderful step-daughter who I love, adore and cherish. And who I have chosen to raise as good as if she were my own.

Now I am leading up to something here. There is a common misconception about step-parents that I find downright insulting. It is my understanding that many people believe that you can’t love as much as the person who made the baby. NOT TRUE! I didn’t make Belle but I raise her as my own and love her infinitely. Whats more people have said to me that I am not her real mother so I don’t need to be involved in Belle’s upbringing and to that I say this:

“No. I did not make Belle. that is true. But that being said I raise her. I am involved in the changing of diapers, the potty training, the bath time, the playtime and the well being and development of her. I want her to know she is amazing and loved and not just by my husband and her biological mother but by me also. 

Her biological mother BTW knows how much I cherish Belle and is grateful for the love I give and for the support. Being a parent can be tough. The more help the better, right. Don’t people also say it takes a village to raise a child?

Belle is the child I chose to raise. I may not have pushed her out of my lower half but I love her. She is my responsibility and I am proud of that. Don’t people see she is better to have a bonus mom, isn’t that more love, support and encouragement. Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child; to be built up every chance they get and made into a wonderful adult that can function in a challenging world and come out on top.”

And to those people who say, “You will love your babies more” I say:

“Ummm, why are you telling me how my heart works. Love is indefinite and the more you love the more you are capable of loving.  In other words my heart can always grow to love more children and is not restricted to love any child more than another.”

 

So I guess the point of this post is to stand up for all of the step-parents out there who raise children without a second thought. It takes a full heart to raise and love someone that you didn’t make and if I might say so, step-parents are pretty amazing. And so are step-children! ❤

 

Wedded Bliss is a lie…

Wedded bliss. People talk about it a lot to newlyweds. How it will be giggles and pure bliss. That is a lie.

It is awkward- but a good awkward. At least it is for us. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The following are 7 reasons why wedded bliss is more like an inelegant but fantastic start to a new way of living:

#1: Living Arrangements. Stephen and I moved in together right before the wedding. I mean like in April. This being said we were not married yet. After the wedding things were different. I guess I thought they felt different. Like it was official. Now I needed to cook him supper and be a proper homemaker. Like things were expected. The thing is most women feel like it is their duty to serve their husband a nice meal when they get married, but ummm…. isn’t it 2017. Can’t we both cook. And on that note, can’t we both clean. See that’s the thing no one tells you, you have to talk about it and figure out who does what. Now most nights I figure out supper but on occasion I tell Stephen to BBQ and give me a break, but it took a bit to figure that out.  And it turns out that he is better at cleaning than me. Who would have figured.

#2: Sex changes. I mean this is not a bad thing. But things change. You start getting more into it and have to get creative. Now Stephen and I had done the horizontal tango before our marriage but once again expectations change. I mean we are married shouldn’t we take things to the next level. And birth control was a big thing…. leading me to #3.

#3: Do we want kids now? We did… Kinda, you see I am starting a business but we wanted to have kids. Soon… So what did we do. We talked about it. We decided to wait a bit. But I decided to also adapt my lifestyle so that when the time came we would be ready.

#4: Changing of the Last Name. OMG! Nobody told me that I would have to wait to change my name. OK. Maybe in the rush to get married I was told and in hindsight didn’t listen carefully. I am still waiting to change my name. I was all set and ready to change my government identification but my officiant had sent the documents away and I had no proof of my marriage- which she had told me had I listened…. I am soon to be Mrs. Crackel but for now I go by Jacques or Crackel.

#5: Family Drama. If you get married just know that there is always family drama. Sometimes it’s misguided love and sometimes people are just difficult. Whatever the situation don’t ever let it bring you down.

#6. Difficult Friends: Now I don’t have many friends but friends are the same as family. I was reading Shonda Rimes’ book “The Year of Yes”, and she mentioned something that explains how people that see you moving forward while they are in a bad place may not share in your joy. This is a real thing. Don’t feel bad for moving forward and being happy. Then again some people are what Joel Osteen calls “peace sealers” and in that case don’t ever let someone steal your peace. Enough Said.

#7. Fighting Fair. If you are married or plan on getting married know that fighting is normal. I mean not like hitting and stuff, fighting with words. If you never fight you obviously don’t talk. Because communication involves talking about things that are not always going to be positive. They can be discussions that involve sensitive subjects and sometimes it’s not even that. Sometimes we just are not in a good mood and things annoy us. And sometimes fights get pretty intense. I will tell you a secret though. They make you stronger as a couple. The trick is to fight fair. Never and I mean never say anything that will leave lasting affects. Say constructive words to your partner, communicate needs without taking away respect and without making your spouse feel less than. You are both on the same team and when you sink the figurative boat to spite your spouse you will drown too.

 

Now I love my hubby more than anyone but it has been an adjustment. But aren’t all major changes adjustments? And since when are adjustments a bad thing. Not bad at all! Every one of those items on my list of changes that happen in a new marriage were modifications to my life, there are amazing things too. For most of them I can find things that make up for the awkwardness, and honestly isn’t marriage just one big adventure in itself. It may not be wedded bliss But I wouldn’t want to experience the crazy unexpected journey that is marriage with anyone other than Stephen. Together we can concur anything!

 

 

Life as I know it

Life is a series of ups and downs. Up. Down. Up. Down. or so it seems. Then one day you find that the downs seem less. Don’t get me wrong. They are always there. But- you might find they just don’t get you the way they used to. This is how life is going for me at least. I married my best friend in July and yes things aren’t “perfect’- but the stresses of life don’t seem so hard with my hubby by my side. 

 

Life is a series of ups and downs. Up. Down. Up. Down. or so it seems. Then one day you find that the downs seem less. Don’t get me wrong. They are always there. But- you might find they just don’t get you the way they used to. This is how life is going for me at least. I married my best friend in July and yes things aren’t “perfect’- but the stresses of life don’t seem so hard with my hubby by my side.

Now I am not saying you need a significant other to be happy. I am just saying that’s what made life a bit better for me. But here is why:

Stephen met me almost two years ago. You see we met online. I had no friends and I lived alone in a bachelor apartment that was sub-par at best. It wasn’t all bad- my parents lived nearby and I am very close with them. I just was lonely. I was also a hot mess to be truthful. My apartment was untidy and I had no job and was kind of a train wreck so to think my now husband had found something in me at the time was a miracle.

Stephen and I got to know each other rather fast which was crazy because he lived 45 minutes away. But he and I hit it off over movies and late night dinner dates because he was and still is a hardworking farmer.

Stephen loved me through some rough patches due to external stresses and likewise I helped and supported him through some bad times in his life.

Stephen loved me despite my many flaws- to the point that all I wanted to do was better myself to make him proud. He deserved me at my best.

Since we met I have gotten my beginners licence and a job I love as a clerical worker, started taking care of myself better, and even have a small graphic design business in the works.  You see my now-husband believes in my potential and wants me to follow my dreams and grow as a person.

Stephen and I have been through so much and when he proposed I was exhilarated. I would no longer have to travel to see him and we could start a life together. And since July 1st that’s what we have been doing.  (I will do a separate post on the pre-wedding and wedding details)

Now to all the naysayers and feminists that believe you can “get your shit together without a man”- Ya maybe you could but Stephen was my savior and still is. I needed someone to show me just how good I could be. Someone to lift me up out of my scattered, chaotic life and show me that I am a wonderful, capable woman. But that is MY journey. I am not weak for needing guidance. If you can make it on your own: “Good on you!”, but I needed help.

But the funny thing is I haven’t stopped my journey in bettering myself. Now my life revolves around making my husband proud and lifting him up when he needs support. A marriage is all about lifting and supporting each other so that you both can be your best selves. Becoming one great team.

So I guess the reason I don’t notice as many low points in my life now is because I have the best life partner that keeps pushing me my optimal self. And the best is yet to come.

 

 

 

Life lesson from the Doctor (Seuss)

You can find good advice in the weirdest places. For instance I found the best advice for my current situation on Pinterest. The advice was in the form of a quote by none other than Doctor Seuss. The quote stated, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

This quote is by no means saying to disrespect people with words- I see it could be taken that way. In my case I took it to mean that not everyone will love me. And that is A-Okay! I can still be the happy person I am in spite of how certain people may feel about me. But what I took most to heart is that the people who love me in spite of my imperfections- because we all have flaws- are the people worth your attention, time and efforts.

It is possible that one could do the best at everything and people would still have bad feelings for whatever their reasons. That said person would work themselves silly to please everyone and would in turn feel sad when said people did not value them or their extreme efforts.

In my case I have people (my support system) building up my character enough to know that even though I am awkward and imperfect I am good enough.

In closing- my piece of advice is to surround yourself with more joy and positive vibes than that which brings you down and you will find that you end up not caring what the nae-sayers think of you!

 

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Why I choose Happiness

 

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Happiness is a choice. I have bi-polar so I know sadness is a reality to but more than anything you choose how you look at each day you face.  Easy enough to say choose to be happy right? It is.

If a professor only looks at the bored pupils in class he is going to feel as if he is a failure as a teacher. If he chooses to watch the faces on the interested students he is going to feel good about his teaching abilities. The same goes with your mood and how you face each day. I will tell you a personal story about me to explain why I am choosing to be happy in spite of my obstacles.

I have a wonderful fiancé. Stephen is loving, funny, and sweet. He cheers me up when I feel sad and loves me despite my flaws. Yes I too have flaws. Stephen has a very mean dad who treats me with distaste.  I am a good person and to have someone treat me as such boils my blood.

Stephen proposed November 26th 2016. The happiest night of my life-so far! His parents both have voiced what a terrible thing it is that we are doing to his family by getting married. They are also taking his house which he has rented for 6 years. Now this is all a bit much. Right?

This all being said you have to be able to look at the good things:

  1. Stephen loves me in the rare once in a lifetime kind of way that sometimes people never find.
  2. My parents LOVE him!!! And I care what they think.
  3. My sister who hates pretty much any guy I every dated… Loves him!
  4. My extended family- on both sides love him.
  5. And lastly and most important of all- I love Stephen the most I have ever loved someone. He is my end all be all and more than anything in life I want to make a life with him and grow old and wrinkly with him!

 

So what if his parents are mean. I chose to look at all the wonderful things I have going for me.  Happiness is always a choice sometimes you just have to choose joy even though it may be easier to give in the latter.

The thing I would be most ashamed for people to know about me…

 

The thing I would be most ashamed for people to know about me is that I have mental illness.  I am not ashamed because there is anything wrong with me- I am ashamed because I know how people react to the stigma of it.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety, and Bi-Polar Disorder. In other words I have crazy good attention to detail; I am a touch hyper, a bit socially awkward, and moody. But I am lucky. I have a job where I work with sensitive information and it pays that I can be extremely careful with numbers, I have a fiancé who loves the energy I have and who nurtures my strengths.  And I am blessed to have parents who are understanding and want the best for me.

The stigma that says a person with mental illness is lesser is mistaken. They are just uniquely gifted in ways that not everybody can understand. And to the employers out there, most people with deficits are more eager to prove that they are a valuable asset. And to the people out there who have mental illness and think they are unable to meet someone that will love them: there is someone for everyone. You might just have to look a bit harder and be more selective. Mental illness is not the terrible thing society makes it out to be, it’s just another one of life’s many obstacles that make life interesting.