This Changes Everything

What knowledge do you want to impart to your child while you’re able?

Over the holidays, when I had some downtime, I streamed a lot of content. I just needed to veg. I came across the documentary film This Changes Everything — it looked interesting but I kept putting off watching it. The Netflix overview said the documentary takes a deep look at gender disparity in Hollywood through the eyes of well-known actresses and female filmmakers. I think I wasn’t in the mood to hear how women are ‘sold short,’ i already knew that, I just wanted to watch content that either made me laugh, or didn’t make me think.

Come the recent long weekend, I was trying to find something to watch once again. I was up for watching content that would make me think so I selected the movie. It was so eye-opening and explained a woman’s plight in what we have to overcome in a tangible way (how we’re perceived, why we’re perceived the way we are, and what to do about it). I left thinking as the only female in my household I needed to get my ‘boys’ to watch this. Because whether they knew it or not, the content they’ve taken in over the course of their lives has influenced their views of girls/females and beyond. I needed them to be aware, empathize, and hopefully be an advocate for equality.

I selected the movie when it was my turn to pick for our Saturday night gathering. We watched the movie. Afterwards we talked about what they learned, what surprised them, and how (of if) it changed their view of women. The boys thought they already knew women were underrepresented but we’re surprised by the numbers. They agreed women were shown more as objects in movie (particularly older ones), and even pointed to some parts in other movies where the female character was only shown for male viewers benefit (it literally made my youngest flinch when he recalled some of the scenes).

We pivoted to how these projections of what and how women behave and what they want from a partner can be confusing to both the man and the woman in relationships based on images we see everywhere (on screen, TV, internet, etc.), and how with my knowledge of the female’s mindset could help them be a good partner— be aware of where a women may come from regarding intimacy, what they might be comfortable/uncomfortable with, why that is, and more. Again, not the easiest conversation but at least both boys were willing to hear me out (getting the oldest to listen a WIN!).

I’m hopeful the information sank it, and my boys feel more informed. I’m optimistic they can avoid the pitfalls of making assumptions about what others expect of you (in relationships and intimacy) that their father and I experienced. Will this movie and discussion change everything for their experiences in this area? I don’t know, but ever bit of knowledge helps. Continuing these conversations will be essential.

What are key messages or values you are working to impart to your child or teen?

A Very Mom Christmas

Have you seen the SNL skit about a ‘normal’ mom experience Christmas morning? Everyone gets more gifts than they can imagine, including the family pet, and mom gets a robe. Nothing else. Nothing in her stocking. No words of thanks. Just a robe. It cracks me up every time I see it.

Have you ever had such a Christmas? I have. My mom had one too. I can remember as a child I was so dismayed my mom didn’t get much that my sisters and I overspent on my mom the next year to make sure she didn’t feel left out. We guilted our dad to no end too. He definitely tried to make up for it, and didn’t make the mistake again.

I get it. The older I get the less I want or need. I really want Christmas to be great for my kids, and husband, and cat. 😊 But I was a bit bummed when one year I got only one present (I can’t even recall what it was), and my stocking was empty. I tried to hide my disappointment, but my kids found the stocking being empty wrong and started inquiring with my husband why nothing was in it. My husband shared privately that he didn’t know what to get for me and that’s why my gifts were lacking. I told him I’d be more specific in things I’d like in the future (even though I’d love for him to know this without me telling him—oh well).

So often the holidays are about trying to make things perfect — the gifts, the food, the decorations, the house. It can be overwhelming, even exhausting. And something always won’t go quite right — gifts arrive late, food gets burned, decorations lacking, house a mess, and perhaps an empty stocking. But while I remember that very-Mom-Christmas, I remember the memories of the kids being excited, my husband surprised, even the cat knowing it’s a special day (new toys and treats, oh my!) and I cherish it so.

Being a mom/being a parent is hard. Wanting to have a perfect holiday – normal. Being okay when it is less than – a must. It’s about being together and sharing our gratitude for what we have, what we’ve been given, and our love for one another. Is another Mom-Christmas in my future? Maybe, and that’s okay. Time with my kids (especially as they get older and more independent) is more special to me than any gift. And it doesn’t hurt that I pick up a few small things for myself as a treat around the holidays…just in case. 😊

What holiday memory brings a smile to your face? How do you plan to enjoy the holidays when something goes wrong?

I will be off for the next few weeks to enjoy time with friends and family and will be back in January. Happy Holidays!

A Very Mom Christmas

Have you seen the SNL skit about a ‘normal’ mom experience Christmas morning? Everyone gets more gifts than they can imagine, including the family pet, and mom gets a robe. Nothing else. Nothing in her stocking. No words of thanks. Just a robe. It cracks me up every time I see it.

Have you ever had such a Christmas? I have. My mom had one too. I can remember as a child I was so dismayed my mom didn’t get much that my sisters and I overspent on my mom the next year to make sure she didn’t feel left out. We guilted our dad to no end too. He definitely tried to make up for it, and didn’t make the mistake again.

I get it. The older I get the less I want or need. I really want Christmas to be great for my kids, and husband, and cat. 😊 But I was a bit bummed when one year I got only one present (I can’t even recall what it was), and my stocking was empty. I tried to hide my disappointment, but my kids found the stocking being empty wrong and started inquiring with my husband why nothing was in it. My husband shared privately that he didn’t know what to get for me and that’s why my gifts were lacking. I told him I’d be more specific in things I’d like in the future (even though I’d love for him to know this without me telling him—oh well).

So often the holidays are about trying to make things perfect — the gifts, the food, the decorations, the house. It can be overwhelming, even exhausting. And something always won’t go quite right — gifts arrive late, food gets burned, decorations lacking, house a mess, and perhaps an empty stocking. But while I remember that very-Mom-Christmas, I remember the memories of the kids being excited, my husband surprised, even the cat knowing it’s a special day (new toys and treats, oh my!) and I cherish it so.

Being a mom/being a parent is hard. Wanting to have a perfect holiday – normal. Being okay when it is less than – a must. It’s about being together and sharing our gratitude for what we have, what we’ve been given, and our love for one another. Is another Mom-Christmas in my future? Maybe, and that’s okay. Time with my kids (especially as they get older and more independent) is more special to me than any gift. And it doesn’t hurt that I pick up a few small things for myself as a treat around the holidays…just in case. 😊

What holiday memory brings a smile to your face? How do you plan to enjoy the holidays when something goes wrong?

I will be off for the next few weeks to enjoy time with friends and family and will be back in January. Happy Holidays!