My blog is an angry four year old

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This blog has been going for four years now! I’m going to get sentimental on you all and say thank you so much for the support. I like to laugh at my hate mail so much, sometimes I forget to acknowledge how many messages of support I receive.

We all have so much in common!

To the people who thank me for articulating what they have been going through, your messages always make my day. I am happy that I can use what I love most – writing and mommyhood – to help. Also, a huge thanks to those who are not parents, but message me to ask questions or to say they were more patient than usual with a crying baby on the bus that day. And of course, anyone who says I am smart and/or funny, I straight up adore you.

I have a very big male readership; I think this is noteworthy since it is very important for everyone to know that parenthood is not strictly a woman’s job or interest. The female-only nurturing role is a social construct and I think this stat hints at this.

Since starting this blog I have become more involved with social activist projects, have received my diploma in journalism, and have started my BA in women and gender studies. I have bylines online and in print with different publications. I’ve been interviewed for magazines, radio, newspapers, and on film. My baby is in Grade 2 now, I’ve acquired a few more cats, and my partner has moved in. I’m living the last days as a twenty-something parent. Time has passed and experience has been gained. I have met so many wonderful people along the way, who have taught me so much.

I have recently gone through the blog and realized how much I have grown, and how open I am to continue doing so. I kept a lot of posts up, because I think growth is important to document, but I have deleted a couple.

One had a subtle racism to it that I did not realize until coming back to it. It was making light of the “gangster rap” culture appropriated by suburban white kids. That’s where I was living at the time and did not realize how problematic making light of appropriation was. Honestly, I didn’t even know the word at that point. I am pretty embarrassed about this post, and it’s place in the original prints of my first zine. I want to apologize for this, and though it was not intended to offend anyone it may have and that is totally not cool. At the time I thought I was making fun of dumb white kids, now I know differently.

The other post has to do with how I used to really look up to Craig Kielburger. If you don’t know him he is a privileged white guy who started a foundation to help kids doing factory work in other countries. I don’t think he and his work are inherently evil. Free the Children was an ambitious project for a twelve-year-old and his buds. I do think, however, that there is a western supremacist, white saviour factor at play. Also, his organizations have many a corporate sponsors that they are terrified of making mad (I had a job interview with Me to We years ago, and the fantasy came crashing down). A friend of mine posed that for a kid, he had some pretty cool politics. However, this liberal “us” saving “them” binary hasn’t really matured since, and this is where the problem lays.

I am owning up to these mistakes because I want to show that I am human and where I am at right now. Hopefully in another four years I have grown even more. I would also like to say thanks for putting up with that lull period. The reason Misfit Matriarch has become a regular thing again is because of all the encouragement and support I have received from around the globe. I tear up whenever someone mentions this blog in conversation with me or my friends, not realizing who this lil blogger is.

That’s it. Tomorrow I’ll post something angry and sarcastic.

Xoxo

Misfit

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com!

That guy who doesn’t actually raise his kids, but his ex is the problem, he swears

When a guy is vocal about his hatred of his ex, a red flag goes up for me.

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Are there shitty ex-partners out there? Of course there is. Are there bad feelings involved in a break-up, yes, there sure are. And do we all say mean things at some point or another? I have, and I know I’m not alone.

After hearing the rants of many angry fathers, this seems to be the story:

He has part-time access to his children, because his ex is a bitch. His children aren’t looked after properly by their mother, because she is a bitch, and no he has no evidence of this supposed neglect. He doesn’t see his child(ren) regularly, he skips his time with them because he is busy. He knows that this is OK, because his ex is a bitch. He is broke because she is a bitch. He is ugly because she is bitch. That itch on his back? His ex is a bitch.

Maybe the break-up was rough, maybe his ex is not perfect. There is no way someone, as evil as he describes, has sole custody of their child(ren) just because. That would not happen. There is stuff being omitted, maybe purposely, maybe due to denial. We don’t have to like our exes, but we do have to remember they are a part of our children’s lives. A real parent simply does not have the energy it takes to hate as strongly as these guys do.

If the child(ren) are happy and healthy, let’s give credit where credit is due. There is a mom busy taking care of these kids in the time that this guy is freaking out over how much of a monster she is. And if we haven’t actually met the kids? Then there really is no logical way an opinion can be formed regarding the lives of these people we have no actual link to.

Every time I’ve met a guy like this, he has shown in other ways that he is an abusive, misogynist, jerk. Every time! I want to be proven wrong; I don’t want to have to meet these losers. I get wanting to see the best in everyone, and to root for some self-proclaimed underdog. But in these situations, from what I’ve experienced, I don’t have the patience for it anymore. They’ve exhausted me. Facebook pictures and public professions of loving one’s child(ren) is one thing, actually parenting in real life – in addition to these fun things – is another.

I would think this behaviour is also offensive for the fathers who are involved with their children’s lives too. I know a whole lot of these guys and they are awesome. Can these Facebook dads calm the eff down so we can appreciate true co-parenting?

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

The right reason to have a baby

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There seems to be speculation as to why I had a baby about eight years ago. Many assume my daughter was an “accident.” Surely two tattooed, working class people in their 20s know that having a baby is not in their cards. Go hide in a dark alley, scumbags!

Oh wait, the mother must know that if she leaves the father she will become a millionaire through social assistance. Damn those single moms!

I have actually been told that my daughter was a “fix-it-baby.” Apparently, I thought that having a baby would help my ex conquer alcoholism. That is how easy addiction is to beat.

The reason we had a baby was … because we wanted a baby. We wanted a happy nuclear family like the ones neither of us had. It didn’t work out that way, but this doesn’t mean our decision was not the “right” one.

Is the right reason because a hetero, monogamous couple is already married, owns a house, picked up a golden retriever, and drives a van? Is a reason a right one because a couple’s value system includes carrying on a patriarchal bloodline?

One person’s choice is not superior to another’s. We all make decisions based on our own unique experiences. What should be evaluated is if a child’s life is full of love and happiness- not if their parents met a list of middle-class morality pre-requisites.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com