Thanks, Mom

Two months after my nineteenth birthday I became a statistic; a teenage single mother. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. My life plan up to that point had been to work just enough so I had money for beer, cigarettes and some new clothes every once in awhile. If there was a big party on a Saturday night and I couldn’t get off work, I would quit my job. I felt that I could always get another job, but I never wanted to miss a great party. (I’m still not convinced that this is a bad philosophy)

At any rate, there I was the year after graduating high school with a baby to raise. My family was supportive, and my parents let me stay at home with my son. My mom babysat on weekends when I worked the overnight shift waitressing at our local House of Pancakes.

This went on for the first year of my son’s life. I leaned heavily on my mother . As much as I loved my son, the thought of building a life for us on my own was something beyond my comprehension. I didn’t believe I would ever be able to do it. As long as my   parents were willing to let me stay there and keep me from facing my fears, I was more than willing to ignore them.

But one day my mother sat me down for a talk. She told me that she felt I was leaning on her too much and that I needed to move out and start life on my own.

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Stop acting like a girl

Ask any little boy what his friends call him when he’s not behaving in a way that’s acceptable for boys and he’ll tell you that they call him a girl. Have you ever thought about the implications of this? That the worst thing you can call a boy is a girl?

The harshest insult boys hurl at each other is to say they’re acting like a girl. When they grow into men they say, “stop acting like a little bitch!”

What does it say to girls that the worst thing you can call a boy is exactly what you are? How does it affect us as women to hear men deride each other by accusing them of being like us?

It doesn’t go both ways. Women love to brag that they were tomboys when they were young, which usually means they were athletic and eschewed girly things. We say this with pride because it’s looked at with a bit of admiration. Like, you were cool when you were little because you acted like a boy.

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