All posts by Rachel A. Hanson

Recipe for Love

For those of you who are married, I bet you’ve heard the advice “Don’t go to sleep angry” a million times. I am going on the record as saying that I think this particular piece of advice is really stupid.

Based on my own experience, Nateanite and I are more likely to fight when we are tired. Things that seem huge, like our marriage might end over this, seem small and insignificant after a night of decent sleep.  Based on the peer-reviewed literature, sleep deprivation can have a seriously negative impact on our relationships.

I think this is why so many folx say that the years when your children are little are the most challenging. You are both chronically sleep deprived. Babies waking in the night because they’re hungry, getting teeth, or were startled and need to be soothed are common place. A side effect of toddlers’ improved cognitive ability are night terrors.

I have felt the effects of these in recent weeks as A has been cutting some new teeth. Nateanite will tell you, and I will grudgingly confirm, that I have been on edge recently. Several mornings ago, after a particularly challenging night, when he timidly suggested that I treat him with a little respect (not such a tall order for your best friend and love of your life, right?) I angrily said that it was asking “too effing* much.”

 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Sometimes you just have to sleep in random places Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Take a deep breath and cue to the next day. Yes, I am tired. So is he. Trying to rise above this I decided to listen in as Nateanite joined me in our efforts to convince E that the cup we gave her to bring to bed had juice in it (it was really water). It was during this time that I developed a recipe for falling back in love during these challenging times.

**Disclaimer: Your relationship needs to be founded on mutual respect, but you’re just experiencing a hiccup. If there is no respect there, please find someone safe to talk to and give you the support you need and deserve.**

Falling in Love With Your Partner

  • 1 effort to back up the other person
  • 1 promise that Batman will protect you over night
  • Multiple expressions of love (as many as you want!)
  • Blowing kisses on your way out the door
  • Wish sweet dreams to your child

Have this conversation with your child or listen to your partner have this conversation with your child as often as you need.

*Maybe this goes without saying, but I am censoring myself here. Not one of my proudest moments.

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Our Better Angels

I recently started a new job, and while there are some growing pains I’m finding it to be a generally fabulous experience. My new role has allowed me to look at some recent events in a lens that I haven’t exercised for a while.

I have been seeing so much in the news about the inflammatory behavior of Kathy Griffin, debates on NPR (which is where I get most of my news) about the place comedy has in the political landscape, and so much more. The theme I’m picking up – and I got this especially from a fabulous dialogue on NPR on my way home the other day – is that it really feels like a lot of folx out there are not appealing to their better sides. Jokes about children, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations are fair game. Behavior is designed to shock, and not in a good way. This is not a good thing, this is not okay, this is not normal.

We certainly can appeal to the best humanity has to offer. I think of the podcast I’ve started to listen to religiously – Stuff Mom Never Told You – and their recent episode on policing women’s speech (Mom, this is the one I was talking about the other day!). Bridget and Emilie talked about how women say “sorry” not just to apologize but also to express empathy. Maybe instead of apologizing about apologizing we should be saying to our male counterparts “Apologize more!” In this case, expressing empathy for our fellow human beings is a good thing.

CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE IS A GOOD THING!

This is a short post, so I just want to conclude by encouraging you to be the best version of yourself. Because, if you’ve been reading me for a while (if you haven’t, welcome! I’m glad you’re here) you know how strongly I subscribe to the notion that “we all do better when we all do better.”

June 16 Picture

Contentment

Every week, Charli over at the Carrot Ranch creates a prompt for 99-word flash fiction. This is my contribution for the week of June 6.

I hope you’ll hop over on Tuesday, June 7 for this week’s compilation about contentment.

Contentment Photo
She was sitting on the deck listening to her children play while holding a steaming cup of coffee as the morning sun shone down as she closed her eyes, drinking in the sensations surrounding her.

“This is what perfect contentment feels like,” she thought.

“Mama, look!” Her toddler exclaimed excitedly.

She expected to see something remarkable. Maybe a butterfly or a squirrel scampering across the lawn.

She was not met with beauty, but danger! The baby had been trying for weeks to pull herself onto the ledge with no success. Today was the day the season of contentment ended.

 

 

Homeland is a Feminist Issue

If you have been reading for a while I’m about to confirm something you have probably noticed.

If you’re new here, welcome! I’m glad you’re here and I’m glad you’re about to learn something new about me.

Tackling current events is not something I normally do here, in a public space. It takes me so long to process them and come away with anything of substance that it doesn’t feel worthwhile. Here, in our 24-hour news cycle where tiny and insignificant details are rehashed at length and then forgotten.

But this time I must share something that I’m grappling with. I must so that I can make sense of it myself and hopefully so that you don’t feel alone if you’re grappling with the exact same thing.

What I’m talking about is not earth shattering. I know that. The fact that I am grappling with this is reflective of my extreme privilege.

I am talking about going to the theaters this evening, this weekend, maybe next week, to see Wonder Woman.

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For weeks, I have been thrilled that an action movie with a female lead was coming to theaters. I have been determined, in my small way, to show movie studios that films with female leads can succeed in a huge way. Representation matters, and while I know there are lots of white women on the screen they’re not kicking literal ass and taking names

So when I saw this article in my Facebook news feed damning women who don’t care that Gal Gadot is a Zionist I was alarmed. That those who don’t care aren’t “real feminists.”

Here’s what I know about Zionism. Zionism, at its core, is the belief that the Jewish people are deserving of a homeland. I do not believe that this is wrong. There is not a single thing with longing for home.

There is something wrong with terrorizing women, children, families who already live there. The means the Israeli government uses to claim their homeland is not okay.

I am not a diplomat, but I believe there must be a way to for both groups to peacefully have their homes.

Maybe I am naive, but Gal Gadot’s use of #stopterror and #coexist means she is committed to working toward peace.

What is a “real feminist” supposed to do in a situation like this? Should such a person support the glimmers of more representation on the silver screen? Or is the better thing to boycott the film in solidarity with the people of Palestine?

There are no easy answers – not for me. Maybe there are for you and if there are, I envy you. I will see Wonder Woman, and probably walk away feeling empowered. And I will also do what I can to advocate for a peaceful solution so that both the Israelis and Palestinians can have their homeland.