Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Life

The defense is WRONG!

In this month’s installment of someone on the internet was wrong so I fixed it: this chick who wrote a post with the delightful title 13 Reasons You Need to Give Your Child a Sibling

So you don’t have to read it, it was essentially a “poor me, woe is me because I grew up as an only child and how could my parents do that to me” bunch of bullshit. She comes across as nothing but a whiny spoiled little asshole with absolutely no concept of anything. 

As one of three siblings, the wife of an only child and the mother of an only child, I feel I’m well qualified to respond to her. 

So here we go. 

Dear girl who wrote the aforementioned piece of shit,

Clearly life has been unkind to you, being an only child and all, so I’m sorry that you’ve had to suffer but I really do take issues with roughly 98% of what you’ve written and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss it. For perspective and balance.

First, let’s address the title. Now I’m sure some editor and not you wrote it and it was done for attention/controversy purposes but GOOD FUCKING GOD. I NEED to give my child a sibling? REALLY?! Because the last time I checked, I needed to give her food and shelter and seasonally appropriate clothing and health care and an education and that’s basically it. Everything else, up to and especially including a sibling, is optional. NOT TO MENTION the fact that she’s not an only child to ruin her life. She’s an only child because I couldn’t give her a sibling. COULDN’T. As in, physically not possible. 

And I’m not the only one. There are plenty of parents who cannot, no matter how hard they try, give their kid a sibling. Then there are those who simply don’t want to. Not to spite the kid they have but for reasons that are none our business. So to imply that parents have an obligation to their child to give them a sibling, and to make them feel guilty or like a piece of shit because they can’t or won’t, is rude and wrong with a tinge of asshole.

Second, the whole laundry list of reasons you gave for wanting siblings is nothing but romanticized nonsensical drivel. Like, #1. There’s no one to blame for what YOU did? Are you fucking kidding me? YOU FUCKING DID IT. YOU take the blame. Just because you have a sibling doesn’t absolve you from the shit you actually do. And do you think your parents are so stupid that they couldn’t figure out who really did it? Oh, and also, sometimes you get blamed for what they did. For instance, when my little sister was 3 and drew all over the walls, do you know whose fault it was? MINE. Because I wasn’t watching her close enough. So there’s that. 

How about #3. An older sibling would carve a path for you? Fuck off with that shit. I’m the oldest in my family. I had no one carving shit for me. I had to do that all on my own. And as for my sisters, I’m pretty confident they’re individuals who make up their own minds and pay no attention my choices. What did happen, however, is that my parents used me as a test subject and loosened the reins with each younger sibling and as for my sisters, I know they were compared to me at various points. So maybe as an only, you had it good not having to deal with this crap. Maybe you should thank your parents for that instead of bitching that you’ll be the one who has to bear the burden of sadness when your parents pass. LET ME TELL YOU. I am the spouse of an only child and when his parents go, I can assure you he will not have to bear the burden on his own. I only hope you have that, too. 

Or #6. There would never have been a dull moment in the house? Seriously? What are you smoking and can I have some because despite the fact that I grew up with siblings, there were dull moments aplenty. It’s called life and it’s not always exciting. One kid, 4 kids. Life still slows down and is boring at times. 

And #8. A sister being a partner in crime? Age proximity does not equal automatic close friendships and have you thought about siblings who are literally a decade or more apart in age (like in my own family)? There are so many variables that you haven’t thought about in your quest to concoct the perfect sibling relationships. Which, by the way, don’t exist. So when you say that siblings are tied to you forever, you sound ridiculous and ignorant because there are so many people who have no relationships with their siblings. Being related doesn’t mean you like each other. It’s not a mandate. 

I could go on and refute all of your points but I think you get it. Just in case you don’t, I’ll say this. I’m sorry you wished you had a sibling and your parents couldn’t or wouldn’t provide that to you. I’m sure they had their reasons and instead of sounding like a selfish, spoiled ingrate, maybe you should consider your parents’ perspective. Maybe even ask them. It’d sure be nice if you did.

But make no mistake, having a sibling isn’t the greatest thing in the world and there were countless times growing up I wished I was an only child. And now, having an only child (who loves it, by the way), I see validity in some of your points. Still doesn’t change the fact that she’s an only but I get where you’re coming from. I just hope, when she’s your age, she’s not as resentful and bitter as you are. 

Love,

Jana

P.S. Oh, and as for you complaining that adults had crappy imaginations? SO SORRY FOR YOUR LUCK. Adults aren’t there to appease your little mind. You should be thankful that people played with you. There are way too many kids who don’t get that, only child or not. 

 

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Weekly six pack, 2017, v12

I’m not just riding the struggle bus this week. I’m riding the deluxe edition, except this one doesn’t have fancy seats and a bar. It’s a broken down uncomfortable piece of shit that gets me nowhere. I have no idea what’s wrong with me (well, I have a little bit of idea) and I cannot get anything done. I have no motivation and all I care to do is sleep. I’d like for this to go away. I don’t like it one bit. 

Despite all of that, I’ve done a few not so exciting things this week which means OF COURSE I have to share. No politics because I can’t do it. Not today. 

Reading. In the middle of The Handmaid’s Tale (not a reread; I’ve never read it and waited approximately 6 months for a copy from the library) and Bottomland. Got two new NetGalley books and none from the library. Progressing through my pile of books at a nice pace which is making me happy. 

Watching. All of my money leave my wallet. This Disney competition is INSANELY expensive and we’re still attempting to go away this summer because clearly we’re stupid and of course Dobie’s due for his yearly exam in the middle of all of this and the child has outgrown all of her clothes and she needs a new bed and no joke, robbing a bank sounds like a viable option at this point. 

Eating. Well, drinking is more accurate. My new favorite afternoon snack, a banana Greek yogurt peanut butter smoothie. We bought one of those little countertop smoothie makers and it is just delightful. Easier than the blender, I can drink the thing right from the cup you blend it in so less dishes, and it somehow manages to meet the protein requirements I’ve been given. Everyone wins!

Trying. A new class at my gym. It’s a boxing class, like punching and kicking, and I’ve been terrified of it for months but my accountability partner and I were peer pressured into trying it and now it’s my new favorite class. I sweat like a motherfucker but it’s worth every damn minute. I also need to now buy boxing gloves which is a sentence I never thought I’d say. 

Working. With a new nonprofit. I’ve been steadily helping it grow, distribute grants, and develop programs and we’re getting to the point that we need a marketing strategy which is my biggest weakness. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them over. It’s a personal finance nonprofit that gives grants and provides education to the financial media, specifically those who do community based financial education. 

Laughing.

 

Have a great weekend! I’ll see you guys on Tuesday when I tell another idiot on the internet why they’re wrong. 

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More things I wonder

I haven’t done a things I wonder post in quite awhile and although I had planned to write a post today correcting yet another asshole on the internet who is completely and utterly wrong, I decided to save that for another day and wonder out loud instead.

Because I do what I want.

  • I haven’t been to the library in like 6 weeks. Are the librarians sad? Happy? Have they noticed?
  • Why can’t the prices of drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts match the increments of the gift cards they sell? Who the fuck enjoys having 82 cards with like 9 cents on each one?
  • Why does my flexible spending company not believe that places with words like “orthodontics” and “vision academy” are medical providers? 
  • Can daylight savings time go away?
  • Am I the only one creeped out by Pinocchio?
  • Why does NetGalley take so damn long to tell you if you were approved for a book? PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW AND KNOW IMMEDIATELY.
  • Is there a way to care less about March Madness? Because if there is, I’d like to know it. I’m curious to find out just how far my indifference can go.
  • Do people actively avoid me like I avoid them? I mean, I’m sure the answer yes but I still would like to know. Maybe I don’t. Mark me as undecided on this one and forget I asked.
  • Can one own too many pairs of black yoga pants?
  • Why does my microwave heat things to boiling inedible hot or not at all? (Perhaps it’s time for a new one but I hate shopping for appliances. Are there personal shoppers for these things?)
  • I know I wrote two of these so why can’t I find the second?

How about you guys? What are some things you wonder?

Weekly six-pack, 2017, v11

Concise recap because this is coming to you direct from my phone and holy shit is typing a blog post on the phone annoying. I apologize for any weird formatting and autocorrects.

Reading. Finished Never Let You Go. Started Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Picked up nothing from the library and nothing new from NetGalley although I did learn you can have a wish list and I promptly added Amy Stewart’s new book to that (third book in the Kopp sisters series). Thanks, as always, to everyone who participated in SUYB. 

Watching. American Crime. If you guys haven’t watched it yet, I implore you to do so. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix and if the season 3 premiere is any indication, this one is going to be a doozy.

Eating. These one pan shrimp fajitas. I added guacamole on the side because GUACAMOLE. We also had it with yellow rice instead of tortillas. 

Wondering. WHY??! This book fucking sucked and I can’t imagine the movie will be any good. I guess the upside is no one will think the movie ruined the book which, to be honest, is the big fear I have with the series adaptation of YOU. I’m not sure I want to see that but let’s be honest. I will watch it. Same with Dumplin’ and All the Bright Places. And good god, can all the books I like please stop being movies? 


Considering. This reading challenge I saw on the We Need Diverse Books IG account. It’s short and easy enough. Plus, it’ll force me out of my comfort zone. Anyone else interested in it?

Laughing

Hope you guys have a great weekend! Be safe if you’re going out for St. Patrick’s Day. See you back here on Tuesday!

Making my bed and other advice I do follow

Last month I wrote a post about all the advice I don’t follow. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad advice; it’s just not for me. Which is fine. Everyone is different and I think it’s important to listen to different perspectives and take from them what you need. But I figured it was a good counterbalance to that post to discuss the advice or suggestions that I do follow.

A qualifier: I don’t follow all of these to the T. I screw up, make changes, and sometimes flat out ignore them. But overall, this are a few tips and tricks I’ve accumulated along the way to make improvements:

  1. No social media notifications on my phone. None. Not at all. Not email, IG, Pinterest. I don’t even have Twitter or FB on my phone (although I do have groups and messenger, mostly for communication with the child’s gym. These people hate email). I did, at one point, have notifications for all the apps turned on but it stole so much of my time and sanity that I got rid of it all. It has made a huge difference in my presence with people and eliminates distraction. One exception: MLB score updates on all Mets and Orioles games. 
  2. Prioritizing my time. I’m a huge advocate for the way Laura Vanderkam discusses time and time management and using her system has, well, I don’t want to say revolutionized because that’s too dramatic but drastically changed how I use my time. Basically, instead of trying to do everything, I’ve whittled down my core competencies and what’s essential and important to me and fit my time around achieving the goals within those. I might be mixing up messages from two of her books but whatever. It works for me. 
  3. Meal planning. I don’t meal prep. I discussed that last time. I do, however, meal plan. I’m not a good enough cook to look at a whole bunch of random ingredients and mix it all up into something palatable nor do I have a good enough memory to remember recipes or what I need to buy at a store (or have on hand). Meal planning makes me pay attention to what I’m buying (saving money FTW) and it also assures that I know what I’m cooking and how to do it properly. It also answers the question “what’s for dinner?” I hate that question. 
  4. Sleep routine. Confession: my sleeping habits are shit. I have a terrible time falling asleep, staying asleep, and all that jazz. It’s even worse when my anxiety hackles are up. I had tried everything but what’s really helped is having a routine. And not having electronics in the bedroom. True story: we don’t have a TV in our bedroom and I won’t even read an eBook before bed, no matter how good it is. The combination of those has led to me being able to sleep decently 4-5 nights per week which is a HUGE improvement. 
  5. Making my bed. I forgot where I saw this originally but it basically said that making your bed sets up the rest of your day. It helps you feel organized and put together and some other helpful shit like that. And you know what? It’s true! There’s something about making your bed that separates night from day and says “let’s get today going”. It also makes my room look neater (and, considering my husband is a class A slob, any little bit helps) and keeps the dogs off the sheets. Everyone wins!

So there you go. Some of the advice I DO follow. 

How about you guys? What are some tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way that have made a difference in your life? Which ones do you recommend I try? 

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