Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I STILL Support Donald Trump (and No, It's Not Because I'm An Ignorant Asshat)

I am a 33-year-old suburban-living, college-educated, working mom. And I am still voting for Donald Trump. My mom friends are too. We're informed and decisive. And we're coming out to vote on November 8. #sorrynotsorry
So here goes... what millions of other female Trump supporters want to say, but are afraid you will judge them for it!

WHY I AM STILL SUPPORTING Donald J. Trump FOR PRESIDENT

I am a 33 year old married mother of two. I am well-educated. I am a successful small business owner. And I am SICK AND TIRED of being called ignorant, racist and stupid because I support Donald J. Trump for President. PLEASE stop assuming I’m dumb, blind or a “deplorable”. I have come to my decision on whom to support the same way you have – through careful consideration of the pluses and minuses of each candidate. And I would appreciate if you could consider my opinions and thoughts on certain topics, instead of just assuming I’m “ignorant” because I don’t see things the same way you do. From your Facebook posts, it seems as if you already “know” my views on the hot topics of this election season. But I’ve found your assumptions to be… dare I say it… ignorant in themselves. Here’s a few of my opinions on the issues you assume you already know… I’m not attempting in any way to change your mind. I just want to give you a small glimpse into mine and why I plan to vote the way I do.

The Tape & Feminism & Respect for Women: I am as disgusted by the words Donald Trump has used to describe women as you are. Trust me… when I watched “The Tape” I almost took my Trump bumper sticker off my car. I was appalled. I was embarrassed. I felt betrayed. And to be honest, I still do. I felt the same way when Mr. Trump called Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy”. Hearing any man talk about a woman’s breasts or vagina as objects, or judge a woman by her weight or figure makes me want to vomit. But you know what else makes me want to vomit? When Secretary Clinton made this comment about stay-at-home moms: "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.” So when I chose to leave my career and become a stay-at-home mom, was I abandoning my profession? You’re damn right I was! I was doing so to fulfill what I felt to be my purpose at the time – being a full-time mom. And that is the beauty of being a modern day feminist – you can be whoever you’d like to be and do whatever you’d like to do. The world is our oyster! Work full-time. Don’t work full-time. Or maybe stay-at-home for a while, get bored as heck, and start building your own business like I did : ) The key in being a feminist is to not judge or put other women down for making different decisions. As for how I can still support and vote for Donald Trump despite his gross words about women? It’s based on his actions. The ways he’s hired and promoted women to the top positions in his company. How his daughter, Ivanka, is one of his closest advisors. His plan for offering affordable child care to working moms. His common-sense conservative view of women’s issues such as abortion (pro-life, but with exemptions). And here’s the bottom line – I do not look to Donald Trump as my moral compass. He’s not my role model. My religious beacon. My mirror. No president is. And I’m not electing him to be any those things for me. I’m electing him to run my country. To be the CEO of the United States of America. We go through ebbs and flows in this country where the President serves different roles. And right now, we need a CEO. A person that doesn’t care about politics or saying the right words all of the time. But gets down to the brass tacks of what needs to be fixed, and does it. A person who has a vision, and gets it done. I’ve worked for a number of people over the years who made me want to vomit at times by their words or their actions (men AND women, FYI). But they weren’t hired to their positions to make ME a better person or make ME feel good about myself. They were hired to get a job done. And I believe 100% that Donald Trump is the person – the president – America needs right now to get the job done. To rebuild America. To rebuild our infrastructure. To rebuild our economy. To #MAGA : )

Immigration: I am NOT against immigration. I feel blessed to live in a country that people WANT to come to, WANT to live in, WANT to build businesses in and raise families in. I still believe in the American Dream. I love being a part of a community filled with diversity of races, backgrounds, religions and points of view. Some of our most innovative leaders are immigrants – just look at the list of this year’s American Nobel laureates… all six that have been announced so far are… wait for it… immigrants to the United States. The issue for me is not immigration… it’s ILLEGAL immigration. People sneaking into the United States. People overstaying their visas. People coming to the United States and not following the laws that every other LEGAL immigrant has taken the time to follow. I wouldn’t dream of entering another country and just assume I can do whatever I’d like to do, stay as long as I’d like, and never make my presence in that country 100% legal. My question to illegal immigrants – why not do it legally? Why not fill out the proper paperwork, wait in line with the other people seeking to study/live/work in the US, and make yourself known? Why not extend your visas or documents if you’d like to stay? I have ZERO problem with it! My problem is with breaking the law. There is no need for the secrecy and deception you are putting yourselves through. The US has a pretty straight forward immigration system – all they need to do is use it. Seems simple to me. As for people who are already living/working/raising families in the US, but came to the US “illegally”, then there should be options. Mass deportation is ridiculous. However…. mass deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes is fine with me. You are not contributing to America. You are not living the American Dream. You are not raising a family here. You didn’t do anything to “earn” your stay – and you must go. End of story. Period. Too bad, so sad. Buh-bye. I do believe in a path to citizenship for immigrants who initially came in illegally for whatever reason, but have decided they want to make the US their home. The path doesn’t have to be impossible. File the appropriate documentation, pay back taxes, and take the steps legal immigrants have taken. Of course, there is always a chance you won’t be approved. Which, at that point in time, you would have to be deported. And if you are given the opportunity but choose NOT to follow the proper path, then you’ve got to go. Immigration is not a RIGHT in any country around the world. It’s a privilege – here in the US, in Europe, in Asia. And there are legal ways to do it. That’s all we’re asking for.

Terrorism & Islam & Refugees: I am NOT Islamophobic. I have ZERO issues with Muslims. I do NOT blame all Muslims for the acts of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other groups that have tried to hijack the Islam religion. But I DO know that the threat of ISIS is real. And the threat is growing. And these terrorists are using Islam as an excuse for their hateful, horrific actions. I don’t know what the answer is to solve it… but I am terrified every day that an ISIS terrorist – whether lone wolf or a full blown cell - will hurt the people I love. And I can’t take that risk. So if the US needs to halt immigration from known ISIS regions throughout the world, I support that. Not forever, but temporarily until our security agencies can get a firm handle on this crisis. Temporary visas can keep being granted for family and travelers – but with the caveat of intense screening. The ban shouldn’t be on Muslims – but on ANYONE from certain regions, mainly the Middle East and North Africa where ISIS is out of control. It is what it is. I will ALWAYS put the safety of my family and friends first. My intention is not to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend – but I can’t sit back and not acknowledge what is happening. The threat of ISIS is real. Terrorism is real. We see it in Syria. What ISIS is doing there is HORRIFIC! I see the same pictures of the children, bloodied and crying, that you do. And I cry too. It’s not fair what is happening to them and their families. And it needs to be stopped NOW! But the solution isn’t opening our doors to hundreds of thousands of unvetted refugees. Let’s work with a multi-national coalition to make it safe for them to live in their own country. If the US was under attack, I wouldn’t want to just be shipped off to another country. I’d want the US to become a safe place to live again! And on top of that, the idea that ISIS terrorists could slip into the US under the guise of “refugee” is scary for me. Scarier than any potential clown lurking in the woods on Halloween. Why? Because I don’t want the next photo circulating around Facebook to be MY CHILD bloodied and crying after he or she was attacked by ISIS. And I wouldn’t want it to be your child either. Let’s handle the humanitarian crisis where it is happening by taking out ISIS and making Syria a safe place for Syrians to live and prosper. We have a humanitarian crisis here in the US – children are going hungry, families are losing their homes, heroin is tearing apart communities. Let’s make the US a safe and prosperous place for all Americans by tackling our own humanitarian crisis here, and aiding in the humanitarian crises in Syria and the Middle East however we can.

So before you post another "anyone who supports Donald Trump is an ignorant, stupid, uneducated racist" just stop and think that your sweeping generalization is, in itself, pretty darn ignorant.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Top 10 Foolish Things First-Time Prego Moms Do (...That You Only Realize Are Foolish the Second Time Around)

Oh, the good old days. When dreams had not yet met reality. When you would daydream about your perfect baby, who would be smart, beautiful and well-mannered. When you would picture yourself strolling along the sidewalk, humming lullabies. When you couldn't understand parents who yelled or lost their tempers - because you were going to be a calm, cool cucumber parent. When you had NO FRIEKEN IDEA what was coming your way. Even though you had 9 months to plan, Pin and prepare (and Pin some more). To listen to your mom friends give it to you straight. To read books and blogs about motherhood. You just KNEW your baby was going to be different. YOU are going to be different than "those" parents. "I know everything there is to know about motherhood!" you said.

So how'd all that nonsense work out for ya? : ) Don't worry. We've all done it. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones. Here are the top 10 foolish things we do as first-time moms-to-be:

#10. We create Birth Plans.
A guide for all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff involved in our deliveries so they know EXACTLY how we'd like things to go. Because, you can plan these sort of things. We were all like this, writing down our hopes and dreams...


Writing words like "all natural", "no episiotomy" and such...


And then this happens...


Quickly followed by this...


#9. We stock up on Newborn-Sized Diapers.
And put them perfectly in the nursery.

 Because all newborn babies fit in the newborn size, right?



WRONG!

And now you have piles and piles of Newborn-sized Pampers that couldn't even fit on your baby's left foot.




#8. We throw out all Formula Samples and Formula Coupons we receive (Because breast feeding is the ONLY way!)
OF COURSE I'm going to breastfeed! It's so easy! And beautiful! And natural!


Except when it's not. Your milk doesn't come it, It's not working like it should. And it hurts like a b*tch. And you're faced with a hungry baby...


But you have no formula to sample because you threw it in the GARBAGE!



And you're like...
















And now you have to go to the grocery store - screaming baby in tow - and decide on a baby formula at random. While everyone watches you. And you feel like a failure.











But you're not. Because it happens to a lot of us.


#7. We buy useless baby gear like a Changing Table
The most flimsy, single-purpose piece of furniture ever made.


Well, I guess there are some ways to repurpose a changing table.


Changing Table ---> Bar Cart


Or this

Changing Table ---> Wrapping Paper Holder


But can I ask.. what's so wrong with this?!
PERFECT!


#6.  And a Wipe Warmer

Room temperature wipes? Oh, the HUMANITY!



#5. And a Baby Food Blender
Because the regular, adult-sized blender that you've been using for years just won't do!



#4. Or even worse, a Baby Bottle Keurig-thing
Because making a bottle from scratch is really pushing it.














#3. We stock our baby's closet full of Baby Clothes
And spend hours organizing all clothes and little outfits until it looks like this...

And this


When in reality, the baby spends 95% of the time in one of these

And you end up lugging clothes worn only once (or not at all!) to Goodwill



#2. We create Luxury Nurseries
Because every baby dreams of sleeping on the set of Antiques Roadshow


We put up satin canopies...


...which will be the first thing the baby tears down.

And paint the walls trendy colors


We use luxurious, adult-like fabrics and prints



And then this happens.


And this...


And this...













#1. We try to be PERFECT Moms



But quickly realize it's just not going to happen...













...And, despite our faults, mistakes and missteps, we eventually figure out that everything's going to be just fine : )






Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Need Your Scar Photos! Pretty Please...

“How’d you get that scar?” you ask with curiosity.
You won’t believe the answer. It’s a crazy story, you see.
 
I’ve been through a lot of things in life – things that left their mark on me.
 
A run in with a raging bull. A tussle with a tiger.
A gust of wind while tight-rope walking – good thing I wasn’t any higher!
 





Have you ever had an idea that you just KNOW would make a difference? An impact? That's how I feel about the poem (now morphing into a children's picture book) I wrote for Deacon after his surgery - "How'd You Get That Scar?"(a fun and quirky tale that answers the question our children get asked every day...). I feel that kids like Deacon who have scars (large or small) after overcoming a childhood condition, illness or surgery NEED a story that they can feel is made just for them. So I'm working towards my goal of brining my story to those kids... But in the meantime, I need your photos! Here's the deets...

I NEED YOUR SCAR PHOTOS... Pretty Please : )

Does your child have a large scar resulting from a childhood illness, condition or surgery? I'm creating a Kickstarter campaign (more info on that soon!) to get my "How'd You Get That Scar?" children's book illustrated and published and I want to make a compelling slideshow that features our children and their scars (first photos of the scars/right after surgery would be best) to drum up interest. If you don't mind sharing, email the photo to me at sweetleighmama@gmail.com - please include your child's first name, the condition/injury/type of surgery they had and date. Just put "SCAR PHOTO" in the subject line so I don't miss it : )

I appreciate your support!! Here's a link to the story (which started out as a poem) that I'm working to get published:

http://sweetleighmama.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-did-you-get-that-scar-poem-for-kids.html