Family


Hi Ladies,

Anyone home now? I am!

It’s Saturday night, and our babysitter wasn’t able to sit. Just put the last child to bed and am gonna watch the Hockey Game on TV. I’m totally wiped.

The good news… we had our FIRST double sleep-out last night. My kids slept at my parents’ house. Woo hoo!! I dropped them both off at 4PM. My mom took them downtown for dinner, and they all slept in her bed. It was great fun for them. My hubby and I went for dinner at 6PM, were home by 7:30PM, and asleep by 9:30PM! LOSERS! We slept until 8:30AM this morning. It was heaven!  The last time I slept 11 straight hours I was a teenager with a hangover. It was AWESOME!

Today, my two year old FINALLY got his first pair of ice skates. He has been waiting since the ripe old age of ten months. No joke! Those who know him, know he has been begging to play ice hockey for the past eighteen months. He is seriously obsessed.  So, lessons start Monday, and he’s ready to go. He’s worn his  skates around the house ALL DAY. I kid you not. And now, they sleep on the floor beside his crib. He cried for 30 minutes tonight to sleep with them in his crib, but my husband said he would Edward Scissorhands himself during the night. Based on last week’s drama, that’s the last thing we need right now!!! He’s utterly delicious.

Tomorrow’s my son’s 6th birthday party. Some glow-in-the-dark mini golf with 20 of his grade 1 friends. He’s been waiting all week. I have not.

The new website is almost up. I can’t wait for the discussion board. Now you girls can visit any time and chat with other ladies about some of the issues. Am loving the Blog. My brain is finally functioning to maximum capacity. It’s refreshing!

Thank you all for your great suggestions and input for the Women On The Fence Blog. Don’t forget to keep commenting or emailing me about the topics you want to hear about.  Your suggestions are what will keeps the wheel turning.

Until next week, I bid you all good night.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/womenonthefence and join our group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137325556863&ref=mf .

Love,

Erica

xoxEDxox

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I will never betray this woman’s trust or confidence, but a girlfriend of mine a few weeks ago told me she has been “sexting” and having an emotional affair with a man for two years. Her husband and children have no clue. She says it isn’t cheating.

Let’s look at this together. I’m interested in topic.

Firstly, let’s review a few studies together and see how women and men view affairs and cheating.

Men say: Physical cheating is way more painful than emotional cheating, as men relate to everything in a physical way first. Men are inherently cavemen, and are protective by nature of their possessions. I quote one study where a man says, “The reality is that while we don’t care with whom you shop, talk, eat, or text, we do care deeply about who looks at you, smells your hair, holds your hand, and takes you to bed.”

Women say: Emotional cheating is far worse than a sexual affair. Women are far more inclined to forgive a one-night affair than an ongoing emotional connection. The thought of a husband’s connection with another woman, telling her his intimate secrets, without even physically touching her is way worse than a one night “f&ck.”

You may have your own opinion, but I’m just telling you the research.

And so just what is an emotional affair anyhow?

Emotional infidelity ranges, for example,  from “innocent” daily coffee breaks to the office cafeteria together, to online chatting or talking on the phone until 3 am. Emotional cheating is about sharing your deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings with someone other than your partner. In fact, you can be in the same room as your mate and be having an emotional affair with someone else!

Whatever your thoughts may be, cheating is no doubt both hurtful and harmful to a relationship. It’s truly devastating. Emotional cheating is a new term, and not as black and white as a physical affair. With chat rooms and the explosion of the internet, the temptation is everywhere. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or marriage, you can escape to an online paradise island with the man of your dreams without even leaving the comforts of your own home. This is dangerous. This is scary. This is tempting if you’re not happy.

So I ask you, if you knew your partner was “connecting” with another woman in an emotional way, and not a physical one, how would you react?

And just when does flirting become emotional cheating? A glance, a stare, a wink, a gentle touch, they can all be signs of innocent flirting. But how far do things have to go before they aren’t so innocent anymore? A married woman I know once said, “It gives me a little rush when someone flirts with me when I’m out for dinner with my girlfriends. I feel like, yeah, I still go it!” For me, this girl is heading down a slippery slope. Now I’m not prude or anything, I just know how fast things can escalate. I’ve heard first hand how it starts out innocent, and before you know it, you’re in a full blown lying and cheating affair. 

So, ladies, what can you do if you feel yourself or your spouse getting too close to another person even if you nor they are actually having sex with this person. STOP BEFORE IT ESCALATES. Just think, if my spouse knew what was going on, would they approve? If the answer is no, then put the brakes on. Having an affair is wrong. And in my opinion, if you are so unhappy in your marriage that you are constantly seeking adulation elsewhere, then seek counseling to work on yourself, or leave your marriage. But don’t cheat. Cheaters suck.

Which leads me to another day and other related topics…  Are women worse than men when it comes to this topic? Are we monogomists by nature? And another one to come that many of you have emailed about; do you stick around because of the kids? All “fence” issues…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Thank you for all your visits and comments. I love reading them.

xoxEDxox

And tell us, what’s worse for you; the physical or the emotional cheat? Would you leave your relationship if your partner emotionally strayed but never had the physical affair? We want to hear!

 

P.S. New website coming soon! When it’s up, I need your feedback!

By Guest Blogger Kelly Duffy

“When you go through life, so sure of where you’re headin’, and you wind up lost, it’s the best thing that could have happened”

-Brad Paisley, “Find Your Self”

You may find this odd, but I wasn’t really a Brad Paisley fan until this morning. I found myself returning from the two hour marathon that is the morning drop off ritual (the two older to one school, the little guy to pre-school) and listening to the closing credits for Pixar’s’ “Cars”. Despite the fact that I’ve seen this movie close to a thousand times the song I quoted previously really jumped out at me. As a matter of fact the lesson of the entire film hit me powerfully right between the eyes. Who among us hasn’t veered off course because of detour signs somewhere in life?

One of the things I miss the most in life (besides a firm backside and my natural hair color) is the crystal clear vision I had of what I wanted for myself in the future. I was rock steady, unshakable in my convictions.  It was almost as if it was predetermined and nothing could get in the way. There was no self doubt, I was positively fearless. I can picture that young gal with her Pollyannish bravado just waiting to jump out into the world with her equally enthusiastic friends. “Here we go!” they all shout, knowing that with hard work and determination they would all arrive at their destination.

Cut to twenty years later and take a look at how many of us stuck to the original plan. Some of us are close, several are right on the mark, and most of us aimed high but didn’t hit the target. Let me preface this by letting you know that most of the women I spoke to were very honest about what they really wanted deep in their hearts. Even if that wish were as kooky as wanting to be a fairy princess, I let them run with it. How far away from the prize did we find ourselves? Let’s see.

I landed so far away from what I originally imagined that it could be said that I’m residing in a completely different universe. The plan I deviated from was not a realistic blue print by which to live a life.  When I was four, I desperately wanted to be a “drawer.” No, not the place you fold and place your socks, but someone who draws for a living. My mother was a frustrated artist (far more naturally talented than I’ll ever be) who chose motherhood and housewife duties over pursuing any kind of dreams she may have had.  When it came time to test my meddle, I gathered my best stuff, compiled a decent portfolio and prepared to submit it to the list of art schools my teachers had given me. Aghast, my parents discouraged this avenue and begged me to reconsider a four year liberal arts university. It was an easy choice given my expertise at quitting and the powerful influence of an overbearing mom and dad.  I still draw, but not with the passion I used to have. However I’ve gained some things I never imagined would be mine, a funny creative husband, a charming but sometimes challenging old house, three delightful (sometimes) kids, and two dogs and a guinea pig that screams. I feel happy, satisfied on most days and thankful that I have a life this full.

My friend, let’s call her Vicky, lived in a number of big cites after graduating from her very high falutin’ university. It was assumed she would go on and take the world of academia by storm, but she was presented with a whole host of issues that don’t usually plague the big brains. She was pregnant by her less than worthy boyfriend of two months.  Shocked we wondered how someone this smart, who was due to go to law school right after getting her master’s degree could have let this happen? I remember saying, “wow, if this can happen to her, then there really is no hope for the rest of us shmucks.” Last week I got a hold of her and posed the same question. Were there any regrets? Was she happy with what she had made of her life? The most surprising response came out of her mouth. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, this is how it was meant to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Wow.

My other friend, who we’ll call Barb, has had her future in her apparel since the first day of high school. It was going to be fashion or nothing at all. She made all the right career moves and was even able to dance around a high profile layoff and turn it around into an advantage. She never had time for a serious relationship and instead went through a series of men as quickly as she changed outfits. Later on, however she turned around and realized she was sneaking up on forty and there was no one to share all this blinding greatness with. In a year she managed to get herself fired again (sort of on purpose), dive headfirst into a relationship with a great guy, spend time enjoying herself and finally get married.  I asked her about regrets and she took a moment to think back over her life and finally said “I’m sorry we never got to start that girl band in high school”. Hmmm, okay.

So with all this hoopla over the unhappiness rates for women, I wonder to myself how many gals are satisfied with what life has handed them so far. How many obstacles and what appeared to be insurmountable road blocks have you pole vaulted right over to get and keep what you want? Life doesn’t always turn out the way you thought it would, but sometimes having poor aim isn’t such a bad thing.

Kelly Duffy

http://dufmanno.wordpress.com

Readers, tell us, did you stray from your path in life? Are you happy with how things are going? What did you learn?

Hi Ladies.

I had a few things I wanted to cover today, so this one will be a bit of a mixed bowl.

I firstly want to thank WordPress (www.wordpress.com) for choosing yesterday’s blog on GUILT as one of the featured articles of the day. It brought me insane amounts of traffic, and I was excited beyond belief. One of my Facebook friends wrote, “If you build it, They will come.” This made me teary. I write from my heart, day after day, and I visualize a whole bunch of us women sitting in a room together just discussing the issues. I feel connected. I do.

I also wanted to share what happened Monday evening. It will have a point at the end. It’s not just all drama, so stay with me…

Monday evening, my entire family was over for dinner. We were eating, talking, enjoying. My two boys were running wild in the living room, as they always do. Next thing I know, someone is crying. Hello!!! This happens five times a day! But this time was different. I picked up my two year old to comfort him, and next thing I know,  his eyes rolled to the back of his head, he was turning blue, and he was lifeless in my arms. In fact, he then slid right out of my arms directly onto my hard wood floor, as I wasn’t expecting to receive his body in this nature. I picked him up off the floor but he was dead weight, and not moving.

I screamed to my family, “CALL 911!!!!!” The ambulance came literally in two minutes. In those two minutes, while I started shaking him and screaming, my husband blew in his face. He awoke, and started crying. My husband was physically trembling, he couldn’t even hold him. He physically almost threw up. When the ambulance arrived, my son was already lucid and talking up a storm again. They said that while his vitals were good, his blood pressure was very high and he had to go to the hospital immediately. I ran into the ambulance with him completely shaking. In fact, I ran out of the house in my pink fluffy slippers when the nice driver told me to go back and get shoes. My husband followed with my father in law behind the ambulance. My baby boy. I thought he had died in my arms.

So while sitting in the ambulance, all that went through my head was how fragile life is. How life turns on a dime. How one minute you’re celebrating, and the next minute you’re praying. In fact, at this very moment, my uncle is very ill in the hospital. We were talking about him at the dinner table, and how life is just not fair sometimes.  I don’t have to tell you this. We all know life isn’t always fair.

The shortened version, when we arrived at the hospital, the doctors had come to the conclusion that after my big son had winded the little one into the couch, his hard crying had caused him to stop breathing and pass out. No joke. It’s called “breath holding.” Many kids get it from crying. They hold their breath from crying, and the lack of oxygen to the brain makes them faint. Don’t laugh, it’s scary as hell!

All this to say, we all slept in yesterday morning. My big son went to  school late, my little one stayed home with me. We had a quiet day, and it was wonderful. I don’t mean to be somber, but that’s just where my head was. It was all very scary. To top it off, what truly made me cry, was my big son thought it was his fault. When the ambulance pulled up, he shouted, “It’s all my fault.” That killed me. I called him 5 times from the hospital to tell him that of course, it wasn’t his fault at all. He must have the guilty gene like his mom! Poor him!

So, enough of this sad story. I will tell you the funny parts of the story. There were a couple. While we were in the ambulance, and his life was flashing before my eyes, this little voice comes out and says, “Mommy, no DVD player in da ambulance.” I blurted out laughing. Even the driver started to laugh, as my son started to recite our Montreal Canadiens team players one by one, and how Kovalev was traded to the Ottawa Senators.

Top that off with the doctor who treated him at the hospital. We’re waiting for the doctor, and in walks this nice lady  “Hello, I’m Dr. Seuss.” I reply, “That’s cute. Really, what’s your name?” She answers, “Dr. Seuss.” NO JOKE! P.S.,  her name really is Dr. Soos.!! My big son ran with that. He loved that the doctor at the Children’s Hospital was Dr. Soos!

So just remember, you blink and life can change. I realize now more than ever, we have to live in the moment. Celebrate the good stuff. My husband and I went out last night to celebrate for no reason. My son was healthy and we felt thankful. I had my busiest blogging day and we tried to savor the moment. So today I pray for my uncle’s recovery, and for good health and happiness for my family.You should feel grateful for the good things you have.

And do the cheesy stuff today…

Email your boyfriend or husband or partner and tell them them you love them and appreciate them. Blast your iPod and close your eyes and enjoy some great music. Run on the treadmill today at the gym, cuz there’s no greater and freer feeling. And call those people you wronged and apologize to them. You never know if you’ll always have that chance to tell them how you feel.

xoxEDxox

PS – I should be feeling happier tomorrow, therefore, look out for some happier “On the fence” topics.

So, our brains constantly torture us to the tune of ; I should be spending more time with my kids, cooking healthier meals, calling friends more regularly, returning emails, working harder, going to the gym more often, being nicer to people, coming home earlier from the office, baking more, eating better… Oh the Guilt! Oh the Guilt!

Actually, guilt does serve its purpose on occasion. It sometimes guides us when things go wrong in our lives, when we’re not working hard enough, or when we’ve done something wrong, for example. But us ladies truly take guilt to a whole new level. I would even go so far as to call it our disease.  We suffer from guilt about so many things. Instead of recognizing all the wonderful things we do for those around us, we let the things we CAN’T do completely overtake our mind. This is a sad thing ladies. Sad. But I will tell you, I suffer from this disease as well! And it’s chronic.

I sold my business three years ago to be home with my kids, because I was feeling so guilty leaving them all the time. Now, I feel guilty if I can’t be at all the carpool pickups for my little son. Or I feel guilty if I want to take time alone. I feel guilty if I miss a dinner with the kids due to a school meeting. I feel guilty if I go to the 7:30am kick boxing class. I feel guilty ALL THE TIME. And I don’t know why. After all, I think I’m a pretty good mom, daughter, and wife. I just can’t turn off that guilt switch.

So what is the solution? Many experts say we truly need to put ourselves and our needs first. To take that “Me time.” Haven’t we all heard “The first Love, Self love.” or “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” and “Happiness comes from within. First please yourself, and then you’ll be pleasing to others?”

Well that shit is darn easier said than done!!!

There is such a fine line between pleasing and nurturing ourselves, and being selfish. That’s at least where I and so many of you struggle. If I treat myself to an afternoon alone, am I a bad mother? If I leave the office too early, am I bad employee? If I leave my marriage without trying, did I give up too soon?The list is endless.

guilt

So, what do you do? Guilt can be very paralyzing and destructive. And the thing with guilt, is no one punishes you but yourself! Every woman deserves to be happy, and live their life to its maximum potential.

  • First, accept that you are human, and that you are always acting the best you can, at any given moment. Accept that humans fail and err, and all you can do is your best. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past, and doesn’t let you move forward. Let it go.  You’ll do better the next time.
  • This leads up to; if you made a mistake, learn your lesson and move forward. Learn to be resilient. It’s a process.
  • The “should-haves” cause tremendous guilt. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself serves you no purpose other than to stress you out. This leads us back to learning to say no a little more, and saying it guilt free.
  • Don’t get sucked in when someone is trying to give you a guilt trip. For example, “Really don’t come if you don’t want to… Isn’t that too expensive for you?… You put your child in daycare after 3 months?… Shouldn’t you be home with your kids now?” Don’t even answer the question or you are being sucked in.
  • Remind yourself of ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU OFFER TO THIS WORLD. Calm those negative and guilty thoughts. Seriously, the power of positive thinking is an incredible thing. You’re worth it. We’re all worth it. We all deserve a little “me time,” and deserve it guilt free.
  • And finally, stop asking yourselves, “What will the world think of me if I…” Stop caring what others think… you’ll see how much guilt dissipates once you stop caring about how the world views you. I know people who have mastered this art. They don’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks of them! And I tell you, they’re happy! Now, I’m not saying not to care or be accountable to your family and friends, but stop that need for external approval.

And stop living your lives the way OTHERS want or expect you to. And stop feeling guilty that you’re not perfect; my friends, neither are they!! Live your life according to your own values and beliefs. We are on this earth for a short time. Make is great.  Make it count.

xoxEDxox

Any of you have your own tips for calming the guilt in your brains? Share with our readers…

74091911PK003_Time_Magazine

When Elizabeth Edwards married John Edwards in 1977, she had but one request for her husband… that he be faithful to her. This was paramount to Elizabeth from day one. Unfortunately, we all know the outcome. I can only imagine her struggle living life on the fence with whether to stay or leave once she learned of his infidelities. She has recently documented some of those feelings in a new book, “Resilience.”

Let’s be honest, those people buying her memoirs, are probably looking for all the juicy details of her husband’s affair with videographer Rielle Hunter.  After all, former presidential candidate John Edwards  did not at all  seem the cheating type. He, the bright and charismatic possible future president. She, the devoted wife of 30 years who stood by her husband’s side during his entire campaign. Three beautiful children. The picture perfect family man.

But in fact, tragedy struck their family way before John’s betrayal. In 1996, their son Wade died in a car accident. And then years later, her breast cancer diagnosis, which is now in the terminal stage.

To give you a little background on the story, on December 28, 2006, two days after John announced he was running for president in 2008, he told Elizabeth he had broken the vow he made to her on their wedding day almost 30 years ago…. he had been unfaithful. Just imagine Elizabeth at this moment. First losing a child. Then being diagnosed with breast cancer. Then learning her husband had been unfaithful. One event after the next. Talk about finding strength you thought you never had. In fact, “Resilience” couldn’t be a more perfect title for her memoirs.

She describes the feelings that engulfed her body when she first learned of her husband’s affair, “After I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up.”

And finally, as if all this wasn’t hurtful and humiliating enough, recently, DNA tests are supposed to show that John Edwards did in fact father a child with Rielle Hunter. After denying it.

So the big “fence” question, one that Hillary Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer’s wife faced, is why stay in the marriage? Personally, I feel they stayed for many reasons. But, I can only imagine the incredible pull in two directions. To stay with a man who had shared his bed with another woman time and time again,  or leave, and lose your power and status that has come as result of being this couple.  Plus, it is a very different thing when one can grieve privately, or when the whole world is watching and judging your every move.

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From left, Emma Claire, Elizabeth, Jack, John and Cate Edwards

This all leads me up to one big question: Would you stay with a spouse that cheated on you? Let me tell you, depending on who you ask, you would get a multitude of answers. For me, I have to say, it depends. That’s personal, so no judgement here ladies. I feel that if my husband went on a business trip and had a “slip up” one night, I would be more inclined to work it out, than if he had been having an ongoing love affair with a woman, and had been deliberately lying to me over and over again. This would kill me. This would kill my spirit. But, if it was one night, and he came to me right away, I think I would try and work it out. I don’t know for sure, and thankfully, AT LEAST TO MY KNOWLEDGE, I have not been faced with this dilemma.

So, while there is no right or wrong answer to leaving after a spouse cheats, every situation is different and needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Experts say a major deciding factor is obviously your partner’s actions. Do you think it’s going to happen again? Is your partner truly sorry and feels remorse for what they’ve done? Have they offered to seek counseling to help them understand why they strayed in the first place? Trust is a major issue. How can Elizabeth Edwards ever trust again?

I will go more in-depth on infidelity and cheating in the future. For now, this was something to get you ladies thinking and talking. And I truly think,  no one can sit in judgement of someone else’s life unless they have walked in those shoes. Really. So, we cannot judge Elizabeth Edwards. She is dying, and maybe she compartmentalized this affair to help her get through her final days as a family unit. Maybe she wants to die in peace, not fighting. Irrespective of her decision, I feel tremendous sadness and compassion for this woman. She must sit on that fence every day wondering if she has made the right decision for herself and her happiness. That can’t be a comfortable place to sit.

What are you feelings?

xoxEDxox

See what other women are saying about my post on Blogher!

http://www.blogher.com/elizabeth-edwards-woman-fence

mother-in-law-from-hell

Ladies, I just had to address the subject of in laws for all my girlfriends in Montreal. The stories, the laughs, the tears, it’s all very… well… amusing. I can’t tell you how many of my friends love to vent about their in laws!

It sort of goes something like this… “My mother in law is planning my whole life, and I want to tell her to back off… My father in law gave my child a hamburger when I clearly told him we’re VEGETARIANS… My mother in law is suffocating me…” And the stories go on and on.

So, do you tell them how you REALLY feel, or do you suck it up to avoid an argument?  It’s time to get off the fence and speak your ground, ladies! Sucking it up will only poison yourself and lead to resentment towards your husbands or boyfriends. There are ways to get your message across without playing mean, or hurting feelings.

 

Remember, your goal must be peace in the home. Peace between you and your mate. Letting the “in laws from hell” cause friction in your marriage isn’t worth it. You’re going to have to find the nice and politically correct way of telling your mother in law, that you just gave birth, your boobs are leaking milk everywhere, your moods are swinging around like a pendulum, and her coming every day, all day, HAS TO STOP!

 A few things you need to establish immediately:

  • You need to be teammates with your husband. United. He needs to make it clear that when his parents hurt you, offend you, or dismiss you, they are also hurting him. They DEFINITELY love him more than you, so if they see he’s upset, they’ll get the hint!
  • Be kind. For all you know, your mother in law has been neglected or cheated on. She’s a human being too with feelings and trying to see her with frailties will make her seem less aggressive. Tell her how you feel about the annoying stuff she’s doing, but tell her nicely. Be honest, and be kind in how you tell her. But definitely tell her, otherwise, she’ll just keep doing the same bothersome things over and over.
  • Treat your in laws as if you would a customer. Note…this is for the truly bad kind. I definitely don’t suggest this if you have great in laws, like me! Hee hee, it’s true! But seriously, if you treat them like you would a pesky customer, with respect, and let them have their say, things will go a lot smoother. Trust me.
  • It never hurts to vent. If your husband is tired of hearing about his parents, find a chat room or a girlfriend to vent to. We are often a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
  • And finally, laugh it off. It puts things into perspective. It’s only one aspect in your life, and sometimes, it’s actually quite funny!

And remember, they’re here to stay. You might as well make the best of them. And if they insult your cooking or tell you they doesn’t like the way you’re bringing up their grandchild, I say, give ’em big smile. Remember, you hold the power. They’ll only control you if you let them. Grab a hold of your power, women!

How have you dealt with your in laws? Any tips you can share with our readers? Let me finish by saying you don’t need to sign in with a name or email address… it can be an anonymous post. This way, the IL will never find out!

xoxEDxox

PS – I would like to conclude today’s entry by saying how utterly disgusted I am with the news coming out of Mackenzie Phillip’s 10-year affair with her father, musician John Phillips. I could vomit.