Relationships


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?

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…

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.

woman_walking_beach_fcp

It’s Saturday morning. Right now, as I’m writing, the Wii is going strong in one room, another child  is climbing on me, and my husband is calling out some order down the hallway. And guess what… I just don’t feel like it all today. I just feel like sitting on a secluded beach, aqua blue water, waves crashing, sun shining, sand and ipod, and me, lovely wonderful me, ALONE. Silencio.

Naturally, I don’t feel like this all the time, but I can be honest with you readers, I do feel like this sometimes. This feeling of needing more alone time came when I sold my business and started a new career as a “full-time mom.” That is actually why I started this blog. I know that, for me, I need something to occupy my mind beyond my children.  I need a purpose to my life beyond my wonderful family. I need to use my brain again. It was starting to go soft on me.

But all back to the point of this blog. Experts do say that for a woman to stay mentally happy and healthy, everyone needs personal time– time just for themselves. I know this. If I go too long without a girls night out, a fast getaway with my hubby, or even a long walk alone, I start to LOSE IT! I mean lose it. I do.

And I know I’m not alone, cuz many of you have written in complaining about the lack of personal time. The inability to even go to the bathroom without a little person at your feet. The laundry, the bills, your work, your children, your responsibilities… it all takes its toll, that by the time the kids finally get to bed, who even can appreciate that alone time? You just wanna kerplunk on the floor.

cafe1

In fact, in the book I mentioned a few blogs ago, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” Dr. John Gray explains the notion of men needing time in “caves” in order to relax and cope with stress. His explanation of this concept gives all your husbands, fiancés and boyfriends across the world permission to have time alone to decompress after work. Now, while I agree with Gray that men need time to decompress, my argument is that women need it too. Women need “cave” time too. Most women I know would love to hide out in a cave for “me” time, if not just for a little.

I encourage you, if you are one who is desperately craving for alone time, or even if you’re someone who might feel lonely or bored being alone, take the time! While you’re at work, go for a walk alone on your lunch time. If you’re a stay at home mom, read a book on your porch or balcony while your child naps. Turn off you cell phone. Zone out. Be alone. Close your eyes and meditate. Turn off your ringer in your bedroom. Regroup. Rejuvenate. Reenergize. It often doesn’t take much to recharge the battery during the day if you’re feeling depleted.

And ask your husbands after they have had their cave time, to let you take yours. Be it on a Saturday, like right now for me. Or on any other day. In fact, all hell is breaking loose right outside my door, but I’m off duty right now. I have my coffee, the sun is shining in my office, my cozy bathrobe is on, and I’m recharging. Come to think of it, I’m feeling better than when I started the blog entry!

So, take some “me” time when you can.  I’m telling you, you’d be surprised what a little time alone can do for your spirit.

I gotta run now ladies. I think my “me” time is officially over. My husband is calling. So are the kids.

Till next time,

xoxEDxo

ps – How do you escape for some “me” time? Can you suggest some tips for our readers?

If there is one daily question in our house that is sure to get me aggravated, it’s “What’s for dinner?” This is because dinnertime has been, and continues to be a thing of frustration for me. Just the sound of the question drives me bananas.  Trying to accommodate the nutritional needs and eating preferences of 4 different people. So, dinnertime in our house kinda goes something like this. Kids eat 5:30PM. Parents eat anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30PM, (while the kids eat their fruits so at least we’re sitting as a family).

Truth is, we no longer eat dinner as a family unit since my big son started grade 1 this month. I find it just too difficult. The boys start whining about dinner around 5pm, “I’m starving, I can’t wait for daddy to come home”. My husband gets home from the office anywhere between 6:30 – 7:30PM, so waiting for him since my big son started grade 1, no longer happens (grade 1 finishes at 4, and I understand his need for a nice meal soon after homework is done). This saddens me greatly, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I really believe, “Why would I give them a snack at 5:30, when they’re hungry for dinner at that time?” I have never been a big believer in giving snacks at mealtimes, or snacks to stall meals. I like to feed them when they’re hungry. I have been known to make whole wheat and organic cheese Kraft Dinner at 10am, grilled cheese at 10:30am, hamburgers at 3:55pm. I feed on demand. I know this makes me sound like a parent being dominated by a tiny person, but when you have a son who barely eats, I like to strike while it’s hot. So, I always sit with the boys at 5:30PM and they eat, and I watch and pray. And then I sit down for my own meal at 7 with my husband.

Now, this is how the real dinner dilemma goes for me.  A meal for 3 (myself, my husband, my 2-year old), and another meal for 1 (my grade 1 boy). ALL THE TIME. I try and cook healthy, and I pride myself on preparing nice fresh and healthy meals. There’s always a soup or salad to start, followed by a protein, carb and vegetable. Just  like Mary Poppins, thank you very much! That’s the case of course, for the group of 3.  The 4th meal, for my big son, barely contains a vegetable (he only eats corn on the cob and celery), and it’s always a WHITE LOOKING MEAL (or orange… Kraft Dinner, grilled cheese, plain noodles… you see where I’m going with this?). We can get a little spaghetti and meatsauce or hamburger in once in a while, but not with a veggie, and he takes 2 bites. Now, I’M NOT EVEN A GOOD COOK, NOT DO I EVEN ENJOY IT, so this shit stresses me out when I go to the grocery store. What am I making for the threesome, what am I making  for the big kid? Top that off with the fact that my husband eats like a bird. I have really  no one to cook for, other than myself and my two year old who, god bless him, has my appetite, but I don’t think my metabolism!!! So, unless I plan on continuing to make myself crazy, or turn everyone into a pizza, I’m gonna have to find a solution. I’m truly tired of making two meals, but I’m not ready yet to send my thin older son to bed without dinner. My friends say “Offer Johnny, (we’ll call my 6 year old) what the rest of the family is eating, and if he doesn’t like it, tough!” Ladies, I just ain’t there yet. Maybe I baby him, but I’m just not gonna do it.

So, if this insanity sounds familiar, at least be happy you’re not alone. Misery loves company!

Oh ya, and every time my “Johnny” asks for fish sticks, I just cringe. He was brought up on all organic and home cooked vegetables. I fed him like a prince. And now he only asks for the white foods. My little one, feed him acetone, and he takes it all in, every last drop, and with a smile might I add. Gotta love kids. Born to the same parents, same gene pool, completely different creatures.

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So, here are some useful tips to solving the dinner dilemma and believe me ladies, I’m trying desperately to incorporate them into my own house. Again, like my BBF Oprah says, I’m just “a work in progress.”

  • Plan ahead. I don’t do this often enough but I should. Don’t just whip something up at the last minute. I’m not saying don’t cook quick and healthy meals. I mean have the ingredients in your house, BEFOREHAND, so when it’s time to start dinner, you have what you need. If you work, make a big order on the weekends and freeze. Pull out your daily chicken or meats the morning you leave for work, and have your veggies and rice and potatoes already in the fridge or pantry from your weekend shopping. Try getting to the fruit store at least twice during the week, so there are lots of healthy choices for snacks and side dishes.
  • Foods that kids like can often be made healthy. Make your own whole wheat dough, get some organic tomato sauce, some organic cheese, throw some veggies on top, with a side salad, and you have yourself a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family. Try to compromise. Have your hubby eat pizza one night, and the kids eat steak or salmon another night. Explain to your husband that even though they want a big plate of pasta and meatsauce, or steak,  some nights they have to eat a simple BBQ chicken, cuz that’s what the kids like. Plus you don’t want to turn in to me, and start making a millions meals for everyone. Start that early, my friends!
  • Make extra, and get your family used to eating left-overs. Again, not something my husband likes… AT ALL but it’s something he’s getting used to. Some chicken breasts on the BBQ one night can serve as a great chicken salad the next night. Just a thought.
  • Have your family members suggest what they like. Why wrack your brain? Supply and demand. If they can suggest something healthy and good for the whole family, why not give in? And if budget permits, an occasional splurge on chinese food take out or whatever the family loves to order in could be fun.
  • Try out a few different recipes and see what works. Even a horrible cook like me can whip up some great and easy with recipes online, or from friends. Open yourself up a good bottle of wine, play some tunes, and try and have fun with it. Don’t make mealtime something so serious. Try new recipes. Maybe someone in your family will like it, and hey, that’s one more step in the right direction.
  • And finally, if they don’t like it, THEY CAN MAKE IT THEMSELVES! We aren’t martyrs. We are human beings with feelings, and  I say, if they all don’t like what we’re whippin up, let ’em whip it up themselves.

Ladies, I would love to know how it works in your families, and how you’re surviving mealtimes! Please share your comments below to help us all get off the fence with the dinner dilemma!

xoxEDxox

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