The Bitch-Switch

It’s easy to get crazy when you’re a woman. It’s easy to fly off the handle, be insecure and hormonal. It’s the easiest thing in the world to change your tone to a manner of demanding respect. We typically are fast to flip the bitch-switch. Many of these reactions are caused by actions that surround us daily. We deal with our loved ones, strangers and professionals who all think they need to voice their opinion. That we, as women need to hear and listen to their opinions. Whatever the reasoning is behind flipping the switch, we typically don’t think about the reaction before we act. How is it that we are being perceived and lets breakdown why we may be being perceived in a negative mannerism.

Let’s think about our daily routine. Some of us are mothers, who 9 times out of 10 get ignored by our growing little humans, our husbands or significant others when we speak. Mothers typically must repeat ourselves 75 times before anyone even acknowledges the fact that we are speaking. Then getting people to listen to everything we have to say is a complete rarity and only happens about once a year. We are used to getting cut-off mid-sentence, interrupted, flat out ignored or screamed at. It’s part of life as a mother.

Then there are some of us who are professionals, who must demand respect in the working world. Many times, overlooked for promotions, or overworked on presentations and office work even if your actual career doesn’t fall into those categories. You deal with the ever-so-lovely nod of approval, short answers, no eye-contact and complete dismissal from other office staff or professionals.

Many women fall between the cracks of the two examples that I have mentioned above. But, whatever your situation, there is always an underline of disrespect that you deal with on a daily basis. Now typically when running into these situations, we fly over to the ever-so-loved “bitch-switch” as a response to the actions happening around us or directed at us. I am very guilty of flipping the switch a few too many times and a little too quickly. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I am sort of known for in my social circle. I do not stand, nor tolerate blatant disrespect directed at myself, nor to my loved ones. And neither should you.

Now with that being sad, have you ever felt guilty about flipping the switch? Maybe you jumped to conclusions too fast before the complete situation had unfolded? Maybe the switch wasn’t needing to be flipped at all, but you thought with too much emotion? See, we women are creatures of emotion. We are literally designed to work with emotion, not against it. Our bodies are given chemical reactions that change on a daily basis simply because of our anatomy. A wonderful chemical in our bodies called Estrogen, sometimes a wonderful thing but a lot of times, it’s a fickle beast. Our bodies can be thrown into a chemical imbalance as easily and as quickly as I can drop a hat to the ground. We are creatures who are meant to feel and depict emotion, not only for ourselves but for those we care for.

A study from Yale dating back into the 1990s, determined several things between the male and female brain patterns. One of the things Yale concluded was the fact that most men utilize more of the left side of their brain, while women tend to have a “flip flop” of brain sided thoughts. Left-sided brain utilization typically indicates “logic-based” thinking, while right-sided brain utilization will indicate more of an “emotional-based” thinking structure. The study also concluded that women do not handle stress as well as men, just another reaction from our structural DNA.

Now that we know we are structured differently than our opposing sex, can we justify “hitting the switch” yet? No. Because, while we are literally programmed to be emotional creatures, we are still creatures of choice. We do have the capability of utilizing logical thinking. Some of us just have the hard time of deciphering when the time is to be logical versus being emotional. Some of us try to cover our tracks with attempting to justify our emotions with a logical reasoning as the silver lining. But, lets think about that. When you’re in a situation that tends to lead you to the wall to flip that switch, how quickly are you processing the logically side of the situation? Is your brain running a million miles an hour? Are you angry with the situation? If you are angry, then I am willing to bet that you are not thinking with 100% logical thoughts.

When we allow ourselves to become angry, or upset, our brains work differently than a man’s. That’s why when we have an argument with our husbands, boyfriends or fiancés, we see things completely different than they see them.  This is what leads us to arguing in the first place, two different sets of emotions and opinions colliding into one mixed pot of every emotion that both parties have.

Let’s take an example from one of the biggest reasons women and men fight, from a woman’s perspective.

Example: Your man looks at another woman in public, while passing her on the street. You believe that he is looking at her ass, but he insists on the fact that he was looking at the BMW M3 GTR that she just so happened to be next to.

Breakdown: So, let’s be honest here, if you aren’t into cars, you aren’t going to take interest in knowing anything about an M3 GTW. To you, its just another car, but maybe to him it’s a point of interest. So, how to decipher and logically decode this situation so you don’t have to flip the switch? He dropped a specific piece of information that leads to the truth of what he was doing. Contrary to popular belief, not every man knows every car type ever made. He told you the car make and model. Just with that piece of information, you should be able to logically dispel the itch of the switch. But, if you need more evidence, let’s go a step further. Obviously, you noticed the girl walking by, otherwise this would not be an issue in the first place. You noticed him looking at something, so your mind autotuned to curiosity, you looked at what you thought he was looking at, which in this case you thought he was looking at the woman. Ask him something about her appearance. Most men have a preference on hair color or like ass or thighs. Ask him a description question, what color her hair was or what color pants she had on if he likes legs or ass. If his automatic response reverts to the car, he’s telling you the truth. Body language is not a thing that many men have the ability of hiding under instantaneous circumstances.

So, with the conclusion of this example, maybe we should have tried to logically think this through before jumping to conclusions and the possibility of flipping the switch. If you know your man, or the other party involved in your social indiscretion, use your gift of attention to detail to attempt to decipher and decode the situation before allowing it to escalate into something that could be more stressful.

So now that we have this portion out of the way, in the next post I will discuss how to slowly tune yourself to stop wanting to flip the bitch switch at such an alarming rate of speed.

Not The Job For A Wimp

530 am. I’m woken by the sound of a screaming toddler ready to start his day. Crap, I didn’t get to bed until midnight, oh well here we go. Simple tasks like diaper changes seem near impossible when its 2 vs 1, Toddler and Baby tag team mom. Sippy cups and bottles to be filled, diapers and clothes to be changed. Crap, I have to pee. Crap, I have to pee. I tell myself, “hold it”. Crap, I really must pee. Out loud I tell myself, “just hold it, one more minute”. Wondering to myself the entire time if my bladder can withstand one more second of holding it in. I finally get to pee, but not without a tag along who wants to turn on every light and shut every door before we make it to the toilet. I’m here now, finally get to relieve myself but not without tiny human hands grabbing for everything they shouldn’t have and not without saying “no” 75 times and being screamed at in rebuttal.

It’s fine, all ends well, but then comes breakfast time. I wonder if Chase will color while I prepare coffee and breakfast. “Chase do you want to color?”, I ask him, he responds “Yeeeah”, like I should have known. I get him in his chair, buckled in and safe, thinking “cool, this will be a breeze”. I give him his coloring supplies and he goes to town. I hear “Mom, Monk Monk”, okay let me grab the darn monkey. I give him to Chase, he protests and points to the chair across the table. I understand, he wants Monk Monk to sit. I set up Monk Monk and Chase throws a crayon directly at his hand. “Ok”, I say and mosey back to the kitchen.

I’m excited for some Bulletproof Coffee and Green Scallion Eggs with Bacon. Coffee is on, I can smell it brewing, it smells like unicorns and life. I get the eggs prepared and I start to hear protest for Roman. “Crap, let’s make this faster”, I say to myself. Faster isn’t fast enough for 3-month-old prince of Campbellsville. I get the eggs down for Chase with some fruit and a slice of Turkey Bacon. The coffee is done and everything I need to make the most legit coffee I’ve ever had is on the counter waiting.

Roman is awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed with hungry howling in full blown effect. I get Roman situated and now he’s eating. Behind me in the dining room I hear the lovely rattle of a plate doing spins on the floor and a soft spoken “uh oh”. I breathe deeply, hold it, exhale until I feel like my lungs look like prunes. I sit there with my eyes closed for just a few seconds trying to bring positivity and motivation to myself. Ok, I’m good now…I think. Roman is done, we’ve burped and been changed, I set him down for a minute while I tend to clean Chase, the table and the floor. Thankfully the dog has cleaned 99% of the floor mess.

Chase is ready to conquer the world and I’m still wondering if I’ll get my cup of coffee in before nap time. Its 9 am at this point and it’s not looking very favorable for the coffee consumption any time soon. I’m hungry, I didn’t get to eat, “mmmm string cheese will do”, I say to myself. I go to the fridge but once again Tag Along McGee has followed me. I turn around, open the fridge and bend down to grab a string cheese out of the bin. Behind me I hear the subtle sound of grabby hands. I turn around as quickly as possible, but it wasn’t quick enough to catch Chase throwing a box of pancake mix to the ground. The box explodes. I just stand there sort of in shock at the way it almost mushroom clouded the kitchen. The white fog lifts and Chase looks like a ghost, my black leggings are now white, my kitchen is now white. It’s everywhere. I just can’t help but hate the pancake company for not making a resealable container…. thanks. I don’t even know where to begin with this explosion of carbohydrates to my kitchen. I assume I start with the child but when I go to reach for him, of course he takes off in the direction of the living room. I catch him as he gets flustered with the baby gate. I get him showered and changed, a sippy cup for nap time.

Cool, let’s clean this mess up in the kitchen. No sooner do I make it to the kitchen does Roman’s internal feeding time ring like clockwork. Mr. Perfect Timing clicking in not a second late. The mess must wait and so does the coffee.

It’s 10:30 am and I’m starting to get motivated for my day. I’m wide awake now and so is Roman. Let’s do some tummy time! While Roman does tummy time, I peer through chapter 3 in my text book on Introduction to Human Anatomy. Well this should be interesting. 2 paragraphs in and little man is still content, get another 3 chapters read and Roman is done. He’s hungry again, damn he eats a lot. He eats and burps and does his normal thing, he falls asleep looking as cute as can be. I get him laid down and I observe him for a minute, taking in all the cuteness.

I remember that there is a mess in the kitchen. I tend to it and get it over with then move on to the dishes from the previous night. I get the whole kitchen cleaned and looking brand new. Now I’m not sure of I have clean jeans, so I throw my clothes in the washer and continue picking up the tornado of toys sprawled around my house. Man, Chase really lives up to his name, that kid is always on the go.

I bend over to pick up Elmo and put him in with the other toys and I hear the coffee pot turning off. 3 beeps. 3 beeps reminding me that I failed. I forgot again…3rd day in a row. I waste so much coffee and I hate drinking old coffee. Oh well. It’s a little passed noon and I get the laundry switched over and well, I have to pee again. I contemplate just using the upstairs bathroom or risking all the pickles in the jar on whether I’ll wake up Chase or not if I go to the downstairs bathroom. I risk it. I enter that bedroom like Jackie Chan sneaking up on an unsuspecting bank robber ninja. I slowly creep through the bedroom and make into the bathroom. I gently shut the door behind me, get my business done and exit the bathroom like 007. I make it out and Chase is still asleep, a huge victory that I celebrate with bacon and a few paragraphs of Chapter 3.

Its 1 PM and Chase needs to wake up, so I open the bedroom door and he’s already standing in the crib saying “Mom”. I get him out and change his diaper, get him a drink and a snack. I turn on the vacuum and here comes tag along, he wants to help. Now, I love that my son takes interest in cleaning, but at the same time I just want the vacuuming done so Roman doesn’t wake up and the dog doesn’t go into full blown attack mode on the wheels. But, he isn’t having it, he must help so I let him. A simple 5-minute task just doubled in time but whatever. Eventually he loses interest and runs away so I quickly finish up.

“Eat mom eat”, Chase says. Okay let’s get you some lunch, we go to the kitchen and he wants Chicken, Broccoli and some chips. Cool, he doesn’t protest. He sits and eats, and I get to join him, peacefully. After lunch we grab some craft supplies and get busy with finger painting, knowing it will be a mess but a fun one at that. I get the table set up and we start painting, having fun and giggling and in general just making a mess. We’re done so we both get cleaned up and the table cleaned and our pictures up to dry.

We mosey into the living room to watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse because Chase is yelling “Hot Dog” and breaking down in dance moves. We hang out with Roman and all lay down on the floor doing some much needed tummy and tickle time. The giggles from my children literally make everything better.

It’s well past 4 and going on 5 so I put Roman in his chair and Chase in his playpen while I prepare dinner. I make skirt steak, Brussel sprouts and a salad for Chase and I. Roman has fallen asleep so we eat at the dinner table. Chase isn’t interested much in eating anything but the broccoli and tomatoes. We get cleaned up again and time for our bedtime routine. Changed and milk in the sippy wit fb a bedtime story and then off to “nih nih” as Chase says. I tuck him and Monk Monk in and give them both kisses, hoping he will fall asleep easily with no protest.

Roman and I hang out and then do our typical 3-hour bedtime routine of cluster feeding, spitting up, diaper changes, singing, reading and tickles until he falls asleep and I get him laid down.

Its 10 PM and I finally get to work on some writing and studying. I write a little bit and study even more. Its past midnight again, I need to sleep. I get myself ready for bed and of course I have a hard time getting to sleep but I finally do.

Its 6 am. Chase is up.

The moral of this story is that stay at home moms don’t have it easy. There is nothing easy about being mentally tested every day, day in and day out. I used to think it was a cop out for just being lazy, then I was faced with the reality of what goes into being a stay at home parent. Its draining, not so much physically, although there are many days where you’re constantly on the go, but mentally exhausting. I’m an extrovert through and through, I NEED human interaction to feel complete. And yes, my children are human, but they don’t exactly have conversations at this point. I love my children and I wouldn’t have it any other way than to stay at home with them. However, I hear people bashing the SAH parent all the time, claiming laziness.

It’s not easy, it’s a job we take for granted and it’s highly underappreciated. SAH parents bust their humps day in and day out, hour after hour with little to no break. You don’t get to click in and click out, go home and relax in a nice clean home. You are the person providing the nice clean home and without you, there is no nice clean comfortable home. Appreciate yourself and what you do, if you don’t appreciate it yourself neither will anyone else. Buy yourself some flowers and know that you deserve them.