Why I Hate Mothers

CUTE KID ENVY

I hate mothers. There. I said it. Why? A) I’m not one. B) I’d like to be one at some point. C) That some point isn’t here and probably won’t be anytime soon.

When I see cute kids, I don’t think, “Oh my gosh, that kid is adorable. Good job, mother of cute, adorable kid.” I think, “Why the heck is that kid not my kid? Why is that your kid? What did you do to get/have/make that kid?”

The same is true for engagement rings and new houses and horses and miniature pigs. If you have those things, I probably don’t immediately think happy thoughts when you post a picture of them on Facebook or tell me about them. And that’s okay.

It’s okay, especially at 30, to be okay with not being okay. As a woman, there is so much pressure to conceive and to have a family, and when it doesn’t happen in your early twenties and you live in Southeast, Texas, well, you start to feel sort of faulty.
I’m saying “you,” but I mean “I,” and I’m obviously only speaking from and because of my own personal experience as a non-mother.

STORIES ABOUT YOUR CHILD POOPING

In the same way that my “mom” friends idealize my “freedom,” I idealize their ridiculous “you-wouldn’t-believe-what-baby-so-and-so-did-the-other-day” moments. Your kid shits on the rug. Funny. My dog shits on the rug. Gross. Your story is cute. My story is just sad.

BIRTH HORROR STORIES

For those mothers who had a kid the old-fashioned way, I am grateful, however, for the relief of not having something growing inside of my body like an alien. The one, singular thing that frightens the poop out of me about natural birth (See what I did there? Because that can happen!) is what it may do to my body. When you are creating a human and becoming a host for a giant parasite that is, in a sense, going to be stealing your life force for the rest of your life, the body suffers. The stress of birth, the stress of worry, the stress of worrying about the body after the birth, these things are all going to be there, sitting on my hips. Hanging onto me, hanging out of me. And though it sounds like a horror story, I’ve heard that if you have too many children, your bladder starts falling out. That’s right. Your. Bladder. Can. Come. Out.

Also, having a baby isn’t a miracle. If it is, I never want to witness a miracle again. I was there in the room for my nephew’s birth. What happened in that room was one step removed from Dead Alive. Keep your miracles to yourself. Jesus. Christ.
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Do I still want to hatch one? Okay. I guess. I think so. Maybe. One day? Three years from now. After I go for my PhD? After I live in Costa Rica for a year. No. I think I’ll adopt. Only if it’s an accident. No. Yes. No. OF COURSE I DO. Tonight!

SELFLESS OPTIONS

See. Here is the other problem I have with mothers. If you are a good mother, you’ve probably already started to limit your personal options. You drink less. You cook more. You’ve quietly and neatly and selflessly started closing off certain paths with child-proof safety locks, fastening those doors of opportunity from the inside. I’m a little annoyed that you now have a plan that consists of raising your spawn right and trying not to screw that up. I’m stuck with arrows that point in five hundred directions. My future is one big question mark. My sister is 21. She had my nephew, Alexander, at 19. She is one of the best, most energetic mothers I’ve ever seen. When she tells me things like, “Well, one day, when you’re a mother, you’ll understand,” (To be fair, she’s only said this once.) I want to run face first into the nearest wall. At least if I’m knocked unconscious, I don’t care about all those mommy perspective secrets, and I don’t care about not having something to care about.

FREQUENT LIES

Mothers lie. That’s the truth.
At first I think it comes from a good place. Santa Claus. Easter Bunnies. Tooth Fairies. I get it. Your mom always wants you to see the magic in the world. I’d rather my mom have told me about Leopard Seals. Those things are cooler than any princess or fairytale. See: http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_nicklen_tales_of_ice_bound_wonderlands

No, but really. My mother lied to me all of the time. I could walk in the kitchen with an oversized Korn t-shirt, a mouthful of braces, and play hackey-sack, and my mother would commend me on my talent and my style. She’d drop pearls of less than convincing wisdom as she balanced one of my sisters on her hip and opened a pack of Ramen Noodles with her teeth. She called my moles, “Beauty Marks.” LIAR.

All of this is weird to me. I want to tell my kids the truth. The first one being that they were hatched out of eggs by dinosaurs on another planet and then sent to me by the mail.

CHEETO FINGERS

At my sister’s high school graduation party, I watched something so horrific I almost threw up. It was a two-year-old eating Cheetos Puffs. At the time, my best friend was watching my face. She said, “If you ever look at my future child that way, I’m going to punch you in the face.” She is now a mother. At her beautiful daughter’s birthday party a few months ago, I watched her grab what she thought was a piece of tape from her daughter’s finger only to find that it was a booger. I repeated my look. We are still friends.

SUPER POWERS

I know you have them. All of you.

Lastly:

YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KID WILL LOOK LIKE.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies that kill me with inspiration! I hate you. (but love you too) (a lot) (more than you know)

Here are some pictures of my Mom. I hate her the most. I will never be able to live up to this beautiful woman who raised five kids with so much love and compassion. ❤
Hot Momma

I love her face.
I love her face.

Love,
Non-mother, Ashlynn Ivy

Read This Valentine’s Day Story About Poo

The future scares the shit out of me. In fact, right now, this very second scares the shit out of me. There. A Valentine’s Day post that starts with something straight from the heart. Here’s my love story.

I can’t remember who said it, but a few months ago a friend of mine made a comment on a picture that I posted on Facebook that said something like, “One day, when I grow up, I hope my life is as exciting as yours.” Hold the phone. Cue the music. My real life doesn’t look anything like my Facebook timeline.

I hope that this is no surprise and that most of you feel the way that I do about social media. It’s a perfect distraction from feeling anything too deep. It keeps our heads on straight, filter-perfect. When I’m scrolling through all of my friends’ posts, I don’t have to think about much. It’s just a stream of non-thinking amusement, sometimes horror, sometimes sadness. Mostly though it’s just a dead-pan, zoning out thing I do to keep myself from thinking and actually doing anything productive.
It can be great.

And then there’s the posts and status updates. My BA and my MA are both in English, so I can generally use words to get a certain feeling out of people that I want. Now that I think of it, it’s sort of manipulative in a way. Adrienne, one of my best friends and bandmates, once said that I could post about poo and would get 100 likes on Facebook. If I could, it would only mean that I wrote about poo in a way that others found somewhat captivating. While they were doing their version of a zombie-Facebook-dance, I cut in and dipped them back. That’s how this shit works. Pun intended.

Also, I know I’ve met many of you in various bands that I’ve been in. Whether it was a solo project or singing with Mad Maude and the Hatters, some of you only know me through music endeavors. My actual day job, however, is as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator. I spend eight hours each day perfecting how to most effectively craft and sell a message, a mission. At this point, I’ve raised over half a million dollars for a nonprofit that I love, so I guess I’m okay at it. So keep that in mind if I ever write a poo post that gets 100 likes.

And let’s not forget about vanity. My grandmother and my grandmother’s sister died of lung cancer, my great-grandmother died of throat cancer, and my mother is a respiratory therapist. You know why I quit smoking? Because I don’t want wrinkles. So, if you see a cute photo I posted. I probably took twenty. I probably made my friend take twenty and then put a filter on it.

So, why do we play pretend? Well, because life isn’t so pretty. Take this photo for example:

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If we would have taken this photo an hour before, you’d have seen my head in Hattie’s lap, screaming and convulsing. This was the day that I had watched my brother fall back into the hands of addiction. For eight months he tried like hell to stay clean, but addiction is a daily, irrational beast to battle, and sometimes the problem feels like the solution. If you would have taken the photo at 2 a.m., you’d have seen me in a t-shirt, choking on tears and rain in the middle of the street, calling out for my brother. At 3 a.m., it would have been a calmer scene. Perhaps a black and white of the two of us, my brother and I huddled together on the porch, crying, wishing we could both fix each other. Loving each other at our worst.

That’s real life. Real life, real love isn’t always pretty. These raw images aren’t the kinds we’d want others to “like.” We all have them, tucked right beneath the surface. The worries. The doubts.

As I mentioned earlier, my fear of the future is debilitating. I’ve always tried to find a way to control it. I buy those Dollar Store planners and try to fill in every box, every day with an event, a future dinner, a coffee date, a talk with a good friend, a Rockets game. Worse than not having a plan, you see, is not having a plan and being alone. Filling in the spaces makes me feel complete. This process helps to curb the anxiety, the uncertainty of the future.

In terms of relationships, I’ve spent the last nine years of my life with three men who I tried to box into a plan. If they didn’t quite fit the part, fulfill every single need that I’d dreamt up, I left. At times I thought that it was a wedding ring, a kid that looked like me, or a move across the country that would have made the plan work.
During this search for the perfect future-version of my life, however, I forgot to see that the plan, that greater “future” that I had no control over was working.

I found out that I was about to turn 30. That I had built a world of relationships with people, co-workers, family, strangers, best friends, crushes, ex boyfriends (even ex boyfriend’s wives) and new semi-boyfriends that made me appreciate the hell out of Valentine’s Day. So, here’s to real life and real love.

I’m going to end this post with a few PARTY TIPS from Andrew W.K.
1. Doing what you love = partying
2. If you need someone to be your Valentine tomorrow, you can count on me.

Andrew W.K. playing his pizza guitar. Pizza=love
Andrew W.K. playing his pizza guitar. Pizza=love

Sometimes love is hard, and sometimes love is a hardback.

Inspired by Cassandra Neace’s bookish Valentine’s she posted about this past week, last night, I decided to order a large pizza, finish up Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate, and attempt a few of my own.

A rare gem that I found at our local library’s yearly sale, was a hardback edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. The title is a bit misleading. As it mentions in a note, before Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett finally left her father’s house and eloped with Robert Browning, he had called her his “little Portuguese.” The sonnets were published in 1850.

What I love about this edition are the amazing cameos that were done by Fred A. Mayer. Across from every sonnet is a little scene that makes my heart melt. Let it be known, I love cameos. LOVE.

 

So, DING! My Valentines were born. You see, I’m one of those people who collect all sorts of paper and scrapbooking materials, but I do not own a single scrapbook. Once, after a feverish trip to Hobby Lobby, I did complete a single page, which I come across every now and then and can’t bear to throw away.

Here they are in all their glory:

I scanned the pages of the book on resume paper to give the image a slightly older look, sparing the original pages of my lovely book. Then, I went glue-happy with bits of paper. The little text hearts were made from two pages of Byron criticism, which I find sort of funny.  I still hated to tear out those two pages. Tearing a book page is so so so strange, even if you’ve read the book and know it can go.

If I were less lazy, I’d send all my bookish friends one, but I ran out of steam after the fourth piece of pizza.

Oh, and look at this:

My friend April put this adorable crochet heart in my mailbox the other day, and I thought it was the most thoughtful little gift. I’m not going to lie. I probably cried. I’ve been trying to learn to crochet for years. Now, I have an extra bit of motivation.

Is it weird that all I care about getting on Valentine’s Day is a nice meal? Feed me, and I’m yours. I’m sure someone has some food inspired Valentines around here. I’ll look.

What the F is Wassail?

I don’t mind telling you that I like to completely nerd out for the holidays. I like to go around calling myself grandma. I attempt to crochet (unsuccessfully), I bake pies (so far, only blueberry), and I decorate like a madwoman, or at least as much as my budget allows.

In the spirit of my yearly letsgetretardedforchristmas state of mind, this past weekend I made my annual batch of wassail. All two of my friends that came over after I made it had never heard of it, which made me question why I’ve made a tradition out of a tradition I know nothing about.

The truth is I can’t freaking remember the exact year I started making it. I got this simple recipe SOMEWHERE and have been serving it every year since, minus the one or two years when making it reminded me too much of the ex. ::insert your sad face or your snarky comment here::

According to the extensive research I’ve done (one-click-wikipedia-style), this hot mulled cider is part of an old English tradition performed with the intention of ensuring a good crop of cider apples for the next year’s harvest (according to wiki-peeps). As you can read here: It also refers to both the salute ‘Waes Hail’, the term itself is a contraction of the Middle English phrase wæs hæil, meaning literally ‘good health’ or ‘be you healthy’…

So, there you have it. Here’s the recipe that I have (I suggest you make it immediately and thank me later):

Half a jug of Cranberry Juice

Half a jug of Apple Juice

1 sliced lemon (add a bit of grating as well)

six cinnamon sticks

About twelve whole cloves

1/3 of a bottle of your favorite dry red wine (I found mine for six bucks at Kroger!)

1 1/3 cups of sugar

Combine juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and add lemon and spices and cook for thirty minutes. When it is hot and ready, add your wine and serve it hot.

Some people place some of those little red hot candies in their cups before they serve it, but the drink is so overly powerful and intense, I don’t find it necessary. Also, it says you can wrap the spices in a cheesecloth as you are simmering. I do this ghetto-style by ripping open a tea bag, replacing the tea with the cloves. One word of advice. Don’t go overboard. This stuff is meant to be sipped. You’ll see why.

On another note, look at my Christmas tree and random decorations (the bf is my favorite piece of decor). He might be mad I posted that one of him sleeping.

The way I feel about my Christmas tree is much like the way most young mothers feel about their newborns. ISN’T SHE LOVELY? LOOK AT THE WAY THE LIGHT SPARKLES OFF OF HER BRANCHES!   Okay, I’m done.

For a poor girl with thirty thousand dollars worth a debt, i didn’t do so bad (referring to the decor, not the bf…though I’m quite pleased with him as well).

Notice: no presents yet.

Pinching pennies until the trip to Germany!

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Pump(kin) Up The Volume

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Hello guys and ghouls,

Though the annual Ivy Pumpkin Carving Contest was a dud this year (see results above), my homemade Halloween costume wasn’t. What do you have when you combine a neon orange dress (who doesn’t have one hanging in the closet?), an orange wig (already had that too), a giant black Sharpie, two folders, and two highlighters? Oh, you know, just an Ashlynn-sized Highlighter!

I was pretty proud of my office inspired get-up.

Kass (the bf) even helped me fashion a pair of earrings out of the caps of the highlighters.

My one complaint is that I wish I would have had a bit more energy to party hop. We went to the annual “Keeneyween” where we hung out with a pair of sugar gliders, and then we warmed our toes around a nice fire at my friend Jessica’s house after that, but we lost steam by midnight, which isn’t that abnormal for me….but I should have optimized my “bright” idea.

I hate that Halloween only lasts one day, or a weekend if you are lucky. I wish there were twelve days of Halloween instead of twelve days of Christmas.  I can’t wait to see everyone’s creeeeepy creations!