Posts Tagged ‘problem’

Mother Hen’s Secret Vice

Mother Hen admits it. She is a lifelong addict.             

There is no rehabilitation coop for this addiction. No Chicken Cops are about to pound on the door to cart MH away in a cow-paddy wagon. She does not have tracks on her wings from mainlining her substance of choice – yet. As far as anyone can tell, Mother H. is just like all the other respectable hens on the farm.

Mother Hen is a coke addict (although she prefers to think of herself as a cokaholic).  A cokaholic is one step less proper than being a coffee addict, but a couple of shades more acceptable than smoking – as long as it’s tobacco.

Despite the appearance of tolerance, though, Mother Hen finds that she is regularly invited to pack her bags and go on a guilt trip. Nobody criticizes a coffee drinker for having a cup of joe before noon, but try taking a sip of cola before lunchtime and watch the feathers fly!

Since Mother H. got a bit…fluffy, she has converted to diet pop. It’s not exactly a nicotine patch, but hey, this is a genuine effort to minimize the damage wrought by imbibing liquid sugar for decades, okay? You would think that others would be supportive!

Not a chance! MH was perched with a can of her favorite beverage one day, waiting for lunch and bothering no one, when an acquaintance stopped by just long enough to chirp, “You know that stuff is rat poison!” Well, hello to you too!

Mother Hen is not proud of her unhealthy compulsion, but good grief! She doesn’t hop by another hen’s table, take a look at her refried corn and say, “You know that stuff is going to kill you one of these days!” If she wants to clog up her arteries and die of a stroke, that’s her privilege, is it not? Let the poor old cluck eat her life-threatening food in peace! Have some manners!

The way things are going, restaurants will soon have a section for the delinquent soda drinkers, with a straw depository on the wall and signs reminding us not to share straws!

Mother Hen doesn’t drink…much. She doesn’t look at photos of naked roosters on the internet, or sniff claw polish remover behind closed doors. No, MH has just this one weakness – only one teensy-weensy little addiction – to blemish her otherwise outstanding reputation.

Please, have some pity on a cokaholic today, and let her soak up her little guilty pleasure in peace. After all, Mother Hen knows all about the naughty things you do when you think no one’s looking, you scamp you!

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On Eggs, Hen-Pecking, and Female Solidarity

It is time for Mother Hen to weigh in on a timeless debate: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

What is her response to this philosophical dilemma?

“What a ridiculous question! Why would any hen with one iota of common sense care?”

There, that matter having been settled, Mother H. moves on to more relevant matters, matters such as obliterating the blatantly stereotypical term “hen-pecked” from the vocabulary of the masses. How did such a “fowl” term ever come to be part of the human language?

Dictionary.com defines hen-pecked as “browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one’s wife,” and claims it originated in the late 17th century, while Merrium-Webster.com pins the year at 1671, for no discernable reason.

Oh, well that explains it all! Chickens had such poor PR during the Baroque period.

Let’s get real, people! Have you ever seen a hen chase a rooster around the barnyard? Of course not! We chickens are too busy sitting on our nests keeping our eggs warm. The survival of the species depends on us, you know!

Female humans in the modern era seem intent on eradicating the word hen-pecked as well, which is all well and good, but do they care about how hens are disparaged and maligned by such a derogatory reference? No, they do not! Apparently they are more concerned with the negative connotations of being associated with chickens and pecking and such. Atrocious!

Now, see here you overgrown chickies! Mother Hen is here to set you straight. Hens are proud and noble birds, with a long heritage of serving the human community. Rather than split feathers over who is more damaged by this barbaric word, let us join together in feminine harmony and kick that nasty, bigoted term right out of the dictionary, and then stomp it, and scratch it, and…um, peck…it…uh…maybe not.

Please forgive Mother if she gets in a bit of a flap when the reputation of the entire female gender is at stake.  This is such an emotional issue!

Males of all species, be ye forewarned!  Use the word hen-pecked again, and Mother Hen will show you what a real hen-pecking looks like!

Downloading Dilemma

My iPodDear Mother Hen,

I take my iPod everywhere. It is practically my BFF! I love my tunes so much, but I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to download songs for free. What’s up with that?

I am only a teenager with a part-time McJob. There is no way I could pay for all my music, so I don’t think it’s fair that some adults out there want to charge us for stuff that we can get for nothing!  Besides, everybody else does it, so what difference does it make?  I’m sure iTunes isn’t going to fold up and die if I don’t use their site, and I don’t see how come they should have my money.

I’m going to keep downloading from the free sites, but I feel just a little guilty about it. I’m not doing anything wrong, right?

Downloading Diva

Dear Downloading Diva,

Here’s what’s up with downloading songs for free.

1.  File sharing copyrighted material is illegal.

I thought I would mention this first, because it ought to matter. True, it is not like a police officer will show up at your door to arrest you or give you a ticket or anything, but that is only because they can’t track you down…yet. You asked about what is right and wrong though, and disobeying the law is wrong, plain and simple.

If there are laws against something, generally it is because someone will get hurt if you do it. Who gets hurt by free downloading ?

2.  Artists get ripped off.

When you don’t pay, guess who doesn’t get paid? Those bands, vocalists, and songwriters that you say you love so much, get nada for their work.  How would you feel if you didn’t get paid for the work you do at your job? I bet that you wouldn’t like it much.

You state that you don’t think it’s fair for you to have to pay for your music because you don’t have a lot of money. Does not having much money make it alright to go into the variety store and lift a pocketful of candy bars? (I hope that your mother raised you right and you said no!)

Downloading music without paying is stealing. That is all there is to it.

3.  It does make a difference.

Let’s say that you have about two thousand songs on your iPod. At ninety-nine cents a tune that comes to $1,980. (Now you are sure you can’t afford it, right?) Think of it this way though. You have taken away almost $2,000 dollars out of the music industry. If every single student in your chemistry class did that (and maybe they do), that would be around $69,300.

There is a lot of controversy about how much money the music industry is losing to file sharing, because if those who download for free had to pay, obviously they would download less, so exact dollar figures are hard to come by. There is no doubt though that they would still be paying for a lot more music than they are now, right? If you and your friends had to pay for your music,  you might have less on your iPods, but more money would go into the music business.

4.   Why should you care?

Reason # 1  Jobs!  There are a many people who depend on the recording industry for their income, and less money going in means fewer jobs for those people.

Reason # 2  Less money means fewer new acts are discovered. Your next favorite band might never get a break if there are fewer talent scouts and auditions.

Reason #3  Making music is hard work, and people should be paid for their work, especially when they are people whose music you love and adore.

Mother Hen realizes that it is tough being a teenager with limited means, but she is not going to tell you it is okay to steal. If you continue to download free music, then she thinks that you probably ought to feel at least a little guilty.  If you don’t pay the price, that’s the price you have to pay.

Mother Hen

Empty Nest Blues

Dear lady with notebook computerMother Hen,

The day I became a mother was the happiest day of my life. I know it isn’t in fashion now, but my husband and I agreed that I should stay at home with our two boys, and I have never regretted the decision for a minute. I got to see their first steps, their first days of school every year, and all of their at-home games.

Now it is time for another first, and I’m not so thrilled. When our eldest boy decided to work for a year to raise more money for college, I was secretly relieved. I wouldn’t have to part with him just yet.

This fall, both boys have been accepted to schools out-of-state. I am already panicking! The house is going to be so empty and I am going to miss them so much. My whole life has been built around my sons. Now what am I going to do?

Soon-To-Be Early Nester

Dear Early Nester,

Fortunately, Mother Hen knows a thing or two about having an empty nest. Both her chicks flew the coop earlier than expected, and rearranging the straw got old really fast. Here are some thoughts on making the adjustment.

1.  Stay busy!

If you have time on your hands without kids around the house, what about volunteering? Take a class in something that you always thought you would like to try, but never got around to checking out. Pursue a hobby. Join a book club (check at your local library). Attend a place of worship, if you are so inclined, and try some of the activities there. Moms can go back to school too, you know — many colleges and universities offer courses geared to mature students, whether you wanted to pursue a degree or diploma, or just take an unaccredited class. Take up a sport suited to the mature adult: tennis, golf, bowling, or curling are four that come to mind.

2. Pursue romance.

You don’t say whether you have a husband or significant other on the scene. If you do, it is time to focus more on the two of you. Suggest a weekend getaway or a full-fledged holiday, something to look forward to and plan for.

Do some of the above (#1) activities together and find something new in common.

If you are on your own, look into activities for singles, or go places where quality guys hang out (see suggestion #1, and find a new interest).

3.  Take care of yourself.

Join a gym. Try an exercise DVD now that there is no one at home to make fun of you!

Pamper yourself with a facial, manicure, or pedicure at home, or if you can afford it, at a spa. Get a new haircut. Buy some new clothes in a style or color that you usually wouldn’t try. Get a massage and/or chiropractic session.

4.  Make more time for friendships.

My mom belonged to a couple of ladies’ social groups that have became her support network as well as being a lot of fun. The Red Hat Society is one example of a group of women who have banded together for female companionship.

If you don’t know of such a club, maybe you can start one. Typical group activities could include: a book club, attending plays, bus trips, scrap-booking, craft sessions, tours, dinner dates, fundraising activity for charity, weekends away, shopping trips, scavenger hunts, car rallies, festivals and so much more!

5.  Stay in touch with the kids.

Write emails. Use a web-cam. Give your sons pre-paid long distance cards. Send care packages. Make up a photo album for each of them. Create a recipe card file of easy or favorite dishes. Send free ecards. Send regular greeting cards by snail-mail. Make up a first-aid kit. Make lunch dates or meet for coffee.

Hope that something here appeals! The main thing is to realize that this is not simply an ending, but a new beginning as well. An old dog may not be able to learn new tricks, but we wise older hens have ways of out-foxing the empty nest blues!

Problem Child

sad girlDear Mother Hen,

My five-year-old is driving me crazy! Her father says that he wants full custody, and I am seriously considering it. Let him and his skinny little girlfriend deal with her if they can!

I told her on  Monday that she has until Friday to shape up or they can just keep her. Since then she hasn’t exactly been an angel, but she has cooperated some. This morning she brought me her dirty clothes, separated them, and put them in the washer without complaining – for once! She didn’t fold them right though.

She was supposed to dust the living room after lunch, but I found her playing with the cat instead, so she got a time out for goofing off. Next time I turned around she was gone out the door, and she hadn’t even done her whole time out! I had to haul her back from the neighbor’s in front of everyone. She got a spank on the bum for that one, you bet!

Since then she picked up her room okay, I guess, and didn’t make too much of a stink over her bath time. I almost fell over when she volunteered to go to bed early! Like that ever happens!

Thank goodness she goes to kindergarten every other day, or I swear I wouldn’t make it through the week. Watching her all the time is wearing me out! It is only Wednesday and I can’t wait for the weekend.

No man is ever going to look twice at me as long as I have a bratty little kid. Should I just let her dad have her and get on with my life?

Fed-Up Mom


 

Dear Fed-Up Mom,

Raising children takes a lot of energy and time. It is huge commitment, and a 24/7 responsibility. Putting the needs of your child first requires major sacrifice as a parent, and I sincerely question whether you are you are prepared to put your own preferences aside to focus on your daughter full-time.

I am very concerned about your statement, “…she has until Friday to shape up.”

Children need to know that they are loved unconditionally, not only if they do the right thing or have a good day, but when they make mistakes and have bad days. I am willing to bet that well before Friday, she is going to test you to see if you truly care for her or if you will disown her when she misbehaves. I think that you have already answered that question, and unfortunately, the answer is that she had better stay in line or else she is gone. That is not good enough.

Ask yourself, “Am I prepared to provide a secure, consistent and loving home on a daily basis, or would I be a better part-time mom, with time to prepare myself for her visits, and time to myself in between? If I were only required to supervise her some of the time, would I have more patience, and maybe even some fun, with my daughter?”

When children get positive attention, they don’t feel the same need to act out to get negative attention. Try playing with your little girl, so that your time together isn’t always so stressful. Blowing bubbles or going to the playground at the park together, for example, would be enjoyable and relaxing for both of you.

Catch her doing something well or trying hard, and then praise her like crazy. Give a hug or a high-five too! You will be surprised at how much of a difference little things like that can make in your relationship.

If your daughter’s father and his girlfriend are reasonable people who treat her well, and who truly want her in their home, then it may be best if they have primary custody of your little girl. It is important that she not see going to her dad’s place as a punishment though, so stop using that as a threat for bad behavior. Instead, tell her that Daddy wants to spend more time with her, and reassure her that you still want to be part of her life and will see her often. Make sure that you keep that promise, too, because someday when she has children of her own you will be so happy that you did!

Mother Hen

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Dear Mother Hen,

I thought I had met the “one,” but he just broke up with me! This was my first love, and I thought we would spend the rest of our lives together.  I even moved in with him just a couple of months ago, and now I am on my own again.

I am a mess. I can’t sleep, I’m late on assignments, and just looking at food makes me want to throw up! I burst out crying on the bus today, and everybody was looking at me.woman crying

I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day most of the time.

My friends all say I’ll get over it, but I don’t think they understand how great the two of us were together.  Sometimes I’m not sure that they ever liked him, because they try to tell me I am better off without him!

What am I going to do if he doesn’t come back?

Broken-Hearted Girl

Dear Broken-Hearted Girl,

Break-ups are tough, and when it is the first time you don’t even have the experience of knowing that you will get over it. All you know is the pain.
Is it possible that you are in love with the person that you thought he was and wished he was, more than the guy who he turned out to be? Could it have been infatuation, which is a passionate attraction, rather than real love, which is based on trust and respect? Over time you will see the differences more clearly, and see him more clearly as well.
You will grieve this loss, and that is only natural, so be kind to yourself while that process takes place. Treat yourself to non-food things and activities that comfort you (bubble baths, a new book, whatever works for you). Don’t spend too much time alone. Give yourself time to gain perspective, and in the meantime, simply put one foot in front of the other. It will get better.  I promise.

Mother Hen

Welcome to Mother Hen’s Nest

Mother Hen loves to answer questions!

As a parent, former teacher, leader of a depression forum, and all around personal adviser, she loves to share what life has taught her so far.

Tell Mother Hen what is bothering you, and she will do her best to help you out.