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Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

I’ve seen a lot of posts floating around on social media lately that are all a bit different, but all share the same sentiment: we should all respect each other, and shouldn’t let political differences get between us.

In normal times, I’m all about this. In normal times, I try not to let party lines define friendships or set boundaries on relationships.

But these are not normal times.

Late in the night on November 8, 2016 I sat in the dark, nursing my one month old baby, my tears falling onto her. I had an overwhelming sense of dread, a crushing weight that fell onto us, together. Her unknowing, and me wishing I could protect her from the world she was entering, the country that would elect him as president. In hindsight though, that feeling was a fraction of what I feel now. …

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Peloton is currently the biggest trend in fitness. It’s the new CrossFit with the obsessive and cultish followers (of which I am one). It’s a pretty amazing community and if you don’t know who Cody or Alex or Tunde are, well, you’ve been living under a rock.

I’ll fully admit that I’m a follower and I’m in this thing. I love it and it’s changed my entire fitness routine — from all weight lifting all the time, to about a 3:1 split between spinning and lifting. It’s a shift I never thought would happen. As someone who has spent the past several years in the weight room, I never thought that I’d turn to cardio for the bulk of my workouts. …

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Photo by Spenser on Unsplash

You can love and appreciate your loved one who is a cop, but still acknowledge that systemic racism and police brutality are problems that deserve attention. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Except when they are, unfortunately.

It is unbelievable to me that this type of statement still needs to be said, but somehow it seems that it does.

Just because you are related to or love a police officer, you should not be empirically blind to the major flaws in the criminal justice system. You should still be able to acknowledge the fact that police brutality is a very real problem, and a problem that overwhelmingly affects BIPOC, right? One would think. But as I’ve come to understand, the “brotherhood” that seems to exist in law enforcement doesn’t seem to end at the badge. …

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Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

If I could impress upon my daughter one important thing as she grows up, it would be this:

Stop trying to be smaller.

Women as a whole tend to spend their whole lives trying to be smaller. Smaller thighs, smaller stomach, smaller arms, smaller nose. And pretty soon these wishes for a smaller body translate into other things: a smaller voice, a smaller presence.

Why are we constantly trying to shrink ourselves away, to exist less than we already do and to take up less space on this planet? Why do we feel that this is necessary? …

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White people in America are plagued by a social epidemic that I’ve begun to call “The Whispers”. And I should know, I am a white person in America, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been plagued by The Whispers for far too long.

Growing up, I was taught to be respectful of others and to avoid making a scene. I was taught to mind my business and take the proper channels when I encountered a problem— with a teacher, say, or a coworker or supervisor. And with that mindset came this peculiar habit, where I would see or hear something that I knew wasn’t right, but I wouldn’t cause a scene. I wouldn’t confront it. I would whisper, as many other people I knew would do as well. If I heard an inappropriate or racially charged comment — generally something I knew was wrong but not overtly so, I would look to a friend of mine and whisper something along the lines of “don’t they know they can’t say that? …

I like to think that I teach my 3 year old everything. The reality is much different.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Pre-school aged children are funny creatures. They are like little sponges, soaking up the world around them at an alarming rate, but also emerging as independent thinkers. Independent might actually be an understatement; I call my 3.5 year old daughter the Mini-Manager.

She’s the boss. She runs the show. …

A woman sees her newborn baby for the first time
A woman sees her newborn baby for the first time
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

“I tried so hard”, I cried.

After 40 hours of laboring, and 4 long hours of pushing, it was time for an emergency c-section.

I tried so hard.

I had two thoughts in that moment. The first, was that I just wanted my baby to be with me and to be healthy. The second was that I failed. I was a strong, independent, capable, successful woman, yet my body had failed me. Why couldn’t I do this? I thought as I cried to my husband and mother. I had tried so hard.

When you are pregnant and nearing your due date, doctors, nurses and seemingly everyone else in your life will ask you about your birth plan. They will ask whether you want “the drugs” or if you’ll try to go medication free. They’ll ask you about who you’ll allow in the room while you’re laboring, how long you plan to stay at home before heading to the hospital, and even what types of coping mechanism or playlists you’ll have to aid you in childbirth. …

A woman sits with her head down on a dock
A woman sits with her head down on a dock
Image: Sasin Tipchai/Pixabay Images

On January 1st, 2014, I got a phone call that would change my life in ways that I still don’t truly understand.

I was at work when the phone rang. “Your father is dead” I heard my mother say. At once, the world went a little bit black, and I felt a wave of emotions that I couldn’t have expected, nor did I know what to do with. My father was dead. But he was a father that I hadn’t known at all.

My father hadn’t been around since we were kids. My mother, ever the superhero in disguise, left with us when my sister and I were very young, escaping abuse that I’ve never even been told the true extent of. All I know is that it was enough for her to leave with two small children, with nothing but what she could fit in a diaper bag. Fleeing across an ocean to find a better life for all of us, she was the epitome of fearlessness and determination. …

About

Stephanie Dorsay Rondeau

Stephanie is a mom and health professional based in Boston, MA who writes as a means of sanity and mental clarity.

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