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Don’t Tell Me I’m Awesome

22 Jan

`The internet is full of mommy blogs and internet articles to tell all us moms that we are awesome and amazing and super—even if our 4 year old isn’t potty trained yet, our house has a crunchy floor, and we haven’t done laundry or mopped the floor in living memory.

I had twins a year and a half ago.  They made babies # 8 and 9 for me.  I know how to make bread and I know how to sew.  I cook from scratch, and my family is pretty happy to eat the food I cook unless I commit the awful sin of not chopping the onions finely enough.  I am not awesome because I do these things.  My mom taught me how to do them, and so I can do them, much like any other woman out there who does what she learned from her mother and tries her best to be a good mother to her own children.

I love to teach and I like to make pretty things and read books about interesting ideas.  I like to share about what I am excited about.  Usually the response I get is

“Wow, you are amazing, I could never do that.”

“You are a super mom.”

This pretty much makes me feel like a shmuck.  I wasn’t sharing because I was seeking praise.  I was sharing because I was excited.  I want to hear about what other people excited about. I want them to be excited about what I’m excited about.  Instead, I’m stuck all by my self in a time-out called “You are Awesome.”

Sometimes I share about the struggles that I have.

I get the same responses.

“You are a super mom.”

“I could never do what you do.”

“You are so patient.”

“You are awesome.”

Sometimes I want to argue with people.  I want to tell them that they could do what I do—

which is do the best I can with what I’ve been given.

I want to tell them that I’m not patient; I’m just too tired to fight battles that aren’t worth fighting. Or I’ve realized that some things aren’t important enough to get mad about.

“God gave those twins to you instead of me because I couldn’t handle them, but you can.”

Maybe, but I seriously doubt it.

I think God helps me deal with what life throws at me.  Just like God helps others deal with what life throws them.

Besides, I don’t want to be told that I’m super mom.   I was looking for connection, maybe even asking for help.  But instead I am again isolated by the assumption that I can be patted on the back and told I’m awesome and that this will magically help me feel happy and not exhausted.  Is it too much to ask to let me join the ranks of normal mom and have normal mom friends?

Next time you have a friend who shares what she is excited about, instead of telling her she is amazing, say “That’s cool.  I’d like to try it, could you show me how?” Or  “Neat! Here is this cool thing that I am excited about.”

Next time your friend mentions her struggles, maybe she doesn’t need to be told how far superior she is to all the other humans.  How no one can match her.  Maybe she doesn’t feel awesome and telling her she is awesome will just make her feel the gap more.

Maybe she just needs a friend beside her, to know she isn’t alone, a few laughs about how life is crazy, and a salted-caramel-truffle blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Why do people listen to him?

27 Apr

As well he might say, “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” 
http://mediamatters.org/video/2011/12/12/limbaugh-calls-poor-children-receiving-free-sch/185173
LIMBAUGH: The state of Missouri is receiving a two million dollar Federal grant to feed needy children near Kansas City and St. Louis during the summer. Two million dollars that we don’t have to feed needy children near Kansas City .
“how can we expect them to feed themselves in the summer when they haven’t had to for nine months.”
Um…they are children.  Last time I checked, we all thought feeding children was a thing that decent human beings did.

But Rush is right.  Those wanton waifs need to figure out how to feed themselves.  It’s their own fault they are poor anyway, you know.  If they weren’t so lazy, they’d feed themselves.

My “Multi-Racial” Family

7 Jan

20140107-091746.jpg

My husband’s mother and his father’s father are from Mexico. Amusingly to us, most people think he is Indian. Amusing to me is that he seems the most offended when Hispanics assume he is “chicano” and start speaking in Spanish to him. I think though he isn’t really offended, just unsure of his Spanish. Perhaps he has had to answer these questions for so long, he is tired of them. To me, the questions still seem new. It does surprise me that people so often ask what his nationality is, and then when I explain that he was born in the US, so he is American, they are confused. “No but…where is he FROM?”

I found out recently that my sisters were surprised when I first brought him home to meet the family because i had not mentioned his complexion when i described him to them and they were expecting someone paler. To me, he was (and is) dreamboat handsome and I never can manage to remember that his skin is darker than mine except when I’m slathering on SPF 1000 so I can go outside on a cloudy day.

My 7 children cover an entire spectrum from fair to quite dark. It is my secret fear that someone will come up to me in a store one day and insist that my children cannot be mine because I don’t match them enough. So far, it has never happened, although I am almost always asked, “where did they get those dark eyes and hair from?” Or “Your children are or dark…”

For awhile, I dyed my hair black and didn’t have to answer that question. (The black hair was enough even though my eyes were still blue.) It was nice to not answer that question all the time, and I did feel more safe shopping with my kids, but keeping up with the hair dye got old fast. Also, my sixth child turned out to have light brown, almost blonde hair like mine, so then my dying my hair made her the odd man out. I decided she needed someone to match, too.

Sometimes I think perhaps I am the one who is prejudiced because I have this worry and it has never happened. But it is also possible that people where I live do not usually expect crime, because it rarely happens, and in a big city I would be challenged often.

Pet Peeve #2

18 Dec

I thought it was bad enough that the second news hit about the shooting in Conneticutt, everyone around me started groaning about  “now they’re gonna say we need more gun control.”

Seriously?  You just found out that 22 children and 6 adults have been slaughtered by a madman and your first thought is, “Oh no, they’re going to try to take away my gun.”  ???

I hope we do have a discussion about what can be done to prevent horrors like this from happening again.

I thought the gun-control griping was bad, but it’s gotten worse.  I’ve seen several self-righteous memes like this one smeared all over Facebook:

Pardon me a huge eye-roll. 

This ridiculous t-shirt is not going to bring anyone unto God.  It makes Christians look self-righteous and it demotes God down to about the power of Santa Claus.  

God is in the hearts of my children.  He is in the hearts of millions of other children and teachers all across the USA.  He is in the school and no laws about group prayer or not posting the 10 commandments are going to keep Him out.

Mosiah 24: 11-13

11 And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death.

 12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
 13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.