Archive for the ‘Soap box’ Category

Conversations

I know I like to talk.

I’m aware of my own fondness for conversations.

I am part of a long line of talkers. There are no super-silent people in my family, and most of us have strong opinions we like to share. If you want to get your voice heard, often you have to talk longer and louder until you gain someone’s attention.  However, we (myself and my family) are also good listeners.  We’re active listeners. (Well, most of us. We definitely have some opinionated interrupters, but many of them are good listeners.) We repeat what you’re saying, make the appropriate exclamations, and we support and defend with love.

That said… It hurts my feelings when I’m told I talk too much.

I talk to try to gain common ground.  I talk to fill an awkward silence.  I talk because I have something relevant to say. I talk because I spend most of my waking hours with a one year old and I am starved for adult conversation.

If you want to talk, I am delighted.  I want to listen to you and support you. Share in your joys and sorrows. I will give what is appropriate and take what is needed.

I will have long conversations with you, but I will also keep it short. I have a friend that I talk to nearly every day.  He and I will chat for 5 minutes at a time most days, but we will also talk for an hour on occasion.

I never tell people that they talk too much. Sometimes I think it, but I don’t say it.

That’s all I have to say about that.

The “P” Word

I want to talk about the big, dirty, P-word.

Politics.

I’ve had a problem with politics for a long time and I believe that I am not alone.  Now, I don’t hate government. I vote. I read up on the issues.  Heck, I attended “Girls’ State!” (Basically a government boot camp for H.S. juniors.)

I hate the hatred.

I’m so tired of only the polarized and caricatured views of our political parties being displayed to the world.  Not all Democrats are Godless liberals.  Not all Republicans are Bible-beating jerks. There are far more moderates than the polarizing Right vs. Left. It’s possible to be a part of different parties and get along. It’s even possible to be a part of different parties and live in the same house!

This morning, I watched President Obama give a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Do you know what my first thought was? “I wonder how my facebook post feed is going to display this. It’s either going to be a hatred statement or it will be ignored completely.”

Why? Because I hear all too often on how Obama is not a Christian.  Or how he didn’t participate during National Day of Prayer one year and now our country is going to Hell. Never mind that I watched it on CNN. (But you’re a Christian! How can you watch that channel?!)

He spoke heavily on personal faith today, and I believe him. Why? Because I choose to.

How would I feel if every single time I spoke about my faith I was called a liar?  Or when I choose to watch TV I’m accused of being ungodly? Or when I talk and care for my Muslim, atheist, homosexual, etc. friends I am accused of being one of them?  I don’t understand where the Bible says we are to spew judgment and hatred towards them.  How can I judge my president or anyone else for that matter?

I’m SO tired of the hatred.  If you’re not my “friend” anymore on Facebook, this is likely a good reason why.  It’s not because I only want to hear about what I believe in, it’s because I believe that if you can’t discuss it in a loving and rational way, then you are not worth my time.  Conversations held in judgment and anger are not edifying to God.  I would liken it to a “Jesus Juke” much like Jon Acuff (Stuff Christians Like) discusses.

It doesn’t matter what my political preference is.  What matters is the fact that I learn what the facts are and I try to align it with what I believe the Bible teaches to be true.  I add in a dash of love and a liberal amount of Grace (Oh Dear Jesus! I said liberal!).

Is it possible to be friends?  To discuss politics in love and still remain amiable?  Or will it forever be on my “don’t discuss” list because of the red-faced, vein-popping angry results?

Seriously, though.  When Obama’s speech is posted online, you should read it.  And show some love.

The Motherhood Club

There is a club that I sometimes wish I never belonged to.

The Motherhood Club.

My reasons for this has nothing to do with my child.  I love my child more than life.  I have a problem with other club members, and this makes me incredibly sad.  Being a mother changes a person. I’m still who I was before I had my daughter, but my life has definitely been enlightened by her.  I have been blessed to know other wonderful mothers who will do anything for their kids and they make me want to be a better mom in a very good way.

Still, I am shocked by other moms. I was aware that there were women out in the world that were petty, mean, competitive, etc, but I guess I never really understood that there were so many. It seems like all I read and hear about are other moms criticizing and berating each other.  Why all the comparisons?  Why the passive-aggressive and aggressive competition?

I would never dare call another woman a bad mom to their face.  Well, unless they were doing their child legitimate harm.

Why are we being so mean to each other?  I mean, aren’t we all in the same boat?  We all love our children.  We all want the best for them.  We all believe they are little geniuses and that they are simply perfect. So why do we brag about them so blatantly in a way that alienates other women? Why do we look down upon other women whose kids aren’t having a good day?

I can hardly get on Babycenter (at least the community aspect) or read a lot of “mommy blogs” anymore because they make me feel inadequate if I linger too long. I start to worry about the fact that my kid isn’t talking or walking or the fact that I don’t play on the floor all day with her.  I feel guilty for breastfeeding – both because formula fed moms already assume that you feel superior to them (and I don’t) and because I feel pressure to not breastfeed.  I can’t be proud of it because of the war-like stance women take. I feel guilty because I let my kid explore on her own.  I feel guilty because I haven’t read to her Anna Karenina yet (lol, not really, but you get the idea).  I don’t drill words or the ABC’s to her every day.  I don’t take her for daily walks.  I don’t structure activities.  And on, and on, and on…

Why in the WORLD do we do this to each other as women?

Am I guilty of loving my child less because I have fed her a jar of baby food or because she has had juice already? Am I a jerk because I have made her baby food from scratch and therefore I am automatically a “superior” mother? (and on and on…)

The Motherhood Club.  Where women tear down others to make their own inadequacies diminish.

I don’t want to be a part of it.

I know that this is NOT all women.  I just wish that there weren’t so many women like this out there.  We should be allies, not enemies.

Mommy-Blog post: The C-Section Debate

Yesterday, we welcomed a sweet little addition to the family — my cousin gave birth to a 7 lb, 20.25 in long baby boy.   I can’t wait to love on him! Three babies in 2010 – yay!

My cousin did beautifully.  She was able to convince her doctor (same as mine) to induce ON her due date (lucky! 😉 ), at 40 weeks exactly, and she delivered her son at 3:39 pm (water broke at 8:30 am).  She had the same doctor, and the EXACT same routine as mine (see here if you care to have a refresher).  The only difference is that apparently my body was defective.  Actually, I was further dialated when I went in for my induction than she was… but not by much.

I ended up with an emergency c-section.  I know I did my best.  I didn’t realize that the labor was out of the norm until much later, and I have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I am happy.

Recently, however, I have heard a ton of comments from my family about how they disapproved of the fact that I had a c-section.  “I should have been allowed to go into labor on my own,” “I think you could have had the baby without a c-section,” etc.

At first, I felt cheated and dismayed that I did not go through a “normal” delivery.  Did I not get the “full experience”? Am I not fully a woman because I had a c-section? In this part of the state, the hospital policy is “once a c-section, always a c-section.”  I can’t even try to be “normal” if I wanted to.

Then I realized/remembered, Motherhood is not about how you became a mother.  Whether a traditional labor, a c-section, adoption, or another means, how you become a mother is not as important as how you are AS a mother. One of my friends carried her baby for 42 weeks, and gave birth via c-section to a perfect, nearly 10 lb, baby girl!  Is that not real work?  My aunt had an emergency c-section for nearly the same reason as I.  Is she not a mother because she didn’t traditionally deliver? NO! I have friends who have adopted their first child around the same time as I had Belle… are they not mothers?

We are all moms.  We all toiled and worked to obtain motherhood.  Let’s stop this comparison thing, because it’s futile.  You’re not better than me because you pushed your kid out of your you-know-what, and I’m not better because I went through major abdominal surgery to have mine. 

That’s all I have to say about that.

I am a neurotic mess! Seriously, I’m crazy.

I am laughing at myself this morning while I am panicking.

Yes, I am excited that there will be 20 people here TOMORROW.  I am excited to play hostess.  I have been cleaning for 2 weeks.  I am going to move Christmas decorations in the spare room today while it’s warm so I can put it up when it’s cold and I don’t have to be outside getting the decorations.  I will be roasting the TURKEY, making rolls, making ambrosia salad, gravy, and green bean casserole. With an almost 8 month old. Yikes!

I WANT TO DO THIS.

Yet, I am panicking cause the house can’t get clean enough!  What if I screw up the turkey?  Because I not only want to roast a turkey for the first time, I want it to be the best friggin bird they have ever eaten. I want people to tell me how awesome it all is… and it hit me this morning…

I am crazy. A complete and total lunatic.  Neurotic. Nuts. Off my rocker.

Why can’t I just be content with everyone coming over, and with my genuine effort?  Because I’m a type-A, grade-A, annoying, psychotic PERFECTIONIST, that’s why.

Is there anyone in the world as absolutely bonkers as I?  I’m such a glutton for punishment.

Social media overkill.

I am a mom.  I am a consumer.  I am an entrepreneur (an admittedly weak one, but still).  I am an internet user.  I am a social media stalker junkie.  I check my facebook and twitter often, for both updates on friends and to see if I have been contacted personally/feedback.  For months now, I have been struggling with something I see often from my “friends” — OVERLOAD.

I want to support my friends and their endeavors to make ends meet for their families.  I seriously do.  But I’m overwhelmed.  I’ve started hiding and deleting my friends that only post about “giveaways” on their blog, or promoting their business.  I understand that facebook and twitter is a good outlet for free publicity.  As a person who makes bows, bags, and more, I have loved the fact that I have been able to make a little money to help support my family through these media outlets.

Am I the only one that thinks that some people are taking it to far?

I’ll admit, I both understand and am frustrated by the “mommy blogging” business, as I’ve stated before.  It just feels to me like a junior-high popularity contest for mothers. (NOT EVERYONE, mind you, but there are several like this out there.) I talked to a friend of mine months ago that mentioned that he defriended a girl we grew up with because she had become one of these people. He said (paraphrase): that she was “not the only girl that had ever had a baby and that her life is not as interesting as she wants everyone to think it is.”  HA!! My sentiments exactly. I don’t want to feel inadequate as a mother.  It’s hard enough as it is without having other moms out there making me feel like somehow she got the genetic jackpot. … I digress.

It’s just all becoming so much overkill.

It definitely makes me think twice before I promote anything of mine.  I don’t advertise my blog 15 times a day.  I don’t update my facebook with posts on what I’m selling all the time.  I am working towards a website, logo, etc, because they are necessary at this point.

All this redundant promotion — It’s making facebook so much less fun.

Anyone else overwhelmed?

Imposer, Imposter.

Let me begin by apologizing.  I am afraid that you think I only complain, that I live in a world of melancholy.  That is not true.  I just pull from the inmost recesses of my heart when I write, and that is a place of messy corners and tangled emotions.  I have also been displaced from anything that is considered “normal” for over a year.  I think that justifies me a bit in my grumblings. 🙂

The holidays.  My favorite time of year.

I live for this time of year.  I pull out my autumn garlands, homemade wreaths, my sparkly arrangements and I light my “Home for the Holidays” candles.  I keep a fire in the fireplace.  I bake spritz cookies with holiday jam centers, pumpkin pies, and anything cinnamon.

This will be my second holiday season without these things.

We found out this week that we will not be moving out of my grandparents home this month the way we had hoped to.   We will be keeping them displaced.  They don’t mind — they genuinely like us here — but we feel so awful.  Moochers.

I wanted to have a home this holiday season.  I wanted to invite family over for a holiday get-together.  I wanted to bake goodies and play hostess.  We will have Thanksgiving at my grandparents (our) home this year.  It’s not MINE, but it’s something, at least.  Still, it feels like I’m just a imposter, playing hostess to a home that is not mine.

This Christmas will be equally unsettling.  All of our Christmas decorations are still packed away.  I always wanted to give my baby a picture-perfect Christmas, even though it’s just for me.  I wanted to put her “baby’s first Christmas” ornament on our tree.  Her stocking next to ours.  It’s just weird.  Nothing’s the same, anymore.  Last year’s Christmas at the in-laws was strange, because we were snowed out and we had to come later.  It was a gathering of just my husband and I opening gifts a week or two after Christmas while his family watched.  It was awkward and sad for me… it just seemed like a reminder that nothing was the same.

This year, we’re traveling to our BIL and SIL’s house.  It’s going to be Christmas in a new place (although it’s for our traveling ease, and I am thankful for that) and that’s going to be so weird for me.  I’m also a little jealous (yes, I just admitted that).  My SIL, who has been in the family for 9+ months will get to play hostess in her home.  I will have nothing to do.  I will be at loose ends, feeling like I don’t have a role, and therefore feeling like I’m not quite belonging. I already feel like I ceased being me when the baby was born.  I feel so second-rate.  Doesn’t feel fair.

Ha.  Haven’t I learned that already?  Life’s not fair.

That’s my confession.  One of my desires is to be the hostess in my home.  The center of the family like my grandmother has been for years.  I know this year isn’t going to be awful.  It will be sweet and beautiful in its own way.  I just struggle with the changes, and mourn the fact that I don’t get my own personal pride-booster of being told that I’m the perfect hostess, that people love being around me.

See? I’m both and imposer and an imposter.

Is this a normal reaction or am I as crazy as I sound?