Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Role Models? Please Step Forward.

This womanhood gig...where's the manual? Did I miss the hand outs? Can I get a bulleted list please?

Is there anyone doing it right? Or at least honorably?

Honestly, on a day to day basis - I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I just make it up from TV, books or maybe what I heard once at some women's church conference or study.

I know I mess it up completely on a day to day basis. I yell at my kids, push my husband away (cause dude, I'm busy and tired), and I just don't know where people find time to connect with others.

Sometimes I end my day with the mommy cocktail if it was really bad, which I usually regret - I'm just not a drinker, never have been. I generally can't get through my beer or wine - somewhere past half the glass it starts tasting like crap, sorry.

And this motherhood gig is SO not what I thought it was. Of course, I seriously had some messed up perspectives - somewhere between Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies Dreamhouse - who wouldn't want that! Dude.

Today my kid threw up and I caught it in my hand (on purpose) so it wouldn't get on his shirt. Ewww! Who am I? Barbie would never have done that. And I still don't see a doll on the market with "puke" mode. The worst I ever had was when I fed my peeing doll chocolate milk - and I threw that baby away in disgust.

And connecting with God? I'm somewhere around Magic Genie and "Make a Deal" - grant my wishes! HA. I'll say that again - ha. Even if I "reword" them by adding "if it's your will" at the end, I think I'm not fooling anyone. Accepting His will? Yeah right. First, I throw a mini tantrum, stamp my foot, and complain about why He didn't do it MY way. Then, once I've had my rant, I move on to - Your will be done, not mine. Why can't my first reaction be - Your will, not mine?

Even today, when a job for Mark didn't come through - my first reaction was - it's not fair, why us God? Even though Friday I wasn't sold on the job, but Mark and I sat down and said - we'll leave it in God's hands. We'll pray. If this is not His will, then the opportunity will close and others will arise. And it looked pretty solid that this was it, and then poof! Suddenly, it dissolved before my eyes. God literally closed the door in multiple ways, and then opened another. And my reaction? No God! You can't do that. I thought this was it, I don't want to accept your plan. I had already started making my plans.

I know this can be so much more than we make it. Homemaking is NOT about wiping noses and changing diapers. There is so much more here. And yet, so many people look at it with a mixture of contempt and envy. As if not getting a paycheck and validation for our efforts and work means we are worthless and lazy. And the sad thing is, sometimes we believe them. Comments like we should just get a job if being at home is so hard. So that's the answer? If it's hard, just run away. Give the job to someone else. Some of us are called outside the home, but if I am called to be home, running away to another job is not the answer. But that's the negativity we get. Our importance in the home is trivial. The work we do there can be done by anyone...NO. It can't. Our children. Our families. Our homes.

And if you're at home, we're told that we're bored and have no mental stimulation. I say, crap to that! I know less about running a home than about networking theory. Seriously. I've got LOTS to learn. You could spend a lifetime studying and practicing skills needed to run a home and care for children. I've got books piled to the ceiling with amazingly useful information I need to read as time allows. Sitting around watching the Lifetime network (which I don't even get, but whateva') is not how I want to spend my time or brain. I can continue learning and growing as a person, even if I have days where a little 3 footer is ordering me around.

So what am I saying here? Heck, I don't know. I got kind of stirred up by some comments I read somewhere about mommy hood and such. I don't know the answers and I don't claim to. I'll probably never know how to do any of this right. I hope I don't ever put myself into another persons shoes and give them a judgment. God help me if I do. Just like I don't know squat about what it's like to be a single person, or a man, or a working mom, or whatever - if you haven't been a mother there's really nothing to say. About every idea I've ever had prior to having these two babies has been completely rewritten or erased. I just didn't know.

We're all at these different stages.

Like:

"Baby is an accessory I wear under my shirt" stage
"Baby will go well with this cute Pottery Barn crib set"
"I love baby stuff"
"Wait, where does it come out?"
"I changed my mind, I don't think labor sounds that fun"
"That hurts, I'm never doing that again"
"I don't know what I'm doing"
"What if I break it?"
"He's hungry again?"
"Sleep, please just sleep"
"Don't leave me alone with this thing"
"I could totally have another"
"What was I smoking, I should have stuck with one"
"Mommy needs relief"
"Where's the wine bottle"
"Ack! There's two of them now"
"Where did nap time go?"
"So if I put one in the grocery cart, the other one goes where exactly?"
"Okay, so REALLY LOUD can be a tolerable noise level - or I'm going deaf"

Well, those were my stages at least - and of course those are up till now - I'm sure there's a million more. The point is, we don't stay in those stages. So one person's reality may not be mine. I may have gotten past the "Wine bottle" stage, but big deal. So I'm a few feet down the road. That doesn't make me the great wise one. Passing judgment on someone still struggling in a stage you passed or even skipped is just wrong.

Okay this post is all over the place. Back to my original thought. There are role models out there that do "it" with grace. My sidebar is filled with blogs from real women who have perspective on what it means to be both a mother and a woman. And if you have more you go to for inspiration and a little "uplifting" I'd love to know those too. Start with TamraGirl and Nie, my personal favs.

1 comment:

Amanda H. said...

I think the hard part about womanhood/motherhood is finding women who will be completely open and honest about their struggles and non-struggles. Too often we don't like to let anyone into the hard stuff so from the outside it looks like they have it all together, meanwhile, I am sitting over here thinking, "why can't I just get this right?"

I was really thankful when I was in college to have a lady from my church mentor me, bring me into their family time, let me watch and hang out, and see "real life" go on, both good and bad...and it helped me to see how they did life not perfectly, but with grace. I wish there was more of an environment for that nowadays in my life, but it doesn't seem to be something that other older women are willing to give their time to -- at least in my circle of ladies.

Needless to say, I don't think you are alone in this, even if others of us don't voice it out loud. :)