To the blogger who slammed motherhood

Just read a blog that is getting a lot of press right now, written by Amy Glass. I was honestly dumbfounded as I read because I sort of assumed that the headlines I had seen were over-reactions…surely this woman doesn’t really think every stay-at-home mom is doing nothing and that every woman who works, especially if she doesn’t have kids, is a super hero, right?  I shouldn’t assume because that is almost exactly what she said.

In her post, she laments that we now celebrate women for being average: Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?

I would guess that Ms. Glass has no idea how much work goes into a successful marriage or how difficult being a good parent is.

She also makes this statement: Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?

Ms. Glass seems to believe that every woman who chooses to have a significant other in her life has automatically resigned herself to a life of obligations and career failing. Every woman who chooses to have children has made the choice to be average and never accomplish anything great. In her own words: You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.

Bullshit.

I know wives and girlfriends who are traveling the world doing amazing charity and mission work. I know wives and girlfriends who are small-business owners and leaders in corporate offices. More importantly, I know wives and girlfriends who are kind, compassionate, loving souls who are capable of thinking beyond their own needs and want to share their joys, accomplishments, frustrations, and tears with a supportive and loving husband or boyfriend.

I know mothers who are starting their own businesses and leading corporate America. I know mothers who travel the world, sometimes with their children in tow, to minister and rebuild. I know mothers who trust childcare providers and put in a full day’s work teaching, farming, facilitating small business and home loans, leading charitable organizations, running technology for large school districts, and filing your taxes and them come home and “manage a household.” I know mothers who are the childcare providers, who choose to stay home with their children and do a whole lot of everything every single day.

To assume that a woman with a husband or boyfriend is not taking care of herself is just ignorant. There are helpless women and worthless men in every stage of life and in various relationship statuses, just as there are completely independent and capable women and men who are single, married, and dating.

This next quote literally makes my heart race and the blood pump in my temples…..

I hear women talk about how “hard” it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”

Perhaps the question this should raise is: why aren’t men worrying about managing a household? Why does Ms. Glass assume that men aren’t? I know husbands, boyfriends and fathers who stay home with their kids. I know husbands, boyfriends and fathers who have chosen occupations that allow them the flexibility and time off to spend with their families. I know husbands, boyfriends, and fathers who do all of the cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning; men who are (gasp!) managing a household.

Maybe Ms. Glass should look at her opinions from a different angle and rather than criticizing women for choosing to have families and careers she should criticize the men who do not make family a priority. That seems like a more feminist viewpoint to me. Or maybe she should rail against a system that forces employees to work until 10:00pm, regardless of who is waiting for them at home. (PS: stay-at-home moms work 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no financial compensation, sick or bereavement leave, or PTO but that is beside the point.)

I also wonder why this woman seems to hate women so very much. If she really believes that there should be more women in the workforce and that they should be treated equally then perhaps she should be fighting for that equality rather than knocking down those who have made different choices. Maybe she should be writing about the glass ceiling, the Family Medical Leave Act, forced overtime, and the unreasonable expectations of employers for both men and women who choose to have a life outside of their vocation.

Maybe Ms. Glass should be encouraging women to pursue higher education and researching ways to help wives and mothers afford that education rather than condemning them for choosing a relationship and kids. I wonder what has happened in her life to make her so bitter and resentful and I honestly pity her.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all lifted each other up rather than pushing the “others” down? I’m glad Ms. Glass published this post because it not only has started a necessary national debate but it has reaffirmed my desire to encourage, support, and assist rather than belittle, deny, and bitch.

The link to the full article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-glass/2014/01/i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/

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Home Ec Fail

My daughter and I sewed a pillow tonight. That may sound mundane to some of you but let me be clear that this is a huge accomplishment for me….not so much for her as she is already ahead of me as a seamstress, but it is big for me.

I was not a student excited about Home Ec class; I wanted nothing to do with cooking, figuring out what color palette looked best on me, grocery shopping lessons, or budgeting. But the subject that frustrated me the most was definitely sewing. I just don’t get it. The patterns make zero sense to me. Pinning the stuff to the pattern (that is something you do, right?) just seemed like a waste of time plus I always stuck myself with the stupid pins. Forget about translating the pattern to actual fabric, that was just nonsense in my brain.

My teachers from junior high up through high school inevitably relented and helped me get my project ready for the sewing machine and then I’m sure they cringed because I can break a sewing machine in no time at all. In fact, I recently broke my mother-in-law’s sewing machine within 5 minutes of sitting down and hadn’t sewn a single stitch!

The sewing itself should have been fairly simple with the technology-enhanced machines available at our school but pushing the fabric through slowly and in a straight line requires a type of patience I simply don’t possess. Add to that the constant bunching and knotting of the thread, my inability to remember to remove the pins, and the attention I needed to pay to the hilariousness of my friends trying to sew around me and you can understand why Home Ec was a difficult class for me.

By my senior year (no, I’m not sure why I kept taking these classes but they kept showing up on my schedule), the teacher had relegated me to using the basting machine only. I’m not entirely sure what this machine does or why I was capable of using it but I can tell you that I churned out a number of knit pants that semester! Too bad the tunic and leggings look was out of style by then…..

With this background knowledge, let me tell you again that my daughter and I sewed a pillow today. (Thank you for the bright smiles and applause.) She sewed a bit with  my friend over the weekend and declared that she knows how to sew and wanted to sew some things. So, I put her off as long as I could and then dusted off the little pink sewing machine another friend had handed down to us a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I was terribly nervous that I would never figure out how to thread the stupid thing and we would have to wait for Daddy and I would be a complete failure. Luckily, instructions written for pre-teens are fairly easy to follow and I was able to thread the machine with little difficulty and no swearing.

I then found a swatch of fabric I had purchased for who knows what reason and realized we could fold it over, sew three sides, and make a pillow. Holy crap, we could actually make a pillow. It is not pretty, it is not perfect, and the stitches will likely not hold through the night, but we made a pillow and I am very proud of myself…I mean….her.

It’s been a while…..

It has been a while but here I am, ready to smack you in the face with my witty opinions, laugh-out-loud anecdotes, and tales from the teaching trenches…or maybe I’ll just whine a little.

I took a blogging break when I started a new job teaching preschool; I needed to dedicate a good portion of my time and energies to figuring out what the heck I was doing and how to organize myself to get it done. I am also the director of the preschool so I had to learn DHS rules and regulations, paperwork protocol, and a million other little things in addition to lesson planning, classroom cleaning, supply management and, oh yeah, actually teaching.  It is a job that consumes my thoughts but that I love so very much…not sure how my own kids feel about it though.

You see, they sometimes get the short end of the stick when Mom is stressed out from managing “behaviors” all morning or has to spend Sunday afternoon at school getting ready for the upcoming week. My kids hear about the successes I see in the classroom and I fear that sometimes I neglect to show the same amount of excitement for their own successes.

On the other hand, they get to help prepare lessons and have the advantage of knowing that Mom is just down the hallway if they get sick at school or, as happens entirely too often, they realize they have forgotten something at home or need money. My kids get to stop in for a quick hug (well, not the 5th grader so much) or to tell me about a great result on a test. I love that I am right there in the building and that they still want to see during the school day. Apparently I am not too embarrassing yet, thank goodness.

My additional impetus for breaking from blogging was that I am slowly losing my mind. Yep, it’s true. I used to be a fairly organized person and then I started having kids. I initially blamed my loss of memory and focus on pregnancy brain, then overly-tired-new-mommy brain, then terrible-two’s, then three-kids-under-5, and finally three-kids-in-school. At this point, I have nothing to blame my brain problems on but me so I will just lay it out there….there is something wrong with my brain.

For instance, I had a meeting last Monday night. I knew I had a meeting last Monday night. I saw it on my calendar on Monday morning and again Monday afternoon. I talked about the upcoming meeting to two separate people on two separate occasions on Monday. I started planning supper in the early afternoon based on my leaving for the meeting. Then 5:00 hit and I got distracted and didn’t start supper. At 6:15 my phone beeped, reminding me of my meeting at 6:30. Crap. I hadn’t showered (no school that day) and was still in sweats. Supper was not cooking and I had made zero plans for the kids. As I quickly washed my face and threw on some jeans, I gave the kids supper and shower instructions and rushed out the door. Ridiculous.

On a lighter note, my hubby got home just as I was leaving and fed the kids, made a delicious supper for us, and had a black-out Nerf gun war waiting for me when I got home. Maybe I should leave it to him more often!

My plan is to start writing again, posting here more often, and using written words to keep my brain focused.  Wish me luck….and remind me when I haven’t posted in a while because, most likely, I have simply forgotten.