It seems everyone has a blog these days. Not that I'm giving in to the "norm." I just want to have a place that is mine. These are my thoughts, my opinions, my hopes, my dreams, my fears. I am a Daughter. I am a Wife. I am a Mother. But above all, I am a WOMAN.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

SuperMom & SuperWife or SuperWoman

"A real woman always keeps her house clean & organized, the laundry basket is always empty. She's always well dressed, hair done. She never swears, she behaves gracefully in all situations & all circumstances. She has more than enough patience to take care of her family, always has a smile on her lips, & a kind word for everyone. Post this as your status if you, too, have just realized that you might be a man."

I saw this on FaceBook the other day and thought it was so funny (and true) that I put it as my status to give other ladies a few giggles, too.  And it worked GREAT!  Most women can really relate to this.  There is always SO MUCH to do that it rarely (if ever) actually is all completed at the same time.  Seriously, how many women have the housework all done, the house looking immaculate, dinner on the table, and a smile perpetually on their face?  Let's face it.  June Cleaver we are NOT.

Then my husband ruined all of our fun with one comment.  "Someone pointed out to me that this woman is straight out of Proverbs. Kinda puts a different light on it huh?"  

My first thought was, "Spoilsport!"  

My second thought was, "OH GREAT!  One more way I'm failing God."  

I don't know about y'all, but I constantly feel like a failure.  To my husband, to my kids, to my boss, to my self, and to God.  It's a rare day when I DON'T feel ineffectual, inadequate, unworthy, and/or like a major screw up.  We go to church, we believe (at least I hope you do), we have faith (even though we sometime struggle with this), but in the end, how many of us Really Believe we are succeeding at being what God wants us to be.

"I Know I'm SOMEBODY, 'cause God don't make no junk!"  Remember that?  I do.  It was great when I was a kid, but now as an adult, it's a little harder.  On the surface, I say, well of course He doesn't.  But then I apply that statement to myself, and .......Whoops!  What. Have.  I.  Done?!?  Anybody else ever feel that way?

I'm divided.  I want to be what God wants me to be, but I can't be.  I'm not perfect.  I'm so far away from perfect it's like a train wreck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean -- Impossible.  I could probably do a lot better on the housework and laundry.  Okay.  I DEFINITELY could do better on the housework and laundry.  But behaving "gracefully in all situations & circumstances" just isn't in me.  I have no tact.  No diplomacy.  Patience?  Not really.  I can work on that.  "A kind word for everyone" is sooooooo not me.  I admit it.  Some people just irritate me to the point that it's either walk away, or go to jail for assault.  I do NOT handle stupidity very well.  Okay. I do not handle stupidity with patience or kind words.  

Yes, I'm not the woman of the Bible.  I can aspire to be a better daughter, wife, mother, Woman.....and I will try.  But I'm also learning to be happy with who I am.  After all, God made me and "God don't make no junk."  So maybe He's okay with me being a sarcastic, pushy, occasionally overbearing, overprotective control-freak.  And maybe He will help me smooth out these rough edges on this old piece of coal.  I'm not expecting to turn into a diamond overnight -- or at all, really.  And I'm not expecting the laundry to miraculously be washed, dried, ironed, and folded.....but maybe He will help me find all the hours in the day I need, assistance to get it all done, and the ability to ask for and accept said assistance.

I'm not SuperMom.  I'm not SuperWife.  I'm certainly not SuperWoman.  But with God's help, maybe I can be good enough, even if I'm not perfect.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

‎"Heavens to Murgatroyd!"

Does anybody remember that?  Do you remember the cartoon character who said that?  He was one of my favorites.  Even if he was a pink mountain lion in a string tie!

What happened to those old cartoons?  Some I have seen on Boomerang TV like The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Looney Tunes.  But what about Snagglepuss?  Mighty Mouse?  Good old fashioned slapstick comedy, stupid jokes that still make you laugh, and scenarios that you can actually picturing happening now with our kids.  And most of them are just GONE.  Oh, sure, you can look them up on YouTube.  The Sesame Street Martians are still hilarious with their increasing speed of saying, "Yip. Yip.  Yip! Yip!" to communicate.

What happened to our kids?  I use to LOVE those old cartoons when I was growing up.  Now my kids are watching cartoons that I have to censor.  Who would have thought television would air cartoons that advocate lying (The Regular Show), or being a brat (The Simpsons), or aren't even fit for kids to watch At All (Family Guy)!  Okay, I admit, I got into Kim Possible for a little while, she was a cool teenage kid fighting crime.  And my seven-year-old has a penchant for redheads like his dad.  She was great!  But Adventure Time?  Really?  Resurrecting dead candy zombies?  Cat and Dog?  Obnoxious and stupid.

But what is this junk that is on Cartoon Network that manages to get by the Parental Controls by not being rated?  I thought Parental Controls were to help us parents so that we wouldn't have to watch EVERY show on the Cartoon Network, Boomerang, etc just to make sure it was age appropriate and inoffensive?  I'm just now discovering that Parental Controls don't always work.  But I just don't have time to censor everything my children watch.

Bring back Speedbuggy, Captain Caveman, Hong Kong Phooey.  Bring back the real non-animated shows for kids like Isis (my personal favorite), Shazam, and even The Afternoon Special (which is where I first watched a show based on an Edgar Allan Poe story and was hooked for life).  Bring back shows I don't have to worry about my kids watching.  Even Scooby-Doo has been updated to the point I'm not sure about him.  What do you tell your child's preschool teacher when he innocently bursts out with, "What the!" that he heard from Fred Jones.

I miss the innocence of childhood.  I miss not having to protect my children from television.  There is enough in this big, bad world that's going to hurt them soon enough from which I can't protect them.  I'm trying to put off their heartbreaks and loss of innocence as long as possible.  I thought living in a rural setting would help protect my children, but I can't protect them from technology.  As hard as I try, someone out there will figure out a way to expose them to things I don't want them to see yet.  Someone will figure out a way around my safeguards.

I wish I could shield my children, but even they struggle out from under my safeguards.  Reaching for knowledge, but not always knowing that knowledge isn't always good.  Not yet.  Trust me a little longer, children.  Trust me to know what's best.  And stop getting angry when I change the television channel or put in a dvd for your own good.  And my own peace of mind.  ‎"Heavens to Murgatroyd!" said Snagglepuss.  Things could be worse.  But let's try to make them better anyway.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Born in the Wrong Century?

My husband actually gave me the idea for this one, so.....Thanks J.

We were talking the other day about this and that and the subject came up about how much the world has changed.  It seems like every day I see someone posting on FaceBook about "when I was young we drank out of a garden hose, came home when mom yelled from the porch, got our tails whacked if we failed to use manners...." you get the idea.  Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

I remember all of that.  And my number one complaint of something that seems to have departed our new world (and a very early death in my opinion) is good manners.  So many children these days, and adults too for that matter) have none.  They don't say "please" or "thank you" or "excuse me".  They speak to their parents and other adults in a disrespectful, hateful tone of voice that I would have been backhanded across the room for using.  It bugs me.  I want to pop them all on the butt (adults included) and tell them to "Mind Your Manners!"  I realize (obviously) that I am in a minority, but still.  Common courtesy isn't so common anymore.

Another thing is some women a few years ago killed chivalry.  They beat it to near death and then suffocated it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal pay for equal work, but I love it when a man opens a door for me.  And other than my husband, most men don't so that I am pleasantly surprised when it happens.  And I ALWAYS say "Thank you" to them.  I believe in positive reinforcement.

I'm also in the minority in that I don't believe a woman has any place in certain jobs.  A woman has no business being in a combat position - men raised right are too busy trying to protect her than do their own jobs.  A woman has no business being a firefighter, or other dangerous, labor-intensive jobs.  Most of us just don't have the muscle for such things.  Besides, we know we're really the brains of the two sexes, so, Hey, let Men do all the work, and we'll tell them how to do it!  Why did we give up such a good deal?

Another saying on FB lately is "The sexes will never be equal til a woman can walk around with a beer belly and still think she's sexy."  I have to point out that only WOMEN see that as UN-sexy and, frankly, repulsive.  Proof again that we are the brains.  Let them be the brawn.  And we'll remind them to don shirts in public.

I miss the old days.  Teachers aren't allowed to spank kids anymore.  They will at my oldest son's school (thankfully), but I have put my permission in writing and begged them at my youngest son's preschool to at least swat him on the rear when he acts up.  That was 2 years, two directors, three headmasters, and four teachers ago and it still hasn't happened.  *sigh*  It's much harder for me to punish him at home for something he did four hours previously.  I remember being swatted by the closest adult - teacher, family member, parent, or even preacher - if I acted up.  My arm is tired, folks, STEP UP!

Anyway, this is my soapbox.  I could go on, and on, and on.......but I won't.  I'll stop.  This whole subject was discussed between my husband and me and I made the mistake of saying I was born in the wrong century.  Manners aside, my husband convinced me I was wrong with 4 words:  "air conditioning" and "indoor plumbing."

Enough said.  I concede defeat.
He was right and I was wrong.
(Put that in the record book, DH, I put it in writing that you were right.)

I was born in the barely-still-1960s right where I should have been.  Thank you, God, for my a/c, my indoor toilet, hot water, microwave, and television sets.  But would you help my kids learn manners?  I'm trying my best, but they're a mite stubborn.  And, no, sir, I really don't want to discuss which parent might have passed along that personality trait to them.......but if you insist, it was my husband.   :-D

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacation Fun

My husband and I just got back from taking our two sons, and his daughter to the Alabama coast for a long weekend of fun.  It started off great.  I made a promise to myself and my husband that I was going to TRY (pay attention to that word -- it's important) to not yell at the children much.  Remember that word "try"?  Well, let's just say that some moments required more "trying" than others because the children were more "trying" at times than others.

I succeeded, which is a small miracle in itself.  We all had fun.  We went to the pool and the beach, we took the daughter shopping, we saw and toured a battleship and submarine, and we even rode a ferry.  We came back tired and sunburned, but I think that is a rule of vacations.  You MUST come back tired and sunburned or it wasn't a good vacation.  No one wanted to come back, so I take that as a good sign.

However, I learned a lot on this trip.  Not just about battleships and submarines, or to remember to put sunblock on your shoulders as well as your arms and legs (painful lesson learned).  I learned about the differences between boys and girls -- other than the obvious.

1.  Boys are messier.  You would think that as a pre-teen girl, H would have wardrobe calamities, or accessories tossed hither, thither, and yon, and just be a complete tornado.  Let me tell you, she was the NEAT one.  Yes, there was a little mess on her side of the room, but that was due more to lack of space than her.  The boys, on the other hand, covered the bathroom floor in dirty clothes (poor H had to step on them to take her showers).  I'm used to the mess at home.  After all, it only took 30 seconds after our return for the carpet in their bedroom to be covered in toys, clothes, shoes, and other things I'm scared to look at too closely.

2.  Boys are louder.  Again, you would think that a pre-teen girl would squeal and giggle and make all manner of noise to get her dad's attention.  Nope.  She was quiet, polite, and waited her turn to speak.  The boys?  Wouldn't / Couldn't be quiet if they were unconscious.  I swear they are even noisy asleep.  Seriously.  Z talks in his sleep (usually yelling at M to leave him alone), and M snores.

3.  Girls are more polite.  I know, this one is obvious.  But after the boys burping, snorting, yelling, and making other various noisy I don't even like to think about, H's politeness and good manners were SO appreciated.  She evens knows what to do with a napkin!!!!!

4.  Girls are cleaner.  She combed her hair.  Voluntarily.  We have to chase down the boys.  Her face was always clean.  The boys get dirt on their faces climbing out of the bathtub.  Her clothes were always neat.  The boys?  Let's not even think about it.

Yes, I have discovered many differences between boys and girls.  I'm sure most of you know these already.  I  actually KNEW them, it was SEEING them that was so amazing.  Startling, really.  It makes me realize what I'm missing having just boys.  NOT enough to make me think of trying to have a third child.  Nope.  Uh-Uh.  No way.  Not happening, unless God Himself decides it.  But it's nice having her around.  She helps even out the testosterone level at my house.  And she even sides with ME sometimes.