Monday, November 25, 2013

7 Things

Continuing the Facebook trend...

I've been given the number 7.  Seven interesting and/or random things about me...
(This was really hard for me, because I talk about myself a lot, and I have no poker face, so if you know me, you pretty much know me.)

1.  I was born 8 weeks early weighing 3.5 pounds.  I dropped to below 3 pounds.  My incubator had to be tilted so that I could not dig in my heels to get leverage for my long, skinny fingers to wrap about my tubes and pull them out.  A nurse also knitted tiny drawstring mittens to help with this issue.

2.  I have a minor in history.  That doesn't really count for anything or mean anything, except that I find history interesting.  Also, I forget it as soon as I "learn" it.

3.  This small town girl has been to a few of the world's biggest cities including Paris, Cairo, and NYC.  Cairo was uncomfortable; I'd go to the other two every year, or do extended vacations there, if I could.

4.  I've held the bars to Nelson Mandela's cell, stood where JFK was shot, visited Napoleon's tomb, and remembered soldiers at the American Cemetery in Normandy.

5.  I stink at swallowing pills.  Really, I'm like a child, gagging and taking multiple tries to swallow the tiniest of pills.

6.  I've received one "C" as a grade--in grade school, undergrad, and grad school.  It was in Handwriting in second grade.  My handwriting grades went up when we started cursive.  Exhibit A:  
Have I ever mentioned I'm competitive?!

7.  Everybody knows I have an English degree, and I'll make two notes about that:
a.  That doesn't mean I'm great at grammar.  I do two things most every one in my culture does--I read, and I write--I just do them pretty well.  I didn't have a grasp of grammar until college, and that was a rude awakening!
b.  I did better in math and science than English and history for most of school.  Choosing between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science was agonizing.  I chose a B.A. as the path of least resistance (my AP credits meant I didn't have to take any math or science in college), and I plunged head first into Humanities for undergrad and grad school.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Confessions of a Bad Mom

I don’t understand girls, and yes, I am one.

We girls write, read, like, and share blog posts that largely say the same things:

We women need to cut ourselves some slack.  
(If we’re feeling spiritual, then we put it in spiritual language) :  
We need to extend ourselves come grace.
The Supermom, Pinterest-mom, perfect mom idea is false.
We can’t do it all.  We do the best we can and get up the next day and do it again.

And yet, we are the ones who perpetuate the supermom complex.

We stand around at birthday parties trying to one-up each other.  We hover at dance class or ball games making stabs at each other over decisions like whether to give our kids raw milk, whole pasteurized milk, skim pasteurized milk, almond milk, soy milk, or hemp milk. 

We really do need to cut ourselves some slack, and we really need to cut each other some slack.

We also need to be responsible moms.  It’s a fine line to tip-toe across.  On one hand, none of us can do it all.  On the other hand, there are some things we must do, that we cannot extend ourselves grace about.  And in the middle, we each decide what the non-negotiables are for our families and what items are worth taking off our overflowing, impractical, unachievable lists.  
There are some things I need to extend myself less grace about.  I need to get frustrated less often.  I need to slam cabinet doors, growl, and “hmph” less often.  I need to talk nicely to family more often.

Then, there are some things that I will keep doing:

I will keep listening to my kids, because their words matter to me.
I will keep apologizing to them when I screw up, because that’s a skill they need to learn, too.
I will keep walking away from work at 5 p.m. and turning down opportunities, because I’m away from my kids enough.
I will keep doing everything I can to be who God called me to be—a wife, a mom, and a pastor.
I will keep encouraging my kids to tell me how they feel, even when that means hearing, “I am VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY ANGRY with you!” because I want to raise adults who know how to talk about their feelings.

And I confess the ways I’m a “bad mom” with little regret:

My kids were drinking formula after a few months, and I was relieved.
My kids love Pepsi and drink it when we go out to sit down dinners.
My kids eat non-organic fruits and veggies, and they eat lots of them.
My kids eat white bread and peanut butter.
My kids consume high fructose corn syrup.
My kids drink 2% pasteurized cow’s milk.
I did not make homemade baby food.
My kids wore disposable diapers.
Some nights my babies slept in my bed.
I had an epidural—both times—and thanked God for them.
I scheduled the induction of my baby girl.
I vaccinate my kids with every recommended vaccine.
I was a part-time stay-at-home mom for a while.  I didn’t enjoy it.  I wasn’t good at it.
My kids’ bedtime is a goal at best.
My kids wear brand new clothing.
My kids have seen (and love) Jurassic Park.
My kids pick-up food off the floor and eat it.
I buy Play-doh, bubbles, and kids’ paint instead of making my own.
My kids watch TV, movies, and smart phone screens every day.
My kids watch Big Bang Theory and think it’s funny that Raj cannot talk to girls.

What are your lists of 1) The things you need more accountability and less grace for, 2) The good things you’re doing right that you’re going to keep doing, and 3) The things you’re unashamedly doing as a mom even though they’re “bad”?