Saturday, April 17, 2010

"SAHM-topia"

My sister-in-law posted something on Facebook earlier, that she was feeling kind of snarky toward a number of blogs she had been reading about being a SAHM, homeschooling, homemaking, even making your own shampoo. As people responded - including myself - the mindset of "SAHM-topia" (my term...like it?!) was touched upon.

Jeremy and I decided before we were even married that when we became parents, I would be a SAHM. His mom was a SAHM til he and his sister were in junior high. My mom was a lot more career-driven, so only took a little over a year each with myself and my brother, and only 6 weeks with my sister.

One of my best friends growing up had a SAHM up through high school and beyond (and as far as I know, she is still a homemaker, and never went back to work outside the home). I have to admit, I was always pretty jealous. My parents did plenty with us, but it was nice to have my friend's mom always around and engaged in our activities when I was over there. Sure, she laid down the law when we were giggling so loudly the whole neighborhood could hear us at midnight, and scolded me pretty well when I had the naive audacity to put my tennis shoes on their dining room table, but overall, she was great. I love my parents dearly, but it was just...different...from what I had with two full-time working parents.

So somewhere along the line, I got this perception in my head of "SAHM-topia." You know, the June Cleaver mom with fresh-baked cookies and milk when the kids rolled in the door every afternoon. A spotless clean house, a hot, home-cooked meal every night, greeting her husband with a sweet kiss and absolutely showing no signs of stress or weariness from her 8 hours of slaving away over raising her kids, cleaning her house, and cooking and baking. And you know, my friend's mom didn't fall far from that mark, so that was just a reinforcement of my "SAHM-topian" perception.

Truth is, I do a lot "right" as a SAHM, but I also do a lot "wrong." Sometimes I do spend 3 hours making a lasagna from scratch - sauce and everything - and homemade fresh-baked rolls and a green salad on the side. But some nights I resort to grilled cheese sandwiches that I throw together in 10 minutes. Some days I bake, but most days I don't. I ALWAYS make my kids' lunches for school, but rarely remember to throw one together for my husband. (Sorry honey!) Some days the kids are well-contained and well-mannered. And some days its an endless war. Some days I am cool as a cuke when Jeremy walks in the door, and some days I am about ready to scream. Some days I am very productive, and other days I'm either too lazy or two busy to run adequate amounts of laundry. Sometimes I let crumbs sit under the table for far too long without bothering to sweep them up. Usually I remember all the kids' appointments, school events, and extracurricular activities, but sometimes it just completely slips my mind. I'd like to say I never raise my voice to or around my kids and husband, but truthfully, sometimes I do. (Hey, I'm human. *shrug*) I censor the kids' TV watching, but certainly not well enough to meet AAP standards. And on and on....

My point is, "SAHM-topia" doesn't exist. And anyone who says it does is either "Mother Of The Year," a TV character, or a liar. I'm going with liar. We don't become SAHMs to be perfect. Truth is, our young kids love us, imperfections and all, as long as we show our love for them, imperfections and all.

Somehow, we need to break this notion that SAHMs are "perfect moms," and that "SAHM-topia" truly exists. I have tried to create "SAHM-topia" before, and failed miserably. Finally I had to accept the fact that its a myth, it doesn't exist, and that the best I can do is good enough. Some days are more utopian than others. We are all mothers, and being a mother is tough! We may not get everything done in a day, and that's okay. We may not be able to shower and get dressed til noon, but that's okay too. Our babies may try and eat Aveeno diaper rash cream (which is safe, BTW...Poison Control told me so) when we aren't looking, but hey, it happens to the best of us. We may not be able to keep our cool in every situation, but we're only human. We may not be able to juggle everything, but every juggler drops the ball sometimes.

So, my fellow SAHMs, we need to lighten up, and just be our wonderful mother selves, and cut ourselves some slack. "SAHM-topia" doesn't exist, and the longer we try and attain it, the longer we're just going to run ourselves into the ground, and keep the momentum of this urban legend alive. Just be a mom. That's all your kids need, and at the end of the day, if all you've done is just been a mom, then you've done your job. The rest is just...the rest.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The "Grand Old" Party

I posted this a while back on Facebook, and had to dig it up (and it took me a while and some trouble-shooting to figure out how), because it was still on my mind, and I think this article best articulates many, if not all, of my frustrations with the Republican party's ways of thinking and operating. I am not going to elaborate a whole lot on my own take, but suffice it to say, the article is worth a read (IMO), regardless of where you stand politically. I will forewarn you though, the article is pretty long and requires a lot of critical thinking to retain everything. (Or maybe its just because I am lousy at retaining things I read...?)

For the record I am NOT a Republican, and these are MANY of the reasons why!! However, I am also NOT a Democrat - I think many of the ways they operate are utterly attrocious and unconstitutional as well. And I don't buy into bipartisanship, and think its a fundamental flaw in government that it causing it to deteriorate. So I do believe I am looking at this through a critical, yet unbiased, eye. The article was, from what I gather, written while GWB was in office, but you can't argue with the facts, no matter who is in office, and I hardly think what this article says is outdated information!

Its funny.... The Republican party calls itself the "Grand Old" Party, however, the values and modes of operation of today's Republican Party are anything but "grand old!" Today's Republican Party is NOT conservative in the least, when compared to the foundational principles upon which the party was originally formed. Since the mid-60's, and early 70's, what Republicans are ascribing to is a new regime of government that is NOT based on true, historical Republican values - it IS, contrary to what MANY believe, trying to push for more and more government control all the time - "Big Government," as its been coined - the very thing they say they are fundamentally against! It is also pushing in the direction of more moral and ethical control over individual freedoms and is arrogantly thinking they can enforce, and get away with, being moral police - which is neither Constitutional in the least, NOR "grand old" in nature! Pushing for moral control, based on the religious right, is not democracy-driven OR historically-driven, but rather theocracy driven. Though I am a Christian, I have a problem with this!! I want to see a government that is true to its historical, and certainly Constitutional roots. Which Republicans CLAIM to be, but if the majority actually did their homework (politicians included!), they would actually realize they are NOT upholding in the least.

Anyway....not to rant, I just want to get the facts out there, because I think waaay too few people (on the right and the left!) actually know, historically-speaking, what they stand for, and I think its VITALLY important that people know what they stand for - and the only way to understand it fully, is to study and understand the history. I want a government that PROTECTS and PRESERVES the human rights of ALL Americans (read the beginning of the Declaration of Independence!), NOT a theocracy that worms their way into people's personal lives in the name of religion, or anything else, and in doing so robs American citizens of these very basic, Constitutionally-protected and GOD-GIVEN, human rights - the rights to life, liberty (free will), and the pursuit of happiness (to prosper in this great nation) for ALL Americans!

Anyway, here is the link to the article: Not Your Father's Republican Party

I will delve into the Democratic Party when my brain doesn't hurt anymore. ;)