Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Justification

In the last few months of my life I have really taken the time to sit back and think about, well, a lot of things. And why I chose those particular paths in life.

When I was in high school I had to justify why I did or didn't play a particular sport or get involved in a particular organization.  I also had to justify why I chose to hang out and assoicate with this person or that person.

When I went on to collage I found I had to justify why I chose the school I did, what my major and minor decisions were, and yet agian, who I chose to spend my time with. Along with that I had to justify my summer vaction plans, my winter vacation plans, and my part time work choices. All while taking upwards of 18 credit hours a semester.

Once I graduated and got married I had to yet again justify my work situation, the reason behind waiting to have children, my husband's profession decisions, and how my husband and I chose to handle our finances they way we did.

2 years later when pregnant with my first child I had to justify my reasoning behind a hospital birth, why I was going to bottlefeed instead of breastfeeding, and why I was most likely going to stay at home rather than return to work after my 6 weeks of recovery were up.

While in labor I felt I had to justify why I needed pain medication, why I chose to have an epidural, and my need to get some rest after 21 long and exhausting hours of labor.

Once he was born I again had to justify why I was feeding my son formula instead of breastmilk. I also had to justify my choice to fully vacinate my child, my choice to be a part time stay at home mom (even though my son went to work with me everyday), and why I chose to take preventitive measures to insure we wouldn't be having any more children anytime soon.

When I got pregnant with our daughter when our son was only 15 months old I had to justify why we would be having this baby, again my feeding preferences,my decision to use cloth diapers and my decision to become a full time stay at home mom.

Just 2 months before baby girl was born my husband made a drastic decision that has changed our lives. I had to justify why I was supporting his decision to go back to school, why I was ok with moving to a completely different state for this to happen, and that this would be what is best for our family.

All along the road I am finding myself feeling the need to justify my decisions to those around me. Why does it matter to anyone how I choose to feed my children? Are they happy and healthy? Yes, well then leave me alone. 

So you don't like this person or that person? Not my problem. If you can't be nice around them while around me then maybe we need to reevaluate our friendship.

I have a degree but I'm a stay at home mom. Absolutely, have you seen the cost of child care in this country? Me working wouldn't be worth it. You think I should be out in the work force? You gonna watch my children for free?  I didn't think so.

If I choose to go back into the work force it it really anyone's business? No, not really. Am I doing a disservice to my children? Most likely not. Because I know what my kids need and it might just be time away from mom.

The point is if you feel like you have to justify all the moves you make then maybe you should really take stalk in who you are confiding in. If you have to spell out all your accomplishments so that everyone can see it then maybe you are trying to convince yourself you have done everything you wanted to do and not those around you. Because if people really supported you they wouldn't care why you do the things you do. They would just want to know that you are making the best decision for yourself and your family without the need to interjecet their thoughts and feelings on the matter.

And I'm proud to say that in the last few months I have figured out how to surround myself with just those types of people. The ones that will be supportive and uplifting no matter what the decisions my husband and I make for our family. Just as long as we are all happy, healthy, and on the right path!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Good Wife??

Late last night a friend posted a link on Facebook to a blog about a 1950's  housekeeping monthly article on "How to be a Good Wife."  The author picked the article to pieces and explained in some very colorful words her distaste for the article.  The friend of mine that posted this also announced her distaste for the principles brought to light.  After seeing my friend's original post and strong view point on the subject I felt I had to see what she was talking about before I made a rash judgement.

So I read the blog.  Here are the 1950's suggestions:

 Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dust cloth over the tables.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place.


Now, don't get me wrong. I don't 100% agree with all of thses suggestions but I do have to sit back and think that maybe, just maybe if we as women were to try to regain some control of our house holds and instill some of these values then the world might be a better place.

For example: What would happen if we eliminated eating fast food in the car 5 out of 7 days a week rushing from this class to that practice and from this game to that recital?  What would happen if dinners were ready as soon as dad got home from work and the entire family sat down at the table to have a full conversation that didn't involve competeing with the sound level of the tv or the distraction of our smart phones or facebook?  Would things run a bit smoother in your house being able to discuss everyone's daily lives?  I know they would in my home.

Secondly, what is so wrong with doing away with the clutter? We in America have way to much stuff. Why on Earth do we need so much junk lying around the house? Is it really getting us anywhere?  No, I didn't think so.

The next item that I think is, well, a given is to be happy to see him.  The man is your husband for goodness sake. Shouldn't you be happy to see the man you have choosen to be your life partner walking though the door at the end of a long day? And even if its for no other reason than you can now know that there is an extra set of hands to help with the kids.

"Don't greet him with complaints and problems."  Ok, that one isn't as easy. But I have found that if I give Dusty just a few minutes to get in the house and get settled before I lay on him how long or horrible my day might have been he is usually more willing to help me through the problem. Even if it means he watches the kids while I go for a walk alone.  If he comes into the house to nothing but complaints the last thing he will want to do is help you out. I promise.

Htoes are the four that I find to be the most prominent. The ones that, if instilled into American families today, might just have an impact on the direction the country is going in.  But thats just my opinion.

One of the comments that I read on that particular blog post said that it seemed to her that the article was more like an ideal, or a guideline on how women during that time period should strive to be.  She stated that very few women actually managed to live up to everything on that list.  When I read that my mind immediately jumped to Proverbs.

Proverbs, this stong book with explaination after explaination of what a Godly, God fearing man is.  Then you come to the end of the book. Proverbs chapter 31. This chapter dedicated to what a Godly woman is. And everywoman would just love to skip over that chapter, because, well lets face it, no one can really live up to that.  I read that book and instead of feeling impowered I just feel more frustrated, with thoughts that I might be letting my family down because I just can't be all of those things. But then, I find out that, the guideline isn't really for me. Really, its a lesson for the men on what to look for. That if a woman has even a few of those wonderful qualities he would be lucky to have her as his wife. And that gives me encouragement. Because I know that with in that laundry list of talents written in Proverbs 31 I have at least one or two.  And that I have the atributes that I need to best suit my family. So, maybe this article in the 1950's magazine wasn't just a guideline for a woman on how to do her domestic duty, but it was also a check list for a man. To find a woman that will know how to be what she needs to be to her family.  Food for thought? I think so.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

If Only....

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." -Seneca


As I sat and watched the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics tonight I started to think about all the things that I have wanted to do but was just to scared to try. Or thought that I wasn't good enough.  It kinda made me sad

I know that softball and baseball are no longer Olympic events (which is a huge shame if you ask me) but softball is my sport of choice. It always has been. Well, that and basketball but I was never tall enough to be a decent baskeball player.  Anyway, my dad tried to convince me to try out to be a walk on for the softball team at the college I went to but I was always just to afraid that I wouldn't be good enough so I never did.  I made up excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't try out. Now that I look back I really wish I would have tried.  I did get to play a season of church league softball but that wasn't really ever enough. So now I wonder if I would have tried harder and put myself out there could I have been more in the way of sports? Could I have made it to the US National Team? Or would I have fallen flat on my face?  Unfortunately, those are questions I will never get answered.

Now that I have kids I find myself sitting and dreaming of the days that I will be the one running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting them from one place to another.  Thinking about baseball and football practices for Collin, or dance classes and gymnastic practices for RaeLynn (not that she can't play sports if she wants to). I try to keep these thoughts as much to myself as I can because I really don't want to turn into that pushy parent that is basically living vicarously though her kids. I want them to do what they want to do in the relm of exrta-cirricular activites. I will be perfectly happy if neither one of my kids ever play any type of sport, but I don't want them to regret not trying either.

I guess the biggest thing is that I find myself asking how do you find the right balance? The balance between pushing them to do their best versus trying to turn your dreams into theirs. I guess I'm lucky that both of them are really to young for this to be an issue yet. I just hope that I will be able to really find that balance between supportive and encourgaing parent and super psychotic slave driving coach type.  But time will really tell.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A New Begining

I have memeories of being a small child but I don't have many. Mostly, I remember from about 3rd grade on. Thats when we moved to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. A small town in the mountians. I mean really small. There were about 200 kids in the entire school district. Thats K-12. Like I said, small. But we liked it that way. Everyone knew everyone else. It was the classic case of "it takes a village" Everyone was like family in one way or another.

So there I was for 10 years of my life. 3rd grade until I graduated. Friendships were made, friendships were lost, life went on as usual. And then I graduated from high school. While most  of my graduating class of 48 students went on to University of New Mexico or New Mexico State University I went a different direction. I choose the College of the Southwest (now known as the Universtiy of the Southwest), in Hobbs, New Mexico. Well, I went to a branch school in Carlsbad first, then on to Hobbs. It was there that I met my best friend, my husband, and many other people that would inpact my life and be a part of it even today. College for 4 years, then my first home with my husband for 4 more.

A total 18 years + 8 more that are basically unaccounted for. Thats 26 years of familar New Mexico life. A life close to my family who I am really attached to. And its about to all change. I'm moving to Texas.

Ok, so I know your thinking, Texas, thats like right next to New Mexico right? Well, ya it is but still its like 10 hours away from my family which is something I'm having to come to grips with. And its HUMID. I mean like, need a shower the minute you step out the front door, humid. At least it is to me. I'm so used to this dry heat. But I guess I will survive.

Why the move? Well, my wonderful husband is going back to school. He is going to be getting his master's degree. I'm so increadably proud of him for taking this step. I just know that he will be much happier about things once this journey starts. A Master of Divinty. Which is basically just training to go into the ministry again. Yep, again. We tried it once with no training and guidance and well, we will just say it didn't work out so well. So we are going to try it again. This time with some proper training under the belt.

So, here I go. On to new beginings. I'm hoping that with this new journey I will also be able to become a new me. I am working on the outter me as well as the inner. I have started with daily exercising and watching what I eat. Calorie counting has always worked for me so thats what I'm doing.  As soon as we get moved completely and I get setteled I plan to start the couch to 5K program. I want to train myself up to run a 5k, and eventually I would like to work up to at least a half marathon if not a full one. 

As for the inner me, well, I haven't exactally figured out that one yet. I know I need to look into a new Bible study. One that I can really get into. I have several that I have started and gotten part way through then fizzle out on. But I know I will find one that works for me eventually.

I am also working on being a better, more engaged parent to my 2 beautiful children. Collin and RaeLynn are the light of my life and I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. Collin is just so smart. I look forward to having the oppertunity to take him to bigger and better places where he can continue to learn and grow.  And I just know that RaeLynn is going to be the same way. She is already so smart at 2 months old already holding her head up and she is constantly alert.

Lastly, I'm working on my relationships. My relationship with my husband as well as the one's with my friends. I am working on becoming a better wife. A more attentive wife. I know Dusty will say that I do just fine but I don't always feel that way. And I need friends. I mean, I have friends, but I need people I know I can talk to. I'm looking into MOPS groups in the area but I'm just not sure if I will be able to make myself go. That, I guess, is just a bridge I will have go cross when I get there.

So those are my goals for my new begining. Wish me luck!