Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mama Knows Best

I don't know how it happened but ever since I get married I have a greater appreciation for my Mom. I find myself wanting to call her more often and get her opinions and advice on everything. She is my go to person when I have any kind of issue I need to work out or solve. And thanks to my Mama, she has given me confidence once again on one particular issue.

In one of my classes our teacher gave us a list of his top ten tips for living on a teacher's salary. Most were pretty good tips that I agree with but some got me worried I wasn't cut out for the wife/mother part. They were things like, "learn to coupon," "cook everything from scratch," and my least favorite, "use cloth diapers." Not to say that any of those things are bad- but I cannot even bring myself to think about using cloth diapers. (Even if he said you would save $4,000 a year, call me high maintenance but that's not enough to compensate for the thousands of times I would throw up.)

I'm betting I'm not alone in this based on all the blogs and such I've seen about it. I guess here are my two cents.

I think maybe it's part of the LDS culture to picture the perfect wives and mothers who stay at home, have their children well-dressed, orderly, and clean and have a perfectly cooked (from scratch) meal waiting for their husbands when they get home from work. During their day they spend hours couponing, quilting, canning, and crafting. I guess when I got married I had this crazy idea that once you were a married woman all these handy skills would just naturally be bestowed upon you. Well, shockingly enough that didn't happen. I know, I know, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now.

I told my mom about these woes and here was her perfect response:

"Don't believe for a minute there is one cookie-cutter kind of wife. Make the decision NOW that you will be you. Period. If something appeals to you and makes sense, do it. If you only feel like you should do it because others do it and there is some silly comparison going on, LOSE IT FAST. That's the quickest, surest road to misery -- trying to be someone you are not just to fit in with a stereotype that others try to conform to. Honestly, make a promise to yourself right now that you will live up to your best, not someone else's. If cloth diapers and coupons aren't your thing, liberate yourself from that expectation and do what feels right for you. The minute you feel yourself trying to be the perfect wife, mother, etc. because of perceived standards set by others, you are headed for trouble. I could go on about this forever. Satan's greatest tool over women is to make us feel "less than" other women. When he succeeds at that, he saps all our power out of us. We start losing our strength trying to become someone we are not and then we are never happy with ourselves."

Can I get an AMEN? Comparison has and will always be one of Satan's greatest tools against us. Who cares that I don't know how to make my own jam or save $100 bucks with coupons every grocery visit. I have other great strengths that I have faith will be perfect for my own family. And for heaven's sake I've been married not even 3 months yet! I've got plenty of time to figure out what skills I think are important for my family and I have confidence that all isn't lost because I don't know how to make my own bread, yet.

I guess I should end this rant before I offend anyone because that was not my intention. I hope you blog readers get that I am seconding my mother and telling you that comparison is a terrible game to get involved in. I am far too guilty of it. If couponing excites you and saves you money and cloth diapers don't make you gag than more power to you!

My mom said it best and I second her plea and extend it to you, "I want you to be the trailblazing wife and mother just like you've been the trailblazing girl in every other way -- cutting your own path, sticking to your standards and doing what you know is right for YOU. Please don't start creating some ideal based on what others are telling you. WE support you no matter what but if you start reading and adhering to all those perfection blogs written by all the couponing, trying to be like everyone else women, I'll drop kick you into next week."