Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stepford Wives Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you just blend in with the crowd? That there isn't really anything unique about yourself? I had a discussion with a close friend lately about how now a days it seems like all the young moms know how to do EVERYTHING!! You know, as in; sing, dance, run, sew, photography, cook, clean, craft, well educated, perform open heart surgery, write a novel, paint, legally defend themselves in court, run for office, etc. etc. etc.!! Maybe one of the repercussions of so much communication and keeping in touch is that as Mom's and wives, we are able to compare ourselves to strangers and friends alike, in ways we never thought possible! Talents that might have stayed quietly in a home a few years ago are now displayed on etsy or on a craft/photography blog. I mean look at me I have a craft blog and a photography blog, I am one hot mess I tell ya what!!

It's tough not to wonder why we aren't able to do what other mom's do, to not compare ourselves against the "perfect" pictures painted. I think many of us blog for very similar reasons, of course to keep a journal for our family and turn it into a book right after we are done fixing dinner and folding the last of 18 loads of laundry. I also believe that we all need a little pat on the back, you know the kind that says "Keep truckin lady, hang in there, you are doing great!!". I know I have a need for that validation, don't you? I just want to know if I am at least headed in the right direction and not off some cliff. Is it vanity, maybe, but mostly I want support and knowing I am not alone in this life called, Good Gosh This Can Be Tough Sometimes!

It all starts from that place, and then it morphs into, Good Gosh, all These Mom's are so Much Better at This Than I am!! Is it no longer acceptable to admit we aren't good at EVERYTHING?? Do we have to be the "Jack of All Trades" or rather the "Julie of All Trades"??? I don't think it was supposed to end up that way, we are too hard on ourselves, we leave no room to mess up!

I for one love to meet people who know how to do things that I don't, so they can teach me some of their knowledge and maybe in return I can teach them something, even if it is just how to hang their toilet paper "correctly". I mean if you all knew some of the friends I have, oh wait, that's you, so you already know yourself. Just in case you have forgotten let me introduce you to yourself. Here are just some of the qualities and talents that YOU have (some might belong to someone else, but guess what? That's OK!)

*Home Maker
*Interior Decorator
*Jungle Gym (your kids have to have something to climb on)
*Clown (they also have to have something to make them laugh)

Now maybe you are thinking, "well I am only ONE of those things", but I am here to tell you that if you are just one, than it's OK, it's enough. If you are the clown that makes your children belly laugh, than be the best clown you can be, make those silly faces like no body's business! If you are the Baker, then bake those cupcakes and eat them too!! Maybe you are the Home Maker who sees little value in your ability to keep up on laundry, cleaning and keeping your kids bathed, well take note, that is NO SMALL TASK!! We don't have to be like all the other Mom's on the block, in the ward, or on the computer, just be YOU!!

Perhaps I am the worst at beating myself up for all the things I'm not, but Gosh Darn people at least I am the best at being the worst!! No, just kidding, I know that I punish myself for not being the "perfect" wife, the "doting" mother who never takes her child to school on the wrong day. Looking at my family and friends who run marathons, 1/2 marathons, triathlons, while 5 months pregnant I want to punch myself for only doing an Iron Man while in labor!! Where will the punishment stop? Do I have to climb Mt. Everest with 8 kids strapped to my back, while I plan the family reunion and then figure out how to get from the top to Soccer practice in less than 45 minutes?? Would I be happy then? Sadly, probably not.

So for once, here is to us (raising glass of sparkling cider), here is to all we do for our husbands, children, homes, churches, schools, jobs, the planet. Say no to the tendencies to line yourself up next to everyone else and point out all the bad, instead raise your right arm high above your head, bend it at the elbow and pat yourself on the back cause lady you are one fantastic piece of Heaven!!

I have decided right now to begin highlighting some amazing women. If you know someone who is unbelievable and they fail to give themselves credit then send me and email at and tell me about them, along with a picture, if you think I don't have one already (hey I have a lot of pictures) and I will highlight them on my blog!! Twice a month I will focus on these special friends, mothers, sisters, aunts, teachers just to give them the little pat that they deserve. I will start with perhaps the hardest person I can think of to start with!!

The something about myself that I like the most is my ability to make others laugh! I love laughter, it releases stress and sadness. I love a great smile, the kind that brings out the lines on your face and squints your eyes! I love to make people happy, if I could spend everyday for the rest of my life just making people laugh that would be alright with me! Love to you and can't wait to hear about the special women in your lives!!


Rachel B. said...

This was good Marylin. I often find myself amazed at how talented so many women are. And in all honesty, I don't really have any one big talent...but I'm actually okay with that. I once had a friend say, "It's okay Rachel. You'll find your niche." It totally made me laugh because I think people get caught up in trying to find ONE thing that defines them. Maybe it's bad of me to feel okay at just being mediocre at lots of things. I don't know. And I totally agree that blogging gives us such great validation, which I think is so great. Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Good post, it really made me think.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Love the last photo. It is perfect!

I decided a while ago to stop comaring myself to other women. Each time I did, I found myself depressed and negative...always looking at their strengths and my weaknesses. It was when I quit comparing myself to others that I got to know myself and became a confident woman. We are all different and all bring something unique to the table. Embrace individuality!

Millisa said...

YOU are one divine piece of Heaven M. what a beautiful and inspiring post. thank you!!!!!!

Hawley Family said...

AMEN Sister!! Seriously...I think every woman needs to hear this...DAILY! Ha ha. This is Stacie Hawley (Noorda) found my blog a couple of days stalking rocks! I do it all the time! fun to have you leave a comment. I'm glad you have a Noorda smile too...they are the best! Ha ha. Anyways...I'll have to keep checking have some really fun posts! And are amazing...your photog stuff and crafts! So fabulous!

Jessi McCall said...

My husband reminds me often to "know yourself, Jessi!" He means that I should be realistic, and take on only as much as I can handle, and not what everyone else is taking on. A little to others is often a LOT of stress to me. I'm glad my hubby gets that, because I'd be one big ball of stress if I constantly tried to keep up with the Jones'!

Jill said...

That is a beautiful idea, Marylin. I am always impressed by your willingness to jump in and DO!

I'm one of those women with limited talents that has to constantly fight off the urge to burry it in the ground instead of letting the Lord magnify and multiply it.

I look forward to seeing more great examples on your blog.

Liz - Jess said...

I SOOO needed this post!! I was just talking to Jess about this the other day. I often feel like I am just weak because I can't take on as much as the person next to me. I'm high strung and get stressed out thinking about all the things I'm NOT doing instead of being satisfied with everything I have been able to get done. It is TRULY a never ending feeling. BUT, if only for today, you have lifted my spirits and helped me realize that it's okay if I'm not doing it ALL like EVERYONE else so clearly APPEARS to be doing! So thank you!!! :-)

Gary and Michelle said...

Thank you for the reminder that sometimes we are enough. I believe we should always strive to be better. But then we must also take the time to be still and remember who we are.

John and Marissa said...

Still having issues with this!! I am so glad you talked about is sooooo true! Definitely feeling like the "Julie of all trades," master of NONE! As always, your light-hearted approach makes me smile...and reminds me that I'm ok. ;) Love ya!