Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Raising Princesses

Sometimes I get caught up in pink. I have two girls who love pink. Two girls who want to grow up to be real life princesses…or mommies…both of which seem to hold an equal amount of appeal and glamor for them. I have two girls, who are the epitome of girly girls.

Now, let’s be honest. I revel in the fact that my girls have naturally gravitated towards femininity because they are growing up during a time in history where femininity is something that is underrepresented and undervalued. In fact, I have noticed a trend towards encouraging girls to be the opposite of the quintessential girly girl by removing pink from their wardrobe choices, giving them unisex names and encouraging them to wrestle with boy rather than play dolls with girls.

If that is the girl’s choice, that is ok. Not all girls are created equal. Some naturally gravitate towards tom-boy and some towards tutus.

For my part, I am not afraid to have girls whose pursuit of happiness includes ruffles and sparkles. I am comfortable with girls who want to glue glitter on every craft they make. I delight in my girls’ femininity and I want them to delight in it too.

But…I don’t want them to rely on it to define them. If I ever have a tom-boy girl, I wouldn’t want her to rely on those aspects of her personality to define her either.

I want my girls to be defined by their relationship with the King. The way they live their lives and let Christ shine through them should ultimately define who they are. I want my girls to know that they are not princesses because they wear sparkly shoes or shiny lip gloss or pink toe nail polish. They are princesses when they show compassion to those who need a kind word or touch. They are truly beautiful when they show grace when it is not shown to them. By showing Christ’s love, they can be real princesses of the Kingdom of Heaven.

And there is no amount of glitter that can replace that.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Dichotomy of the Working Mom vs. the Stay-at-home Mom

Now, I have a confession to make. I am a working mom masquerading as a stay-at-home mom or quite possibly vice versa. It is kind of hard to tell. My entire life as a mother has been spent crossing the boundaries of those two worlds.

Something recently came to my attention. There are people in my life who only see me as one sided. But I see myself as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) and a working mom.

I do the things that my SAHM friends do. Like my SAHM friends, I bake, clean, decorate, cook, can, craft, etc. and most importantly feel like I am actively involved in my children’s lives. I also do the things working/moms-getting-degrees do too, such as attend school, hold a part-time job and complete externships.

But the kicker is I do not plan on working full time and I don’t plan on staying at home full time. Therefore, I do not fit squarely into either camp of mothers. However, this does make me perfectly positioned to feel the tension coming from both sides of the working vs. staying at home dichotomy.

It has often struck me that mothers tend to take a rigid view of the lifestyle they have chosen for themselves and their families (fathers do this too). Maybe it has struck me because I know I struggle with it all the time! It is easy to critique someone’s life choices if they are different from your own.

Please note: I am not saying there are not absolutes. Obviously there are many things that fall under the category of “poor or bad or horrible parenting” and those things are valid concerns whether you work or stay at home. The cause for concern I am discussing here is that there are mothers tearing down mothers over life choices that we have Biblical freedom to make.

Mothering is a difficult calling and it should not be made more difficult by those who share that same calling.

The important thing is to respect mothers from both sides of the fence and mothers who straddle those fences. Mothers who love their children share a common denominator. They want what is best for their children. Although we may not always see eye to eye on parenting techniques or what to feed our children or whether or not to work, we share a huge equalizing factor. We love our kids. Christian mothers share even a larger denominator. We are sisters in Christ as well as mothers who love their children.

This is an important thing to consider: “Is this mother nurturing her children and is she caring for her family in the best way she can taking into account all her circumstances?” If you can honestly say yes, can you say she is a bad mother? You can say the choices she made for her family may not be the same ones that you would make for your family, but you should not say she is not mothering her children.

The key to breaking this cycle is to start befriending mothers who have made different choices about working than you and to recognize that their choice has validity too.

Take the time to encourage a mother who is not inside your fence. She might really need it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where I begin to blog again

Obviously my intention to write a blog was good, but my follow-through was poor. Here is a shout out to my sister Alyssa who has been hounding me about writing on this beautiful blog page she designed.

Seriously, if you need to spice up your blog, send me a note and I will give you Alyssa’s contact information. She has a degree in graphic design which is pretty spiffy.

So here is my second attempt at blogging. It looks like my first attempt was in March 2010. Hmmm, it doesn’t seem legit to say you blog if you only write a post every year and one half. Good thing I don’t call myself a blogger.


To avoid an extremely long sabbatical between this post and my next post, I have written several posts just waiting to be published. Coming soon is a post about the dichotomy of the working mom versus the stay-at-home mom.

You should be on the edge of your seats.

There are a lot of changes coming to our family in the near future and this is the perfect space to record it all. Join me for the ride.

You won’t regret it.

Or maybe you will.

In any case, I think it will be fun to start writing…again.