Stay At Home Mom Dynamic

You always hear about how stay at home moms do nothing but lay on the couch all day or how being a stay at home mom is the hardest job or how working moms do everything a stay at home mom does and more.

Being a stay at home mom for 4.5 years now I have to say that I agree with every one of those statements . . . to a certain extent. Want to know why? Because every mom (whether they work inside the home, outside the home, or both) is different and has a different dynamic!

I have a friend who is a working mom but she is blessed with the ability to bring her son to work with her every day. Her husband is a firefighter on a department that works 48 hour shifts (and if you know a firefighter you know that when they are not on shift they are always busy working side projects) so she has her son most of the time. So in her case, she works outside of the home but still has the responsibility of primary care of her son and home like a stay at home mom.

I am a stay at home mom with three little ones at home full time but also work from home doing photography and spend a lot of time editing and advertising. I also handle all of the household things like cleaning and bills and laundry and caring for the kids and chauffeuring them on my own since my husband works a second job on his days off from the fire dept and is gone 90+ hours a week.

Another friend of mine is a stay at home mom with one in school and one at home. Her husband’s job is a normal M-F job so he shares in much of the household chores and chauffeuring.

Another friend has two young children but works a very demanding job and her husband has to travel for work so her little ones are in daycare during the day.

Another has split custody with her ex husband so her daughter spends time between her house, her ex’s house, and daycare.

I could go on and on but the point is . . .

Are any of us better moms than the other? NO! We are all hard working, loving, dedicated moms handling our own mommy dynamic the best we can! Comparing us to each other would be crazy because we all have different lives and responsibilities! So every one of those statements, while true to a certain extent at certain times, is false because no two moms are alike!

God Works In Mysterious Ways

I was browsing through my Facebook the other night while working on my photography blog and I saw that a friend of mine, who recently lost her husband in the war, had posted a video. I stopped and watched it and was in tears half way through. When I saw that the video was produced by Billy Graham I just smiled. I grew up with Billy Graham on my TV and always thought he was an amazing and admirable man of God. Even knowing that, this video just blew me away.

I am a Christian but not always a very good one. I want to read my Bible every day but rarely do, sometimes my nighttime prayers are sleepy and repetitive and I fall asleep before I finish them, I think and talk bad about people, I hold grudges and do spiteful things, I want to be heavily involved in my church  but can’t even make it to Sunday service more than 5 times a year. I guess you can say that I know and love my God but my dedication and follow through are a bit lacking.

Sitting in Easter service this past weekend really had me thinking about the fact that if we could manage to get to church that day on time and with a smooth morning we could probably do it almost every weekend. Our church offers a Saturday evening service as well so there is really no excuse short of being sick or out of town all weekend. The feeling of ending the last week and starting the new week in church is something that I have missed tremendously. Nothing can renew your spirit and get you ready to take on a new week like church can.

This video took those thoughts and drove them home. Our God is a great and wonderful and powerful God and did the unthinkable for us. I need to do what it takes to devote my life to him and his purpose for me and to show my children what it looks like to serve God faithfully.

God is who makes my imperfections perfect and who allows me to know that it is okay to be me and not a perfect wife, mother, or Christian. God loves the perfectly imperfect me unconditionally.

 

Babydolls Are Not For Brainwashing!

I am not one to publicly rant very often but I read an article tonight that really got to me. The article was about the super bowl commercial for GoldieBlox. The company and the toys seem really great and I would totally buy them for my girls as well as for my little boy. What made me angry was a specific paragraph in the article – “She’s filling a need so many parents have for toys that encourage girls to think. Girls are taught to be nurturing, to be mommy, to be a homemaker or to be the sexy girlfriend. They’re sold pastels and pink, this girlie cliche of what it means to be female. It’s either hyper-sexual dolls like Monster High or Bratz or toy brooms and irons. It’s a form of subtle but inescapable brainwashing.”

First of all, girls have never been limited to “the pink isle” at the store. My girls have always had their own tools, cars, balls and blocks.

Second of all, the GoldieBlox toys are pastel and pink!!

Third of all being a nurturing mommy or a homemaker does not amount to not thinking. As a stay at home mom this part irritated me more than anything. Running a home and raising children requires a vast amount of thinking and knowledge as well as hard work. Also encouraging and teaching a girl how to be a nurturing mother and how to run a house is vital to her future as a successful adult whether she chooses a career outside of the home or not. It is not brainwashing her against thinking for herself.

I can honestly say that despite the toy isle’s separation of toys preferred by boys and toys preferred by girls, my daughters both play princesses, mommies, pirates, doctors, police officers, fire fighters, race car drivers, etc on a daily basis right along with running around “fixing” things with their tools and breast feeding their baby dolls. Pink toys have yet to brain wash them.

Where Are Their Parents?

I am convinced that parents are a thing of the past.

Parenting is hard. It is a non-stop 24/7 job that involves physical, emotional, and mental work. If done correctly, parenting does not stop on date nights, while your at work, while your kids are at school, when your ex has them for the weekend, or while you are busy on social media, video games, or even reading a book. A parent, whether on duty or on call, is always a parent. It is a parent’s job to take care of their child from conception on. Good parenting involves making sure that all basic needs are met (food, drinks, cleanliness etc) but also that emotional and social needs are met. It is the parent who is responsible for their child feeling loved and knowing how to love. It is the parent who is responsible for their child knowing right from wrong, knowing how to treat and interact with others, how to behave and present themselves to others, how to participate and pull their weight in our society.

Whatever the reason, (laziness, a single mom stretched too thin, the love of money, death of a parent, split parents with a lack of communication, addictions etc) involved parenting has become a rarity. This leaves children to raise themselves in a horrible culture of women who don’t respect themselves, glamorized violence, disrespect for others, vulgar language etc. When this is all they see it becomes all they know. It becomes who they are.

I live about 30 miles from Duncan, Oklahoma which is where the Australian baseball player, Christopher Lane, was killed by “bored teenagers.” There are vines and tweets and photos popping up everywhere of these kids expressing hate and showing off guns and money prior to the murder. Where were their parents? The father of the 15 yr old made the statement that he knew where his son was 95% of the time. I have a hard time believing that. I also have a hard time believing that he did not know how his son is or how his son thinks or what his son was capable of. It is the parent’s job to know their child, to correct their child’s bad behavior, and to mold their child into the man or woman they need to be.

Another very obvious case of parenting gone wrong is the biggest topic in social media right now, Miley Cyrus. My husband I don’t usually watch the VMAs but we DVRed it this time so that I could watch the NSYNC reunion. As we were fast forwarding through the program we stopped here and there to watch parts of various perfomances. Miley’s was beyond awful and once again I found myself asking “Where are her parents?!?” Yes, I understand that she is 20 years old and can do as she pleases. However, this kind of behavior and lack of self respect does not develop over night. It is a parent’s job to instill lasting moral values in their child to protect them from today’s corrupted culture. I also want to state again that parenting never stops! I am 27, married, and have three children of my own but if I were to even consider behaving in that manner both of my parents, as well as my step mom and in-laws would be in parent mode in a heart beat.

I also have to say that I am utterly disgusted with our television networks these days. MTV’s target audience is age 12-34 and this is what they show. Is this what we want our children growing up to? What we want them thinking is normal? I won’t even get into Kanye thinking he is Jesus. That is another post entirely. Right now my children are still young and I am able to keep my TVs on Disney Jr but as they get older these are the things I will have to battle. But who are the television networks to worry about the future of our country’s youth as long as they are getting their money right now?