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Thursday, March 03, 2005 

Super Mom

So…I’m self conscious. I admit it. I’ve always been self conscious. I wish I had a magical answer as to why that is. But I don’t. The irony of it all is that I think I had more confidence and was more self assured when I was in High School than at any other time of my life. Up until recently, it was imperative to me that I at least looked like I had it all together, even if on the inside that wasn’t the case. So far this week, each person has taken self conscious and applied it to their lives. I agree with each of them. Every one of us is self conscious about something. Some of us are more self conscious than others. Some of us use our self consciousness to push us to do better.

My daughter, Paige, is seven and in Second grade. From the time she started pre-school I have always felt inferior to the “stay-at-home-moms.” Back then, I wished so badly that I was like them. I wish that my world revolved around my children and that I could set up play dates and spend insane amounts of time on these CRAZY projects that the kids didn’t even care about. (This was the mom’s way of showing off to all the other moms on how fabulous they were. They were just DARING some other mom to top them.) I played (or tried to play) that game up until Paige was in 1st grade. I tried to keep up. I ran myself ragged and probably looked like a moron because I just couldn’t keep up. I was so self conscious about being the “Bad Mom” and wanting to be the “Model Mom” that I took on too much and just made myself crazy.

All of a sudden something clicked. My self conscious tendencies made me feel inferior to these other moms. I LET MYSELF BE SUCKED INTO THE MADNESS. I let myself care what they thought. I allowed myself to worry about whether they thought I was a bad mom or not. When it finally clicked what I was doing, I felt like such an idiot! I worried so much about what these other mothers thought, that I didn’t even stop to think about the one thing in that equation that depicts what kind of mother I am: PAIGE. She is an extremely intelligent child. She’s a sweet and loving little girl. Her teachers have ALL completely adored her because she is so helpful and listens and does what she’s told. She is a G.A.T.E student and always performs above her level. AND I WAS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT THESE HIGH MAINTENANCE, OVER-THE-TOP MOTHERS THOUGHT ABOUT ME!!

As you can see, sometimes we take self conscious a bit too far. Sometimes we let the littlest things get under our skin and we worry, or pass judgment, or just plain drive ourselves insane trying to “compete with the Jones’.” Pushing yourself to do better because of the example that someone else has set is far different then comparing yourself to that person and thinking you’re inferior. You have to be okay in your own skin and make the decision to do better. It can’t work the other way around. I know that I am going to try and not be so self conscious…but I am going to try and be more self aware.

It may be just me, but I see a difference.

Wow JP, what an excellent example.

In the last few years I have come to the decision that it is silly to be too concerned with what others think of me because the plain and simple fact is they probably don’t think about me at all. They are probably all too busy thinking about what everyone thinks about them to have time to think about me or anyone else for that matter…

We are all too self involved in so many different ways. It is good to realize when we are being self involved and to be able to step back and really focus on what is important in our lives.

I like the mom-angle here. This is something I worry about for my future in motherhood.

I will NOT be one of those crazy project mommies... I just couldn't do it.

I think you're one of the best mom's I know... and I'm not saying that because your kids look so much like me... I'm saying it because it's true.

I think it's interesting how for you mommiehood was such a big self-consciousness thing. That's how I feel about writing. When I walk into a bookstore or my creative writing class all I can think are, "How is there room enough for my words? How am I any better at this then they are?" I think it's just a matter of pushing forward, and finding the room for you wherever that may be.

I understand this example very well. The pressure to perform well in our chosen profession (motherhood) comes with all the competitiveness (and self-conciousness) that surround other professions. We all want to be the best, or at least not the worst!

Here's my current problem: The apparent trend (I don't know if it is only where I happen to live) is to get your kids involved in many, many activities: sports (soccer is a MUST), dance, "kindermusic", swim lessons, piano lessons, karate lessons... it just goes on and on. We haven't gotten into any of it, and sometimes it makes me feel self-concious as a mom. I know it doesn't make me less of a mom, but is there something these parents know that I don't?

"but is there somethinng these parents know that I don't?"

nah! you've just had the good sense to opt out.

It takes guts, but stand firm. The only person you have to answer to is Heavenly Father. I've just said to myself - "I'll do what I think is right and answer to Him - he knows my heart" and just let it all go.

My kids are all grown now and they're not Paige's! They had their problems and I had my fair share of mud thrown my way because I wasn't the stay at home mom (well I was until the youngest turned 9), then worked some, and how some in the Ward tried to turn the screw citing working moms as the cause of all teenage rebellion. One of my kids came back, the others haven't yet - but though they're 'inactive' in the church, they're 'active' in the gospel - they're great kids and have great values. As my husband says 'the rest is a bonus'

For the concerned mom...especially JP & Suzie and others who feel a pressure to be a super mom and enroll their kids in EVERYTHING...Listen to this Diane Rehm show...I'm not even a mom, and it TOTALLY changed how I thought good pareting should be like...

http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/05/02/04.php

Carrie Ann- I'm so glad you mentioned this NPR show. I listened to it when it was on a few weeks ago, but it was great to sit and listen again. It was a "lightbulb moment" (thanks Oprah) for me on what direction I will take with my kids. It's SO good (and such a relief) to hear this different and refreshing perspective. love it.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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