STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!

Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel like screaming it at the top of your lungs? Maybe not at anyone in particular, but just at the world?

mom screaming

I am not perfect and neither are you

In today’s society, people, especially women (but not limited to) feel such extreme pressure to perform, to be perfect.

It begins when we are young, with our parents, pushing us to do well (there is a fine line between encouraging and pushing). And then our teachers, who compare us to Johnny or Susie. And we got older, our peers started pressuring us. To wear the right clothes, to say the right things, to act a certain way.

When we prepared to graduate and begin our adult life, we were pressured to go to the “right” school to prepare for the best career, the most popular career of the year, whatever that may have been. We felt the pressure from the generation before us who paved the way for women to climb the corporate ladder. “Of course you want a career!”

And once we were in that career, we felt the pressure to conform to the standards of the profession and the office, whatever they may have been. I know of a young mom of 6 who worked one long week a month to help support her family. She was chided because she brought her lunch from home, was pressured into donating money for presents for every single birthday that came around, and alienated if she didn’t want to participate in their snarky office chatter. All this from the women who hated their jobs, complained they had no money and couldn’t seem to lose any weight, yet going out to eat burgers and fries and pizza every day.

Educating or overwhelming?

I had the pleasure of participating in an expo this past weekend for pregnant and new mothers. It was an awesome expo with great information. Yet to me, I felt that same pressure, the same expectations.

The poor young ladies were bombarded with the need to:

bank their baby’s cord blood, have a mold made of their pregnant belly, learn and teach their baby sign language, take childbirth hypnotherapy classes, wear a support girdle so as not to have stretch marks, to buy frozen organic baby food if they didn’t have time to make it themselves, find a live-in nanny, get on the waiting list NOW for the daycare/preschool you want because you want the VERY best. The list goes on and on.

And not that there is anything inherently wrong with any of these things. It was just the underlying pressure that to be a good parent, one needs to do these things. I talked with several moms and encouraged them to do what felt right for them and their pregnancy and thier baby, to trust their instincts.

Raising wonderkids

And the pressure just increases as our kids get older. We feel that society judges us by how well our kids perform. Even though no one would ever admit that they do judge people that way, it is a subconscious thing in our 21st century society. And then we take that pressure on ourselves, and internalize it. We feel the need to do ALL those things that prove we ARE a good parent. Our kids went to not only a good school, but the BEST school. Our kids wear the name brand clothes, we don’t want them to feel social stigma from their peers. They play the popular sports, because that is what everyone does.

Poor kids are being signed up for activities younger and younger, and then we wonder why they are showing out and throwing themselves in the floor. They don’t want to go to karate or art or soccer, they just want to swing on the swings and have you push them!

Does Superwoman live at your house?

And when it comes to the subject of our households? We women get very defensive and apologetic. We are so worried that someone will drop by, because our dishes aren’t done and the beds aren’t made. We feel, deep down inside, that someone would judge us by how we keep house. (Just so you know, it is 11 am, I have not had a shower and last night’s dishes are in the sink).

Even in the blogging community, there is an underlying pressure. Most of us wouldn’t admit to our mommy failures or our domestic disasters. We still like to put on the happy face and pretend that we are a “perfect mommy” whatever that is, and hope that no one knows any different.

Now, obviously I am painting a picture with a wide brush here. There are a lot of great blogs who do their best not to come across this way. They are great at admitting they are not perfect. And not all women have internalized this pressure, they have learned to tell everyone else where to go and they are marching to their own beat! And I think this is just awesome. I think it is great that we can admit our humanity, that we are flawed, but not in a bad way. We are who we are, and that is okay.

A few of my perfectly imperfect friends

I’d like to share just a few of my favorite not-so-perfect blogs that I have found! If you are tired of reading about superwoman, go visit some of these!

I’m a Lazy Mom -she’s just real and honest, love it

Aiming Low- Perfectly Mediocre LOVE THIS!

Resonance - my friend Jenna, who is dealing with a tough period of her life!

Una Vita Bella – my friend Amy, who is dealing with mental and physical health issues

 Things I can’t say – my anonymous friend Shell, who has an awesome weekly meme- Pour Your Heart Out

And then there is Gigi from Kludgy Mom. What is a kludgy mom? Go find out and I am sure you will have something in common with her!

Krystyn has a great post about her balancing act of getting dinner on the table with 2 kids under foot.

One of my good friends, Hollee Temple, co-authored a book called Good Enough is the New Perfect. Their blog is called The New Perfect! Awesome book!

And my friend Vivi, whom I have never met, lol! We think we must be living parallel lives. I love how she can make me laugh and then make me cry! Read this story called Can We Talk? and you won’t feel too bad about your day, I promise!

As for me, I know I am not perfect and I gave up quite a while ago. If you want to know more about me, you can always read my About me page!

Oh, and if you need a little humor injected into your day, here are a few of my favorites! (I just realized both my funny ladies are named Lynn!)

Lynn from For Love or Funny is a romance writer and writes this awesome blog as well!

Lynn from All Fooked Up  has a dream to be a comedy talk show host. She is awesomely funny and a little on the edgy side, but I LOVE HER!

So, my readers, what do you think about the pressure in our society to conform? Have you tried to conform, whether conciously or subconciously?

Or have you said “To heck with it, I am who I am, so STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!”

This post is linked up with my friend Shell’s Things I can’t say- Pour Your heart out Wednesday

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19 comments to STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!

  • I’ve had to let somethings go- or I’d lose it. No supermom here!

    Thanks for the shoutout!
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out- Doing It AllMy Profile

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  • Thanks so much for the rec. I really appreciate it!!
    Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) recently posted..In which porcupines masturbateMy Profile

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  • Thanks for posting these. Frankly, I don’t like reading the “perfect” blogs. I want to see the faults and the flaws, to reassure myself that I’m not the only one out there messing up.
    kelly garriott waite recently posted..Fair or FoulMy Profile

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  • Thank you for the shout out! I appreciate this post! I was just writing a guest post for someone about blogging with an open heart and how you shouldn’t feel like you have to project the perfect image of a mom because frankly, no one wants to read that! :)

    The raising wonderkids thing is something I struggle with so much. There is so much pressure in our neighborhood for kids to be and do X Y and Z and my kids don’t want to…I try not to worry but I do!!!
    gigi recently posted..What Twitter Is Good ForMy Profile

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  • Thanks for the shout out! No super mom here! I’ll be the first to point out my flaws and when I go wrong. I think in the segment on Fox News, I even said something about trying to keep up with the moms and all of the pressure of doing everything. It’s crazy.

    And, to be honest, when I read only about rainbows and unicorns, I don’t buy it!
    Krystyn recently posted..The decision has been madeMy Profile

    [Reply]

  • This is a great post! It’s true there are so many pressures throughout life. You painted an accurate picture of these pressures and the fact that many people won’t admit to them. I appreciate people who can be real about who they are and the fact that we’re not perfect!

    [Reply]

  • Rule #1..Never let anyone tell you what to do
    Rule #2..I am the author of my life..no person, place or thing has any power over me.
    Rule #4..Trust your own inner wisdom.
    Rule #5..You are the only thinker in your mind.
    Rule #6..Take back your power.

    [Reply]

  • Awesome! Just awesome. I’ve never been one to conform. I am who I am. I have probably lost a few friends over it (one I know of quit being friends with me because I didn’t homeschool. Oh brother.), but oh well. Life is just too short to worry about what other people think. As long as I’m doing things the way God wants me to do them, I’m good with it.
    Shelly W. recently posted..31 Days Closer to Your Kids- Include Them in DecisionsMy Profile

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  • Hi Bernice. Absolutely bang up post! Thank you, thank you! I could not agree more about how we are pressured… if we allow it into our lives.

    I am an imperfect mom on the quest of ultimate perfection… ha ha… or at least I was.

    Now, I just do my thing.

    Regarding my kids, they have one activity each. They can swap them if they want to do another instead, but I tell them it is entirely up to them. I have explained I want them to swing on the swings (just as you said), bounce on the trampoline, have play dates with bikes, skateboards and scooters. I want them to run on the beach with their friends and the dog.

    I have many mom friends who have their kids in every conceivable activity know the man. The kids are worn out. They can never just have a regular playdate with their friends and hang out eating an ice cream. (did you know ice cream isn’t healthy???) (sarcasm..)

    Re Pregnancy classes. pffft… nope! they weren’t for me. I just did my thing, I was sensible, and just lived and enjoyed. (I do with I had frozen their umbilical cords though… but hey… we survived so far… and back 8 years ago, it wasn’t all that)

    I could almost write a blog post on your blog post, or at least sharing my day… which… would take about four hours.

    Lovely to meet you.

    I am starting… or have started a “mom” blog too…in addition to my personal one, ha ha, haven’t posted to it yet properly :-), the header and the about pages sure have been looking great for a few weeks though! I guess I’ve been too busy being imperfect and loving it.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Jayne
    Jayne Kopp recently posted..Online Business Reasons for FailureMy Profile

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  • Great Blog. We all realize the limitations to being supermom and it is so important for our children not to feel the pressure of being “super kids.” You would probably enjoy our blog from Monday May 9 called “What the F***”.

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  • Imperfect mom here! And I think you covered it all. I definitely get caught up in trying to conform at times. And it usually ends up with me saying, “To hell with it,” and going my own way.

    And as far as parenting goes, when my daughter was a baby, I used to try to read every parenting article, study, and book thrown my way. Now that she’s a toddler, I don’t read any of that stuff anymore. I’ve learned that parenting is 75% winging it and 25% learning from your mistakes.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..The Trouble With BabiesMy Profile

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  • Well, I fit right in because there is no perfection going on around my place! I am really excited to travel to the blogs you suggested! Thanks for the list! :)
    Paula@Simply Sandwich recently posted..The Little NestMy Profile

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  • Do you ever feel like screaming, hands on hips, "STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO! You are not alone ~ http://ow.ly/5Jv84

    [Reply]

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