Friday, November 16, 2007

This blog..

There is something that you all must understand about this blog. This blog may be public on the internet, but it is ultimately your choice whether or not to read it and beyond that it's your choice to take what I say and use it, take what I say and dump it in your little trash bin in your mind, or take what I say and get angry about it, misinterpret it, or use your insecurities about it to attack me. I leave those choices to you, as adults.

One thing you must understand is that as my blog, these opinions are my own. They are not directed at one person in particular, I have never said "(name) is a bad mother in my opinion because they do A, B, C" My statements are generalized and pertain to what I feel are problems in the greater "us". I ALWAYS include myself in that US as well as you will see me say, many times over that WE are failing our own.

Now, when you take what I write and comment, email, instant message or otherwise you take YOUR opinions on things and bring them to me on a personal level. When YOU make it personal in that way you then must expect that I will direct my response toward YOU. It's only fair. I adore comments. I have always been a big fan of debate and I love to learn. My opinions on things have been known many times over to evolve and occasionally come right out and change when new information is presented to me. However, when you DO make it personal by direct contact you MUST be willing to then be mature enough to accept my direct comments to YOU in return. You have the choice to take it to that next level or not.

This blog is an extension of my home. Ask yourself, if we were face to face and you came into my home and I had something written on a peice of paper, in open view on my kitchen table, would you comment on it? Maybe you would, and that would be your right since I left it in plain view for all to see. And maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing. But I would expect that you would use discretion, that you would allow me the opportunity to respond to what you say to me, and that we would have a conversation about it. Yet many of you cannot do the same here.

I've been accused of being a martyr, a hypocrit, a narcassist, etc. Those things don't bother me. I understand they are written out of anger and hurt at something that you feel was directed at you and some of us are more articulate than others and do not need to do nasty things, or even say nasty things in order to get our point across. All I ask is that when you take what I say and interpret it (usually incorrectly at least somewhat) and then bring your interpretation to me I WILL defend my position. It seems people often think that if they just email me, or comment about how the world is unfair to them then I will say "ok YOU are the exception".

I got an email yesterday from someone who I didn't even know read this blog. Someone who I will likely know and have frequent contact with for the rest of my life. The email was written in a mature, articulate way and my response was as such as well. We both made clear our position and realized that although we live differently, we THINK a lot alike. There are no hard feelings and nothing to dispute, argue, or work out to save our relationship. I only wish more of my readers could be so mature.

Please remember. What is written here isn't written for your benefit. It's for mine. This blog IS sometimes a place for me to share bits about my family and friends and home and life, but often its a place for me to let out some of the stuff crowding my brain, stuff that I worry about immensly so that I can sleep at night. Usually the words fly off my fingertips faster than I can think them.

I will never censor my feelings and thoughts meant for this blog to be politically correct or so some crybaby in the corner who isn't happy with their current life isn't reminded of that fact. If you are unhappy CHANGE IT. In almost EVERY nasty email or comment I get, I can find the same words "I WISH X were possible for me, but it's not so I Y" and in the next breath they tell me they are happy with their decisions. If you wish X were true and settle for Y then you aren't happy, no matter how hard to try to convince me (or yourself?) you are. If you aren't happy, CHANGE IT.

People usually also assume one of 2 things about me. That because we have 6 kids we are dirt poor and I send the kids out dumpster diving for beans while I sit and watch soaps or the opposite, that we somehow have more than they do and that's how we live on one income. Neither is true. I dont' know how many emails I've gotten that have said "Kat, you just TRY living on what we do or what we would on $XXXX" and I have to laugh because the number is generally around the same, if not more than we live on. It's really not about how much or how little you have, it's about choices. You almost always have a choice. If your rent/mortgage is $1200 a month, find a cheaper house. If that's not possible in your area..... MOVE! If your car payment is $900 a month sell it and buy something cheaper! If your grocery bill is $700 a month shop at Aldi, clip coupons (or print em online!), ask local butchers about deals, they generally sell meat that the animal owner didn't want for a LOT less than you'd pay at the grocery. GET CREATIVE. Sure, some of these things aren't easy, ideal, or even pleasant to think about or to undertake. But you have to prioritize, you have to ask yourself what is more important to YOU, and whatever that is make it happen. Stop living in this "pity me" mentality and take control of your life, even if it means making the hard decisions.

A couple people brought up to me yesterday the question "What about people who choose to work for their own sanity?" I happen to have known one of these people. When she was a stay at home mom she was constantly frazzled, stressed, and yelling. When she went back to work the time with her kids was more calm, collected, and productive. Did work fix that for her? Probably not. Being away from the kids for a little bit of time probably did. We all need breaks. However there is a fine line between taking a break and using a job as an excuse to get away from it all. If you are using your job to hide from your kids a job isn't what you need, some support and maybe even a psychiatrist might be in order.

There are also the people who really DO need to work. I will never, and would never discount them or what they do. Single parents definitely need to work. People who have no health insurance if not through their employer definitely need to work (lest they start using the ER as a clinic and racking up bills they can't pay). I'm sure there are more groups that I'd stick in this category but I need to move on or I'll lose my train of thought lol

There is also the issue of feminism and traditional values. I'm all for women being seen as equal to men and definitely beleive they should make as much as men for doing the same work. However I think in our fight for equal rights, superior rights, what-have-you we have taken something away from ourselves. We have taken away our right, when looking at each other, to do what we were biologically created to do which is to bear and nurture children. Of course, in the eyes of the laws etc we still have the "right" to do this, but as a group of women we do not. We do not allow each other to do this, as we have the added pressure now of being just as good as men in the workforce and earning the same, if not MORE money than them. If someone is staying home with their children, they are holding back the greater group... they are stuck in traditional ways and not doing their part.

I am a traditional beleiver. I beleive primarily that men are biologically engineered to hunt/gather, and women are to birth/nurture. It's how we are built on a cellular level. Can a man be a stay at home dad? SURE! Can he be a wonderful stay at home dad? DEFINITELY! FAthers have come a long way from the men in the 50's who didn't hold a baby til they were 2 lest the break them, who never changed a diaper.... ok most men, but anyway I think as we have drifted more into what was traditionally "man territory" they have, maybe by default drifted into what was traditionally ours as well. It's not all a bad thing ;) And if a father is willing to stay home and parent his children while his wife earns the money than I say WTG DAD! However this is still traditionally and biologically the mothers role and for ME and MINE it's what we incorporate into our home.

One thing I do beleive in that contradicts traditional living is that I beleive every woman should have some marketable skill. Do you have to work to get/maintain them? Nope! Take a couple online classes every year, volunteer at your kids' school, move up the ranks in the PTO, help organize things in your community. Your resume can be filled with a lot more than employers. I haven't worked much but I have been told by employers that my resume is exceptional, both because of the volunteer things I do and because I took a class on writing resumes online once hehe I really beleive this is important as we don't know what will happen tomorrow and we need to be prepared to financially support the children we bring into this world alone if the need arises.

Another thing people assume is that my husband is "forced to work long, hard, extra hours" to put food on our table because I don't work. Does my husband work long, hard, extra hours? Sure. Ask anyone what summer is like around here and they will tell you. But if we didn't have 6 kids he'd STILL HAVE TO DO IT because it's the career he chose. The tourists don't come to gawk at our 6 children, they wouldn't care if we had 2, they come to eat and drink. That's what they do and someone has to cook for them. My husband chose his career 17 years ago, before any of our children were even dreamt up. He worked long hard hours then too. That's what his job asks of him and it's not a career he's "stuck" in because we have 6 children, it's the career he chose based on what he likes to do.

Probably the biggest obstacle for people is want vs. need. My local freecycle is a prime example of people misunderstanding the 2 terms. Posts such as "Needed desperately! Swingset!" or "Needed: car that has less than 100k miles on it" These things aren't NEEDS, yet people consider them as such and are seemingly unable to survive another day without them. Sit down for a minute and take inventory of your TRUE needs in life. The list is very short.

Then there is that gray area of things we don't NEED to survive but that make us somewhat normal in todays society and allow us greater productivity. Things such as cars, internet, telephone.

Then of course you move on to wants. Anything that doesn't sustain your life is essentially a want. Your job in life is to figure out the balance between how many wants you wish to aquire in life and how much you plan to enjoy them and the people around you. We all do that. For me, enjoying the people around me trumps most things I think I want.

Nate needs to eat so CIAO!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just because people get defensive when you say things that pertain to them does NOT mean they are insecure.....some people are just different than you.