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Wednesday

Competitive Mothers: "My child is better than yours..."

Sometimes when I am sitting amongst mothers I hear how some talk to one another. "Wow so your child is already learning that? Well my child is doing this...and this..." Someone else chimes in about their child and before long everyone is talking about what "my child" is doing. "Mine is in the gifted program...mine is taking Algebra already and he is only in the third grade...my child is an honors student...my child is a star athlete..." Can I just be frank, I really try to avoid this type of conversation. I mean my children are involved in quite a few things (and its only going to get worse the older they get,) but seriously, do I have to announce what they do to everyone often?

Moms like these are called, braggarts. For the purpose of this blog entry, let's define what a mom who is deemed a "braggart" means. According to Websters dictionary, a braggart (used as a noun) is "someone who boasts about achievements and possessions."

I think Facebook and other social media sites tend to attract boastful mothers. How easy it is to upload a photo of your child and all of his or her accomplishments for everyone to see? I guess there's nothing wrong with being "proud"--then again I will have to check on that one in the Bible, hmm. Maybe there is something wrong with boasting about one's child considering that what goes up will eventually come down at some point in life (we can only hope our children will rise back up again--look at us,) but I digress.

I think what is annoying is the way one talks about his or her child and how often the person does it. A periodic report, like checking in on a friend every now and then, about one's child, seems to be okay, but a daily even a weekly report--so I have learned from my own experience--not okay. Some people apparently connect online for adult conversation to escape from their children not necessarily talk about them. I guess braggarts didn't get the memo.

The haughty spirit of some moms tend to show up when people begin commenting on the photograph or announcement she has made about her child. Rather than mom sitting back and letting the comments roll, she has to say something. If a person chooses to step out the box of positive commenting and dare I say it, rebuke a mom about something she may have said about her children or did, the proud parent turns up his or her passionate speech, "Well my children don't do that...I do this with my children...I have family, a babysitter, and a counselor...my child is well-adjusted...I can't speak for other people's children because mine is....blah, blah, blah!" We get it.
Before long mom's message is made loud and clear, "My child is better than yours."

Nicholl McGuire

Saturday

Bedtime Blues

The children use to cry when they first awoke each day as babies. Then they would cry when it was time to go to bed too. Well in their toddler years, my boys are still crying before bed-time. I guess it is a good sign they had a fun-filled day and they just can't get enough. However, it isn't good for my ears or emotions!

A long day of instructions takes its toll being a stay-at-home parent. The partner does his part to try to alleviate the fussing during the evenings, but sometimes his efforts are no help. Bedtime preparation that should only take a few minutes ends up taking hours. Anyone out there know what I am talking about?

You look around and there is something on the floor, something on the bed, someone is hollering about a toy, and we still haven't got to the part where child takes bath, dries off, puts on PJs, and brushes teeth!

Yes, my friends, we are putting our time in as moms! One day, someone will walk by with their cute little people and we will say, "Ahhh" and they will say, "Would you like to take them home with you?" And we will say, "No, thank you. I put my time in already."

I can't wait for that time!

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

Guilt

So you promised your son or daughter something and you were unable to follow through. You may be the type of parent who runs out and buys your child anything he or she wants to make up for it. You may even rally up support from others to encourage you because you failed yet again to fulfill a promise. I'm sure you have learned from experience this behavior simply isn't good.

You see, the more we screw up as parents, the more we think we can replace our errors with things. However, as much as the child loves "the thing" he or she really wants you to mean what you say and say what you mean. Besides, what if you don't have the money to keep up with all your guilt feelings, then what? I could think of a few other feelings you might have: anger with child, resentment and blame. "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be out here in traffic buying your bratty butt another toy!" Well, if you didn't allow guilt feelings to overwhelm you in the first place, then you wouldn't be toting your tired child around in traffic trying to buy them yet another toy!

You can stop feelings of guilt before they start by:
  • Following through with your promise(s) or even better don't make any more promises you can't keep.
  • Avoid impulse gift-buying to hide feelings of guilt. Rather, plan something similar within your budget. For instance, if you missed taking them to the park, reschedule the park visit or choose an even better park--don't buy a toy to substitute an event. The child was anticipating the park visit, not a toy and he or she will only come back later and say, "So when are we going to the park?" now you are spending more money than you had planned.
  • Talk to your child about your mistake and ask for forgiveness (that's right even if they don't know what it means, you can teach them.)
  • Tell your child what you will be doing in the future to ensure that what you did won't happen again. For example, "I'm sorry I didn't take you to your friend's house like I had promised. Next time, I will let you go on a weekend; rather than telling you I will take you during the week when I know it will conflict with my schedule."
  • Communicate with your partner about your intentions before making any commitments to your child. This way your partner won't be telling the child things you may or may not be able to do for your son or daughter.
If you are a spiritual parent, remember to take a moment and go to your Maker in prayer FIRST when you mess up with your children and hopefully you will do better next time.

Nicholl

Saturday

The Year of the Woman circa 1992-1993

I was watching an old television episode from a show that use to come on the NBC network years ago after the Cosby show would come on entitled, A Different World. This particular episode dealt with the struggles women have had over the years living in "a man's world." You know, the double standards we have all had to face at one time or another when it comes to leadership roles, politics, intimate relationships, parenting, etc. But what I had come away with from watching this particular episode (which also had some funny moments related to the Clinton campaign back then, Ross Perot and other political issues) was the emphasis placed on independent, strong women.

Well, I for one, came out of what I would like to call "a 90s feminist movement." One that practically brainwashed young women to live our dreams, yet frowned on things like being a wife and mother until long after you have established your career or anything else you wanted out of life including: dating as many men as you want, traveling wherever you want (without children mind you,) obtaining as many degrees as you can, and anything else that was all about you!

Now fast forward to the thirty-something group of women today who had been indoctrinated by the year of the women 1990s campaigning and you have yourself a bunch of women who are experiencing the following: disappointed that their dreams didn't pan out as promised by relatives, friends, counselors and the like. You have another group of women who have post-poned marriage and family so long to the point that they are hoping and praying that their eggs won't be defective. Then there is another group of women who have families but deep down inside resent them, because all they did was set them back to the 1950s (their grandmother's and mother's eras.) Amongst all theses groups are women who have either just gave up the 90s independent women brainwashing and settled with being a wife and mom or figured out a way to balance many roles (including acting like the man of the house) but not without a lot of stress trying to be everything to everyone.

She is not only the woman in her relationship, but the man too. She is expected to work (she has no choice anymore on whether she wants to stay at home and raise the children.) She is expected to continue her duties (just like in the past) clean her household, cook, teach children, run errands (because many drive unlike yesteryear), and do anything else that is required of her while the man's role in many relationships hasn't changed much. Sure, he may pick up a dish or two and put it in the dishwasher. He might even run the vacuum or dust, but he isn't going to do chores as much as he will sit on his behind and watch TV! So what happens? The overworked career mom who is shuffling children around and maintaining household burns out! She realizes that she better lighten her load and fast otherwise her only peace will be six feet deep! So she makes up in her mind to relieve herself of some duties including an unappreciative spouse and whiny children. Be it right or wrong, that's what she does. The independent 90s woman is not conditioned to be a wife or mom. She is programmed to be one thing and one thing only--a money machine! She is to stimulate the economy by making money and then spending it on any and everything. If she is at home being a parent, she isn't making any money. If she is working a part-time job, she isn't spending as much. If she is tending to an ill relative, she isn't out working. The 90s independent woman was to cheer for career and boo wife and motherhood!

So why would I think back to the 90s? Because after seeing that front page story on Yahoo about the mother who decided to quit motherhood and work in Hiroshima and other mothers like her, I realized that the 90s programming has long been manifesting, but the women have suppressed their true desires and went along to believe the hype! She saw independent Barbie growing up. She saw the poster with the woman flexing a muscle and wearing a scarf on her head from the feminist movement. She liked the freedom that men have always had to be who they want to be--and she wanted it too!

By the time these 90 independent thinking women reached middle-age, they are burn-out with everything (career and family) and the only way to survive is to lighten the load! The careers with all their financial benefits don't get thrown overboard, because it wouldn't make sense to toss the thing out that is keeping a roof over your head and food in your belly. Rather, it's the man, the children, the in-laws, her parents and anything else that prevents her from continuing to be that independent 90s woman she was indoctrinated to be! So while some of my sisters could care less about God, country and family all the while believing that they were making their own choices in life, the media, government, college textbooks and other teaching tools was pushing us to become what they felt would be best for the economy not best mentally, spiritually or physically! The bottom line: the almighty dollar.

The 70s feminist movement hasn't left, the 90s independent woman thinking hasn't gone away, it keeps coming up year after year in television PROGRAMMING. It shows up on the front page of Yahoo. It comes out over the radio airwaves and we fall for it hook, line and sinker--we fall for it! We tell little girls especially when we have been jilted by men, "Go girl! Make that money! Don't depend on any man..." Some girls take our talks to the extreme and before long they are dating Paula and not Paul. We tell her, "Go play ball...you can do whatever a boy can do!" While ignoring her PMS issues, menstrual cycle, and overall femininity. We make a boy out of her! We cause debates with the opposite sex because we are spending far too much time concerning ourselves with every issue, but the ones that can better us as wives and mothers! Who cares about how great a sports athlete is? What about your son or daughter who has been calling you to come to see what they are doing? Who gives a d*mn about some sitcom on TV when your relationship is in trouble? But we argue don't we? Over the littlest of things. Because we are strong women, who have to make our point! Meanwhile, that man you say you love is fantasizing about a woman with a little less mouth and a whole lot of body! lol

As much as I consider myself an independent, strong woman (who took a hiatus from family sometime ago, you remember if you have been following this blog,) spiritually I had to come back. I had to strip myself from the 90s programming and come back to what matters at the end of the day, family. Money comes, and money goes, but your love for family always remains. Suppress your feelings all you want...Welcome home, sister!

Nicholl
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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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