You are not defined by the baggage you carry

While I was laying in bed trying to sleep, I kept struggling back and forth down in the depths of myself. That feeling of being stuck on the fence being pulled from one side to the other, ever have that feeling? I would fall asleep and the battle was so intense that it would wake me up.

One side of the fence is the excitement and anticipation of our new adventure. On the other side, the sadness of feeling detached and all alone when it comes to family. I talked about my family heirlooms in the last blog post and how gathering up those heirlooms has brought those feelings of saddness. The feeling of being an orphan with no family, gathering all you have in a box and walking forward to try to find happiness.

Since my first blog post, I have been taking some time to evaluate who I am. What I would need to feel like a person with an identity beyond my husband and children. I’ve spent a little time thinking about things that I would like to do, places that I have found joy and trying to recall those events that made me who I am at the core. Floating in the abyss of possibilities, hopes and dreams. It doesn’t take long for some of the baggage in my life to jump in and bring me back down to my feet.

The dead of night, when all is quiet in the house, grants way more time for self-examination than many of us want at times. I know it’s cost me more sleep than I can meassure. Laying in bed letting that baggage get so heavy that it begins to be the only scene you have replaying in your mind. When you realize whats happening, you try to snap yourself out of it and force yourself to go back to thinking on whats to come. The battle ends up raging and sleep becomes impossible.

We walk around everyday with this baggage. Some of us become so used to carrying it that we forget just how heavy it is to haul through life. Wait! Is it not our choice as to wither or not we carry that baggage? No, not everyone has the same amount of baggage. Some of us have bags apon bags, and some of us have a tote on wheels that we drag behind us. No matter how many bags you have, they all become to heavy to carry at some point. Ever try to hold a bag over your head for a steady amount of time? It doesn’t take long before your arms to begin to burn.

Do we have to carry those bags? Just how important is that baggage? I can say with honesty that not every bag I carry is at the fault of someone else. Not all my decisions in life have been good ones, and several of them caused me needless baggage. I can remember those bad decisions and use the lessons I learned through them to make better choices, but do I have to carry them with me all the time? Does our baggage make us who we are?

I don’t live in a cleche, and I am sure you don’t either. So yes, my baggage is important to remember where I have been and many of them help guide me. However I have the ability to choose how involved I let that baggage become. It may be part of the building blocks that make me who I am today at my core, but they do not define me. My baggage does not define me!

I sit here at the table battling within myself, while my husband is snoring, my children are fast asleep and the dogs chase rabbits and tennis balls in their dreams. Just how do I make those dark thoughts and memories become less powerful? Nothing is ever as simple as it sounds.

I recently gave some advice that rings true in my head at this very moment. “There comes a time in your life where you have to make a decision. Which is more important, you, or the things/people you let in that are keeping you from being happy, from living. It’s not my decision to make, it’s your life. You’re the one that has to wake up and breathe with it every morning”. Isn’t it a beautiful thing when you give someone a bit of wisdom that rings true within yourself? Life changing choices are never easy, and they never come to completion over night. Realizations however can happen in an instant.

The dysfunction of my extended family, their lack of love and compassion, doesn’t have to control my family. The damage those things leave doesn’t have to keep destroying everything I touch. I can not change the way people see my family and I but I can decide to not allow their misguided assumptions become my reality.

Our lives do not stop while we are looking into the past, but while we are looking back, life can pass us by. I refuse to let the joys to come pass me by because I am to busy looking behind me at all the things that have gone wrong in my life or reliving the damage done by those who never cared about my future to begin with.

It’s time to heal. It’s time to live. It’s time to stop letting my baggage define who I am.

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A home isn’t the walls, it’s the people.

It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. Today is our official last day here in this house. For almost ten years we have lived in this place. Our daughter had her first birthday party and her first staples here. Our youngest son was conceived and took his first everything here. My oldest son learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels and how to shoot his first bow here. My middle son learned to ride his bicycle and how to climb trees here. It is the only home my children have known.

All this week we have been finalizing this move and transition. We leave out tomorrow morning. The hardest thing for me has not been battling the fear of risk, change or even leaving this place. I am so ready to leave this house that has become like a prison for us all and this town that represents a life of non existence. The stress of down sizing has had its moments of stress, but, over all its more freeing than I thought it would be when it comes to the reality that you don’t need 80% of the crap you accumulate in life.  Granted the stress of dealing with other people when selling your things has really been a frustration but still not the hardest thing for me to deal with so far.

The hardest thing for me so far has been gathering up the family heirlooms. This has been something that has hit me harder than anything I ever expected. My whole life there has only been a few select people who really mattered or even who made a huge impact on my life. It’s not like I am abandoning a leave it to beaver family. My extended “family” has more dysfunction than a Jerry Springer show. Being estranged from your parents, not by your own choice, becomes a normal, you continue to live. It wasn’t really that big of a blow to me because we were never close in the first place or who ever really saw you for the person you truly are.

The heirlooms come from my grandparents and my uncle who have already passed on. I never thought it would be an issue to gather it up and send it off for safe keeping because there isn’t very much of it. I was lucky to get what I have, but in the end the pictures, my grandpa’s hat and my grandma’s glider rocker was the only things I really wanted when it was all said. They all symbolize the best memories I have, and honestly some of the only good memories I have.

I can see my grandpa wearing his plaid fedora with his fancy clothes, all dressed up ready to go out to dinner. I can even close my eyes and smell his aftershave. I can look at my grandma’s rocker and see her rocking every one of my children when they were babies, just gushing over how much she loved them. I can hear the stories she would tell while she gracefully rocked back and forth. It causes an involuntary smile to appear on my face. I can go through the small plastic box of old photos and almost remember every moment captured in those still frames. I can close my eyes and it plays like a moving in my head.

Many people have a family home they can go to and feel safe, comfortable and at peace in. To know that no matter what, they could always reach out and those loved ones would be there to help you if you were in trouble. I don’t have that. There is no place I can go and melt into the couch and feel like a kid again. There is no place where I can walk in the door and see all the evidence of my childhood or a place filled with people who you know love you unconditionally. No place like that exists for me, these heirlooms are all I have.

When you sit down at the kitchen table and all that makes you who you are at the core basics of your soul, can fit on 1/4 of the table (excluding the rocker of course), it’s overwhelming. Call it over reaction. Call it hormonal. Call it being to sentimental. Whatever you call it doesn’t matter, even if you’re right about any or all of them, the power is still there.

You can say, and it wouldn’t be a lie, that I could take that feeling of happiness anywhere I go because the collection is so small. Sure I could.  I honestly can’t bring myself to make a decision just yet as to how much of it I take or if I leave it all with my husbands parents for safe keeping. My husband has nothing of this for memories. He didn’t have the grandparents like I had and his memories with other extended family are in his head with nothing physical that holds them. So know that I hold these things dear because I know how precious they are and how much they will mean for my kids in the future.

If you don’t think these types of things are important, just try going through pictures of your kids through out the years and see if there isn’t a smile on your face and a giggle on your breath before you can blink. Just try to look through them without picturing those very moments in your head. Can you keep your self from being flooded with warm fuzzy feelings of love, happiness and wishes of being able to relive them?

We are on a mission to create a different story for our kids and ourselves. We are determined to change the course that we have been forced to take in this society. Goal is to small of a word for how strongly we feel about this adventure and the necessity of it. We even battled with the fuel pump going dead on the suv yesterday. We didn’t let it crash our train, it slowed it down for a while, but it didn’t make the train stop moving.

In a few hours I will begin to pack up the camper and prepare it for its transformation into a home. The final answer so to speak to the question just how much goes will come today. I will either have judged it right, or I will have to reconfigure the baggage that comes along with my crew.

My daily dose of reality: I realized tonight that I have to do the same with myself. It’s time to reconfigure the baggage I carry with me everyday. It’s time for me to let the bad go and carry nothing but the good.

One of the best lessons I can teach my children at this point is that a home isn’t the walls that contain the people, but the people contained insided of the walls.

 

Sheriff deputies and mad parents

Who’s raising this new generation????? Looking at the generation of 18-25, makes me have no hope what so ever in our future leaders!!! Really when was the last time you saw one of these young adults and thought Now there goes a future president?

It was midnight last night when my youngest child comes in our room scared that someone was outside the house. The blinking lights, loud noise and screaming woke him up. My husband grabs his pistol and goes to look outside. What we find ends up with two angry parents and three sheriffs deputies.

Across the road from our front yard we find about 10 4 wheel drive vehicles that are loaded to the gills with kids 18-25 years old. When I say loaded, think, Ringling brothers circus and clown cars. The obsticle is that the top of the dirt road is now thick with mud, considering it has rained for the last 3 days, and that it’s steep like the edge of a ditch. The headlights of these 4 wheel drive vehicles are constantly flashing through the windows of our house each time these intellectually challenged young people try to drive up the hill to reach the highway.

With every attempt to scale the incline at the top of the dirt road,  the motors of these trucks sound like they will bust a head gasket, headlights glare and in the dark, scattered among the woods, erupt screaming and curse words. Did I mention it’s midnight?

My husband and I walked down to the edge of the road to express our disapproval of all the commotion and to ask for these people to have some respect for those of us who have children, or the crazy people who are asleep at midnight on a friday night. We aren’t met with “Yes ma’am, Yes sir, I apologize”, instead we are met with “FUCK YOU” from the dark.

Now of course this didn’t ease the anger in my husband nor I, it did however make it rise. One vehicle makes the steep incline and gets out on the road only for the headlights to reveal a huge mess of thick wet mud all over the highway. This flew all over me like a duck on a june bug. I have personally seen the hazard things like this can cause for unsuspecting drivers. I have seen more than my fair share of crashes in my emergency medical experience in the past. This was all it took for me to walk to the house and call the sherif.

While I am on the phone explaining why I needed a deputy down here, these kids are continuing to wake the dead with their loud diesel trucks, screaming, hollering and now cursing at my husband who’s standing in our front yard in his underwear and a work shirt. This was a bad combination.

My husband loves his sleep and has little tolerance for stupid people and has absolutely zero tolerance for rude and disrespectful young people. I informed the dispatch of what was happening and that I couldn’t make any promises as to how this turned out.

I quickly got off the phone and while I headed back down to my husband, I saw about 5 of these little punks converging on him like a pack of Hyena’s. I walked as fast as I could, not out of concern for my husband but for these young boys. They would have absolutely zero chance if my husband got his huge hands on them. This has now been going on for an hour.

When I reach the hedges at the edge of the road, I am met with a parent of one of these kids. Any thoughts at this point that now the problem would now be solved, is completely wasted.  She also happens to be a neighbor two houses down. I guess she was in a coma for the last hour. She of course gives the prescribed excuses for their behavior and insists that she’s just as angry as we are. I admit I told her quite firmly how much bullshit I thought that was. She assures us that she is taking care of the situation, which consisted of her arguing with them about how they aren’t supposed to be down there, how they need to leave and she finally resorts to telling them they have to leave unless they want to talk to the sherriff. She was seriously throwing out some heavy consequences for their actions, huh?

She had absolutely no control over these kids. Her attempts were about as effective as trying to catch a lepercon at the end of a rainbow. Still they are trying to get out onto the highway, still screaming, yelling curse words and hitting the max of their rpms when they finally reach the road. I was sure to let her know just how great of a job she was doing at taking “care” of the situation.

Even though all this made me madder than a wet hornet, the road was my main concern. See out here in the country where we live we have tanker trucks that fly down this highway so fast that they ride with their jake breaks on, just in case they meet another vehicle in one of the sharp curves. We have already had two tanker trucks wreck on this road spilling all their fuel forcing evacuations of homes and contamination of wells. So naturally I see this huge patch of mud and all I can picture is a potential for a giant mess or possibly worse, a fatal accident. I explained this serious problem to the parent and the pack of brain dead hyena’s, but not to our surprise they could care less.

Here’s a little fun factoid for you: In our state it is a misdemeanor to leave mud on a state maintained highway BECAUSE it is hazardous for unsuspecting drivers.

After it’s all done, the trucks are gone, the sherif hands the lady a fine and the flashing lights are no more, it’s quiet again. I of course am still hopping mad and that’s when it hits me. This is our future presidents, senators, congressman, governors, mayors, police etc. If we are depending on that generation to have a clue as to how to walk and chew gum at the same time, we are all doomed!

Now when I was this age I did plenty of stupid things. I got into more than my fair share of trouble and yes broke more laws than I can count. However, I would have never done anything like what these young people did. Granted if I had my father would have beaten the ever-living dog crap out of me, but that’s not the only reason why I wouldn’t have been so disrespectful and irresponsible.

I was taught to have respect for people. I was taught to be responsible for my own actions and to pay the consequences for those actions. I even paid one of those fines for leaving mud on the road when I was a teenager and cleaned it up too. Of course the mud I left was only a drop in the bucket to what was and still is covering the road in front of my house,  and it was in the middle of the afternoon, but the point still stands.

Just what is wrong with these parents? Do they honestly think that these kids will learn on their own how to be pillars in their communities? Hell, I would settle for just functioning adults. Parenting today seems to be more about friendships than molding men and women for the future.

It makes even more sense now as to why people look at my husband and I like we have drool dripping from our chins when we discipline our children. This also would explain why when ever we go out into public, every elderly person within ear shot of our children, make a point to come up to us and tell us just how well mannered our children are.

I used to wonder if it was really so rare for them to see such things. Was it really a once in a blue moon thing for four children under 15 to open doors for others, follow instructions from their parents, quietly eat their supper and cause no disruptions in public. I answer you now and say YES IT IS!

If I am concerned with who our future leaders will be and I am 40, the elderly people of today must be terrified.

Reach out and Touch someone

Have you ever tried to take everything you own and break it down to what you absolutely need? Have you ever downsized more than just spring cleaning? At first it was some what freeing of an idea, however, now, not so much!

Trying to keep your stress levels down is almost impossible. The problem isn’t breaking everything down and deciding if this thing or that thing is important, needed or if we have room for it. The problem is dealing with other people and their inability to use their brains.

It was news to me that folks would look at you like you have three heads if you’re not willing to offer a lay away plan for a kitchen appliance that you are selling for $20. It amazes me sometimes as to how some people walk down the sidewalk and  don’t suffocate because they forget to breathe! I already knew that people in today’s society are dumbed down significantly, however, they never cease to amaze me at how content they are with the lobotomy society has given them.

I have learned there are three types of people you deal with when selling things on the local sites like facebook marketplace, craigslist, letgo, etc.

  1. The Buyers: These are the actual buyers. They know they want the item. They know how much they would pay if the item was bought new and they understand a good price. They do not jerk you around and get down to business right off the bat. Dealing with these people make it easy! Bing, Bang, and Sold.
  2. The Window shoppers: These are the people who will ask you a million questions and have no intentions of purchasing anything. They want half a million pictures and descriptions. Sometimes they even ask for a video of the object you’re selling. They want to haggle on price and then at the end when you finally ask :”When do you want to pick it up/meet up?” they tell you “Oh nevermind I am not interested”.
  3. The counterfeits: These people can appear to be like 1 or 2 but you wont find out they are counterfeit until they burn you in the end. These are folks who claim they want to buy what you are selling, ask questions, set up a pick up/meet time, and NEVER  show up. These people make me want to reach out and touch someone.

There can be other examples of folks but I have found these are your three most common. I mean tell me how hard it is to see a posting, decide if it’s a good price and then decide if you want to buy it or not. Since when did this become a task that needed instruction or a certain level of IQ?

Now I could tell you that we are all in a state of bliss, that everything is moving along like magic and we are all skipping through our yard with a soundtrack of show tunes playing in the background but it would be a lie.

Several times in the last few days I will admit there were moments I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide until it was all over. I have battled through fear like no other in the last couple of days. I am struggling to keep my stress levels from becoming overwhelming. I have moments of break through and have to remind myself that it’s just the beginning and there is peace coming.

I have to keep reminding myself that our living will start to begin in a week and that all this stress is just the final gauntlet of living a life in a hamster wheel. I know it in my head, heart and spirit, however it’s making my emotions remember this fact that is hard. This morning my stress levels were so high I was fighting back the urge to vomit. It makes it 100x’s harder when we are doing this with absolutely no help at all from family or friends.

Most people when they move have some kind of help, all of the earth knows we have helped more than our share for others. However when it comes to us…..it’s just my husband and I toting this task, while he’s working his notice. That mole hill begins to grow and grow as the days get closer.

No matter how stressed or frustrated we are in the next week, still, we will push through. We will fight through that fear of “Will we be ok?” that wells up in your head. We will struggle through transitioning from a “normal” life to one of adventure, alone with our children.

It would be a lie if I told you that I didn’t expect others to understand and be supportive of our decision to take this journey. Who wouldn’t want those that they care about to be happy and supportive of anything they do?

So I get a heaping swig of my own daily dose of reality and that is simply, no one but my husband has ever understood or supported my decisions or journeys in life. So the joke is on me!

Why does a blogger, blog?

Being new to this whole world of blogging for less than a week I have come across some interesting thoughts and discoveries. I have read blog posts that once you get done reading them you ask yourself “What did I just read?”, and then there are those where you wonder if they intended on their blog post to read like an instruction manual. However once in a while you find one of those gems where someone has poured out their heart on the computer screen. It is unfortunate that those diamonds in the rough are usually the ones with the least amount of traffic.

When I started my blog I did so with some specific reasons.

  1. I wanted to see if I could actually write again after giving it up so many years ago.
  2. I wanted to see if anyone at all would find any interest in what I had to say.
  3. I wanted to be able to document what was about to change in my life for my own purposes and with hopes that it may touch someone else in this world.

I have read comments from those who have their own critique of someone else’s words. I ask myself are they giving constructive criticism or are they trying to control what the blogger writes? In my opinion I think there is a difference between writing whats in your soul and just writing to write. One has substance and the other is just existence. I do welcome those who have some insight as to what I might could do to better convey in words what I feel but I do not welcome those who wish to conform me to the “norm” of the bloggin community.

Here’s your dose of reality from the Black Sheep Mom!

You can not censor someones heart and spirit. It’s truly one of those things that is powerful like water, that can’t be held back by man. You may try to hold back the force of true raw passion, but it will always creep its way through the cracks it creates. This type of writing is an Art!

I have NO interest what so ever in becoming one of the “normal” bloggers. I am not a “normal” person! The purpose of making such drastic changes in my life is to get out of that “norm” which we call the hamster wheel. If you come here to read some prescribed bullshit, then keep scrolling. If you are looking to read something that is real and comes straight from the depths of someones spirit and details their real life, then I got you!

The purpose of blogs in reality is to have the freedom to write whatever you please and put it out for the world to read. Bloggers begin to blog to reach out to a certain group of people who identify with them. They write to touch the lives of others. They write to feel that they have left a mark somewhere in this world that is permanent.

So your daily dose of reality is STOP censoring people! Imagine a world where people can be raw, honest, real and passionate about what they say and write. Imagine being able to read something that shots right through your soul and leaves you saying “Man that’s right on! It’s like they were reading my mind.” or even better where people say “I read this blog post and it changed my life.”

Those pivotal moments in life don’t happen through censorship.

So blog freely my fellow bloggers and JUST SAY NO TO CENSORSHIP!

Our first step out of the hamster wheel life

In my first blog post ever,  Living in a Hamster Wheel, I offered for you to follow us in our journey out of the wheel and for you to enjoy the adventures with us. Over the weekend, I got the email that finalized it all, I can now let you in on the secret of the journey. We needed that final “good to go” to continue.

So what are we about to jump head first into? Drum roll please…….

We are going into the Appalachia Mountains and will be camp hosts for the camping season which ends Oct. 31st. For the next five months we will be living in a camper out in nature and it’s abundance of beauty in a National Forest Campground.

We have lived in this county, in this state and in this house for nine years. We do not own the house, so the fact that we don’t have to deal with the hassle of selling a home, is a great plus. For the last two weeks I have been preparing to downsize everything we have collected in our nine years here, and to equip us for living in  a camper. It’s amazing at what you accumulate in life that you truly don’t need.

If you are at this point asking your screen “Why in the world would you do that?”, I strongly point you to the link above. It will explain in-depth as to the reason we chose to do this. I know it’s long, but it just might help you!

Our time frame to leave is short and that works wonderfully for us. It makes the transition from stick built house to camper quick so the anticipation doesn’t choke us. Yes we are just that excited about this new adventure! For the last two weeks we have all been in this, we can’t believe it’s true, type daze. My children have ordered a few new books on a couple specific things/areas they want to learn about, my husband has been doing some maintenance and work on our SUV, and I have started to sell some of the big things we will not need. We have all been gearing up with excitement like a kid at christmas.

Camping isn’t a new thing for us, we try to go at least once a year. Lately in the last few years we have only been twice. We prefer primitive disperse camping with tents in national forest areas. So, this whole thing is right up our alley. Our favorite place to go and camp will actually be about 45 minutes away. How can you beat that, right?

Now let’s cover just what a camping host is and how it crossed our paths. My husband and I had been making our own plans as to how to get out of the hamster wheel. We were already planning on moving so that wasn’t as drastic of a change as it seems. We even planned on moving to the area we will be camp hosting, so that was not a surprise. We had entertained the idea of my husband taking at least a couple of days off to spend with the kids and I or perhaps a week or two. My husband has been working six days a week for almost a year and we miss him terribly.

With the idea of a mini vacation, I called up to the rangers station to make sure I was aware of any time limits in the particular area we wanted to camp. I already knew that most places have a 14 day limit but I was hoping that considering where we liked to camp was so remote, perhaps there wasn’t a time limit. It’s not a campground, it has no electric hook up, no water (other than the creek), no toilets and it is a good 5-10 miles off a paved rd.

The ranger let me know that even though it was remote, there was a limit of 14 days. I began to ask if they had any scenarios where that could be waived, say for example,  if we wanted to camp for the summer there or if we wanted to stay the month there. She informed me that, no, it was the policy that you could only stay 14 days and then would have to vacate the camping area. That is when the magic words came. She said “Now if you were a camp host, then it would be different”. My response was “Oh ok, Well I….Wait, what’s a camp host”?

It was the first time I had ever heard the term. She then told me I would have to speak to someone else who was in charge of that and he wasn’t in the office due to being out tending to a fire. I thanked her nicely for the information and told her I would call back when he was free. No sooner than I hung up the phone I had google open and burning up the internet trying to see what I could find on the term camp host. What I found excited me so much that I quickly called my husband at work.

To my amazement there are positions all over the United States at various campgrounds in National Forests, State parks, Wildlife Reserves and some private campgrounds called camp hosts. A camp host is an individual/couple or family who agrees to spend a certain amount of time at the campground to be the host. The host has different duties depending on the location. In general the camp host is there to help other campers when they check in/check out, make sure the campsites are free of trash, perhaps minor cleaning, make sure no campfires get out of hand, take money, answer questions, etc.

Basically you are the eyes and ears of the national forest service and are there to protect the beauty of the campground. Some places, like where we are going, has a cleaning service that comes in to clean the bathrooms but at some campgrounds you can be asked to clean them.  You do small things like keep the bathroom stocked with toilet paper and paper towels, let the local ranger know if there are any problems like busted water pipes. In return for you being the host you are supplied with your site and your hookups for free. Some places you have to volunteer and some places actually pay you a wage for being a camp host. It can vary depending on location and their budgets.

The specifics of what they require and anything additional to your site and hookups that are provided are different from area to area. Some places have more duties that they ask you to do and others have less. It just all depends on what services they are in need of for the season and if they have more than one camp host on duty. Some places have a season and then they shut down for the winter and other places who are open year round.

For us the thought that we could pack it all up and travel a bit was something that was from out of a movie. Neither my husband or I had been to more than a few states other than the one we lived in. The idea of taking the kids to see the grand canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the Rockies and maybe even the Redwood forest, it truly was something we couldn’t pass up.

So we plan to do the season for Appalachia and if it’s something we enjoy as much as we believe, then we will continue on to other places we want to show the children. So monday morning my husband walked into work and gave his notice. For this family, the journey has already begun! Be sure to check in for most updated posts to follow our journey.

Count down to hitting the road

T-minus: Two weeks

 

Why I don’t get excited about Mother’s Day.

Another year and another mothers day. I am sure that this year will be no different from last year. Every year I get those looks of disbelief when I respond to the questions of “What did your family do for you on mother’s day?”. My response is always, “Nothing, why?”. You would think I just told them I eat the ears off babies.

Oh no! You mean you don’t get excited about mother’s day???? How dare you!

No I do not get excited about mother’s day. No I do not expect my husband to get me a present or even to tell me happy mothers day. I don’t get mad when my children forget because I purposely don’t remind them.

Why, you ask? Let me start by saying that I’m not your typical girly girl type of woman. I do not like to shop, I hate shoes, I avoid anything that’s commercialized and biggest of all, I despise being told what to do! If I had my way about money, we would never have to use it ever again in our society. That’s a unicorn dream that I don’t put any weight in. So, moving on.

Ok, you asked, so here goes.

I do not expect my husband to buy me something for mother’s day because I AM NOT HIS MOTHER. Isn’t the purpose of this hallmark holiday for the children to honor their mother and thank them for the things they do.? If this is the purpose of the holiday, then why would I expect my husband to buy me something. I do not mother him, I did not give birth to him and I did not raise him. So yes, he’s off the hook as they say. And no, being the mother of his children isn’t the same thing. Of course I want to be appreciated for being the mother of his children but we decided to have those children together. I would much rather to be appreciated everyday by my husband and children honestly, then to have some fake gratitude just because it’s a holiday. Besides, I am a mother everyday not just one day of the year.

The reason I don’t remind my children isn’t complicated either. My children are too young to understand what honor and appreciation really truly means. That’s an understanding that only comes with real life experiences. And shall I point out that true honor and appreciation doesn’t just happen one day of the year either. In addition to that, there is also the point that my children didn’t ask to be born. We chose that. I don’t expect them to thank me for giving birth to them.

Right now in my children’s life my job is to keep them safe, teach them, form them into good men and women. That is my obligation, my responsibility. I do not expect to get a cookie for something I am supposed to do. I do not reward my children for doing their chores and no being a mother isn’t a chore but it is my responsibility, just the same way their chores are their responsibility. We teach our children that you are rewarded for doing something above and beyond your responsibilities and obligations. We do not practice that “everyone gets a trophy” mentality.

In our house you are expected to fulfill your responsibilities no matter what and without expectation of getting something special in return. Out in the world that is reality. No one buys my husband flowers or bakes him a cake for providing for his family, it’s his responsibility. No different than the fact that no one throws me a party for cooking supper, it’s my responsibiliy. We believe that fulfilling your responsibilities without expectations creates integrity in a man and a woman.

I am a parent that not only teaches by what they say but also by what they do. So if I expect my children to learn a lesson, then the lesson also applies to me. I would be a pretty big hypocrite if I expected my children to give me a cookie for simply fulfilling my responsibility as their mother but in the same step expect them to fulfill their responsibilities without getting that same cookie. Have you ever tried to eat a bowl of ice cream in front of a child who doesn’t have a bowl of their own? I wonder more about what this generation would be like if they had learned more lessons about having integrity rather than learning that they are entitled to everything even if they didn’t earn it.

My hope is that when my children are adults they will show their mother how much they love and appreciate her all the time. I also hope that I will have earned that love and appreciation. Have you ever seen a Mother’s Day card that says “You were a horrible mother and caused me great hardships for my adult life”? No you haven’t. The holiday isn’t about celebrating the gratitude of your mother, who earned that honor. Society says that every mother should be honored, even if she didn’t earn it. Society says we should honor them all just because they gave birth. To me that is BS! With that type of mentality we should be sending Susan Smith a mothers day card. See how that doesn’t sit well in your warm and fuzzy place? I will pass on the holiday and strive to earn the honor of my children when they are older. Whether or not that works is yet to be seen, we still have at least another 10 years to go for that. I will let you know how it turns out.

Last but not least the reason I do not get excited about mother’s day.

I read an article this morning  about mother’s day and how lucrative it is for consumer based businesses. Are you ready for your daily dose of reality? The article said the projection for revenue this mothers day holiday was $23.1 billion dollars and this was based on the estimation that everyone spent on average $180 dollars on their mother for mother’s day. Now those are some numbers! When you look at the data given by NRF (national retailers federation), those numbers were drastically lower in the year of 2007 with the revenue being just above $15 million. Guess what happened in 2007?

As a mother I do not want my children to try to make themselves feel better about their lack of attention paid to their mother during the year by spending their money on gifts. I also do not want credit for something I haven’t earned yet, which we already established. It is my opinion, that this is why the majority of people purchase jewelry, fancy dinners, flowers and cards. They are buying gifts to show they think of their mother, when they ignore her throughout the year. This is why that on mother’s day there are more phone calls made on that day than any other particular day of the year. Telephone companies make a killing on that day too. Why? Because they hardly ever call her through out the year. If you truly honor and appreciate something, then I expect that you would honor and appreciate it everyday instead of for a couple of hours one day a year.

Have you guessed what happened in 2007 yet? You can stop guessing, I will tell you. Facebook launched their mobile app for their website in November 2007. You no longer have to sit at a desktop to access facebook, now you can have it right in your pocket. Now you can have facebook in your face every waking moment, pay absolutely no attention to those around you and have imaginary virtual friends.

I personally believe that facebook is largely responsible for the downfall of our social capabilities as people and more intrusive into our lives than any government agency in history ever was. I will save that for another day. However if you simply entertain that idea for a small tiny second, you can’t tell me that it’s not possible.

So for today, your dose of reality is as follows:

If you love, honor and appreciate something or someone in your life, show it every chance you get. Don’t wait until the one day a year when society dictates for you to do so. The reality is that life is short and there are no guarantees. So cherish those you love and tell them everyday what they mean to you. They just might not be around on that prescribed day of the year for you to tell them. Don’t live your life gambling with regrets.