Raging Integrity

Something happened today that shook up my world. Really shook up my world in a way few things have in my life. A betrayal by someone that left me questioning every friend and contact I have, because I would not, in a million years, have imagined this could happen and that this person could have done such a thing. I would have vouched for this person! It got me thinking about integrity. How secret are our lives when nobody’s watching? Really, what are those things we do and are okay with because we believe nobody will ever know what we did? I’m not talking about private things that should (please) remain private – I’m talking about the other stuff we do when we are alone with the voice of integrity. For example, a couple of days ago, I said goodbye to a co-worker whom I like a lot and always chit-chat with and went out into the big parking deck, got my car and drove out of the lot. While waiting to make a right turn out, I made a quick call to my husband to ask a kid-related question. There were many people crossing the street anyway so I knew I would be waiting there a minute. Then there it was – “beep” and then another, much less patient “beeeeep” and I scooted forward a little and still some impatience and I noticed waving arms from the driver this time. As soon as I was finally able to complete my right turn, the car that had been behind me whizzed past me with the driver clearly irate, arms waving, words spewing and…the same really sweet co-worker I had, just a few minutes ago, bid goodbye at the wheel!!!!!!!!!

I was left with mixed emotions – amusement, surprise (to put it mildly), confusion. Of course I couldn’t really be mad at her as she had no idea it was me so it wasn’t personal. But then…did it matter that she didn’t know it was me? Integrity is what I thought of and I was reminded, once more, about the importance of integrity. Don’t get me wrong – I have committed my fair share of road raging on days I was running late or “PMSing” or displacing anger from elsewhere, and yes, even times when I was in a great mood and then switched to rage because of another driver’s road choices (and of course that driver was in the wrong!). But really, ultimately, integrity wins and if I could focus in on the fact that everyone out there is living their own experience, I could focus right back on living mine well.

I did choose to laugh out loud and then stopped in her office the next day to talk about it with genuine humor. She was mortified and it took a few days for her to believe I held nothing against her.  As for the event that shook my world earlier today. I can’t get myself to laugh about it because it appears that this particular person’s actions might be the result of consistent and repeated disregard for the voice of integrity – a collection of which resulted in a betrayal beyond repair to those affected.

Rhi

Dear Hilary Rosen……


You may have heard Hilary Rosen’s careless comments about Ann Romney last night. In an interview on CNN, she claimed that Ann Romney had ‘never worked a day in her life’ and therefore was incapable of understanding the majority of women’s economic concerns.  I think the point she was making is that Ann Romney is not a good advisor on women and economic issues because she is so far removed (and has been for so long) from the average woman’s economic struggle. Yes? I get that Ann Romney doesn’t know what it’s like to get paid 30% less for the same work. I get that Ann Romney doesn’t know what it’s like to be a SAHM mostly because the cost of childcare is 75-100% of any salary you could command and so the numbers just don’t add up. I get that and I agree with it. Mitt Romney needs a better advisor on women and the economy. Agreed.

HOWEVER, to claim that a woman who has five kids has ‘never worked a day in her life’ is absurd!!  It also shows a lack of respect for mothering and is thereby damaging to all SAHMs.  The phrase is highly charged….it’s disdainful, in fact. Perhaps Hialry’s disdain was actually for the idea that Ann could be an advisor on women and the economy, but what came across was disdain for the work of SAHMs. Context: Hilary Rosin, a liberal, feminist, working mother; a communications specialist, just ‘accidentally’ dissed SAHMs. Not cool!

Respect for SAHMs is something for which women have been fighting HARD for the past decade or two. Think about the campaign to get women to stop saying ‘just’ a SAHM. Think about how women have started putting SAHM on their resume and inventing new titles (domestic engineer). Remember the study that was released several years ago that attempted to determine the average salary for a SAHM? These are all examples of the ways in which a small subset of society has tried to legitimize SAHMs (to the greater society) over the past twenty years. For Hilary Rosin to dismiss the work of SAHM so cavalierly sends a bad message. Very bad message.

I just want to share a couple of things with you, Hilary:

1. Stay-at-home moms work. Very hard.
2. Wealthy stay-at-home moms who have help work too! It’s not about how much help you have, it’s about how present you are. Being present for your family; thinking about them, planning activities, planning meals, creating memories….all of that is work!!! I reject the idea that we need to put an asterisk next to the title SAHM if the woman has hired help. FALSE! I think any woman who is vested in her children whether she is a billionaire or pauper finds that it is challenging to parent effectively. Are there differences? Absolutely! But who are we to say that it is more or less difficult. I think that is a slippery slope that we would be wise to avoid. In my opinion, this is the same perspective as saying, “I’ll take your rich problems over my middle class/ poor problems any day.” People only say that when they have no idea what it’s like to have rich problems.
3. SAHMs are not only ‘wealthy’ women who have the ‘luxury’ who choose to stay-at-home.  If by wealthy you mean above poverty, maybe. But you seems to think that you represent a demographic who doesn’t have the choice to be a SAHM but women of Ann  Romney’s means can. Some women  give up large salaries and/or choose to live a different standard of living in order to devote more time and energy to their families. This idea that SAHMotherhood is just the domain of the wealthy is a fallacious argument that completely dismisses the sacrifice of thousands of working class and middle class women who forego fancy restaurants, new cars, vacations, bigger houses, etc. to be present for their families.
4. Your comments offended me and probably millions of other women. You should apologize and stop doubling down on your statement. There is a whole world of motherhood that you clearly don’t understand. I get the larger point you were trying to make, but I believe you really are missing part of the picture. I would be more than happy to help give you a different perspective. Hit me up on Twitter or here on the blog.

But to those who would try to paint President Obama as being of the same mindset, I reject that assertion out of hand. Hilary Rosin does not work for the White House or the DNC. She is not an official spokesperson and she was not on CNN in any official capacity. She doesn’t represent Democrats any more than the Quran burning pastor represents Americans. Which leads me to my last point.
5. Hilary Rosen does not speak for President Obama.

That is all. As you were.

I Tri…

I love trying new things and since I need to lose a few (ahem, 40) extra pounds I’ve been looking for new ways to exercise. Something that I have been considering for a couple of years is completing a triathlon.

Now, I am the complete opposite of an athlete. I have never participated in any physical competition, EVER! I mean, in high school, I was the manager of the sports team, not the player. Besides not being an athlete, I’m not really the ‘push myself’ kind of person. I am more like a ‘good enough’ person. For example, I will occasionally take an exercise class at the gym. I am all gung ho to begin, but when I get tired, I’m that person who leaves even if class is still going on (I apologize now if you are the kind of person who hates that). If I do stay, I’m perfectly fine with taking a long break. When the instructor says, ‘give me 50 crunches’, I’m the one who just lies there after doing 35. The way I see it, it’s 35 more than I would have done if I had just stayed home, so I’m good!! So as you can see, I’m sort of like the last person in the world who should be seriously considering a triathlon. Oh, I left out one other detail…. I don’t swim.

Notwithstanding all of the perfectly good reasons for me NOT to do a triathlon, I decided to do it anyway. 8 months before the event, I recruited more than a dozen women to do it with me. We were all excited, we were all determined, we were all committed until…..we all weren’t. Some people dropped out early. They got busy, they got scared; one woman went into hiding after committing a crime (a completely different story). By the time the triathlon was two weeks away, I wasn’t sure that I was still going to do it. I had completely fallen off my training schedule and without my crew I had no motivation.

A last-minute conversation with a friend convinced me to go ahead and participate and in my next post I’ll tell you how that event had such a profound impact on me and dramatically changed my perspective.

Until next time….Be Brilliant!!!

Top Ten Reasons Why My Weekend Was a Bust

10. It was my family reunion weekend, but we couldn’t afford to travel to my reunion (which would have required flying) so we went to my husband’s family reunion which was just a four hour drive away.

9. It was a four hour drive.

8. It was held in a podunk town.  I don’t like podunk towns. Small towns I like because they are cute and quaint and have character. Podunk towns are different. Podunk towns are just old and backward and ugh.

7. We stayed in the best hotel in town and this was one block from the hotel

podunk

As a matter of fact, if you look closely on the left side, you can see the hotel.

6. By the time we arrived at the hotel to check in, they had given away all of the rooms with double beds (even though we reserved a room with double beds), so Jade, O, The Hubs and I all had to sleep in the same bed for the entire weekend.

5. I didn’t get any sleep the entire weekend.

4. It was so hot and so humid that my hair was a huge frizzball the entire time. I just kept smiling, even though I knew my hair looked crazy. There’s nothing worse than looking a mess and wearing a scowl, so I just pretended that I was gorgeous.

3.  We all caught colds from the hotel air conditioning blasting directly on us.

2. It was a four hour drive home.

1. As soon as we put the kids in the bed, the biggest, scariest thunderstorm started shaking the house. The kids were so scared that they ended up….yup, you guessed it. In our bed.

Top Ten Reasons Why My Weekend Was Great

10.  We went out of town and I got to meet some of my hubby’s extended family.

9. Across the street from our hotel was the town welcome center and guess what! They had a real bale of cotton in the lobby. A real bale of cotton!!!!

500 pounds of cotton. A crop that has so much meanng and history for our country.

500 pounds of cotton. A crop that has so much meaning and history for our country.

8. I met two women in the hotel dining room who were on a Thelma and Louise kind of trip and we had a great conversation. They had been stay at home moms and now their kids were all grown up and out of the house. It was nice for me to see that there is an end to this and for them to reminisce about the days long past. Very pleasant.

7.  A stranger told me my children were well behaved during breakfast. He just walked right up to the table and said, “You have the most polite, well-behaved children. I know you may not think so, but trust me; I am an ER doctor and your children are extremely well-behaved.” Yay me. I am the best mother in the whole wide world. ;)

6. During the eight hour trip I managed to get a good mindless read in.

5. Jade thinks this was a vacation. LOL!!!

4. I got new clothes just for the trip. Have to put my best face forward for the inlaws. The Hubs couldn’t argue with that.

3.  Hmmm….I am really, reeeaaallly stretching it here. Uh, we stayed at the best hotel in town.

2. The food was great.

1. At least the thunderstorm held off until we made it home. Would have been hell trying to drive in it.

Just trying to keep a positive attitude. How was your weekend?

Can it be that it was all so simple……

Lately I’ve been feeling so nostalgic. When I took Jade to the dentist earlier this week, this was playing on the ceiling television. Do you remember this show?

Well, watching this video led me to this one. Oh, these are good memories…

Those were the days…..

Dance Your Ass Off, You Skinny Bitch!!!

Is it just me or is profanity slowly becoming more and more mainstream? I mean, what’s the deal? I’m no prude, but good grief!! I don’t even allow Jade to say ‘butt’. In our house, we say bottom. Well, I guess I’m just old fashioned because there is a television show called “Dance Your Ass Off”.  HUH?

And television isn’t the only culprit. Who hasn’t heard of the book that launched this ubiquitous phrase?

But Rory and and Kim weren’t the only ones to push the envelope on book titles.  I saw this book featured at Barnes and Noble. That’s right…walked in the front door and it was staring right at me….

Not only that, but what’s acceptable during televsion shows has changed as well. There was a time when you could only get away with a ‘damn’ or ‘hell’. But now, ‘bitch’ and ‘ass’ have joined the list as well. And people have been dropping f-bombs accidentally on live television and radio.  How long will it be before all the four letter words are broadcasting live into your living room?

Now, please don’t get me wrong…..I am no prude. I have been known to pepper my speech and sometimes even my writing with a few choice words when I feel the need. But that doesn’t mean that I want to be bombarded by it every time I turn on the television or walk into a book store.  More importantly, I don’t want my kids to be bombarded by it. Jade is learning to read now, how am I going to explain to her that she can’t say the words that are so freely tossed around?

Just sayin’.