Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm married? ...with a kid?

Jeremy and I hung out with some other couples in our ward this last Friday night for a BBQ. There were probably about 30 people there. It occurred to me as I was sitting there that I was totally out of my element. This was the first "married couple with child" activity that I had gone to with other people in the same life situation as my own. I mean, we've gone over to our good friends (married with kids) houses for dinner and vice vs, but never an activity where we get to know other people. Those are what used to be the "single ward activities" for me. It was just kind of an eye opener that I have to learn to be in a new element now.

Also, the other day I was talking to one of my friends and he said, "Isn't it so nice to be married and not worry about all the insecurities you have when you're single?" This brought a LOT of thought and I wanted to write about it here.

...And yes, my single insecurities are gone, you know, like "what am I going to do this weekend?", "Does he like me?", "Do guys think I'm fun?", "Is he going to call me?", "How many friends do I have and hang out with all the time?", "Do I have enough to offer anyone that wants to stay with me?", "Am I skinny or pretty enough", image, image, image, etc. etc. Right? But now there is a whole bunch of brand new insecurities to overcome. Dang! And just when I thought I was doing pretty good.

Some of these insecurities had never even occurred to me before. Well, I guess I didn't have much time to find out what the insecurities of JUST being a married couple with no kid(s) were, but I imagine they still range in the area of "What does your husband do?", "How big is your house?", "How many vacations do you go on every year?", "When are you going to have kids?", "What are your goals?", "Are you done with your schooling?". You know what I'm talking about, right? After you become a mom, you still have those a lot more of them.

The other day I was watching my favorite show on DVD, Desperate Housewives (which I would've never watched... and didn't, being single). Anyway, this one episode came on where one of the main characters started taking her kids Adderall. Adderall is for kids that have Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). Although Adderall is a stimulant, it is supposed to have the opposite affect on those that have ADD, therefore making someone that is hyper, calm.

So, for the opposite affect, this character kept taking her kids Adderall for extra energy. One of the other moms told her that she was taking her child's medication and in turn it was how she got all the stuff done that she needed to every day. This main character proceeded to try it out. She felt like she had to keep up with the other moms. She felt like all the other mom's were always involved in all the school activities and sewing costumes for plays, having their kids involved in every sport or dance recital available, and they manage to still wear all the designer clothes and have the most up to date hairstyles and keeping the house immaculately clean with a homemade dinner on the table at 5pm.

It's funny cause in the Mormon world, I think people add the EXTRA pressure of that "Mormon" image. "What calling does your husband have?", "What calling do you have?", "How many meals can I make for people that need it?", "Do I always do my Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching?", "Do I go to all the ward activities?" or better yet, "Does 'so and so' go to all the ward activities?", "So and So's husband is the Bishop or in the Bishopric and I saw them doing 'x' or whatever" and so on and so forth. Everyone watches you that much more and puts a label on you.

I've found that the people that do this (in both cases: mommy/parent world, Mormon world) are actually the most insecure of them all. They don't want to have the attention on themselves and their own insecurities or what they see of their own short-comings. Instead, they either boast of their own triumphs and 'size you up' or they point out the flaws of others.

Don't get me wrong, it is a hard life to live. If you have worked hard to live the way you should and get to where you are, then you should be pretty damn proud of that. I don't think you should put others down for how you got there because everyone has their own trials and are in a different place and move at their own speed. There are in fact pretty high standards set ...sometimes by ourselves and sometimes by others. But, no one is perfect. No one is SuperMan or should I say SuperMom. In a perfect world, more people would be happy for others and where they came from and their accomplishments instead of taking it as a direct blow to their own ego or their own association with them.

People should be happy for other people doing well instead feeling like they are being "sized up". I think one of the main reason people feel this way is because people compare their worst to another's best. Well, no wonder we are all insecure. I'm no saint. I'm guilty of all of the above, but when I bring myself back to reality, it is comforting that everyone else is there too. Everyone you know... and I do mean EVERYONE, has something about them that you would be shocked to know. Everyone has a past or an inside demon(s) they fight with. Even the people that you think live perfect lives or look up to. And maybe I am just speaking for myself, but I don't think so.

Ps. And no, no one has offended me. Somebody's already asked, which I think is kind of funny because it would defeat the whole meaning of my post. That's not why I put this up. It was just me writing and one thought connecting to the next, which started from my first two thoughts at the beginning. :)


Jake said...

Tara, loved the post a lot. I hate how "success" in society is measured on how much better people have it and so on. Awesome job on explaining your feelings. I feel you sister!

The Springers said...

I couldnt have said it better.. I love this post of yours!

Cocobear said...

Good Thoughts! Mom

Angie said...

Don't worry, T., if I ever ask you about what's going on with you; it's because I am rooting for you, want to know you, and want to be excited for you. It would make me sick to even try to begin to compare myself to my friends. That is such an unnatural place for me to go to. And if I ever gush to you about things that are happening in my life, it's just because I just want you to know me...& am easily excitable!! :)

Mrs. Green said...

No way Ange. You are one of the most kind hearted and most sincere people I know. Don't worry. I have never thought that of you... or any of my friends for that matter. I've been blessed with awesome friends! Although not everyone is like this in Utah, I just feel like this is the general "Utah" vibe... and I dare say that the other stuff (minus the mormonism) is a concern for mothers and wifes and maybe even husbands and fathers all over.

Mrs. Green said...

also on that note. i love it when you and all my friends tell me what's going on in their lives. i don't think... at least i hope i'm not one of those people that people always think i'm trying to compete with them if they tell me something or vice vs. i never want to be one of those people. and if i am, i want someone/anyone to call me out on it.

Emily said...

What a great post. It is true, we often compare ourselves with others...especially in the Utah Mormon is hard. I think you are awesome though...and I am glad to call you my friend. Your little guy is sooooo cute too. I love the pictures on your toolbar.