Saturday, August 23, 2014

feminism: it should be about empowerment

Motherhood is falling further and further down the list of priorities.  For some, it's not a priority at all.  And for a growing minority, it's something that shouldn't be on anyone's priority list.  Ever.

It's a sentiment I've heard - expressed and implied - in classrooms, on blogs, and through various interactions with my peer group.

[Spoiler Alert: No moms means no babies.  Bye-bye, human race.]

I am all for women's rights.  I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the women who made it possible for me to vote and have a voice.  I am beyond grateful that I was able to obtain a college education and degrees that have become priceless to me.  I appreciate the ever-narrowing chasm of equality in the workforce.

What I don't appreciate, however, is the feministic notion that motherhood (and perhaps stay-at-home motherhood in particular) is an obstacle to be overcome in the pursuit of equality.  The word "equality" is, ironically, often used to dictate that there is only "one right way."  In my stay-at-home-mom-and-therefore-lesser opinion, feminism is - or at least should be - about empowerment.  It's about empowering women to do whatever it is that they dream about doing.

Sometimes that means accepting that someone's dream might be different from your own.  From the societal norm.  From what's socially acceptable.

Socially acceptable.  

Fifty years ago, half of the marvelous and magnificent accomplishments of women today would have been considered socially unacceptable.  Only stay-at-home-motherhood would have been acceptable.  Anything "less" would have been an affront to women throughout the world.  And today?  It's completely reversed.  Stay-at-home moms are the brainwashed, uneducated swine that produce brainwashed, uneducated piglets.

If you are a woman who doesn't want to have kids and hopes to eradicate cancer, good for you!  If you are a working mom who also just happens to be a politician, I'm impressed!  You're both amazing.  Seriously.  I am indescribably grateful for the difference you make in this world.

But please understand that those aren't every woman's dreams.

My dreams have changed throughout the years, but right now, they are definitely about staying home every day with my beautiful, brown-eyed little girl.  I have never felt more myself than I do when I sit on the floor reading books about cows jumping over the moon, or walk hand-in-little-hand through the grass as we learn together about the sky and the water and the birds.

One of my favorite quotes reads:

"Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent."  (source)

It's one of my favorites, because it's one of those times that a quote resounds so deeply in your heart that you're surprised you didn't say it yourself.

I believe in God.  I believe that He has a plan for me.  

And I am eternally grateful that His plan for me includes being a mother.

It may not for you, but it (more-than-happily) does for me.

Let's support each other.

Friday, August 8, 2014

it's okay to be sad

There is an endless list of horrible things going on throughout the world.

It's not hard to recognize that this person has it worse than you, or that person has it worse than you, or that entire country has it worse than you.  And I think it's good to recognize that, most of the time.  It allows us to be grateful in and even for our circumstances.  It motivates us to make necessary changes in the world.

But sometimes, in those moments of personal hardship, we think about those other people or those entire countries, and we think we're not allowed to feel sad.  We're not allowed to feel hurt.  We're not allowed to feel hungry or tired or miserable, even if it's only for a few minutes of the day.  Because, hello, someone else has it worse than you!

Go ahead and be grateful.  By all means, save the world.

But don't feel guilty because you are having a hard time.  Don't feel guilty because you are sad.

It's okay to feel that way sometimes.

Just remember that the source of relief and happiness is the same for all.

And if you just need a pick-me-up today...

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

let's talk about july

July was a busy month, friends.  And it shows in my [lack of] blogging.

Let's try to catch up.

It started out with a trip to my grandma's in CA, like it does almost every year.  It works out really nicely that Tim's work has a division about 40 minutes away from her house, which means we can go there and not use up as many vacation days.  Which can also be known as Katie-got-a-vacation while Tim-still-worked-his-butt-off-and-had-to-drive-an-extra-forty-minutes.  But let it be known that Tim did get a couple of vacation days, too, lest the pitchforks start flying.

Ellie and I loved the chance to spend time with my grandma and my aunt.  It's high up on our list of "favorite life activities."  And then, a few days later, the rest of my family showed up, so then we were really high up on our list of "favorite life activities."

Behold our Fourth of July celebrations:

 Ellie with my Uncle Paul.

Poor Tim.  Probably in the middle of saying something like, "Be happy, Ellie!" as she was obviously not listening. 

 Ellie with her Uncle Jeff.

 I swear, the biggest reaction I've gotten out of our family pictures is how tall my brother, Eric, has gotten.  It's true, friends, he's freakishly tall.  [Especially compared to the rest of us.]

My Aunt Ginny and my dad!  Siblings!

Can you believe that's actually a fairly small percentage of the pictures I took that day?

Don't worry, I have more.

We also went out to eat a lot that trip.  Like we do every trip.

Mexican food the first night.  Of course.

And then Red Robin.  [Of course.]

I have about a million more from that trip, but I'll leave you with these two of Ellie:

 Jewelry fun with grandma.

And fountain fun.  [She couldn't keep away.]

As soon as we got home to UT, Tim's parents and his niece came to stay with us!  And basically, Ellie loooved having a few more people to cuddle with.

We had a few fun day trips to Golden Spike, a museum, the tabernacle, and some cute shops.

Tim and I even got to go to the movies for the first time since before Ellie was born:

And visit Tim's grandparents' graves:

We love having the Devey grandparents visit!

Tim, Ellie, and I had a fun SLC day trip:

Ellie and I visited the SLC LDS temple grounds while Tim was at a work meeting. 

And then we all ate out and went for a walk:

And THEN there was Tim's surgery [I know, this is turning into the most annoying post ever]:

Ellie and I just hung out at the hospital during his surgery (which went really well, as far as we can tell), and I was almost disappointed when he woke up pretty coherent.  I need me a viral youtube video, dang it, Tim!

Here's what his knee looks like now, for your viewing pleasure.  Yep, he'll be on crutches for a few more weeks.

And FINALLY [before you get entirely sick of me], Ellie swimming lessons:

Ellie with her cute friend, Ashlyn.  My friends and I decided to put our kids in at the same time so we could do the Mom and Tots class together.  Way more fun that way!

"Mom, seriously?  A piece of paper?!"

Let's see, how can I nutshell this?  Ellie was pretty happy in the water!  As long as she was in the shallow end...with toys...and I didn't make her do...anything.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty great month!

Thanks for reading :)