I Don’t Do It To Make You Feel Bad.

I was bantering back and forth with friends on Facebook the other day about bikini bodies and how NOT ready all of us are for that kind of weather (apparently, Tori Spelling is very ready for bikini weather and since she is the very person I strive to be, I better get on it…quick).  Several moms were joking about the kind of pressure those magazine covers put on women when I came back with ‘I don’t know what y’all are complaining about, I look just like that.’

Because, you know, I don’t.

I’m happy with who I am, but folks, I’m no Tori-freakin’-Spelling.

Thank God.

I got a reply saying that my parenting eight children with two jobs and a host of volunteer commitments made the other person feel so bad that they would prefer to look at the bikini clad cover models.  Ouch. The other person was kidding, they went on to say so, but for a moment I wondered if it was true.  Do I make people feel bad?  I would hope not.  I hate that anyone would look at what I do, or how I parent, and feel bad.

Having people feel that way isolates me.  I know I lose friends that way.

Whether you have one kid or eight, parenting is hard.  I was overwhelmed with one and I’m overwhelmed with eight.  I will always be overwhelmed.  Every parent will be.  I lose my ‘stuff’ with my kids a lot.  I constantly have to put my type A personality in check.  I think I have OCD.  I’m wrecked with insecurities.  I’m awkward socially.  I only have friends online.  I don’t eat right.  I don’t exercise enough.  I never feel like I’m worthy of being my kids’ mom.  I’m too white.  I’m too skinny.  Somedays, I’m too fat.  My nails are never done.  My clothes are never right.  I’m not smart enough.  I’m too conservative.  I’m too liberal.  I don’t pray enough.  I pray too much.

The list goes on and on and on.

I’m just like everyone else.  Yet, I constantly get told I’m a saint, that I look so relaxed.  People are surprised when my hair is done, when I have make-up, when I’m dressed.  Apparently, the bar is set pretty low when you have eight kids.

Being naked would get me arrested and I don’t put make-up on to make anyone else feel bad.  I do it for me, so that I feel human.  I don’t have two jobs to make anyone feel less.  I have two jobs because that’s what floats the boat around here.  I would love to ditch one.  I volunteer because there is this constant voice in my head telling me ‘Do something.  Make it better for those kids, the ones you left behind.  Save them.  Fight harder.’  I would love to turn that voice off.  Please tell me how.  It won’t go away.  Sometimes, I hate it.  Sometimes, that voice speaks to the detriment of my own children.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I do any of this to make anyone else feel bad, or that I think I’m better than anyone else.

I know I’m not.

who needs to go clean something, then eat a cookie, then exercise, then pray.  The list goes on and on.

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