Secret Mommyhood Confession

I judge.

That’s right.  I’m a judgey judgerson.

Don’t be all nervous.  I am not judging you.  right now.  Chances are I did though.  When I first met you or read your blog or emailed with you or read a comment you left.

Some people call it “first impressions”.  That is just a nice way of saying “judged”.

I think we all do it, am I wrong?

I mean, I fairly certain my brain is hardwired to make a judgment the first time I “meet” someone.   Isn’t everyone’s?

We all know how I judged every person in the Olive Garden a couple weeks ago.  And as many of you said in the comments, it’s all about making first impressions.

I started thinking about that, and I realized that I judge everyone and everything…at least once.  And I have been beating myself up over it.

For example, this morning I went to Shoe Carnival to get myself some cute black shoes to go with the outfit I want to wear tonight to Cort’s cousin’s wedding.   I judged everyone in there on what they were wearing.

I immediately put it out of my head (because I am not a total jerk), but for a split second, my mind took in what they had on, what kind of shoe they were looking at, and even how their kids were acting.

Admittedly, the woman with the tatrumy toddler?  I gave her the “oh honey…you are so brave” look.  But my FIRST thought?  “Ugg…screaming kid” because I had just left one of those at home.

And I know people were judging me too.

I have a zit colony the size of DC on my jowl chin and I hadn’t done my hair except for a messy bun.  I was wearing an old hoodie (in an attempt to be bulky enough in the collar to cover up my zit colony) and blow out boots (yes, I bought new boots).

If I saw me?  My first thought probably would have been, “it’s Saturday, not Slopperday” and then I would have immediately dismissed it.

But I left the house that way anyway.  Because hopefully, people are like me, they  judge and dismiss…unless given a reason not to.

I know people who are all like, “I totally withhold ALL judgment until I get to know a person,” and I have to call BS on that.  How can you not make SOME sort of immediate judgment when you first encounter someone either in person or in the blog world?

We size up what someone is wearing.

We hear the way they talk…the words they choose.

We see people’s writing.

We know what they choose to share.

I think because I know I do this, I am assuming everyone else does too.  That is probably why it is a very rare thing for me to be caught shopping in my pajamas.  Yoga pants and sweat shirt, sure, but not my jammies and slippers.

I am also conscious of it on my blog.

Sure I write for me.  But to say I ONLY write for me is a total lie.  I write for you too.  I like you. I like what you have to say.  So I think about YOU when I write.

And I always think, “what if this is the first post a new reader sees?”

Because I know blogging is a fickle place.  If I visit a blog for the first time and I am overwhelmed with ads or widgets in the side bars or music is blasted at me or if the content is hard to read or if the content is boring…I am probably not coming back.

And I know you are that way too.

I judge.

And you do too.

It’s how we know we like someone or don’t.

It’s how we decide to follow a blog or not.

It’s the reason first impressions are important.  Because I the world is judging.

Now pardon me…I have a zit colony to expunge.

Revised to Say….

I don’t mean to sound like all judging results in negative decisions.  We judge things based on what we see/read/hear, but then we make decisions based on those judgments.  Not everyone that I “judge” is deemed a bad person/mom.  Most of the time it’s just the opposite.  In fact, unless you prove you’re not wonderful, I judge that you probably are!

this is not about the Olive Garden

This weekend Cortney and I went out for a much needed date.

In fact I am pretty sure the last date we went on was for his birthday.  At the beginning of December. So to say this was much needed?  Is really kind of an understatement.

ANYWAY…

For Christmas two alumi of mine gave Cort and I gift cards to the Olive Garden–one of our favorite chain restaurants–and we figured it’s the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we should go out.

Now considering we were going to the Olive Garden, I didn’t feel the need to put on a dress and strappy sandals and make an appointment to get my hair and nails done, but I did put in extra effort.

I took a shower AND dried my hair with a hairdryer AND curled it.

And for effect?  I stuck a cute flower in my hair.

See?

oh hey!

We both wore our nice, dark wash jeans.  Cort wore a button down that I gave him for Christmas, and I wore a cute sweater from the Gap.

Nothing super fancy, but not my yoga pants.

I figured this is what people do when they go out for dinner to any place that has a hostess and serves wine.

I would be wrong.

People?  I am not saying that you need to wear your Sunday Best to a chain restaurant, but I did think that clean clothing was sort of a given.

Again, I would be wrong.

When we arrived at The Olive Garden, there was a 40-50 minute wait.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  And we were out for the night, so regardless of if we were sitting at a table or sitting in the lobby, we were still playing on our phones enjoying being alone together.

A 40-50 minute wait will give you a lot of people watching opportunities.

For instance, did you know that apparently wearing an old valour sweat suit with worn out patches at the knees and elbows is totally proper attire for dining at The Olive Garden?

Or that it is completely acceptable to wear tights (not leggings, people.  TIGHTS) as pants with a “dress” (um, SHIRT), is so short your cheeks are not covered…to the Olive Garden?

Perhaps you were aware that wearing hats (ball hats, stocking hats, cowboy hats…) are ok to wear INSIDE the Olive Garden…while you eat.

I was clearly ignorant of the fact that I could have come to the Olive Garden in my pajamas…slippers and all…for this dining experience because a couple times Cort had to give the shush and and tell me to get my jaw off the ground and quit staring.

When our little disc light up happily announcing it was our turn to be seated, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Maybe we would be put into a nice little romantic corner.  Away from…the fashion police rejects.

Or we would be eating at that table right there that is within reach of the lobby.

No problem.  I will sit with my back to them.  Cort is more tolerant.  He can stare at that herd.

We decide to sample a Riesling.

I settle into my chair.

Only to observe the table over Cort’s shoulder.

A mom wearing the largest pair of mom-jeans I have ever seen on such a skinny body tucked into the biggest moon boots ever topped with a massively huge Bon Jovi T-shirt.  Across from her was a dad with those dude jeans that are all tight around the ankles, but all “loose fit” everywhere else and a GIANT Red Wings jersey.  And a hat.

Their two kids?  Were totally cute.

I understand just wanting to get out of the house with clothes on.  Especially when you have two itty bitty kids.

But shouldn’t your look reflect where you are?

Or am I a snob?  Is it wrong that I was visually offended at the “going out” clothing people deem acceptable these days?

I mean I GET the “come as you are” at McDonalds or Wal-Mart or even Target.  I’ve been that girl getting groceries in my yoga pants and a hoodie.

But I feel like I’ve seen enough episodes of What Not To Wear to know that you need to dress for the occasion.

Yoga pants for home?  Ok.

But at the Olive Garden?

Really?

Or is that joint not as classy as I thought?

Why it’s Called McFATTY

If you are into punctuation and the art of editing your writing?  I am getting all English teachery over at The Red Dress Club today.  Take a read.

______________________________________________________________________________________

First of all, I am not unaware of the hullabaloo this article has created all over the internet.

It makes me crabby that someone cares more about overweight people kissing on TV than the fact that they have everyone constantly making fat jokes about it all.

Something is wrong there, people.

Where were all these grossed out people when Rosanne was getting frisky with Dan 20 years ago?

Oh wait, people liked it because it was REAL.

Anyway, I am a REAL person and I am overweight at 191 pounds (yes, I went up a pound.  I blame the Halloween candy).  I am 5’7″ (roughly) and 191 pounds.  That is way overweight.

And you know what? To my knowledge?  No one has ever gagged or thrown up in their mouth when Cort and I smootch on each other.  I mean, if I have ever offended someone by holding my husband’s hand or kissing him, well, then…TOO BAD!

My point is that people who crab about fat people?  Need to shut up.  That is my McFatty lecture for the day.  There is more that I could add, but really?  I don’t think it needs to be said.

Publicly bashing fat people for grossing you out?  is hurtful. Just don’t look.

And now?  Back to me (because that is what it is really about yes?)

So I mentioned that I gained a pound.  I blame this:

This used to be full. And we only had like 6 trick or treaters. oops.

I am not even going to post on here in all of public how many bags of candy we went through..BY. OURSELVES.

It’s ugly.

And I am just thanking my McFatty stars that i only gained a pound.

Anyway, this week while I was battling with myself not to eat yet another “fun sized” treat, my friend “The Rocky Mountain Mama” informed me that she does a Meal Planning Monday.  I thought this fit pretty well with McFatty Monday since besides telling you all what I weigh, I am struggling to make better food choices.

For us, meal-planning starts on Sunday–before Cort goes and gets the groceries for the week.

First we decide together what would be a yummy meal for Tuesday night–the one night a week we get to eat as a family.

This week we decided on baked chicken with rice (recipe to follow).  Then I make the list and dig through my coupon holder to match up with what we are buying.  Before finalizing the list, I flip through the Meijer sales flier for the week to see if they have anything listed on sale that we could stock up on or use in lunches.

After all that, I add anything else we need in the house like TP or dish soap.

Lastly we think about what we will eat on the nights we are apart.  I usually eat PB sandwiches on wheat bread.

And that is it.  Cort takes a look at the list to make sure he knows what I am talking about, then he gathers up the Meijer reusable bags and the coupons and he is gone for an hour.

That’s it.

This week’s dinner:

Baked Chicken with Rice

2 cups of minute rice (I use brown)

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 can of cream of celery soup

1 can of golden mushroom soup

1 package of dried onion soup (I use Lipton)

1.5 cans of water

**mix above together and spread in a greased 9×13 glass baking dish

**Put chicken (can be in bone, but I use 3 or 4 skinless breasts) on top

Bake for about 2 hours at 350 degrees

I like this recipe because we will have leftovers that I can take in my lunch.

We also usually have a veggie of some sort with this.  This week we are having corn.

So there you have it!  Hopefully I can make better choices now that the candy is almost gone from our house!

Want to link up for more meal plans? Click below:

Meal Planning Monday

Want more of McFatty Monday?  Click below:

Also? Tomorrow is Top Ten Tuesdays here in Sluiter Nation.  We are listing our Top Ten Favorite Children’s Books!  Join in!

Is This Thing On?

The auditorium is completely dark.
The audience sits in anticipation.
There is shuffling of feet.  A cough.  A few sniffles.
Everyone waits, unsure as to why they are even here in the first place.
And then?  A single spotlight shines on the stage illuminating what appears to be a soapbox.
From off stage, I walk slowly and climb up carefully onto the soapbox.
I tape the microphone that is set up for me…
Um.  Hi.  Is this thing on?
Um, like I said.  Hi.
I don’t usually use this platform for soapbox speeches, but I feel compelled today, so I thank you all for being here.
I need to talk about teen pregnancy today.
There is a lot of the pregnant going on in the teen world.  And I am not Ok with it.
In fact, I am all kinds of upset about it.  Remember, I am a teacher.  I am witnessing 14 year olds becoming parents.
FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILDREN HAVING CHILDREN.
Sorry, I had to yell that because that is what I am dealing with.  How do I respond to these students?  Huh? What do i say?
I’m sorry?
Bummer, dude?
Congratulations?
Holy ham sandwiches?
So I just give them a shocked look.  Although I don’t think that helps anyone.
And then of course they ask me tons of questions because they know I have a toddler.  I don’t mind sharing (you all know that), but really?  Why are they not asking their MOMS?
I try to let these girls know how sad it is to have to give up your childhood at 14.  I didn’t give mine up until 31 (some would say I am still holding it close).  My most crazy and fun time was my 20’s!  they won’t have that!  they will have have high schooler before they are thirty.
How did this happen?  I thought I had it figured out.  I thought it was just the girls who came from homes where no one was educating them or talking to them or monitoring what they were doing.
But then I heard of other pregnancies.  Of ones from kids whose parents I KNOW talk to them and expect college and academic success from.  Who have high standards, but not impossibly high standards.
So what is it?  Why did I not end up a teen mom, but these girls are?
I tried to think about how my parents talked to me…um, they didn’t.  I don’t remember one solitary conversation about respecting my body or to not do anything that could get me pregnant.
I vaguely remember a trip to the library when my youngest brother was “in the oven” about how babies get in and out of mommies’ tummies.
I remember my parents being skeptical of boys.
I remember purity crap they tried to feed us in school and church because they weren’t allowed to talk about any other prevention.  I also remember girls getting pregnant with that purity promise on their finger.
Why? What is the difference between the success stories and the teen moms?
Luck?
I can tell you my not getting pregnant was not luck.  I somehow had it ingrained in me that I was better than that.  That I was worth more than that.  I didn’t have a ton of self-confidence or self-esteem.  I was mocked relentlessly in middle school for acne problems, but even when the boys started noticing me in high school?  I never gave in.  I dated, but I didn’t make babies.
Why?
I don’t have an answer to that.
But I wish I did. I wish I knew what to say to those girls I teach to make them know they have so many options other than that guy.
I want to be able to teach Eddie NOT to pressure girls or to BE pressured by girls (let’s face it, they are as much to blame as the dudes.  Girls are not just innocent victims here).
I want him to respect all people’s bodies including his own.  Look but don’t touch.
How do I do this?
And then back to my current problem…how do I show these girls support without condoning what has been done?
If I help them out and get all their work together and ask them how they are feeling, I get accused of supporting what has happened to them.
If I show any sort of hint of disapproval, I am accused of being all judgey and cold.
I feel sorry for these girls.  I want better for them.  But I feel sorry for those babies too.  Is this going to be a cycle?  Are they going to grow up lacking some sort of self-awareness or self-esteem too?
Or maybe that is not even it.  I know girls who got pregnant in high school and they love their life and everything is great.  And they wouldn’t change it.
But…
I still see teen pregnancy as a problem. I do.
Does this make me bad and judgey?
But I want to help those who get pregnant succeed.
Does this make me condone teen shenanigans?
Help!
I want to fix this problem.
Because, yes.  it is a problem.  Teen pregnancy is a HUGE FLIPPING PROBLEM! And so is not knowing how to handle it!
And you know what?  I am going to flip it off for my Friday Flip-offs.
Whew.  There.
Thank you for listening to this rant.  I needed to get that out.
I nod one last time at the audience and then cautiously climb off the soapbox.
I turn one final time unsure of which way to exit.
I smile sheepishly and trot quickly off stage.
The spotlight is cut.
There is a pause.  And then?
Applause.

Kludgy Mom is the brainchild behind the flip-offs and Momma Kiss has been hosting the link up.  Go forth and read the vents.
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