Tag Archives: societal pressure

Baby is 2! Birthday Party Extravaganza

My daughter recently turned 2. Oh my! It was like once she hit the 2 mark, she really wants to get the full year experience of the terrible 2’s, I’m assuming. Please help us all. I need to keep my sanity. Anyway, I wanted to have a birthday party, but I didn’t want to go overboard. Yeah…..I ended up doing exactly that. I felt pressure to have the most amazing day.

This gal is 2!

So silly. She won’t even remember this birthday. Oh but I will. We are fortunate (and sometimes cursed) to have both sets of our families living relatively close to us. While this is usually great, it is also overwhelming for me when I’m entertaining. I’m pretty introverted, parties stress me out. I also think with all the beautiful birthday party ideas on Pinterest there is this pressure that I think many moms feel we need to compete with. Some of those moms out there are incredible and seem to get so much done and look fabulous while doing so. This is not the type of mom I am.

* Tutus are adorable, fun party favors, balloon inspired decorations and inflatable slides. Thank you Zulily!

* Spread includes: Caprese bites, egg salad sandwiches, southwestern quinoa, veggie tray, fruit cups, cheese, mini cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and mini bundt cakes. Delish!

We bought an inflatable slide for our darling girl. Took up most of our backyard, but was a hit. I wanted to do some light snacky food items, which turned into quite the spread. Some of the dishes are obvious. For the ones that aren’t I will post the recipes in a follow-up post. I think we did a pretty good job. We all survived. She had a blast! The house didn’t burn down. Nothing got broken. Maybe next year I will take it easy. Wishful thinking as I know I always compete with myself. Oh dear.

Social Work Struggles

I returned to work on Monday. One week post-op. No real issues in that department. What I am sad about is that some people at my job tell me I’m too invested. This really irritates the living daylights out of me! We live in a culture that is very self-centered. Everyone’s main focus is on themselves.

I think if people spend a little more time being selfless instead of selfish, our society would function just a little better. I am all about self-care and being self full, but there has to be a balance. I hate when another social worker tells me I’m too invested in my clients, because that doesn’t seem like a very social worky thing to say. I thought that was the whole point of my job, to actually give a crap.

I think every therapist or in any line of work people have their favorite clients/patients/whatever. I definitely have mine, but I’ve also been told by my peers that while they know I have my favorite inmates they do not see me give them any special favoritism. I appreciate that feedback, I try to treat everyone equally and work equally as hard for all my clients. As a social worker, and more importantly, as a human we form attachments to people.

Forming bonds are so rare and special. People share things with me that I’m sure they have never shared with another person in their lives. I’m also positive that people flat-out lie to my face. Everyone has a story. Everyone has trauma. Everyone is a human. In my job specifically, I think the inmates are frequently seen as just that: an inmate, a criminal. It’s not always so black and white.

It surprises me that in 2015, we are still thinking with such rigid judgments on people, myself included. There are several inmates I would gladly take home. I tell the majority of my co-workers I want to take inmates home. However, I do have good boundaries and haven’t and won’t do that. But there are people in there that are funny, charming, smart, kind-hearted and absolutely worthwhile. There are some that I think exactly the opposite of. Regardless of my opinions or anyone else’s we are all people. We are all searching for the same things in life: love and acceptance.

There are several people at the jail, that if it weren’t for the guidelines of my job, if I would have met them outside of jail I probably would have been friends with them. We forget how easily any one of us could be inside a jail for making a mistake. Some choose to make worse mistakes than others, but some people are stuck in a system that is difficult to get out of.

Basically, I’m irritated that people tell me I care too much. What does that even mean? Why is that a bad thing? I can tell you I will NEVER change that. That doesn’t mean I have poor boundaries. That doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job. That doesn’t mean I coddle inmates. That doesn’t mean that I need to work on my self-care or be involved in my own therapy to sort it out. I care because in my heart I feel that it’s the right thing to do. I care because too many people don’t give a s**t about anyone or anything. I care because I believe it in my heart and soul to be a positive thing. It gives me hope to care, because the world can be a cruel place. I also know I am not alone in my thinking and am so saddened that we live in a society where caring is viewed as a flaw that needs to be fixed. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to change my heart. I refuse to give up on people that everyone else wants to throw away.

At the end of my life, I want to know I gave every ounce of my soul to helping and loving others. Showing emotions is a strength. We need to be more open and accepting of that. I have always had a tender heart and used to feel that I needed to change that. As I got older I have learned to embrace it and am so proud that in a society where it isn’t easy to be sensitive, I am not afraid to be me. I can be a henious b***h, don’t get me wrong. I will always stand up for what is right. Maybe if we took an extra moment each day to be a little kinder, to be less judgmental, to embrace our own emotions we could really make some major positive changes. Just maybe we could each give a little bit more…

Wiping the Wrinkles Away!

I wish this was a real thing. My daughter has been wiping my moms face, as well as mine recently. My mom watches her on the days I work. She called me one day and said that she thinks my daughter doesn’t like her wrinkles, as she was constantly wiping her face.

She has been doing this to me as well. I wonder if she is upset because our skin isn’t as smooth and perfect as hers? I wonder what goes through her head since she does this to not only myself but my mom. Do my wrinkles bother her? Do I look that old that I’m offending a toddler with my fine lines?

Maybe I need Botox. I hear it does wonders. I’m totally afraid of Botox. I don’t want to look plastic or have a botched job. All these silly things make me wonder if I need work done. I’m 31, some days I feel confident and secure with myself. Other days I just see all the imperfections.

This leads to many thoughts. One, I don’t want my daughter to have as bad of a self-image that I have of myself. Two, looks aren’t the only important thing in life. Third, society makes our looks feel like they are the only thing that matters/should matter for women. I’m an intelligent person, why am I getting sucked into societal pressure to feel that I have to do/be it all?

I don’t want wrinkles. I don’t like my wrinkles. Why am I partially believing that my worth consists on how many people think I look pretty and youthful? Seriously, so many thoughts flying around my head on this topic. As a social work female, I feel that it is my duty to promote self-love. How silly that I strongly want to promote something I rarely practice on myself. I see the best in a lot of people and am full of compliments for others. When people say flattering things to me I believe they have ulterior motives or are lying.

There are moments when I would rather be called intelligent, funny, kind, and/or genuine over beautiful. Then I get sucked into the destructive cycle again, panicking that people won’t see anything special about me as I get older. Women have a tremendous amount of pressure to be so many things and have endless positive attributes. I know I’m not the only woman or mother who struggles with feelings of insecurities.

It seems like little girls are focusing on their appearances at younger ages. I think my child is exquisite.  I however, also tell her she is funny, clever, sweet, kind, spunky and important; among other things. I want her to feel worthy of being anything she would like in this world. I want her inner beauty to be appreciated more so than her outer beauty. Realistically, we live in a world where her outer beauty will probably get her further in life than her inner beauty. How sad.

From now until forever, it is my responsibility to help my child to become a strong, confident girl. I have to push my insecurities aside so that I can help her thrive. Is this what all mothers feel that we have to do? Why do we continue to accept that this is how we have to think and strive to be? We (women) are constantly in competition with other women in every aspect of our lives. Why don’t we support each other? We are all battling unrealistic expectations to be perfect. We should be celebrating our uniqueness and the qualities that truly make a person beautiful.

We should promote kindness. We should support one another and fight for a world where women are really seen as equals. We should appreciate that everyone has value. We should, we should, we should…….There are so many shoulds. Will there ever be this type of reality? My own insecurities make me think about the bigger picture. Logically, I don’t want to get Botox on principle and want to stop hating what I view as flaws. I want to embrace what really makes me an individual. I’m human and in the back of my mind, I still want to be beautiful and have no wrinkles.

I want many things for my life. I want many things for my child. I want it all and don’t think it’s too much to ask for. So confusing. I mean, if I could wipe my wrinkles away I would absolutely be all over that! In a heart beat! To live in a world where we could all have it all. Wishful thinking. Maybe my daughter is onto a new treatment for wrinkles?!?