Girl Power – Totally Real, Totally Raw

“Mom…That’s not right.”

“What’s not right, honey?”  I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was referring to.  I was focused instead on getting us across the busy street in one piece.

“That.”

I backed us both up and followed his gaze in the direction of his pointed finger…all the way to my stomach.

To the approximately one and a half inches of exposed skin.

“I don’t get it.” I asked.  “What’s wrong with that?”

“I dunno.”  He wouldn’t meet my eyes when he said, “Mothers just don’t do that.”

Is this what he had in mind?

Hmm…Okaaaay.   So show me whatever book that is written in so I can refresh myself with the rules of being a mother.  Obviously I had forgotten them.

“Who said mothers don’t do that?” was my reply.

“Well, Jeffrey’s mom doesn’t do that.”

That stung a bit and I got a tad defensive.  “Yeah?  Well, here’s a newsflash for you, kiddo.   I’m not Jeffrey’s mother and I am not like other moms.”

In the silence that followed, I thought about this and quietly rephrased it.  Most moms are not like most moms.

It’s hard to live up to the standards and expectations that society has so cruelly branded into our foreheads, and when we deviate, either privately or publicly, we usually end up with an elephant-sized guilt trip riding on our shoulders.  We worry what others might think.  We wonder if we’re going to be the topic over the next morning’s coffee.  Will so-and-so’s mother let our little Johnny play with her son anymore?  In a little town like the one I live in, word of deviant behavior travels like wildfire.  We might as well be walking around with some big scarlet letter silk-screened on our shirts.

I understand that not every woman has an alter ego kicking and screaming to be heard, and that’s okay.  As long as she is happy.  Happy is good.

But speaking for myself, I love a great trashy novel, love slamming down shots of tequila, and have been known to drop the F-bomb on a few occasions – but only when no other word in the English language would suffice.  Okay, on more than a few occasions.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that I’d be willing to bet there’s a little bit of wildness to some degree in all of us women, mother or not.

In an earlier blog I spoke about trying to be someone I wasn’t – the perfect example of the wife and mother – and it killed me.   So I loosened up a little and stopped trying to be so perfect.  I mean, how bad can it really be when even the Queen Mother will toss back a beer?

queen mother

I can’t be wrong on this because there are a minimum of 4000+ women who have embraced their wild and aggressive side and made it more than okay to be that way.  A close friend of mine has created a Facebook page for women, mostly mothers, to vent their frustrations and generally blast apart whatever is annoying them at the moment.  It’s not a place for the easily offended, because it gets totally real, totally raw.  The page is called Give Me A Valium With My Latte.  Reading the threads usually has me laughing out loud and/or shaking my head in amazement.  These women say what I can only think, and I consider myself a fairly outspoken person.  Here is where it all hangs out.

Facebook harbors a community of like-minded women who feed off of each other’s boldness and use it to fuel the smoldering fire within them.  Other fabulous mommy pages on Facebook are The Brazen Apron, Maybe It’s NOT Me, Maybe It Is You, Epic Mommy Fails, and Reality With A Twist Of Lime.

Keep this in mind – Just because we allow ourselves to dance the line between the expected and the unexpected, doesn’t mean we don’t love our families or fail to put them at the top of the priority list.  It’s just that we agree to share that space with them.  As it should be.

So how about you (men included)?  Do you tend to play down certain characteristics out of fear of disapproval?  Is cutting loose ever an option for you?  Do you allow yourself to be truly you?  Let me know!  I’d love to hear from you!

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on August 3, 2011, in Personal, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Right on Diana, (Did I just date myself with “right on”) I am a man, husband and father. I used to play down who I really was trying to be the perfect. It didn’t work. My family wasn’t getting the best of me. I decided even if it cut out time with them I had to find time and space for myself so that now when I’m with them they get more.

  2. I could have written this article myself, for real. Until this last year, I spent the previous 7 years before trying to be someone I’m not, fit the mold. Then I found a FANTASTIC group of women, fellow mothers, that didn’t fit that particular mold either and I discovered I could be “myself” and still be a good wife and mother. My house may not be spotless, we may eat processed food 2 or 3 times a week (ok sometimes maybe 4 or 5), but my kid is clean, healthy, smart (too much for her own good sometimes, well-behaved…ish, and I manage to get her to tee ball/soccer practices/games on time. I’m not perfect and I’m absolutely awesome at it.

  3. Yeah, I’m guilty of tailoring my lines based on fear of disapproval. I’m a people pleaser, what can I say? I’m also not the type of person to “cut loose.” Maybe my fear is so ingrained I can’t tell the difference, but I don’t feel like I’m naturally capable of going wild. Me is quiet. Maybe I don’t show everyone everything about myself, but I know who I am, and I’m content with that.

  4. Great blog Diana!

    I don’t think it matters if you live in a small town or big city really, because we all grow up trying to gain the approval from our family and friends at a very young age. I have found unfortunately, it is sometimes the people who we are closest to that judge us the hardest. Perhaps because they are fighting with fears and shame of their own? I like what Angela and Eldon said (above) and appreciate their honesty. I love who I am, now that I am not “masking” and celebrate the real me everyday! Woot! Woot!

  5. Yeah, baby….! was dancing around to the Stones’ “Tattoo You” CD today while in the midst of a huge clean-up and get-rid-of-day (not mopping and vacuuming, which is what I should be doing – but oh, well). And I wasn’t wearing an apron or pearls but flip-flops and shorts… and my teenaged son wasn’t home to give me the raised eyebrow and the “geez, mom, that’s not how people dance these days!”

  6. I enjoyed your blog, Diana. The thought of 4000 free expressing women in one place is a bit fightening for me. Even if it is cyberspace. There could be a incident when hubby gets home– and not necessarily a good incident, LOL

    The truth is this age we live in is an awakening for men and I enjoy discussing and listening to more assertive women. I’m a writer also and in the book business- if a man wants to survive- he must throw all thoses old stereotypes out the window and learn to enjoy strong beautiful women– and it’s okay to tell them that if it’s done in a non-tequila way.

    Heck– women even wear pants now– or so I’ve heard. That’s a joke so don’t send the posse after me.

    Great post!

  7. Amen, sister!

    And although I am reading your blog for the first time, I realize you have good taste b/c I’m a fan of each of those pages too! It’s nice to have a place to let your hair down, drop an f-bomb and just be happy with who we are!

    great post & I’ll be back for sure!

  8. Thanks for including us, Diana. I, too, like dropping back shots. I play my hard rock/heavy metal music too loud. And I use the F-bomb entirely to often. I wish I didn’t know that [expletive deleted] word! I’m 42 and am working that stomach, but until it looks much better than it does, I’m not showing it. When it does look good, however…
    Great post!

    -Jimmy

  9. Good on you! There must be a theme going on in the bloggesphere right now (btw I just love typing that word). I’ve just come over from another blog where the quote of the day is Dr Seuss saying “there’s no-one you-er than you” (I’m going from memory so forgive me if I’ve spelled things differently to the original). And I have a friend who has a humorous book planned, called “Bad Mother” in which she’ll celebrate bringing up her kids with love and freedom and without the judgement of society.

  10. Diana,
    Great post!
    It’s a sad truth that so many of us try to fit ourselves into these slots of what we ‘think’ we should be and what others think we should be.
    It can be a very difficult thing to break away and be our glorious selves. But so liberating.

    Excellent post.

  11. Great post. I think that women have been typecast historically and it didn’t seem to end when Germaine Greer told everyone to burn their bras. I think you expressed the frustrations felt very well.

  12. Diana, I had to laugh at your son’s comments about something ‘not right.’ My son ‘fixed’ my off-the shoulder blouse when he was about that age because mom’s don’t wear that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, ‘fixing’ it meant the neckline dipped below the bra line. That didn’t bother him!

    “Just because we allow ourselves to dance the line between the expected and the unexpected, doesn’t mean we don’t love our families or fail to put them at the top of the priority list. It’s just that we agree to share that space with them. As it should be.” Amen to that!

  13. I do not have children yet, but I loved this post! 🙂 I can only imagine! Forbes posted an article today and it says, “All Moms Have Messy Houses and Other Survey Findings” http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/10/25/all-moms-have-messy-houses/

    Basically it says that both the stay at home mom and working mom, both deal with guilt! I think it’s time that just WOMEN be free to be themselves and not compare their size, personality, gifts, to other women and feel free to be them. Funny how most look to others to give them that freedom when they possess the freedom all along. 🙂

  14. I feel such a connection with you regarding this topic as I think we’ve experienced some similar stuff. I am only now finding that I am giving myself permission to be who I truly am because I no longer have the responsiblity of being a wife, my kids are grown adults and no longer need my supervision, and other expectations of me have fallen away. I have been lucky that my kids have always supported my “coolness” and my version of mothering, and I refuse to act my age for the mere fact that I don’t feel that old. I am lucky that they are now supporting and encouraging me in this second phase of my life. Thankful to you for this forum and opportunity to reconnect.

    • Oh, Maria. I’m so glad that you are able to feel who you are meant to be, however long you’ve been dormant. It’s a long journey, but a totally thrilling ride. Everyday I discover a new and empowering strength. It is completely freeing. Even better that your family is supporting you in this as well. It was our choice to get buried under everything, and now our choice to be free. You go, girl! Love you!

  15. What a great blog, Diana!

    I never cut loose (in public) until I reached my 30s. In the last several years I’ve come to realize that life is too short not to enjoy the ride.

    • As it should be, CJ. The world is too full of judgmental people whose opinion will squash our spirit if we allow them. Thanks for checking it out and here’s to the wild ride ahead!

  16. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

    • Katherin, you totally made my morning. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy you enjoyed this particular piece.

      And I really appreciate that fact that you shared my blog to your circle. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Okay, I Give Up « Diana Murdock's Blog

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