ED is not vain and neither am I

She was a kind, old friend.  One I hadn’t seen in awhile.  She asked how I was doing.  I jumped right in. I told her that today was a rough day for me and ED.

ED was telling me I looked like crap. Actually, it was worse; on this particular day, ED was treating me harsher than usual and telling me I not only looked like crap, but that I was a worthless piece of shit. He always carried it to that extreme. He was telling me that my fat was indicative of my character.  Because of that roll around my belly, it was obvious I was lazy, undisciplined and really just plain disgusting.  All lies.  But ED is relentless. ED bullies me that way and gets involved in everything I do on those days.  ED starts by pointing out every single flaw and with condemnation comes the worst accusation of all. ED points out, “Not only are you disgusting, but you refuse to do anything about it.  You just eat and eat and eat and do nothing. You HAVE to do SOMETHING, you worthless piece of…” About this time is when I cringe mentally, scream internally, and tell ED, “Shut the fuck up!”

But it hasn’t always been that way.  Not so long ago, I would agree with ED and in an effort to fight against the feeling of worthlessness, I would plan how I could stop the enemy of food from taking over.   A demented battle with food would follow. (You see, I always thought food was the enemy.  Really, it was ED).

So it has taken a long time to get to this point where I tell ED to fuck off.  This point where I know ED spews lies.  This point where I can tell ED to shut up.  Thankfully, now, most days ED is relatively subdued.   But this particular day, ED had shown up with a vengeance  in the form of old photo.  As I looked at the photo, a common trigger, ED seized the opportunity to prey on me.  ED does that when I am vulnerable.  I sighed and tried with all my might to push ED away and chanted quietly my truths.  But, it is tough. ED is tough.  ED just doesn’t disappear.  ED is someone I have lived with my whole adult life.  ED, is a companion to many, but thankfully not to all.  Thankfully, not the companion of this friend who I had just shared with.   And that is why she said what she did.  She doesn’t know him.

Let me introduce you, in case you don’t know him.  ED is short for Eating Disorder; my affectionate name for the condition that has challenged me most in my life.

So my friend, she said, “Get over it. You look great.”

I know she didn’t at all mean it rude.  She meant it as a compliment. She meant to encourage.  But those words stung.

First, there was … Get over it.  That makes it sound so easy and like I am so weak.  Just stick your head down and focus.  Move on.  Geesh already.  If she only knew the thousands of times I had thought that thought myself… ” Just freaking get over it already. It’s only fucking food- a carrot or rice- for crying out loud; it isn’t heroin.  Eat and chill out.  C’mon, THIS is no big deal….calories in calories out.  If you don’t want to end with the crazy cycle, don’t start it.  To not feel pressure to purge, don’t binge.” Simple.

I wish.  For some reason, when there is food in front of me, it is anything, but simple in my head.  When, confronted with a mirror or a photo of myself, it is a similar, tangled mind fuck.  I don’t get it.  I have spent thousands of dollars and even more hours than money attempting to untangle it all and make it simple.  I am getting there. Slowly. But the process is anything, but simple.

So her “get over it” reminded me that she didn’t understand and she, thankfully, couldn’t understand because she didn’t suffer from a relationship with ED.

And that’s why, then, there was… You look great. It was a simple statement, right? If I just understood that, then all would be well.  Right?! Wrong. I, again, felt the sting. In her tone was some minor exhaustion and it was as if she was saying, “Good grief, you look fine, you shallow human. Relax, it’s only your looks.”  My interpretation sounds like a bit of harsh filter. It wasn’t meant harsh. I know she meant it as a gentle reminder that there are more important things in life and I know she doesn’t judge me on my appearance. She was simply saying that I shouldn’t judge myself on exteriors.  And I ABSOLUTELY agree with her one-hundred percent, but that’s the tricky part about ED. That tricky part is what I found myself wanting to explain to her, but I couldn’t quite find the words in that moment.  And so here they are….

My friend, ED is not simply my vanity.  ED is not me wanting to be the prettiest or the skinniest or the most stylish or the most anything.  ED pretends to be about appearance, but ED is not about looks.  ED is about shame and destruction.  ED is not vain at all.  ED gets at our worth.  ED convinces me and others that suffer from his incessant bullying that we are worthless because we don’t look a certain way.  ED is so powerful that ED not only distorts our minds, ED even distorts our sight.  Over time, ED begins to give us horrid lenses to see life through. Often, we can see beauty in everything, but ourselves.  ED makes us so lonely.  It feels as if all the world is gorgeous and strong except me. Those of us who travel through life with ED are often extra sensitive.  It’s one of the beautiful things about us, but ED twists that, too.  ED wrestles the good out of the sensitivity and masks it as weakness.  Those of us that walk with ED try to look good, eat good, be good because then we think we will somehow become good like everyone else.

So, my dear friend, I wish I was just vain.  I wish ED was vain.  If ED was simply shallow vanity, I could just “Get over it” and “look great.”

But, lucky, for me ED is not so shallow. ED is a vicious companion who has brought out unimaginable depth and strength in me.  I will get over it and I do look great, but believing that truth only comes because I have chosen to do so with all that is beautiful and strong in me.

Sexy Jesus


Our tree. We tried.

This is the Christmas Spirit in action at the Walker House.

Twas the night before Christmas Eve, which Justin Skyler Walker affectionately calls “Christmas Adam” [insert eye-roll here], in the Walker household. Mom Walker called on all to “Wrap the damn presents already”. Usher in the festive moment.

Me: Alexa, play Christmas carols.
Alexa: The station “Holiday Favorites” from Amazon Music.
Savannah: Noooooo!
Mitch Walker: Alexa, text Justin Skyler Walker
(Sidenote- Mitch, for future reference that would be Siri, not Alexa)
Alexa: Here’s “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” featuring Skyler Astin.

[music begins, lyrics include, but are not limited to…]…He’s totally a man, a man with a plan…He taught us to be good…and do all the shit we should….we stopped smoking weed, at least not as much…. do unto others slam, bam, wham, thank you ma’am, do unto you…. Rock me sexy, Jesus, all night long.

Sierra: Mom, make it stop. This is awkward.
Me: Next song.
Alexa: That was the last song. Starting over.
Me: [insert snorting laughter here]
Mitch: Kim, breathe.
Me: [insert wet pants here]
Girls: [insert ZERO laughter here]
Mitch: When your mom passes out because she’s laughing so hard she can’t breathe, I am not giving her mouth to mouth. Which of you is doing it?
Girls in unison: ALEXA, OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can’t you just feel the love?

Sick of the Silence? #MeToo

I posted it for a few hours and then I changed the settings to private. It felt too vulnerable.

Today, I’m driving myself to plow past the vulnerability.

And so it is with great fear and trembling… and courage, I say #metoo.

So why did I take the original post down?

I could deal with random Facebook friends seeing the post but then I thought of the questions I might get from my parents, my children and my husband. How would I answer their questions? Would they be disappointed in me? Would I embarrass them? Myself? It was sick thinking. But it was too much. The shame at times still overwhelmed me. I removed the post.

I didn’t want to tell them the details of not one, but the several times, I’d been harassed. Thankfully, I’d always escaped assault, but typically it was due to repeated forceful, physical and verbal, resistance on my part. It never came easily.

I didn’t want to tell the details because I didn’t want to have to re-live the details.

In the details, there was shame and self-blame that I solicited the harassment.

In my twisted mind, I somehow deserved being asked “How much$?” and it was somehow my fault my arm was being grabbed as I strolled down the beach with a friend. The look in the stranger’s eyes was only dimmed by broad daylight and the gratitude that our eyes met here on the busy beach street instead of in a dark alley. If I had to retell the story, I would have to explain that my shorts were clearly too short for the beach, my hair too long and too blonde, and apparently my wedding ring was too small as well.

There were the dark places, too, though, and I wasn’t in a back alley. I was in a public place (and, yes, sober), enjoying an evening with a friend. She had dragged me to the dance floor where I hesitantly tried to find the beat. Before I knew it his hands grabbed my waist. My middle dragged to his middle where I discovered much more information about him than I ever wanted to know. I remember being held tight, his lips, unrequested, against my ear, and told “You know you want it. “My cold and clear response, “No thank you. I love my husband.” Then, his, “You don’t care about your husband. He will never know.” Now, I was squirming within his death grip around my waist after repeated “no thank you’s”. Finally, I could pull away, not because of my strength, but somehow because of his demented mercy. I was careful and cautious in my resistance because I didn’t want to make a scene, and after all, I had been dancing. I told myself he was a jerk, but I also have seldom been on a dance floor since. It’s mostly because this thought now goes through my head. “A married woman should not be out dancing. You’ve seen what happens. It’s an invitation.”

Both situations described above were somehow partly MY fault in my mind. Yet, I can’t recall ever in my life physically cornering another human , insisting they wanted something they said they didn’t. The only thing that even comes close to me doing this would be that one time my toddler daughter wouldn’t take some antibiotics for a horrible ear infection. I held her arms and forcibly shoved the spoon in her mouth screaming, “you want this. It’s good for you” shortly before I was showered with pink milky bubble-gum flavored medicine. But other than that mothering moment, even if I had cat-called, then grabbed and then threatened, as in the situations above, I would have never deemed it the other person’s fault (not even of my toddler daughter with her antibiotic aversion) But sexual harassment- verbal and physical- by a man WAS somehow simply annoying male behavior and hugely my fault.

This double standard that permeated my mind towards myself was clearly faulty thinking, but I was deeply unaware of it at the time.

I can’t begin to explain to you unless you have experienced this form of harassment how scary it is, but also how numb one can become to it because it starts so young and continues happening so often that it becomes your normal.

Violation is normalized.

Those situations above which are only a couple of the many over my lifetime both scared and scarred me more than I can put into one blog. In part, because I am only beginning to understand their impact on my life. Yet, I will comment on why it’s so hard to share #metoo.

Aside from the fact that I have a serious aversion to being labeled a victim, the difficulty comes because the message to women is so twisted. I, not only thought I was to blame by something I wore or did, but even more so I was confused because I gave in to the lie that this attention was good. If it didn’t end in assault, I had done well. Let that sink in and hang with me here for a moment…..If it didn’t end in ASSAULT, I had done WELL. I had successfully summoned the affection of a male.

There was/is so much pressure to be beautiful and sexy and attractive that it is a compliment all the way up until the moment that it isn’t. In our culture, it’s a compliment to be valued solely on my sex appeal.

My world (especially the church people) told me that men were extremely visual and hormonal beings. They can’t resist porn on a screen or short skirts. (If you think times and the subtle messages have changed, think again. Boys hormones are still soooo uncontrollable that my middle-school daughter isn’t allowed to wear capri pants to school because her ankles, they are a “distraction”. And my elementary daughter can’t wear jeggings because they are too revealing of her six year old body.) So as a young woman, it was incredibly important for me to be aware of the male weakness. Then as a maturing woman, it was still important to remember that “men only have one thing on their mind.” The underlying message is that they are somewhat primal and unable to control their urges given the right input.

Couple this with even the gentlest message that you will be rewarded if you look thin, pretty, cute, stylish, manicured, confident, and classy, with the ultimate reward—male affection. You are told that you want to be Miss America, the Sports Illustrated model, Homecoming Queen(don’t tell me it’s all her personality!)., People talk a big game. They say the inside matters but the messages to girls are contrary. Overtly and subtly throughout your lifetime you are rewarded for being the pretty girl. No sub-culture seems to be immune to this reality. Even the most spiritual girl in church is admired for her fitness and trendy boots.

Combine these two streams of thought and at a minimum you have a toxic message.

The message- It’s good to look good. You want to be attractive. Pursue it. Draw people (especially men) to you with your beauty.   But not too much because once you do- well, men are simply animals that have no control over their actions towards you in this regard.

Fast forward to my situations of harassment. I wanted male attention. I mean, it would have been a compliment if those men said, “Wow! You look stunning!” I mean…that was what I was after. My innate need to be valued had been exploited by culture. You see, even if culture hadn’t reinforced it, it seems there’s a part of all of us, male and female, that wants to be adored. So if I wanted the attention and adoration, wasn’t I asking for this? Again, couple that with the message that men are simply primal, testosterone laden creatures and you have only one thing that remains– my fault.

So why would I risk re-posting and expanding on my story?

Saying #metoo makes me vulnerable. It terrifies me. It makes me have to explain and relive a horrible and confusing and violating experiences. Why would I want to do that? It’s easier to keep it tucked safely away. I don’t want to relive the warmth of his breath in my ear and the panic that ensued when I realized he felt entitled to me. The feeling of powerlessness makes me nauseous. Why would I ever bring that up publicly? All of the men who harassed me were strangers or acquaintances that I could easily distance myself from in the future. So I have no one to sue or profit from in sharing. Perhaps that is why it often takes so long to share. There really is nothing to gain by doing so.

But, I just can’t tuck it away any longer. On the one hand, as it was in my original post, the purpose is to link arms with the brave women in my life who I know have suffered.

Ironically, much of it is for the good men in my life, too, though. I believe them to be so much more than primal. They are strong, courageous, respectful and disciplined. There are many, many good men that have never violated me in this manner.

Most of all, though, it is for myself. I can’t, with a clear conscience, sit by and do nothing. I have blogged over much more minor absurdities. Silence is not an option. I would be disgusted and severely disappointed in myself if I was willing to speak out on behalf of solar energy but not on the issue of dignity of women.


I am disturbed by the silence of many white evangelicals (I think Jesus called us “Pharisees”) on this issue. I have heard more of them rant about the ills of Harry Potter and the inductive style of the pastor’s preaching than they are willing to do so on this subject. Discuss birth control or changing Sunday morning service times or teletubbies with purses and you’re sure to get an earful. But sexual predators in politics or on our favorite news show or in our pulpit …well, we all just need to unify and not be so negative .

The silence is deafening.

I am especially disgusted by the silence of white evangelical WOMEN. I have only heard but a few address this issue. Far more were outraged by Miley Cyrus’s dance moves at some award show a few years back than they have been about the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault by men in power.

One may ask why I feel it necessary to call out white evangelicals on this issue. Well, for starters, because they are my people. Second, Jesus was big on calling out Pharisees and he’s my guy. (You know – WWJD). And, third, because it seems that they are by and large the ones justifying this behavior by not speaking out and softly supporting institutions and people that say this behavior is okay. Where is the outrage over a man using the story of Jesus birth to justify pedophilia??? I have sat in countless Bible studies debating the Biblical basis for the proper amount of the Disney channel for a three year old, how long a mother should nurse and how old a teen should be to date. If anything should cause a rise in us and demand at minimum some discussion–it should be THIS! By sitting silently, we only reinforce to victims that we shouldn’t talk about such things. Our silence confirms that this kind of behavior is okay. I needed someone to stand with me and say “not okay” and I need someone to get outraged with #metoo, in order to speak out about my situations.

We are being called to a higher standard. Let’s embrace it. We are all guilty of settling for less than we were intended to be. Ladies, we have got to begin, at least, discussing this. Start reflecting; start talking; start questioning; start saying “I’m worth more!”

So I will fight through the vulnerability and scream for the sister who is blaming herself. You’ve been harassed and violated? #metoo ! You want it to stop? #metoo ! It was wrong, my friend! Do you feel like this is an overreaction to an age old problem? Then, ask yourself these bottom line questions-

Do you want to be respected the way you respect others?

Do you want your daughter to be respected in the same way she respects others?

Do you want your son to be given the dignity of being respected as the whole human he is? #metoo!

Would you have violated or harassed a person the way you were treated? Me neither.

Then, it’s okay to be sick of the silence. I am, too.

Why Not Me?

  I felt the nausea coming on. It happens every time. You would think it would be easy by now. Nope. And yesterday was especially difficult. 

It’s a highly predictable pattern. 
I hit “post”, I feel like I’m going to puke. I “delete”.

Then, again, I hit “post”. I felt the vomit. I hit “delete.” 

The  third time I hit “post”, I paused. The usual thoughts flooded in. 

” You aren’t really a writer. No one cares about your thoughts. People are going shoot holes in your arguments. You should be making dinner. You’ll probably lose friends. You have lame vocabulary. You’re lame. Surely, you misspelled things. Does what you said even make sense. No one cares. No one cares. No one cares.”  

In my pause, I muttered a prayer, “Should I do this?” And I then remembered the words of friend earlier that day. 

She was sharing about a dream of hers. A dream that she admitted sounded crazy. But then, she concluded that other people had done it so “why not me?” 

Her words countered all the vulnerability. Every time I write or share my heart openly in a conversation, there is a risk. It’s the risk of being rejected. 

So I hit “post.” And this happened….

1000 hits in two hours. It established me as a bit of a writer and just recently landed me a job writing. 

Her words taught me important lessons. Imagining “Why not me?” is the first step. But also, reward typically comes at the risk of rejection. 

My calling in life seems to be to be open and honest about awkward and uncomfortable things. Sometimes people don’t like that. So I often interpret that rejection as my flaw. 

But when I look around me at other friends with varied gifts, I can see it more clearly. 

I can see the truth of this matter more clearly in you, my friends.  It’s sort of like the seven dwarfs in Snow White. 

I have a Doc friend – she is wise and insightful. I swear her IQ is like 483. I often find myself googling the meaning of the words she uses in texts. She introduced me to philosophy and poetry. 

I have a Grumpy, too- she’s a little rough around the edges but she’s got a heart of gold. The grumpiness makes her heart stand out that much more. She’s more cautious and suspect of situations but that’s often helpful. 

Then there’s my Happy- Her gift is making me pee my pants with her stories. Life is always more fun with this one. 

Sleepy is the best to vacation with. She’s chill and  calm. She reminds me to take in the moments. With her I see the leaves on the tree and taste the tannins in my wine. I savor life when by her side 

Bashful teaches me so much because she’s extra cautious with her words and her time. She teaches that selectivity is good. 

Dopey friend is just plain adorable. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, she’s kind beyond belief. Her heart gets in the way of her head often and we all absolutely love that part of her. 

Sneezy is a hot mess. She bounces from one thing to the next. She’s the one who dreams and goes for it. Her fervor inspires whether it’s with a new recipe or a new business. She’s the one who said “Why not me?!” 

Each one of you has your unique beauty. 

I can see your gifts so clearly. I also see people that you rub the wrong way.  Sometimes you see them, too. But what I’m seeing today is that their rejection of your gifts is usually about them, not you. 

You being you is a gift, but every time you put it out there you run the risk of rejection. Someone will think that Grumpy should be more Happy. Happy should be more serious like Doc. But those “someones” don’t know that you being you is your gift to the world; your gift to me. 

And it stings a little when your real self is rejected. To expose oneself completely, raw and unfiltered, is an extremely rewarding but vulnerable place. I want to protect you in that place, but sadly cannot always do so. 

All I can say to you is that those rejectors don’t understand you. 

And when *I* see this commitment to being your real self, I’m inspired to be my real self. To be raw, to be open, to write, to push “post”, and to dream “why not me”.  And so I do. 

Thanks, my dwarf friends, for the push to be a princess. This unfiltered, passion-filled Snow White takes a full seven to keep her healthy. I’m a sucker for bad apples and the Prince and I aren’t always so charming. 

So a few questions….

Who are you? Really?

What would it look like if you were your absolute best self? 

Why not YOU? What’s holding you back? Fear? Rejection? 

Let’s be brave. 

Let’s be vulnerable. 

Be you.  

I’ll be me.

And it will be beautiful. Maybe in a dwarfy kind of way, but that’s okay, too. They’ve got cool hats. I like hats. And that one is your color. 


We are a Ridiculous, but Glorious, Hot Mess

Yesterday, my big kids ganged up on me.

I think it was the first time they’ve EVER agreed on anything.


It was a bitter sweet moment. Their bonding over a common enemy- me.


The saddest part was that I really needed it. I really needed them to gang up on me and give me a stern talking to because I needed to understand something.
I had heard the horrid news about Virginia and I lost it. I did. Completely. And my rage was pointed at my kids in the form of a lecture about how “privileged they were and they better not forget it.”
And you know what? I was completely right. They are. WE are. My outrage over the events was proper. Some things deserve outrage and this was most definitely one of them. For so many reasons.
But because my anger was pointed at the poor fools that were in the car with me on the way home from the mall, I got a good talking to. They explained I was completely out of line-I was interrupting them often. My tone was horrible and that I seemed to be projecting my anger. Seriously, they said those things.
I wish I could say that I wasn’t  acting like that, but I was. I wish I could also say that I apologized right then, but I didn’t. I screamed more about “how they needed to understand that this wasn’t the way things had always been. This wasn’t normal.” (All this from the severely oppressed perspective of a white suburban kid who grew up in the 80’s where her biggest worry was a shortage of AquaNet, of course.) I continued. “You don’t understand- this is not okay! And you don’t want to talk about it and that’s not okay either!”
They rallied and came back. Defending one another. Expanding on one another. They were a force not to be trifled with and *I* was the freakin’ victim of their united front. And even worse, they were completely and totally calm and rational.
So, I did… eventually…. I apologized for my tone. And it was one of those super-lame apologies where you say your sorry but then you explain why it was important to be mad. So lame. So, so, so completely lame. But they accepted it.



And then they decided I needed a little time out. They ditched me and went and hung out together. I was left alone with my justified rage.

If they had rallied against anyone or anything else I would have been thrilled. But this rallying of theirs forced me to think. I didn’t want to think. So I was not thrilled.
AND….So I did what any rational person would do. I talked with like-minded people who would bolster me and my ego.



So I called Mitch. I replayed the entire thing to him highlighting my stellar arguments about the flaws in our society. He listened and told me I was right and, more importantly, that I was not a horrible mother simply because my children ditched me after a heartfelt rant.
Mitch wasn’t enough, though. And so I ranted to a friend. She agreed with me. She, too, told me I was a wonderful mother. So all was well.
I was justified and had a sound argument.
I was a good mother and human being.
And they were absolutely right. I was.
But there was this one thing…
My children were right with some things,too.
And some of those “things”  came to me when I couldn’t shake off their rallying cry. Their plea, yesterday, was for me to stop ranting about the insanity of our current administration. I really don’t speak of it much around them as I did before the inauguration. So I couldn’t understand their request. This was an isolated rant and they were acting like I did it every day. And, by the way, I forgot the most important part—they brought it up!! So how was I now being chastised for discussing it too often? I was thoroughly emotional and confused, yet rational about the absurdity of all of it.
It was in that moment of gray that I stopped myself to think about what they were trying to tell me. And in their patience with me and their maturity I heard this…
They are tired. They are so  very tired of the conflict but at the same time they are completely accustomed to it. They are the post 9/11 generation and THIS madness is their normal.


This conflict… this hate…this terror…this racial tension…this judgement.
I began to remember other things they had recently said. They had told me, “Mom, [insert person with opposing political viewpoint’s name here] is never going to change. So why do you even try?” My kids say this even , though, they usually agree with my views.
And they are correct. I think there is wisdom in that. Sometimes we don’t want to change. Sometimes, we aren’t worth talking about issues. Sometimes we just want to find things to justify what we already believe. We don’t want to listen and get uncomfortable with opposing views and treacherous grey areas. In those moments, we aren’t worth talking with. We will just twist your words and use them to build up our own arguments. I had just been that way with them ironically.
Lately I have become especially cognizant of this issue. I want to say something if I think makes more sense and if it would change someone’s mind, or better yet, their heart, Sadly, I don’t often think it will. So often I remain quiet when I hear flawed logic or even false statements.
So as I processed these thoughts, I began to hear even more clearly my children’s hearts. “Mom, there is no use arguing if all it is going to do is wear all of us listening out!”



But at the same time, I could feel the truth in my heart and such tension on how and whether to speak up



So often, I want to speak up. I want to cry out. “This must stop!” because I don’t want this to be normal for my children. I don’t want terror and hate to NOT shock them.
A nation so divided. Communities divided. Families divided. I, myself, divided on what to do.
I’m often torn in this way…


Speak up, but aggravate.  After all, evil persists when good people remain silent.




Sit silent hoping to foster peace?

My heroes are those that stand up:

For the underdog.

For those who don’t have a voice.

For those who need an advocate for justice.

For the children.


But are you really standing up for someone if you’re just pissing people off even more with your rhetoric?


It is all so muddled in my brain and that’s precisely the point.
I needed to hear the message that the gang of Walker kids tattooed on my soul yesterday.


The message, their message  — All of this madness is exhausting.


And they needed to hear MY message even if it was poorly delivered– All of this madness is infuriating.
And ABOVE ALL the exchange of all this truth is extremely messy.


So first, for the kid’s sake…


Let’s stand outraged together at the undeniably ugly things – a politician being shot in a friendly baseball game, a woman being run over, the threat of nuclear war, Nazi flags, police brutality, police who lose their lives in the line of duty, refugees being turned away, refugees that embrace terror, religion that lacks humility, egos that mock religion, ignorance, insanity, insensitivity and most of all let’s rise up against moms that rant uncontrollably in enclosed areas with a tone that can rival a sassy tween. It’s ALL ugly.


Next, let’s also acknowledge the mess in it all.


Me, first. I’ll acknowledge the messiness in my own response…


In my worst moments—I’ve mocked. I balked. I’ve criticized. I have ranted. I’ve screamed. I have refused to hear the heart of another. I’ve demonized the other side.


In my best moments —I’ve talked. I’ve shared stories. I’ve reasoned. I’ve listened. I’ve bent and changed. I’ve apologized. I’ve shared gently my heartfelt convictions.


….and this is the messy part- I have often been both my best and my worst at the same time.
I realized in the aftermath of my conversation (I use the term “conversation” lightly) that this was all one giant, glorious, hot mess. That WE are individually and collectively one giant, glorious, steaming hot mess.
And THAT is what I needed to understand and what my children ushered in to my reality.
It’s not all black and white. I had very valid points that my children needed to understand, but it was cloaked in raw emotion and somewhat irrational but justifiable passion.
My children had maturity insight and perspective that I did not have in some ways, but a skewed reality and a lack of experience in others.
You see, we were, combined, so right and also so wrong. All of us.
Thankfully, in this instance and mess, we were somehow able to wade through the madness and see each other’s hearts.
It’s my hope that sharing this story would call each one reading to do the same. To calm themselves for a moment and listen in the midst of the mess…


Listen for the good and true in yourself AND acknowledge your shortcomings.


Then, listen for the good and true in others all the while graciously accepting their humanity.


Then together, with ALL that messy, confusing, flawed,  collective reality, let’s move forward as one glorious, hot, but compassionate, mess.  Then, and only then, we will be stronger because we won’t  allow the mess to overcome our combined glory.

Random Mother’s Day Thoughts on the Supermom Complex & Dude Envy

Today is my day. It’s Mother’s Day. I can ask for whatever I want and they get to feel the small pang of guilt, that usually is taken on by me,  for even thinking about not giving [insert request here] to me.

Savannah woke up and I was doing laundry while waiting for my morning coffee and she said, “What are YOU doing? It IS Mother’s Day!” I know she’s mine, but I really love that kid.


I ask for tea; Mitch gets it for me. Instantly.


I make my kids carry all their crap AND some of mine to the car. I don’t bat an eye.


It’s MY day. I am living it up.


I take not one, but two naps, totaling six hours.

But here’s the clincher–I don’t feel guilty about it. None of it. I am not less of a mom because of it.


Well, not today.

Any other day, I’d secretly feel like a bit of a failure if I unapologetically made the same requests. That would be very un-super-mom-ish and what would people think of me then?  I shudder to think.


So it occurred to me today… is that what it’s like to be a man? I am most definitely a smart ass, but really, I don’t mean it that way. I’m just once again speaking without a filter and honestly asking…Is THIS what it’s like to be a traditional dude? You get to  ask for things without guilt? Is THIS what privilege feels like? …I get to assume that I am equally entitled to my needs being met?


Or maybe we could even say -is this what it’s like to be an assertive woman who’s free from an archaic “my role is to put aside all that I am and serve my man and my children and every god-forsaken creature in a ten block radius” mentality?



Please, don’t freak out on me. Listen closely to my heart here………My point in this moment is to recognize that I mostly put this super-mom cape on myself and how unbelievably unhealthy it can be! Sure, we can talk about society’s expectations until we are blue in the face. I am not doubting that. There are doctorate degrees for that. (And I am all for them.) I also know there’s very real prejudice and objectivity of women out there. I’m not doubting that either. I’ve been victim to that. (If I had better aim I’d punch those men that promote blatant sexism in the face or better yet, somewhere else, ). But I am talking here today, about how I subtly affirm and build on that role and find my worth in unrequested martyrdom.



So my Mother’s Day takeaway is, ironically,  I need to stop taking so much pleasure in the martyr syndrome. That statement is not to be confused with being a servant or self-sacrificial. It’s equally egotistical to do all that I do and feel guilty for the moments I assert myself.


Let me explain and expand.


For sake of the illustration, an assertive person (or a man) asks for what they want. If they aren’t a narcissist, they are mindful of the needs around them. They ask for what they need and here’s the clincher again— they don’t feel guilty about it. And there you have it. They are done. Need noticed. Request made.


Co-dependents, martyrs, women and good Catholics… we ULTIMATELY do the same things and execute the same actions, but we often tip toe around our needs and feel ridiculously guilty afterwards.


“How is that an ego?” you ask.

It’s assuming that we are both nothing and superior at the same time. It’s an arrogant presupposition. It’s saying we are inherently less important and less beautifully created than others- our needs are less important. AND it’s also saying that you, my friend whom I’m sacrificing, is incapable of surviving without me. I feel guilty because I am inadvertently implying that without me, you’re a lost cause.


In short, that is really jacked up thinking.


Let’s look at today through these lenses. A simple situation that took place after brunch. We walked to the car and I had some lovely gifts. We were leaving the restaurant. There were leftovers, presents, purses and flowers. I tried to gather them all. I couldn’t. Mitch kindly asked the kids to help. I FELT guilty. What in the world is that about???? It’s completely acceptable to ask your children for whom you just got lunch to carry a box! So why did I feel bad about that? It caught my attention perhaps because I reminded myself that it was Mother’s Day and it’s the one day I get to feel minorly entitled.


But what was really happening in that moment is that it IS a day where it’s okay to assert myself and my needs.


The other side of all this is that I don’t need to be bitchy about my needs being met. It’s not about getting pedicures, massages and never doing the dishes (although that would be nice). But it’s about knowing ourselves and knowing our needs and believing our abilities to meet them are equal.


My kids CAN help carry my shit to the car. They ARE  capable. And it can even booster their willingness and capabilities for later-in-life experiences. There’s no need to feel guilty!


Guilt is for when you do something wrong. Selfishness is wrong. Diminishing our capabilities is wrong too. Overemphasizing the necessity of me… in your life… for your survival and functionality… is my ego and is wrong as well.


There’s this weird payoff I get by attempting to be super-mom and surpressing my needs. I am treading on thin ice here, I know, by making the connection to male- female roles. I get that. But I do think there is a cultural incentive here. We are applauded as women when we can do it all. It’s a shallow applause, but it’s still an applause, nonetheless. We prop ourselves up for our self sacrifice. Carrying all the boxes, leftovers, purses, kids toys and being able to find the keys in heels while gently coaxing the little one to look both ways – this ability to do it all raises us to mythical motherhood status. We pat ourselves on the back for squashing our needs. I take complete ownership for embracing the egotistical ugliness that this role offers.


Let me repeat— promoting selfishness is not my goal! There are days when I need to carry everyone’s burden and then some. I will do it. Gladly. But I need to get my ego out of the way and let others carry some of the load so that I have energy for THOSE crazy days where I really am needed.


All this makes me think  I want to be a dude.  Not in the way that I will cause a problem at a Target bathroom in North Carolina, but in an envious way. Generally speaking, they are pretty good at this assertiveness and guilt-free living.


We, wives, are particularly good about bitching about their talent in this regard, too. We say they are clueless and oblivious to the needs of others. While it is sometimes true, most of them (grandiose generalization acknowledged) are just good at asking for what they need and waiting to be asked to do what you need. In my experience, they don’t feel guilty OR inadequate.  They also expect others to help them. It’s not a sign of weakness to request help.


I want to learn from that.


So I propose celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow, too. All of us. Let’s all wake up and assume our needs and capabilities are equal. Let’s tell whoever is starting the laundry, “Wait! Let me help you.” And then, let’s do it together. Neither party feeling guilty or entitled.