Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's YOUR excuse

***I use words such as you and we in my writing as it is my way of writing. I write as though I am speaking to the person directly.  This is not directed to any specific person or group of people, but merely anyone who has purposefully put down another person and their successes. 

Have you ever noticed how overly-sensitive our society has become. How quick people are to point fingers at one another. How defensive one gets over a sentence, a picture, another person's success, or something as miniscule as a pinterest-inspired birthday party. The judgements. The opinions. The expert that one seemingly becomes over another person's life. You know what I'm talking about. The proclaimed excuse makers.

Well she probably has a nanny that watches her kids.
Her husband works from home.
She doesn't know what it is like to actually work.
She's never dealt with a colicky baby.
How selfish of her to not spend time with her family.
It's just her genetics.

I've had 5 kids.
Well I've had 7.
She doesn't know what it's like.

She's making me look bad as a mom, and that's annoying.
How dare she act as if I should look like that.
I actually interact with my children, thank you very much.
Spending that much money on clothes? Clearly she only cares about herself.

It's hard enough being a woman and a mom in this society, I don't need the added pressure.
I let my kids be kids, unlike her who only cares about being perfect.
She's a helicopter mom.
She's too lax of a mom.
She sucks at being a mom.

I feel sorry for her kids.
I feel sorry for her husband.
I feel sorry for her dog.
I feel sorry for her.

I have it much tougher than her you know.
I don't have that kind of time.
I would never do that.
I could never do that.
Why would I want to do that.

Nauseating right? Complainers, complainers, complainers.  I mean, whoever said that you get anything accomplished in life by complaining about it. Really. Whoever said that you shall get rewarded without putting in the hard work. Whoever said that making excuses for yourself should make someone feel sorry for you.

People have guilt. Mothers have guilt. And so they may read one sentence out of on article, and be thrown into a rant of whatever they are struggling with internally. Whether it is weight. Whether it is their finances. Whether it be marital issues, health issues, or emotional issues. Whatever it may be, they are struggling, and to watch someone else succeed in something that they may not be able to, ever, just triggers something inside of them. And then the fight begins. And it's never ending. And the ranting and back and forth one-upping the other is seriously embarrassing to watch, or in this case, read. Sometimes I have to remind myself that these are grown women {lets face it, it's always women}. That sometimes {often times} these are even mothers. Mothers with children that are bashing other women, other mothers. And you can't help but wonder what these people are teaching their own children.

Surely not the importance of respecting others.

Lets talk specifically here about the ridiculous outcry by mothers and women over the image of the mom, fit mother, with her children, ages 3, 2, and 10 months {rough estimate here}, and a caption on the photo stating "What's Your Excuse." The one that popped up on everyone's news feed. The one that had everyone waving their arms up in the air crying "How dare she!"

I saw that picture, and thought to myself "Good for her! Beautiful children! Hard work! And she should be proud." And almost kept going, until my eyes met the comments. Oh those comments. People sitting behind their computer screen, making those excuses and accusations. Here they go.

Others? They saw this picture as her bashing fat women, fat mothers, and anyone else that did not look like her, strive to be like her, and put in the hard work like her.

And that's when I just put my head down in shame. She never said any of those things. She never insinuated any of those things. Yet, here these people were ripping her down for exactly just that. Words she never said. 

Three words. 

Three words was all it took to start a mom war, women war, and downright embarrassment out of the community. Because anyone who sat there and took the time to actually bash this woman, make assumptions of this woman, make excuses for themselves, and write pity parties should be ashamed of themselves.

Look, some people will never look like that. That's okay. Look, some people will not have the time to devote to look like that. That's okay. Look, some people don't even want to look like that. That's okay.

Have I mentioned that that's okay?!

I get that. And yet, I'm not an ounce jealous, bitter, or upset by a photo of a mother with her children and three little words. Why would I be.

If I was bitter, jealous, or upset, then I surely wouldn't be blaming her. She didn't do anything to me. She didn't belittle me. She didn't talk down to me. She didn't say anything more than "What's your excuse." She didn't do anything but show me what she has accomplished.

Anything else? Then that's within me, and has nothing to do with her.

So, again, good for her!

Who are we trying to convince here by telling our story of self pity, all while tagging on that this woman is selfish, doesn't spend time with her family, and is not the mother to her children that you are to yours. You know why that picture hurt anyone? Because deep down in their stomach, they may have regrets about something that is going on in their life. Something they are struggling with. Something that may have not worked out for them. And it doesn't necessarily have to do with weight. Or it may have everything to do with weight.

Weight or not, they struggle. And they used that moment, that picture to take it out on her. A real person with real feelings. By the way.

But my question again is this: Is it this woman's fault that we struggle? Is it her fault that she accomplished something that many women and mothers may not be able to. Is it her fault that you couldn't get past a picture of a mother with her children, in shape, and see something positive. Instead the caption spoke to you, in a negative way, and the only way to defend why we don't look like that is by attacking the person that does.

Why.

Why, in life, do we resort to attacking another person for the decisions that they make, the hobbies that they partake in, or the way they live their life. Assuming that they have resources we don't, that they have genetics that we don't, that they have a life that we don't. Minimizing their accomplishments in order to make ourselves feel better.

Why.

The thing is, this mother's story is no different than when I see people complaining about mothers who throw pinterest like parties. Mothers who like to do elf on the shelf. Mothers who do cutesy homemade valentine's day crafts with their children. The critics? They bash these women for making them look bad. How dare they do all these crazy, silly, over-the-top things for their own children. How dare they try to parent however they like, do crafts whichever way they like, and throw parties however they want. How dare they.

Excuse me here, while I bluntly say, how stupid does that sound. Blaming another woman for making you look bad. Blaming a mother for doing something for her children, something that while you may not enjoy, she does, and trying to take away from her happiness. And why. Why why why.

Why.

Look, accussing pinterest, elf on the shelf, or anything or anyone else for one feeling like an inadequate mother, wife, or person, is like blaming {and suing} McDonalds for being overweight.

At the end of the day? No matter how much hate you spread, no matter how many excuses you make, and no matter who you want to blame and point fingers at... You'll still feel inadequate. Just like suing McDonalds wouldn't take the weight off, belittling another person won't make you feel better about yourself or your life. Pointing fingers, shaming, and hating does not bring upon change.

Actions do.

The question you have to ask yourself is not, What did she do. Not what did she have. Not what did she sacrifice. And surely not what is easier for her. Instead, ask yourself what you are doing, what you are sacrificing, and how you can make a difference, if not for anyone else, but for yourself.

Spread positivity.
Inspire.
Work hard.
Set goals.
Complain less, achieve more.
Compliment.
Give.
Celebrate.
Be the positive example for our children.

Because I can't help but ask.... What's your excuse not to.

28 comments:

  1. Amazing! Just what I was thinking!

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  2. Exactly! It's sad that so many people took those words and photo as something negative. Just found your blog not too long ago and am loving it!

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  3. PREACH IT! yes!!!! cheers to ALL of that.

    xx
    elise

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  4. AMEN....exactly what I've been ranting to my husband about. Thanks for writing this!!

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  5. You said it very well! As I'm starting my first journey through pregnancy and soon into motherhood, I have been hyper aware of the judging, and excuse making, and attacking of the decisions I am making, so I am so glad there are people out there who want to spread positivity!

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  6. THIS! I was so confused as to why everyone was upset about this woman being in shape & encouraging others to be as well. It's so easy to use your own insecurities as ammunition towards others.

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  7. I love this! I saw that picture and the first thing I thought was "I'm a 20-year-old college student with no kids and a free membership to the campus gym... seriously what excuse could I come up with?" I never once could have imagined how anybody could have thought it in such a negative way.

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  8. I 100% agree! I saw the picture and thought good for you, damn i need to step up my game cause she's rocking it. But I put that on myself not her. People that are insecure are so rude and mean. Great post!

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  9. Perfect. Seriously, those words... Women need to lift each other up, not tear each other down! Be supporters, learn from one another (or not) and don't let hate keep breeding hate.

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  10. AMEN! All of the judging and putting down and feeling jealous is exhausting. I love to see examples of strong, successful, positive and happy women who craft and throw Pinterest parties for their children...seeing those things shouldn't make us feel inadequate, it should make us feel hopeful that there are still people in the world who care so much.

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  11. I thought the same exact thing. I saw it and thought, good for her. She looks good and works for it. I'm glad she's not backing down or little girls need strong women like her to look up to, one who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in and knows that hard work pays off!

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  12. Amazing, Becky. Seriously, you're one heck of a momma and I know those kiddos appreciate ALL you do for them! One sentence stuck out so much to me and its SO true, "Minimizing their accomplishments in order to make ourselves feel better." -- its so sad how many women (and men) do this today! Why can't we live in a world where people can encourage and uplift each other?! Hopefully, one day!

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  13. AMEN! I have been wanting to post about this too! When I saw her I was like wow, she looks amazing! Way to go girl! Jealousy is a nasty thing!

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  14. I saw that picture and thought she was amazing! People were getting mad at her, but she is in the fitness industry. It's her JOB!! I also think people love to make excuses and blame others for their situation, instead of taking full responsibility for their actions. I think people need to initiate change if they don't like something. I also think that people like to be negative and complain.

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  15. CHEERS!!!!!!! *loud applause* That is exactly what I've been thinking. and this - Just like suing McDonalds wouldn't take the weight off, belittling another person won't make you feel better about yourself or your life. best sentence! ♥

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  16. Amazing! I got chills reading this! honest! You hit the nail on the head.. hands down. I personally think it's a great photo & with a great message!! As you said GOOD FOR HER! Great post!!
    <3, Amy

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  17. I totally agree. Good for the fit mom. Good for the mom that can work outside the home. Good for the SAHM - I know I couldn't do it, housework and I don't get along well! I hate the judgment mentality these days!

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  18. Couldn't agree more- great post :)

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  19. Actually, I disagree with one part of your post. In response to the woman's photo, you said, "Others? They saw this picture as her bashing fat women, fat mothers, and anyone else that did not look like her, strive to be like her, and put in the hard work like her. She never said any of those things. She never insinuated any of those things. . . she didn't say anything more than 'What's your excuse?'" I would argue that asking someone "What's your excuse?" is doing exactly that. She is insinuating that any woman who has three children and does not look like her should have an excuse as to why. You could finish her question with "What is your excuse for not looking as amazing as I do while also being a SAHM?" Haven't you ever said something that had a veiled meaning? If a coworker got a raise and you didn't, and the coworker said to you "What's your excuse?" would you think that was an offensive thing to say, or would you congratulate them and tell them you really don't have an excuse as to why you're not as good of an employee as them? It's all about connotation and how you present your thoughts to others.

    I love that she is strong and beautiful and healthy, and I get that in her mind, that caption is inspiring others to do the same. However, it comes across as a little accusatory as opposed to inspirtational.

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    1. In response to her question "What's your excuse?" I would say "My excuse for what? What do I need an excuse for?" The picture and caption is not clear as to what she is looking for an excuse in regard to. If she isn't trying to tell people to strive to be like her, then why is she looking for an excuse for something?

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    2. Thank you for such a thoughtful response, and I have to say that this was something that was voiced by many people. Unfortunately, like I mentioned in the post, there is no reason to ever assume or put words into another person's mouth. As you first stated, "let's finish the sentence with...." I have to stop you right there and say, don't do that. Don't finish a sentence. And if you do, remember, this is not HER talking, but YOU. And if that is the case, we have to ask ourselves, WHY we are finishing those words in that way. In a negative way.

      We have to remember that FITNESS is a big part of her life, a big passion, and something that is important to her. What she did was show us a picture of a CHALLENGE that she had to go through to get to where she was. That challenge being bearing children {and the changes that our body have to go through}, and the time management involved with having children, a home, and other responsibilities. But she did it, she accomplished it, and she's showing you... look, I didn't let that get in the way of MY GOALS.

      Her goals? Her goals may be very different from someone else's goals. Someone might just want to lose 20 pounds. Another person 100. Someone may realize that they could never have a six pack, but gosh darn it, they just want to fit into those pre-pregnancy pants. Whatever the goals may be, WHAT is your excuse for not trying.

      TRYING.

      We may not all be successful at our goals, but if we are CONFIDENT in our decisions and what we are doing in our lives, then there should never be a reason why a simple image with three words at the top should EVER cause us to bash a woman or cause us to feel insulted by her success.

      I guess the whole point of my post is to not bring people down for their achievements, regardless if we don't all share similar goals. For me? I don't find her image as talking to me to push myself to get to the gym, lose weight, or have fitness become a major part of my life, because that's just not a dream or goal of mine. But for others? For others, I bet it is. And I bet that she has changed many woman's lives, and given them that extra push to get in the gym, to do those home videos, and to make life changes.

      If she has changed just ONE life, then that to me is inspirational.

      She's doing MORE positive things with that image, and three little words, then anyone in a comments forum voicing hate. And that's the truth.

      I could never possibly answer all that without writing another novel,but I hope I helped clarify that little section of what I said. I just hope that people see the importance of being POSITIVE and seeing the GOOD in people, versus assuming and accusing the bad.


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  20. Such a great post - I was so angry when I saw that people were mad about her! Heck - if I look like that after I have kids then I will post something JUST LIKE IT!

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  21. awesome post!! It makes me sad that women cant just appreciate each other and are always tearing each other down.

    as moms & women we are supposed to build each other up and stick together

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