Why are we all so insecure? (Guest Blogger)

When Lisa put out a call for guest posters I wanted to help but I struggled with what I could offer her readers. My youngest child is 7 and we’re (happily) through with that whole contributing to the gene pool thing. I don’t home school. I’m not a SAHM. I am NOT at ALL crafty. I stand in awe of Lisa and all the other women who pull off this full time mommy job — well — full time. Like REALLY full time.
But I just recently started a study of Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity” with some women in my church. You know a study is going to be good when you’re sobbing just a few pages into the first chapter.
“Good”? It’s completely subjective.
Moore uses a definition of insecurity taken from “The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity” by Joseph Nowinski.
Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt – a feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associate with chronic self – consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.
Highlights are mine. Because yes. Yes. And oh dear lord yes.
Oh. My. Goodness. I probably could have highlighted the “constant fear of rejection” too. I have this fear that I will drive someone away. That they’ll have this realization that they screwed up by befriending/loving me. That they’ll, well, yeah, reject me. But I wouldn’t say it’s constant. Not even close. Still – it whispers sibilantly through the back of my mind more often than I like. Which is to say any at all.
What have I learned from the study so far? One – I’m insecure. Oh wait…I already knew that. No – what has really jumped out at me is the fact that I’m not the only one. Moore says that this is a universal struggle though with different areas and intensities. If you meet (or are) a woman who does NOT fight this particular battle, then it’s because you have put a lot of effort into it. I tend to believe her. Primarily because it makes me feel better. In fact – I was absolutely shocked by one of the woman who strolled into our first group session. She’s young, cute, outgoing and bubbly. She seems to have it all together. And yet she was in tears because she was tired and frustrated. Tired of doubting herself, of disliking herself. Frustrated with the fears and anxiety and the bonds she felt in her life.
I’m not alone. And guess what? Neither are you. It will interesting to see what this study yields.
 
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Rhoni is God fearing wife and mother of 3 boys who manages to work full time, mom full time, wife full time and co-lead a lifegroup at her church. She blogs at Not Living In Vain and is active on twitter as @Rhoni_renee. She is also a great player on Word With Friends and unlike me she doesn’t take 20 hours to spell a word.

Rock Bottom Mom

A few days ago I posted about me. You can read it here, titled Just Me.  It was not a good day.  I hadn’t cried that day but it was still a tough day.
I was once again overwhelmed with the response from my friends on Twitter.  So many moms tweeted me with hugs, prayers, and sharing that they too were feeling the way I was.  It is so nice to know you are not alone.
Not wanting to be a total party pooper here on the blog, I sent out a  request for a guest blogger that might infuse my blog with some new ideas on how to tackle ANY of the things I had whined about in that post.
Carolyn from This Talk Ain’t Cheap was the first to come to the rescue. Thank you so much Carolyn for this moving post!
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Rock Bottom Mom

HITTING ROCK BOTTOM AND STARTING OVER
I love when I hear celebrities give advice about parenting and juggling work and family responsibilities. It just seems so practical. Have your Nanny watch the kids and make sure you schedule some alone time to pamper yourself with a facial, massage and manicure. Now why didn’t I think of that? Makes sense. We need to focus on “us” instead of “them”. We need to schedule date nights with our spouses. We need to delegate to our “help”. That’s what we pay them for, right?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
I have three children spaced 2 years apart. Do you know what that means? That means that when my youngest was born, I had a newborn, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I had two in diapers and none of them had started school yet. Three children. At home. With me. All day. Every day. 24 hours a day. One would nap but the other two would be up. I’d finish nursing the baby and then the other two would be hungry. Having 3 kids means NOT having money. Not having money means NOT having a Nanny.
Do you know how much laundry a family of 5 accumulates? I do. Laundry has become my career. I am a laundress. I think that any job that you perform every day of the week constitutes you being an “expert” in said area. I am an expert at laundry. I am an expert at cleaning. I am an expert at diaper changing. I am an expert at child wrangling. What I am not an expert it… despite all the above… is being a Mom. Why? Because there is no such standard. Hard to believe, I know, but there is no Mom-of-the-Year Award. Sorry to burst your bubble.
I used to cry on a daily basis from exhaustion. I used to curse the day that I ever got pregnant. I hated my husband. I hated my kids. I hated the entire planet. Misery was my best friend. And nobody… nobody in my life seemed to understand.
I felt like a complete failure. I hit rock bottom.
A funny thing happens when you hit rock bottom. There is nowhere else to go but up. It’s true. Miraculously, you wake up one day and find that the kids are now getting their own cereal and you actually woke up on your own. You find that you go to the bathroom and can complete your business without banging on the bathroom door. Suddenly your last little one starts kindergarten and you can enjoy a cup of coffee alone. In your own house. Without noise.
There is hope. It’s coming. I promise. Meanwhile, here are a few things I did learn along the way to cope with the pandemonium until you get to “there”.

  1. Don’t laugh at this, but make a list. Seriously. Make a list either the night before or in the morning of the things you HAVE to accomplish. I’m not including laundry on that list (unless of course you have NO clean underwear and really need some). I’m not including cleaning and feeding and cooking. Include things that absolutely have to get done like: make a Dr.’s appointment, buy diapers, take a shower. Yes, I said shower. See #2. Do at least 2 things on the list before lunch and you will feel that at least you accomplished SOMETHING.
  2. Take a shower. OMG – don’t complain, just do it. Bring some toys into the bathroom and sit the kids down on the floor if you have to. Trust me… if you are fresh and clean every day then you will be able to handle things so much better. If you think I’m full of it, give it a try for a few days… you’ll see.
  3. Get out of the house. Alone. Now I know that you are NOT going to schlep three kids to the market or the mall – I’ve tried that enough to tell you that it just isn’t worth the effort – but even if it is 9:00 at night and you have to run to the store or go get a cup of tea or go drive around the block – you will feel better (and think better) being AWAY and ALONE.
  4. Give the kids chores. I know this sounds lame but find at least one thing your kids enjoy helping with. I asked my kids what they wanted to do to help around the house. My 8 yr old actually likes taking the garbage out. Go figure. My 11 yr old likes to cook and help in the kitchen. My 6 yr old? Well… we are still figuring out what (and if) there is anything at all she likes to do other than watch TV and play with dolls.
  5. If you clean one room, do one load of laundry, cook one meal a day, consider it a huge success and have some chocolate. Seriously, it helps.
  6. Write down the things you did right all day. Don’t laugh but it will help with your mood and show your husband that being a mother is the most important job in the world. Write down things like…
    1. Snuggled baby for an hour.
    2. Read a story book to the kids.
    3. Sat and had a snack of goldfish and laughed with the kids.
    4. Changed diapers 6 times.

You laugh now, but when you see how your day is really taken up, you won’t feel so bad about NOT cleaning the floors and NOT getting to the market. Believe me, it’s OKAY to have mac & cheese or omelets or sandwiches for dinner.
And my best piece of advice? Breathe through it. It might suck now, but it DOES get better. IT DOES. I PROMISE. THERE IS HOPE.

I am the proud mother of three beautiful daughters, ages 11, 8 and 6. An interior designer by trade, I now mostly focus on writing about my kids, my life and the struggles we all go through as parents. My passions are reading, writing, cooking, traveling, scrapbooking and drinking lots and lots of coffee.
Carolyn West
Twitter @temysmom
http://thistalkaintcheap.com

Nothing like some last minute blogging

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It’s almost eleven o’clock and only one of my children are asleep. The two that Hubby was in charge of getting to bed are upstairs still chatting. The lil man is crawling around me on the floor like a piglet on crank while I try to post to the bloggity blog on my new Droid.

Did I mention my glasses are upstairs and that my astigmatism is so bad I’d be surprised if this post doesn’t get completely played by my autocorrect. (ahem….Dear Droid, momma said glasses not a$$es mkay).

Just wanted to thank all my readers and tweeps for your sweet prayers and words of encouragement. Today was better. Not fantasmagoric but better.

I even managed time to do Week 2 Day 3 of the C25K and score a shower. (all by myself. It’s ok. You can be jealous. )

Tomorrow morning a wonderful mommy friend of mine will be guest posting here. I can’t wait!  It was some of her encouraging words that helped turn the week around.

Now, who wants to come play with Peanut? Momma wants to go to bed. 

Suddenly, Purposely Unemployed: Making the funds last longer

Now, don’t get me wrong- I love my Starbucks. But I just quit my job. I quit my job with nothing lined up. So, save for long, productive days at the coffee shop, I am giving up my beloved Starbucks. I am giving up a lot of things. But there are some things we can’t/won’t give up. And that’s okay too as long as we’re realistic. On my last day at work I will have enough money to get by for about three months if I stop eating.
I don’t intend to stop eating.
So what on earth am I going to do? This is a great question and the answer is a work in progress. Maybe I should have figured it out before I quit my job but there were a number of factors that went into that decision and it just couldn’t wait any longer. (If you are interested in hearing all about it, feel free to visit my blog) In order to stretch my limited funds, I am already implementing a number of new rules. (If I had started this sooner I might not be so stressed about the money now.)

  • I am making coffee at home. Even if you drink only plain, black coffee (which I usually do) Starbucks is a $60/month obsession and that is for one cup a day. It’s much more than that if you’re going for lattes and those frozen-almost-a-milkshake-but-with-caffeine kind of drinks.
  • Gas is expensive! Are there errands you could run on foot? Do it! You can get your exercise and give up your expensive gym membership and save the gas money. (You may think these are minimal amounts but it adds up. If you are in an area where this is possible, consider it.) Plus, the walk will be good for body and mind.
  • Each of us have a list of things we know we are going to buy on a regular basis. Generally speaking, in regards to the things we know we buy a lot, we know the cheapest place to get them. If you don’t know then start paying attention to how much you spend on these purchases and (assuming it is not a big difference is gas usage) go there. The cheapest place may not be the most convenient, but if money is really tight, every dollar counts.
    • Gas is a big item that we all buy on a regular basis. The difference in price per gallon is not usually huge from one station to another. But how many gallons of gas do you purchase in a year? Figure out where the cheapest gas station is that you already drive by regularly. Start getting all of your gas there.
    • I know that produce is cheapest at the grocery store ½ mile to the east and that meat is cheapest at the grocery store ½ mile to the west. I try to lump my purchases together accordingly. That’s not to say I never pick up a red onion while I’m buying chicken. But the majority of my purchases come from whichever is cheaper now.
  • I am a big basketball fan. I like to go out to watch my team play and I think it is important that I don’t totally abandon all social activities. My first plan of attack on this was to drink fewer drinks during the game. I’m also shopping for the cheapest places to get one drink that I can slowly sip and still enjoy the social atmosphere of watching my boys play while sitting at the bar. (I can’t watch at home- I haven’t paid for cable in 5 years. This, by the way, was the best decision I ever made. Money saved AND time gained!) Also, check out happy hours. I can grab a drink with a friend for $3, have some time out of the house and not feel like I’m seriously impacting my financial state.
  • Food! This is one thing that nearly every person in this country can save money on. It is something every one of us consumes every day. And we can’t stop spending money on it, no matter how much we would like to. But we can:
    • Eat out less. This one explains itself. We all know that eating out costs more than cooking our own meals.
    • Eat out cheaper. For me, the biggest reason I go out to eat is to be social. I am there to enjoy the company but I can easily be suckered into the $14 dollar dinner instead of the $8 burger. But if I am there for the company, the $8 burger is totally sufficient. Maybe even just ordering a side of something if I’m not really all that hungry. I am focusing on the reason I am there. I can enjoy steak at home or the company of eating at a restaurant with friends. I don’t need both.
    • Eat everything I pay for. This is huge. We throw away so much food in this country. Especially those of us that are single. Our grocery stores aren’t set up for us single folk. Very few items are sold in single servings. So we have to commit to eating the same meal three or four days in a row or realize that certain ingredients will go bad before we eat them. I have to eat, and I want to eat good, healthy food. We all love variety but do we need it? Not really. Tonight is the fourth night I have eaten the same salad. It is a great salad. Spinach, heirlooms, red onions, feta and balsamic/olive oil for dressing. Tonight I ran out of spinach. But I am going to snack on the tomatoes until they are gone. The feta will go into a couple of omelets with the red onion- eggs are an excellent, cheap protein. And the eggs are also being brought to work, hard boiled, for lunch. I am really trying not to let any food go bad. (This counts for those restaurant meals too. You don’t have to have a lot left in order to make it a snack later that night. If there is food on your plate, bring it home! Eat it!)

What about you? Have you ever really needed to conserve your money? What corners did you cut?

Brooke Farmer is currently living in Los Angeles. She’s a writer, a blogger, and a freelance hopeful who is looking to create a life where her passions are her priorities. She can be visited atLearning the Language of Brooke Farmer or followed on twitter @brooke_farmer.

10 Ways to Make Your Tweets Stand out in the Crowd :Blog Tour 2010


This post is a stop along Tanya Peterson’s Blog Tour 2010. Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina, where she writes about blogging your way to success. Be sure to check out all the other stops along the tour and enter to win $100 to use in improving your own blog!
10 Ways to Make Your Tweets Stand out in the Crowd
With the thousands of tweets happening each day on Twitter, it can be very difficult to get your own tweets noticed. Succeeding on Twitter is really about building relationships with other “Tweeps”. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Don’t spam. Don’t always be tweeting to advertise yourself, what you’re doing, or what you’re selling. Instead – give, give, give. Think of your readers when you tweet – what do they want or need?
Add value. Tweet about relevant things – things that you yourself would want to read. Link to blog posts and articles that you have found helpful. More than likely, your followers will find them helpful, too.
Know your purpose. Why are you tweeting? Is it to just have fun? Is it to network with other people? Is it to promote your blog, website, or business? Decide your reason for tweeting and then start tweeting like you mean it!
Ask questions. Everyone likes to share their opinion. Ask for input on a decision you need to make. Ask what people need. Ask how you can help.
Pay it forward. Retweet as much as you can. If someone tweets something that touches you or helps you, click the retweet button. Share with your followers how great the people are that you are following.
Build a relationship, a connection. Connections and relationships is what Twitter is about. Take the time to let someone know you appreciate what they’re doing. Ask others how you can help them. It only takes a minute or two to type out 140 characters!
Network with people like you. Find others on Twitter who are interested in the same things that you are. Already, you’ll have something in common on which to base a future networking relationship.
Tweet regularly. I don’t know about you but I notice the tweets of people I see tweeting consistently. If you are regularly adding tweets that are helpful and valuable, people will start associating your ID with great content.
Pick the right Twitter ID. If you’re trying to get noticed on Twitter for a particular reason, work that reason into your Twitter ID somehow. I started out as @Blogelina but have since changed to @MomsWithBlogs. I did this because, at least for the time being, the name Blogelina isn’t very recognizable (hopefully that will change soon!). @MomsWithBlogs gives others a bit of an idea about what I’m writing about.
Make your tweets retweetable. Don’t use up all 140 of your characters. Remember that when people retweet you, RT@YourTwitterId will be added to the front of your tweet. Plan accordingly. Include a link in your tweet – somewhere for people to go for more information. Add your own perspective. Again, it’s all about adding value to everything you do.
What tweets do you tend to notice? Why do you think you notice them? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!