"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mean Girls...Part Two




I wrote a few weeks ago about the struggle my daughter is in over being a thirteen year-old girl, and being surrounded by other thirteen year-old girls.  And as I've tried to work through this with her, and pray through it with her, and talk through it with her, I keep trying to remind us both that, "this 'yuck' won't last forever". 

Or will it?

I'm wondering if the Mean Girl Syndrome ever truly goes away.  I mean, I'm 41 years old (REAL, right?), and I know that it is still alive and well in my daily life.

How, you ask?

Sit on a soccer (or volleyball, or softball, or cheerleading) sideline anytime recently?  It's out in full force.  "Dance Moms" may not be true reality TV, but I'd be willing to bet that it's not that far off from reality.

And it's not confined to sports--whose house is always spotless?  Know anyone who designs and sews their kid's Halloween costumes every year?  Who drives the "best" car in your neighborhood?  Whose kiddos have written and produced their own play?  Baking homemade bread daily?

As women, it's bad enough.  As moms, I think it's multiplied--by, like, a millionfold.

As soon as we are noticeably pregnant, it begins.  (Or actually, before.  "When are you going to start having kids?")  Every woman you run into--whether you know them or not--has an opinion or "words of advice".

All-organic diet?  Name?  Breastfeeding?  Cloth diapers?  Co-sleeping?  Earth-friendly clothing?  Home birth?

And it doesn't end.  Homeschool vs. public school vs. private school.  Corporate mom vs. stay-at-home mom vs. part-time mom.  Spanking vs. spare the rod.  Even seemingly small things like what kind of milk we choose to give to our own children or how old they are when we take them out of their car seats spark huge Facebook arguments.

Everything sparks debate.  And we all seem to feel the need to continue it.

I don't know why that is, or how to fix it.  I do know that, with the burst of social media, it's gotten monumentally worse.  The perfection that we choose to show the world on Facebook, Instagram, and the Queen Bee of social media perfection--Pinterest--is just that:  what we choose to show the world.

And not enough of us choose to show the skeletons in our own closets--or the dust bunnies in there either.

Again, I don't know how to fix it.  But I'm determined to be real with you all, and with the weary Mommas that I interact with on a daily "in real life" basis.  And, I'm learning, when I'm confused or angry or upset about something, I turn to my Father, to see what He has to say about it.
Do you know what He says?

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."  John 13:34

And how about this one?
"Love one another in brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor."  Romans 12:10

Hear that? If we are to outdo one another, it's to show honor.  Not to show adorable fall decorations.  Not to show sports medals.  Or perfectly adorable hair bows.

All of those things are fun to look at.  And Pinterest and Mommy Blogs are great for showing ideas and sharing encouragement and inspiration. But when we cross the line from sharing to showing off, or boasting, or making things about US, I think that may be when we start to have a bigger problem.
Because it's not about us, people. Not at all.

Let's keep our eyes on the prize, and on what really matters.

6 comments:

  1. Did you say dance mom? ;) Great article! Romans 2:1 - You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

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    1. Hee hee! I was thinking of that same Romans lesson, too. It all seems to come together when we need to learn a lesson, doesn't it?

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  2. Oh yeah, it doesn't go away, but as adults we are much better at brushing it off (we hope).

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  3. This is so great! I've encountered so many "mean girls" in the past few years. I'm so tired of being criticized for our choices and questioned for them as well. It can be so hurtful and discouraging! We do so need to extend grace to each other in our failures. Life never looks like a Pinterest pinboard!

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  4. One of my favorite quotes is from the Sound of Music, when Maria says, "I can't ask him to be less than he is." I can only be what I am.

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