The right stuff, baby…

It is nauseating the amount of pressure we put on ourselves, isn’t it? 
It is almost like we realized, one day, that there was this imaginary set of guidelines that we had to comply with, in order to be a decent person. 
Just this morning, since I had woken up early and Gen was still asleep, i decided to clear off my tivo. I don’t record a lot, but there are a few things that only I watch. As i turned the tv on, a surge of guilt chilled through me. 
What if someone finds out you wake up in the mornings and turn the tv on?
The voice chiding me, from the back of my head, sneered in absolute judgement. 
I knew, in that instant, that this voice visits me a lot, and motivates me to make choices other than what I had originally intended. 
I just hadn’t ever realized it before. 
Genny and i are reading a couple of books that talk about this very thing, our inner drive/desire/unrealistic-motivation to be “good girls”. You know, the sort of girl that does things so that people will like us, or so people (at the very least) won’t hate us. Mine is for women, and Gen’s book is for girls. 
And apparently, it’s really sinking in. 
Here’s the truth. I don’t wake up and turn the tv on. Ever. In fact, IF the tv turns on during the day at all, it’s in the late afternoon and that is usually by the thirteen year old, and even that is rare. But the point i am realizing is, WHO CARES? If you care, that’s your problem, not mine. I did spend the whole of last Sunday, on the couch in pajamas, watching Lifetime Christmas movies. Again, who cares. For dinner that night, my husband picked up McDonalds. Yet again, who cares? 
{Well, that time, I did care. i mean, yuck. It doesn’t taste good and it has the nutritional value of laundry detergent… }
Side note aside though, I am realizing this heavy and intense pressure that I have just accepted, in all of these small ways. While I have made it a definitive habit to not pass judgement upon other women in the world, their looks, style or ambitions- what I have instead done is stuck myself in an analization room. Scrutiny and comparisons have taken place of things like confidence and security.

It all boils down to the fact that, by the standards I have convinced myself I must live by, there is no way I could ever amount to anything.

That is no way to live. Yet most of us girls do it. I am so thankful to be realizing this, and for Genny to be able to identify and personalize it, before she is 36 like me…

What pressures do you put on yourself to be a “good” girl?  

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10 thoughts on “The right stuff, baby…

  1. Relating on so many levels…decision to not judge others, but hold self to unreachable standards…thinking in the back of my head, "what if someone finds out"…I guilt myself into completely rearranging (or most of the time cancelling) my day to "help" others instead of just saying, "I can't today." I always think, a good person would say yes no matter what kinds of crazy it causes you. You're a stay at home mom with school aged kids and you can't do this one thing?!I want to be the kind of person that will do what it takes to help out a friend when needed, but there is a thin line between that and doing what needs to be done for my (and my family's)life.I should volunteer at school more…I should cook breakfast more…I should shoulder more of the housework…I should put more in to my appearance more often…I should contribute to the family income…

  2. I should do those same, exact things too… And more often than not, i hate myself for NOT doing them. For not conforming, or at the very least, being everything. And i secretly believe my husband/kids/sister/friends resent me for not doing them.

  3. Just reread this comment…I don't mean to sound like I want to toot my horn that I help people so much. Not the point.It is, however, something I do pretty often only because I feel guilt if I say no. My motives are't always the best.

  4. Oh! That's taking it a step further…not only putting guilt on yourself, but knowing that everyone resents you. Yep! Do that too. Then I'm snippy with my hubby because I assume he resents me for not doing whatever it is that I've guilted myself for not doing.

  5. What book is it that you are reading? I can sooooo relate. I have always put this type of pressure on myself to be the "good girl" and I continue to do it, I would love to read it!! You're such a good mommy for giving this information to your daughter, she will thank you!!

  6. I can relate to the hubby thing. I always feel like "I'm letting the team down" if I do accomplish what I've intended for the day and will even ask my hubby "are you mad at me?" He always looks at me like I'm crazy….lol

  7. Oh, goodness!!! I can so relate. I'm sick right now and can't think of specific examples, but I have been on a couple year exploration of who I look to for my worth. Am I looking to my own accomplishments? Am I looking to others' acceptance of me? Am I looking to my own independence? (Ironic as it sounds, sometimes, I find my worth in the fact that I don't find my worth in what others think of me!)But I know that my worth comes from Jesus and HIS total acceptance of me, that I didn't have to earn anything from Him. He just looked at me and loved me and said, "I'm gonna make that girl worth something." And He DID! I'm also interested in knowing what the book is called.

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