Parenting

You (And I) Are Pretty Awesome.

Break

On my last entry many people commented on how miraculous it is that I’m up at 3:45am. Let me point out something: Most nights I’m in bed by 9pm. Probably at least 3 of those nights before the 3:45am wake up call. That gives me at least 7 hours sleep if you allow that it takes me about 45 minutes to actually fall asleep. Do you have a baby not sleeping through the night? Then I’m getting WAAAAY more sleep than you are. I deserve no accolades, I just have chosen a different schedule than most people because it works for me.

But you know what? I accept the praise because – as I finally get OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE and meet people – I have learned a VERY valuable lesson. EVERYONE DESERVES PRAISE FOR SOMETHING. (Sorry for the excessive use of caps…that is another side effect of early morning blogging. Over-emoting.) Well, maybe not everyone. But – out of all the Moms I’ve met in the last year of theater work, boot camp and book clubs – I find that “Everyone” applies. Every single Mom I’ve met and talked to for long enough to learn a little something about – I’ve found something worth praising and admiring.

Yet we are all very self-deprecating. Which I find very awesome (because I’m the same way) but also very sad because I worry that these Moms don’t realize how awesome they are.

So, I’m taking the praise and saying, “THANK YOU.” Even though I don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal because I’m going to bed so early, I’m still going to accept praise. And you need to know that you are pretty damn awesome too. I have a friend who is a single Mom to two kids and is always saying she’s not selfless. WHAT? You work 40+ hours a week and STILL find time to raise two beautiful young women. Who the hell cares about anything else because that is AWESOME ENOUGH.

There are women I’ve meant who knock themselves as Moms for anything from A) Never Cooking or B) Never Cleaning or C) Never Playing or D) All Of The Above. But you know what? I still find myself admiring them for something. Maybe they’ve got a great relationship with their teenager. Maybe they don’t waste their time doing that stuff because they spend all day crafting or reading with their kids. It’s been the most amazing thing about getting out of the house and meeting other parents – realizing that no matter how different we all are – we are all pretty effin’ awesome.

The downside of my admiration of ALL OF THESE WOMEN is that I – of course – turn it around to criticizing myself. Because that’s what I do. So, it becomes a weird cycle. I am uncomfortable receiving praise so I turn the focus around on the other person and how awesome they are which of course reinforces my insecure idea that I don’t deserve the praise to begin with.

So – I’m taking the praise and leaving it at that. YES. I wake up at 3:45am. That’s unusual and pretty awesome. But in return? You’ve got to take YOUR praise and admiration without then pointing out something crappy you do. If someone is in awe of you for all of the sewing you do – just say, “Thanks.” Don’t point out that you don’t ever cook or clean. If someone commends you for how well-behaved your child is, don’t insist that he’s sometimes rotten too. If someone thinks your house is gorgeous don’t disagree by pointing out the not-so-pretty parts of it.

Just try it – accepting praise without retaliating with self-deprecation. Just once. I’m going to try it – because I am constantly admiring other women – why can’t I accept compliments and admiration once in awhile too? I’ll try it once if you try it, okay? Because let me tell you: YOU DESERVE IT. Even if you think you’re nothing special, you are. And the next time someone tells you that? Try to NOT respond by thinking about how you’re not awesome at all.

15 thoughts on “You (And I) Are Pretty Awesome.”

  1. Why thank you for telling me that ‘Even if you think you’re nothing special, you are.’ It makes me feel good reading it and love ^^ the picture of Nikki and Wes. x

  2. By the way, in response to your earlier post, as a recipe, u could try spicy fried rice?? though u will have to buy rice lol =P

    Not really sure if the recipe is useful, but just as an idea. ^^

    Cook rice in cooker. (add water over rice until the water level just covers your knuckles and put into cooker)

    Stir- fly cooked rice. Oil is not required actually.

    Ingredients with fried rice

    Lemon
    Chili sauce
    Rice
    Fine powder white pepper or other desired seasonings
    Desired veggies (U can cook them seperately and add them in towards the end)

    Crusty spicy fried rice taste really good =P so u might leave the rice to heat on the pan longer, if u want rice with crusty bits in it =P

    U can squeeze a lemon onto the fried rice, when u r nearing turning off the stove say 5 min later. Makes the rice sweet for some reason.

    Medium heat, so lower chance of too over-cooking the rice if distracted.

    u need a rice cooker or sth to cook the rice in =P so not really useful I guess oops =P. Well just as an idea =D xo

  3. I can say, with all honesty, that I don’t do self-deprecation. I used to, but then I realized that I’m a damned good mom, an damned good wife, and refused to waste any more emotional energy in flagellating myself over inconsequential things.

    So yeah. I am awesome. I think most of us, who love our kids and care for them, are.

    Well said.

  4. Wow. Sometimes I think we are the same person! I do EXACTLY the same thing when it comes to praise. But then, as you said, I guess a lot of us women do. Why the hell do we do that to ourselves?

    Thank you.

  5. We did this exercise once in a youth group I attended. They placed a chair in the middle of the circle, and each person had a turn sitting in it. When it was your turn, the rest of the people around the circle each listed one thing they admired you for. You couldn’t copy someone else’s comment, each compliment had to be original and authentic. When you are part of the outer circle, at times it is challenging to come up with unique compliments.

    But the real challenge? Being the one in the center and having all those people say all those nice things about you. It was humbling… and embarrassing at the same time in ways.

    And very very hard to silence that voice inside that said “if you only knew the real me”.

    I like this post. I hope that we can all learn to be both in the outer circle giving the praise, and the one in the middle accepting others’ praise of us.

  6. I’m with Jess… Sure I realize I have some flaws, some things I’m not that great at, but I don’t point it out at every turn or devote much brainpower to it. Go, me! 🙂

  7. I do this ALL OF THE TIME. I have twins, and usually when someone asks “how do you do it,” I pass the praise onto the kids (they’re very good natured, easy blah blah). But really, it’s flipping hard and sometimes I’m very surprised by my ability to stay sane.

    I think a lot of it stems from not wanting to seem “braggy” so instead I swing the total opposite way. This was a good reminder for something I have been working on, so thank you!

  8. I agree with you! Everyone deserves praise. And I truly believe that people are doing the best they can!

    Also – you are only getting 6 hours of sleep – 9:45 – 3:45 is 6 hours. I get 6 hours of sleep, but that is truly what I need. If I sleep longer I get headaches.

  9. I’ve only commented once or twice, but I’ve read your blog every day since Nikki was tiny with excitement because you just talk. You talk about the big and the little things and i just love it. Makes my day. You have no idea who I am, but I feel like I could just call you up to chat and we’d be BFF’s.

    I love this entry, and all the entry’s lately that talk about admiring the awesome people, awesome women in your life. Today’s made me cry because, you know, we do ALL deserve to be praised for something! And after a day of getting beat down by work or kids or house stuff or finances or fights with our spouses…the many things that COULD bring us down every day it’s nice to think about how we’re all awesome at SOMETHING.

    Thanks for always being encouraging and uplifting. And for being my imaginary blog BFF!

  10. The world would be a much nicer place if it were filled with women like you.

    I think you need a second (third? fourth?) career giving motivational talks to young ladies.

  11. You’re very awesome. 😀 And it is still unfathomable to me to get up that early, but I know I can probably stay up a whole lot later than you haha.

  12. For the record? I would DIE on 7 hours of sleep a night. I need at least 8 but preferably 9 in order to function optimally.

    I think people are just born needing a certain amount of sleep. My father and sister? 6-7 hours, no problem.

  13. Oh der, exercise boot camp. Nevermind my previously uniformed comment. In fact, delete me puleazeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Open comment, insert foot woman here.

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