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.