Things are not always as they seem. That goes for people and situations.
There are billions of people on the earth. For the most part we are all very similar. I mean, think about it. We all have the same basic make-up (and I don’t mean Cover girl or Maybelline). To narrow my thoughts down a bit let’s talk specifically about mothers.
What is a mother? Thanks to Google.com I get this answer, “a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.”
Cool, well now that we have established what a (incredibly generic) mother is, what is she supposed to look like? That opinion actually varies depending on who you ask. Some people like to think that a mom should look like a June Cleaver. That’s cool and all, and if that is your thing then go for it! I like to mix it up though.
A mom can look like anything from June Cleaver to that woman covered in tattoos, piercings, and colored hair (or a man, because apparently that’s a thing now?).
I don’t know if the June Cleavers of the world get that judging look when they are walking through the store, but God knows if you have tattoos and piercings while carting your two-year old you get some weird looks. Now that I put bright purple/pink streaks in my hair those looks have multiplied. (Last month it was blue.) I’m having some fun. The hair is sitting on top of my head. I think it looks cute, and my son loves it, so why do complete strangers get all uppity when I have brightly colored hair and you can see my tattoo?
Oh my gosh, that woman has unnatural hair and permanent ink from 7 years ago! She must make horrible parenting decisions.
No, don’t worry, no one has said that to me, and if they did I would probably laugh. For me, coloring my hair funky colors (in a tasteful manner) and having something meaningful permanently etched into my body is a form of self-expression I embrace and encourage other people to embrace as well. It is harmless really, and fun for me and Ariana (who does my hair for me), and Xander as well. The kids love looking at the ladies with brightly colored hair. And if you can’t make the kids smile, you just need to wake up and try again.
Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to look a certain way, despite what the media may tell you. It doesn’t matter if you are a single mom, co-parenting, Angelina Jolie, June Cleaver, or the mom with multiple colored hair and 6 facial piercings. If you are a mom, and if you are a good mom, then rock on sister.
It is funny how many people tell their children to me one of a kind and unique but then go out of their way to put everyone in a categorized box. Children learn from seeing actions not just words and have to have a little of both and seeing your parent have self expression encourages you to have the same.
I mean I do not know how many times I have people judge me for having a tattoo or a beard and then find out I am a basically a stay at home dad. Fathers are encouraged to take an active role but then many are disregarded because they are not a “mother” the child needs or not working to make money 24/7 yet a manage to be their for my son and provide for him the best of both.
So leave judgement at the door and judge the actions you see with your eyes without them being clouded by pre-determined notions.
Also proud of the things I have read on your blog and keep up all the great work/decisions
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Thanks Matt! I know it is a challenge many parents face, not just moms. I applaud you for being a stay at home dad and to devote that time to your son when not a lot of other dads would. Keep up the good work!
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Hey, Christina. I had to laugh at this. Being from the baby-boomer generation, I have had to overcome some attitudes in my life. I was thirty when I finally got the courage to go to college. At that point in my life I associated men with long hair as “druggies, hippies, and ne’er-do-wells.” The two people that sat in front of me in my statistics class (which I failed miserably–way over my head), were a young man with long hair and his girlfriend. I felt the Lord really wanted me to share the gospel with them but I didn’t know how to approach them. I prayed and prayed about what to say. When I finally got the courage to offer the young man a gospel tract he ver politely accepted it and said ‘thank you.’ Then I read a book by Francine Rivers called Leota’s Garden. One of the characters in the book is a young art student who had her hair in multi-colored pigtails and had various piercings around her face. I loved the book.
All of this to say, you go for it. God is not a cookie cutter God. He gives us the freedom to be ourselves. We just have to not do things that go against His word. (Or try not to). He is the judge, and the only one we have to answer to in the end. God bless.
Thanks! And good for you for pursuing a college career later in life! I hear you about your statistics course. I took Data Models and was so lost for most of it. Francine Rivers is one of my all time favorite authors. I read Redeeming Love and it just wrecked me! (in a good way). I’ll look into Leota’s Garden. Sharing the gospel can always be a bit scary, and is something I am still getting comfortable doing myself. I think most of us have preconceived ideas of people, and it can be difficult to get around those. Some of the best people I have ever met are covered in tattoos and piercings. Some of the worst I’ve seen attend church regularly (though not recently thankfully). Any who, it’s much more fun to be me than someone else! Even if people may not always like it.