Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Real" Women (Vs. Fake?)

I read a blog post yesterday that (once again) took up the topic of "real" moms/women. Would that be as opposed to the fake moms/women?

These days, you are considered a real woman if you are vulnerable and show your messes on FB and Twitter. You are real if you don't get dressed or shower daily.

Because somehow the messes make for real.

In my mind it is kind of odd. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm thinking that our generation may be the first generation that exalts in casual, grunge and lowest common denominator.

Previous generations were all about succeeding, professionalism, manners, pride, raising the bar, striving to better yourself.

A messy house does not a real woman/mom make. Pictures of a messy house don't authenticate you. Or make you more vulnerable.

Sure, they may say that you have a messy house or you didn't get dressed. They may say that you have higher priorities or bigger challenges than cleaning or showering.

But, pictures, with or without commentary, don't make you more real than someone else. They just don't.

I post few (or almost no) pics on FB of my house a mess, piles of laundry, etc.

Does that make me less of a real mom? Or a real women?

Does that mean that I am judging those who don't clean or shower or dress?

Does it mean that you are more vulnerable than me or more real than me, if you post pictures of mess?

I can't agree with that premise.

It would be fake of me to post pictures of mess. It isn't who I am. It isn't my reality.

It would be fake of me to pretend that I don't clean, or do my laundry on specific days. It would be fake of me to imply that I spend more than a few hours a week cleaning my house.

It would be fake of me to pretend that I don't cook for my family most days. That I don't get up early most days. That I don't do my devotions most days. That I don't exercise most days. That I don't get dressed every (except for sick) days.

That would be fake. It wouldn't be real.

I say this humbly, but home making is a strong area for me. It is what I was trained by my mother to do. I've been cooking, cleaning and caring for babies since I was 10. That's my reality.

I can't show pictures of a dirty house, because it is rarely dirty. Messes get picked up. My kids and my husband help keep things running smoothly.

But, that doesn't mean I am not vulnerable. It just means that my weaknesses don't lie in that area.

I am not an arts and crafts kind of gal. You won't find toddler crafts or any other crafts on this blog. I just don't do crafts.

I'm not an artsy/decorative kind of gal. My home will never be featured in House Beautiful or Better Homes & Gardens.

I'm a book reader and I read voraciously. I am an awful book reviewer.

I'm not a gourmet cook. I don't do the green thing. I'm a tosser more than an organizer.

Yes, these are weaknesses. And they are so surface.

The areas I am truly vulnerable in don't photograph well. Most can't be posted apologetically to social media.

The real me, has felt more vulnerable the past 3 months of my life than at any other time of my life. The real me dreads going to church in this life season. The real me has been touched by betrayal and is sorting out trust issues. The real me feels exposed where I should be safe and protected. The real me has had borderline panic attacks at the thought of seeing and interacting with certain people. The real me has buried herself under a pile of blankets and wished she never had to come out and deal.

I'm talking about right now. This week.

It doesn't translate into my dress or my housework. It doesn't pour over into social media.

But this is my reality. My real. My weak. My vulnerable. My broken.

My real isn't out there on social media for everyone to read and picture-not because I'm faking-but because I am trying to walk a line of discretion. And loyalty. And love. And forgiveness.

Every real woman has hurts and weaknesses that no one can see or plumb. No one but God.

Don't assume that because my real doesn't look like your real, I am being fake or pretending. I may just be coping. Putting one foot in front of the other, day after day after day.

Surviving until I thrive once more.

That's the real.