Hard work is…well, hard.

“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. … Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading a blog post that got my countrifried brain whirling.  If you have a moment head on over to mommabare.com and READ it.  I highly recommend it because it’s the truth. Go there now, and then come back and I’ll talk at you.

See?  Right?

Now, imagine me, mulling over all of that in my head all day yesterday.  I thought about my three pregnancies and how very different they were.  So very different, but all with the same dread and apprehension about labor and delivery.  My first experience, was rapid, drug free, and woahwhatjusthappened.  I was 19, did all of my laboring at home in bed.  (I had NO idea I was in labor. I just would get uncomfortable and adjust myself until I felt better.)  When I noticed these weird tight ripples across my stomach were happening fairly regularly and rapidly, I got scared.  I woke my mom and we FLED to go get my friend Jen, and rush to the hospital.  I remember we had to wait for a TRAIN!  As soon as I crossed the threshold of the hospital, my fear skyrocketed and for the first time, things became PAINFUL.  Really.  I had to stop every ten feet in the hallway for a contraction.  By the time they got me in a room, hooked up, and checked me, I was ready to push.  Forty minutes after my arrival, I was a teenage mom.

Fast forward TWELVE years.  My second pregnancy was textbook.  At 37.5 weeks I went in for a weekly check.  We set an induce date.  My OB would have done anything I wanted.  Even a voluntary c section.  (cray-zay!)  By the way, no OB should be as good looking as this guy was.  I remember when he checked me it hurt so bad I wanted to kick his head off.  I was in a panic because I thought it was related to the cervical problems I was having.  (Yeah, please vaccinate your daughters.  Cancer scares while pregnant suck.)  On the way home, I began having mild contractions that lasted all day.  I called the doctor’s office and they told me to go in to the hospital.  I was barely 3 centimeters.  My OB broke my water, said I could have an epidural and pitocin whenever I wanted.  Later one of the nurses told me he probably stripped my membranes at the office.  Okay, that would explain the lightning bolt of pain!  I had an epidural that made me numb for twelve hours.  When Gideon was born I had expected an 8 pound baby (I was assured he was already that big).  He was 6 lbs 13oz.  The doctor literally said and I quote, “Oh shit.”

With Levi, I had to go on bed rest early.  I had to have a steroid injection to develop his lungs.  I was told if I made it to 30 weeks it would be a miracle.  Well, my cervix never budged again.  I had to go through months of stress tests.  Twice a week.  Only to go to 41 weeks.  (New OB. He wouldn’t budge on anything.)  Finally my water broke and we went in to get checked.  I had fluid leaking everywhere and the lab said it was NOT amniotic fluid.  A different doctor was on call and wanted nothing to do with me.  They were going to send me home.  A nurse, who was probably tired of seeing me, came in and said she was GOING to get a good sample for the lab.   It came back positive.  I was hooked up to my IV and away we went.  I wanted to time the epidural to be just like Gideons.  No pain.  Mmmmhmmm.  No.  It only took on one side, and I almost passed out.  The anesthesiologist sat by the monitor until I stopped seeing the room go black.  The only thing I was grateful for in that delivery was a healthy baby boy, and the ability to FEEL something.  Even though I hated it while it was happening, I felt the reward was greater for it.

Like Joni said in her post: PAIN has a PURPOSE

I doubt, however, that she would want me to channel that into why I have a more conservative view point.  Uh-oh.

I was watching the news this morning and they played a clip of a speech that John F. Kennedy was giving about the space program.  He said this:

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Where are the leaders like that today?  Where are the parents who teach their children those principles?  When did being born in adversity (or in todayspeak-“poverty”) and rising above it with hard work and determination become so terrible that we should actually terminate a life before he/she can ever know struggle?  And victory.  And setbacks.  And successes.  And love.  And heartbreak.   Are we saving children from poverty?  Or are we, in our limited understanding of what is good and necessary for all, doing what we think is best?  IMHO it’s not.

There are so many I shouldn’thaveto’s now.  I shouldn’t have to work at a  fast food restaurant.  I shouldn’t have to pay for college.  I shouldn’t have to pay cash for things.  I shouldn’t have to work hard for what I have.  I shouldn’t have to feel pain.

When we mess with the natural order of things, the results can be tragic.  Like messing with childbrith, we have created an expectation.  We have hammered it and twisted it until it barely resembles its former self.  Where once, we created, produced and excelled at many things we now only purchase, consume, and discard.  (I shouldn’t have to PICK UP after myself. )  Many kids won’t even sit down to learn an instrument anymore because they think they should pick up a horn and be Miles Davis in 5 minutes or less.  Homework?  I shouldn’t have to do homework.  Oh yeah, and my mom works so she shouldn’t have to help me with it.

Sigh.  So here I am and I feel helpless to change anything.  I can’t get my kids to do anything, much less see the benefit of hard work.  How can I compete when the TV, the world, and even family members are on the shouldn’thaveto train?  Wait, it sounds like I am in the middle of the hard work that will one day pay off.  I shouldn’t be complaining.  🙂

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Why I Loathe Multi Level Marketing Scams

A friend calls.  You are excited to hear their lovely voice. 

“Look doll, I would lurve to get caught up, but I have another reason for calling.  I am soooo excited.  Do you want to hear what I am so excited about???” (squeals with delight)

“Uh…(no) sure.  What’s up?”

“Well, I just discovered this amazing new company.  It’s called (insert annoying company name here), and it-is-soincrediblyawesome.  I have already made 600 dollars!!!”

“Wow, (I’m getting spammed) so what’s the deal?”

“It’s totally fool proof.  You just schedule parties/interviews/consults/sessions and the money rolls in.”

“Sounds to good to be true”

“I KNOW!  But it’s not.  My team leader is such an amazing person.  You HAVE to meet her.  She will change your life.  Not to mention, the product is something I stand behind 100%”

“Hey, uh, can I call you back?  The kids are on fire.” Click.

That’s how it all begins.  Weeks of blowing money on a startup kit. Damaging friendships.  Raping your list of family and friends for money and leads.  Then turning around and encouraging your new team members to do the same.  Your family and friends will buy initially to be supportive, then they hide from you.  Phone calls go to an answering service.  They no longer answer their door, email, facebook, or twitter.  You have become a pariah all for the sake of making a little extra cash. 

Even if you absolutely love the product, there is no guarantee that everyone in your community will too.  I tried to sell Mary Kay.  I actually liked the stuff.  I loved having all the little boxes of goodies arrive, and then sit. And sit. And sit.  I put on my best outfit and headed out the door.  I blanketed the neighborhood with flyers.  I went to the mall.  I was met with either complete rudeness, or warnings that MK was a scam.  I sold quite a bit, at first, to everyone I knew, then the sales dropped off the planet.  I ended up sending it all back.  I didn’t care if that barred me from ever selling it again.  Good riddance.

The part that really bothered me was not the meetings with team leaders, meeting new people, or even the parties.  It was the whole fake it til you make it thing. And the idea that if my husband was ticked off about me wasting our hard earned money, meant he was not supportive of my business.(Divorce implied) I felt dirty.  If a product is that good, it should be in a store.  I am all for being an inventor and shopping around your product.  Getting the public to try it out.  But the whole used car salesman vibe that comes with peddling creams, necklaces, candles, vitamins, purses, knives,sex toys, or life insurance is not for me.

It is for some.  That’s why there are team leaders that are raking in the dough.  I have a dear friend who has just about sold everathang, and is GOOD at it.  She actually managed to pull in a regular income when she put her mind to it. I could feel her excitement when she wanted to me get involved.  Sigh.  I was more than willing to support her, but after Mary Kay, I was gun shy.  I took the wait and see approach.  Usually what I did see, I didn’t want to do. 

I would rather type in stuff, answer phones, count pills, and have a steady wage.  Anything other than that is suspect.

My Husband is Gone Too Much.

My husband is gone too much.  I thought that would clarify things.  Wanna know more?  I hate it!  He works the No LIFE shift.  Get home late, sleep in late, shower, go to work.  HihowareyouI’llseeyoulater! Did I mention…I hate it?  The swing shift was made for single guys in their early twenties.  Not for a family man.  Not for a lonely family man.  While I gripe that I never see him, he gripes that he never sees ANYBODY.  It’s stoooopid.

The first month of the job, I tried to adapt to his schedule.  The kids, especially Levi, did not.  I would wait up until eleven and try to keep my eyes opened while he would “wind down”.  That usually took about two hours.  We stared at the television mostly, or talked about random stuff.  Better than nothing.  But come six in the morning, Levi would be at the side of the bed all in my face saying “Juice” over and over and over and over and over.  After a month of feeling like a zombie, I gave up and went back to Levi’s schedule.

Yesterday morning, Jon got up a little early and took me over to see the forty acres in Fyffe, AL that his granddad owns.  It was a wooded peaceful wonderland with a babbling brook.  (He said that somewhere on the property is an unmarked grave.)  The walk was nice, but it just wasn’t enough.

It’s not enough to wait and wait for Saturday to see each other.  He’s tired and wants to catch up on rest.  I’m stir crazy and ready to bolt.  What kind of life is this for two young newlyweds? 😉 So, for now, I pray that something else comes through for him.  A 9 to 5 kind of deal.  A job that allows for sit down dinners together and evenings to piddle around and do “whatever”.  Quality time with the kids.  A real life.

How long are we supposed to go on, slaving away, while our children grow up?  While the best years of our lives slip quickly down the road?  I want to have that Golden Anniversary, but not at breakneck speed.  Life is fast paced enough as it is.