Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Make Mine a Double

How often have I heard or seen people apply a double standard to something and long to scream from the housetops: “HYPOCRITE!”

Here are a couple double standards that drive me nuts:

1) If you have enough talent in sport, music or acting (and sometimes other fields) then the law and other socially accepted norms of behavior and decency somehow don’t apply to you, or they are applied in a “slap on the hand” manner. I can’t even begin to name all the professional athletes, big time Hollywood & pop stars that you can read about in the paper having abused alcohol, drugs, & women (often all in the same night). But you rarely hear of the consequences for that behavior. They often get off scot free, or if they even go to court for such actions they rarely serve actual jail time. People still buy their music, watch their movies and attend or watch their sporting events. If anything the “scandals” only serve to get them more publicity which in turn often means more cash in the bank for them. Why does being a celebrity change the standard???

2) Women getting less pay and less respect for doing the same job as men. I know, I know; this one sounds cliché, old fashioned, and maybe even silly coming from a stay-at-home mom. But I still see it in the world around me. I have a friend who works as an architect who struggles daily to gain the respect that her fellow (male) colleagues enjoy. She often gets ignored when opinions are solicited, gets passed over for potential projects simply because they see her name and figure she’s female so she doesn’t know what she is doing. Too bad her mother named her such a girly name instead of Terry or Jean or something that was a little more asexual. She has started listing and signing her name with just her first initial so as to help avoid some of these problems, but the double standard is still there.

What are some double standards that drive you nuts?


Well, I would be a bigger hypocrite than I already am if I blogged about double standards and didn’t confess to having applied some very liberally in my own home. Does the fact that they are only applied at home make them better or more acceptable than my biggies up above? Maybe I am just seeking another double standard??
Here’s my quandary: I want my kids to do things and be things that I have yet to master in myself.

1) I don’t like to see my kids get angry, particularly with each other, and yet I have shown them a repeated example of anger to follow.

2) I never want to hear my kids swear, but I have been known to let a few @#$!* slip from my tongue.

3) I do not like to hear my kids criticize others with little or no feeling, but I proceed to do so all through television programs that we watch together. “What is she wearing? What was she thinking leaving her house in a get-up like that? She looks utterly ridiculous!” “He sounds like a dog choking on a bone he should stop singing and put us all out of our misery.” “He must be the producer’s kid because he is so ugly and definitely can’t act.” You get the idea. Somehow my saying it to the people on the flickering blue screen didn’t seem to be a big deal until I heard similar criticism from my kids aimed at each other or other “real, live people”. I was applying a second double standard in that it’s okay if they’re on TV but if they’re in person just smile and pretend you like it.

I am very guilty of teaching my children to do as I say but not as I do.

If you would heal the ills of society, begin in the home. I have heard this many times and know it to be true. I have decided to rip out my shaky foundation built on the “do as I say” and lay a more solid one of “do as I do.” I am trying every day to be a better person, one baby step at a time. Hope to see you on the same path of self improvement where I can learn from your example and someday when I grow up you may learn from mine.

I Survived School Break

My four oldest kids' three weeks of school break just ended yesterday. I do not think anyone could have said Hallelujah louder and meant it more than I did!

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids very much and am happy when they're around. School break however, puts us all into a temporary limbo where you can't do any major holiday things because it is too short, but the break is also too long to prevent boredom setting in. My biggest beef is that my life seems to get put on hold, and my normal roles as entertainment coodinator, taxi driver, cook, maid, and task master seem to become so much harder to manage.

For one thing the hours involved would violate any and all labor laws in any and all countries. Not to mention the incessant appetite of three teenagers and one preteen. Trying to keep my sanity when the video games, TV, and game boys were on concurrently and incessantly despite the number of times I personally turned them off and asked the kids to read a book. You know, all those musty, dusty things on the shelves in the living room and in every bedroom.

Yesterday and today have been very peaceful, and I have gotten everything done I wanted to. No distractions, interruptions or frustrations.

I have found myself again amidst the calm. How sad my respite is so short. Next week the two youngest start their FOUR week break! That should be outlawed!! No more school breaks longer than one week!!!