Keeping Never Good Enough at Bay

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I went to a visit with a counselor recently, and talked about the persistent feeling of failure that is always there in the back of my mind. Logically, I know that I am taking steps to be a better parent, that I have changed so much about how I relate to my children, and yet most of the time I feel like I am a “bad mom”. Why? Because I could have more energy, do more fun projects, keep the house cleaner, never have grumpy days, in short, I could be perfect. Yeah, that perfectionism thing still dogs me.The feeling hits me in other ways too, why haven’t I been able to pin down what exactly I want to pursue education in? Why can’t I make more money? Why do I still have so many insecurities a … [Read more...]

Your Vote Affects Real People

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Four years ago, I reached my second presidential election and voted for John McCain. I thought I knew why I picked who I did, and I had many reasons I thought that it was important to vote Republican. If there was one issue that I felt was most important, it would have been the social side to politics, first and foremost abortion rights, and by that I mean I was against abortion. I considered myself strongly pro-life, and I even bragged about being a one issue voter. I have since come to question many of the “pro-life” assumptions I made at the time, Libby Ann gives a great breakdown of some of the questions surrounding this issue here.Regardless of why I voted for John McCain, I started … [Read more...]

Spanking and Unconditional Love

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I wrote in several of my childhood journals that I would never spank my kids. The shame and frustration I had experienced was enough to convince me it was ineffective and harmful. But somehow by the time I was an adult I had changed my position again. Part of my reason was the major denial of any issues in my childhood. I felt like acknowledging painful things from my past would be a betrayal of my parents, and I loved them and wanted to be loyal to them. So I continued to pretend that nothing had ever been wrong, and tried to prove that to myself.  I was also a very conservative Christian, and every parenting book I read was written from that punitive perspective. One of them was “To Train u … [Read more...]

Policing the Potty

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Some months back Haley and I watched the popular movie “The Help”. Throughout the movie (which focuses on the role of black women in the southern  united states in the 1960's) There is this ongoing discussion about people of color using the same bathrooms as people with white skin. People talk about being well-to-do enough to build a separate bathroom for the negro help, there is talk of how “black people have diseases” that white people don’t want to contract, and there is even a scene where a black maid locks herself in the bathroom while her white boss screams outside the door in a panic over her bathroom being used by a colored person.It is stunning how backwards this mentality was. I … [Read more...]

Another Day in the Life…

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 I get home from my job at midnight. After being on my feet for 7 hours, it felt really good to sit in the car for the short ride home and I stumble a little on the way to the kitchen door.  Mr. Punk is asleep on the living room floor with his little butt in the air, face smashed into his favorite soft blanket. I plunk into a chair and peel off my boots.  Haley gives me a mug of orange juice with pulp (my favorite) and we sit down to eat a snack together.  We talk softly about how my shift went; I made cereal bars and cookie dough and lasagna and had some fun conversations with my co-worker. We laugh when I realize that this is basically the first social interaction I’ve ever had other than c … [Read more...]

Back to Blogging (I hope)

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When we first got married, we killed two television sets in a row without even trying. Apparently our luck with electronics has continued because this year I have used three different computers. First my Dell laptop had some issue with the power cord and it fried three cords in a row, and then it got a virus, so I bought a new security option. But the computer just got slower and slower and when the cord malfunctioned again, I gave up on using it anymore and resurrected a dinosaur of a laptop from 2002 and used it to write my Unwrapping the Onion series. It worked, but it was slow. It involved a process of typing and then waiting for a few seconds while whatever I had typed sl … [Read more...]

“The Easy Fix”

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There is this religious long-time understanding of humanity as a broken and in need of being fixed by a savior. The idea that people are messed up and only a third party intervention by a deity is going to make them good and perfect again. In this understanding, people can try all they want to fix themselves, but in the end the only thing that is going to redeem them from their inherent awfulness, is a savior.I used to think of any human attempt to get help as similar to slapping a band-aid on a gaping wound. They were trying to treat the symptoms, instead of dealing with the root problem and solving everything once and for all.For example, in my mind at the time, taking an Advil for … [Read more...]


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