Women: Friend or Foe?

This morning I saw a link to video that has gone viral of a woman ranting that leggings are not pants. I didn’t watch it because I like my leggings. They’re comfortable, come in fun patterns and I don’t plan to stop wearing them any time soon. I didn’t feel like torturing myself with listening to arguments about why I should not wear them. The first thought that came to mind when I read the title, though, was why do we do this to each other?

Leggings and pumpkin spice sweatshirt make for a happy Audrey.

When I was younger my biggest fear was of people not liking me. That, and sharks, but since they weren’t likely to swim up to my door, not being liked ranked at the top of the list. I tried with all my might to be whatever it was that a person wanted at that moment, often to my own detriment. Then I went to college and no matter how hard I tried my worst fear came true. It was painful but I survived and I learned a really important lesson. Not everyone will like you and that’s okay. It really is. Try to be a kind-hearted, good person. Love those that love you and put the others out of your mind. Make the mistakes you must, apologize for them, then forgive yourself. With that lesson learned I of course had to find a new fear… and that fear was always being afraid of what people thought of me.

I married Marc knowing that our life would be on the PGA TOUR. This terrified me to no end. There are people who spend their precious God-given time writing about the wives and girlfriends. Rating and ranking them. Did I measure up? Was I pretty enough? Did I dress well enough? I certainly was not thin enough. These were my fears when I first started traveling and I spent the first six months of our marriage depressed because of it. I would sit in family dining quietly, stewing on my insecurities. Comparing myself, never feeling like I belonged. And then some time passed and I realized something: the players are just men and their wives are simply the women that they love. They are just people. No better or worse than you or me. Shocking, right? I think back to those early days and laugh at myself. Within any group of people you will meet some that you have an amazing connection with and there will be some you never get to know at all. But these women that I was so afraid of are some of the most incredible people I will ever have the honor of knowing. They are strong, independent, charitable wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Another lesson learned.

Then I became a mother and oh em gee those mommy wars are no joke! If you breastfeed, cloth diaper, co-sleep, and puree your own baby food then you must be a judgemental hippie who cares more about the environment than the risk of rolling over your baby at night. If you formula feed, use disposable diapers, and let your baby cry it out then obviously you don’t love your kid or Mother Earth and you should just go ahead and stop having babies because you are not fit to be a mother. There are “experts” who are going to confirm whatever thing you decide to believe so how do you ever know what to do? How do we make it through every single day thinking that we are screwing up the thing that is most important to all of us? I don’t have a clue. What I do have are mommy friends on a closed group on Facebook. We are all so different. There are some who exclusively breastfeed and do so for an extended period of time. There are some like me who cannot even imagine using cloth diapers. I’m sure I could make it work, but the thought of trying to launder them in hotel rooms is just not a battle I’m willing to fight. There are about 30 of us in the group with ranging ages of kids, incomes, and experiences. Some of us work, some of us don’t. Some want to work but can’t and some want to stay home and can’t. We are all different and we all love each other. It’s the same with my “in real life” friends. When we support each other we become a village that we can lean on. I cannot imagine giving up these women who I lean on everyday for the sake of feeling like I am “better.” I am not. You are not. We are all imperfect, beautiful people.

So, again, I have to ask, why do we do this to each other? If you don’t think leggings are pants then don’t wear them! If you see a mama with ink all over, maybe strike up a conversation with her and ask her what some of them mean to her. You could be missing out on meeting your new best friend because you are judging that skull on her arm. If a woman wants to dye her hair purple that does not make her any less of a serious, intelligent, and accomplished person. A woman does not exist for anyone other than herself. The same is true for men, but I don’t see any men making viral videos about what other men are wearing, so it doesn’t feel like we need to have that conversation. Maybe we do. I don’t know. What I do know is that the people who are different from us are the ones we can learn from the most. Can we stop wasting that opportunity? It feels like such a shame to me.

“Holy Ground” JJ Heller

I see a war zone when I walk in a room
I have my armor and something to prove
I’m scared of you
You’re scared of me
That’s not the way it has to be

When we lay our weapons down
When we speak the truth out loud
When we’re slow to judge
And quick to love
We’ll be standing on holy ground

There’s no denying
I need to change
Give me a new heart so I can say
What can I learn?
What can I give?
This is the way I want to live

When we lay our weapons down
When we speak the truth out loud
When we’re slow to judge
And quick to love
We’ll be standing on holy ground

You’re not the enemy
No better or worse than me
No more comparison
Love is the medicine




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