Life of Liz

Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Some things need Re-examining

In Authentic Life, Goals, Out of the Comfort Zone, Red Pill on April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

Having sent two of our six daughters off to college, we have learned a few things.  So before the younger four are to follow, we’ve been making several adjustments in the ways that we are parenting and preparing the next group for college and the world.  However, we may also be facing some bigger changes, that while possibly necessary – at least initially they will cause discomfort and will be uncharted roads for our family.

The older two didn’t have the benefit of our red pill world view.  Personally, I think I did something’s okay … Married for 20+ years, encouraged personal relationships with God, encouraged community involvement, tried to instill a sense of modesty.  I home-schooled them through 5th grade, (imparting a love of literature) and then continued to be involved in their education by volunteering at their schools.

But some things need re-examining:

In high school, the 2 oldest spent nearly 95% of their free time either playing a sport or studying so neither left for college very well rounded.  I was too discipline orientated and often didn’t understand this method didn’t allow them to develop the self control tools they would need to be successful once my barriers disappeared.  I didn’t facilitate Henry’s leadership in our home – but instead challenged him and diluted his role pretty consistently.

I had bought into the notion that today’s man would want a strong and independent woman.  I didn’t think much about feminine/masculine attraction and I definitely wasn’t thinking about marriage as the end goal when planning out at least the immediate future for my older girls.

But now, our second daughter is struggling to navigate the hook-up culture on her campus.  It breaks my heart to hear her explanation as to why so many girls stay plugged into the cycle.  Essentially they’ve bought into the lie, a mix of everyone is doing it and if you’re not doing it there must be something wrong with you.   And don’t forget they’ve been told their entire lives that meaningless sex is the prize that we’ve been fighting for so they had better seize the opportunity! The first girl to step away and even hint at the idea that hooking up is neither enjoyable nor beneficial would be quickly ostracized by the group, declared a prude (definition “displaying sound judgment in practical affairs”), or a loser or any other term that would accomplish the purpose of keeping everyone in line!  18-22 year old girls might be unashamed and reckless but they are probably not going to reject the status quo when all they really want is to fit in and be accepted.

My self reflection comes on the heels of my college aged daughters coming home for spring break.   There visit started me thinking “if I believe being a wife and a mother brings fulfillment to a woman and if this is the ultimate end goal – what did I do … what am I doing … to raise daughters who are able to attract, fall in love and then marry a man?” – And taking it further, wouldn’t it seem logical to plan their days to allow time to teach them how to present themselves to the world in a way that would accomplish said goal?

It is not hard to find entire blogs written by men exploring how they were lied to by well meaning but clueless adults (usually female) who held steadfast to the mantra “just be nice and you’ll find a nice girl” – they were nice and they are alone.  What are we, adult women, teaching our daughters and will it enable them to become fulfilled wives and mothers?

I think the answer is No!  I am starting to realize that everything that I thought was ‘right’ is actually ‘wrong’ … and the first thing that comes to my mind is the role of sports in the lives of my daughters.  In our house, playing sports takes up a huge amount of time.  Could that time be better spent if they played at a lower level?

And then I overheard this conversation last week between Daughter #2 (who is attending college on a full basketball scholarship) and one of her younger siblings:

Daughter #2:  “if you are good at both sports <basketball and soccer> then concentrate on soccer”

Sibling: “why?  I like playing both and you play basketball and you love it, right”

Daughter #2: “because basketball is the least feminine sport there is and boys have a preconceived idea of what a female basketball player looks/acts like and I hate it – given the chance I would have concentrated on either volleyball or soccer…

She continues:  and so many of the girls playing college basketball are gay so boys are constantly making jokes about it.  Even the coaches are mostly gay so we have to wear pants and dress like boys even though I see the soccer/volleyball/softball girls looking all girlie at team events.”

I had no idea she felt this way!  Is her experimentation with the hookup culture a rationalized way for her to be accepted and to express herself as a woman?

The second area that requires meaningful reflection is how and why we encourage certain educational goals.  Daughter #1 graduated high school with a 4.3 GPA and is now studying at a top tier university. But … getting her there took its toll.  She was miserable in high school.  She didn’t have time to attend many (most) extra curricular events (other than ones that complimented college applications) and developed poor coping techniques, that thankfully I clued into and navigated her through.  She’s doing well in her 2nd year of college – she joined a sorority (yeah, girl power) and is excelling academically, but to what end?  What is the goal?  Is it to compete with men until she is 32-35 and then start looking for a husband?  I know my preparation doesn’t have her focused (or even considering) marriage and family as worthwhile goals at this stage of her life.

How many, if any mothers are purposely training their daughters to take womanhood seriously?  And if we are not investing time in training them in true womanhood, then why are we so surprised when they so easily reject being a stay at home mom and instead buy into the lie of “we can have it all” only to become disengaged 3-5 years after the wedding ceremony?

So where exactly does our parenting go from here?  That is the million dollar question.  What happens if we were to have the 14 and 12 year old free up some time by playing sports at a lower level?  Or what happens if we don’t place quite as much emphasis on excelling academically? What is the right answer?  I guess it will be back to the drawing board and time spent with God, seeking His wisdom.

And on a lighter note … assuming the answers will only come with much time spent in prayer and reflection, then WHERE am I going to get the needed time?  #notimetoaskGod#gottagetthingsdone#wronganswer!

imagining a place where boys can be BOYS … and girls can be GIRLS

In Authentic Life, Goals, Red Pill, Wisdom on April 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

Since adopting a Red Pill view of the world, I am surprised just how hard it really is to find books and videos with strong male role models and to a lesser degree feminine/motherly role models.  I’ve surfed Netflix many times (under the anticipatory eyes of my youngest kids) trying to find a movie that will not depict the boy as dumb, irrational, or in need of a strong female to get him going  the right direction AND/OR not depict the girl as a know it all that can do it all on her own, or is very one dimensional … only to come up empty handed or end up trying to sell my son on another viewing of sandlotThe Sandlot or maybe get them hooked on ET, again!  … pretty weak!   I am open to your suggestions!!

After some searching I’ve come up with a few book titles that look promising.  I guess my older kids were somewhat sheltered from worldly influences since they were home-schooled until 5th grade – but the two youngest have the double disadvantage of living in a household with older teens while also being in public school.  Buying these two books is a mini test run to see if our household (with the inclusion of Grandma) would be conducive to a home school environment.  Both kids have asked “why can’t we do school at home like Big Sister did” and I have no good answer other than a lingering doubt if I could manage it while having Grandma living with us … and the TV on constantly and having to stop many times and help her with most anything you could imagine and still having to chauffeur the older kids around … so we’ll see how this goes.Bow-back-Cheeky-panty-222x300

Henry is still working a lot.  My dinner did not materialize since our house was full of college, high school, middle school and elementary school KIDS – but I went with the ‘pink’ and surprised him Saturday night … and he was very blessed!  I haven’t been brave enough to post part 2 of Red Pill Year in ReviewYou Wanna Put What Where? but what I will say is that the more feminine and respectful I am … the more take charge and alpha he is … so our sex life is HOT.  I realize my word choice is poor, but that is really the only way I can accurately describe it!!  And it’s always been good … but now … “oh MY!!” it is really good!

Back on topic … so after some digging, I’ve found two books that I’ve recently ordered … the first is a book titled Mommy…Why? A Titus 2 Story for Young Girls by Cindy Voss 

From Amazon … The Bible has a lot to say about bringing up your children in the “training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV). Today’s generation of girls are growing up in a culture that disdains Biblical femininity and homemaking. Titus 2 describes the pattern and the content for raising up the next generation. “Mommy…Why?” presents a fresh look at an old concept…the concept of the “high calling” of wife and mother.  “Mommy…Why” illustrates the blessing and privilege of this God ordained vocation. Your young daughter will gain insight into the how and the why of this special calling….a direct result of “the older women training the younger women” in a God glorifying way.

Since I’ve also been looking for ways to spend a little more ‘mommy and me time’ with my 7 year old, I am excited to begin reading this together and then also incorporate some time spent together in the kitchen.  Maybe it’s because I also have older kids, but I am very aware of worldly influences manifesting already in my young daughter.

I also ordered The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

From Amazon … Young Jody adopts an orphaned fawn he calls Flag and makes it a part of his family and his best friend. But life in the Florida backwoods is harsh, and so, as his family fights off wolves, bears, and even alligators, and faces failure in their tenuous subsistence farming, Jody must finally part with his dear animal friend.

The Yearling came up several times as a good real aloud, especially for boys.  I will keep you posted on how the mini test-run is progressing.

When did THICK become the new THIN?

In Authentic Life, Goals, Out of the Comfort Zone on January 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

I am a former high school cheerleader and our 3rd daughter is a current high school cheerleader so I always try to pay attention to the routines and stunts they perform and let them know they are appreciated.  Lately though, I’ve been noticing that 75% of any given squad is not what I would consider thin.

fatcheer1

The girl in the front seems to be the norm of the CL’s I’ve seen.  Also, when looking at pics on my daughters FB I’ve noticed the “popular with the boys” girls (in high school) have a body that is similar the girl to the left and they are very comfortable flaunting their jingly tum tum in mid-drift baring shirts, tight tanks and skimpy bikinis (and posting the pics on FB).

Am I alone in saying a pudgy body – on a younger than 25 year old female … that has never experienced another human grow inside her body … is just not attractive?

So I ask, what do you think is driving the change in women’s appearance?   Is it feminism and the “I don’t need to look good for a man” way of thinking?  Or is it an example of Beta behavior at its finest “I should pretend to be attracted to THICK as to not hurt anyone’s feelings”  … or put more simply have today’s 17-25 year old men just bought into the brainwashing of body acceptance?

 at·trac·tive 

(of a thing) Pleasing or appealing to the senses.

(of a person) Appealing to look at; sexually alluring: “an attractive, charismatic man”.

Synonyms – alluring – inviting – engaging – winsome – charming

Through a combination of good genes, a low carb diet and off/on running I have  maintained the same weight since I’ve been about 25 – gaining/losing around 20-25 pounds with each of my 7 pregnancies.  Easy?  Not at all – but it is a choice that I make daily … to have a donut or a green shake for breakfast.  To include a loaded baked potato with my dinner or to let something yummy pass me BY instead of pass by my LIPS.

Henry in subtle and not so subtle ways has always made it clear he is attracted to thin women.  I feel sexy as a thin woman and I think pudgy looks, well chubby.  Why is that so hard to say out loud when it can be said with reasonablehayden

certainty the body that Hayden is sporting here is probably enjoying all the treats I am bypassing.  Hmmm … is this another example of the Rationalization Hamster at her finest?

Or – should we, could we hold our MEN responsible for this one?  No!  That isn’t politically correct to acknowledge MEN have anything to do with a women’s appearance.

I am just trying to figure out how this generation of both men and women think pudgy is attractive.  Do men today just prefer a pudgy body?  Do they think it looks better or have they just been conditioned to BELIEVE they should think pudgy looks better?  Are me and my husband ‘thin obsessed’?

What is behind the attention and or NON-negative reaction received by the new THIN??

Note:  I am not talking about the morbidly obese or those who may/may not have an underlying medical condition – I am referring to the slightly jiggly who make conscience decisions to maintain their plump appearance and I am wondering if the majority of people find this body type preferable.

Stepford Wife … 1950’s

In 1950's wife of Today, Goals on November 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

I have the need to ramble  today, please bear with me … This post runs the gamut of 1950’s housewife, to spending limits to what the heck another reminder spanking and finally … recipes needed!?!

Vesta had a great post the other day (Internal Thoughts) where she wrote about not having a lot in common with other ladies who were chatting at the health club.  After reading her post, I started to envision what it would have been like to be a housewife in the 1950’s.  I wonder if I would have felt more accepted and settled if the idea that a woman should live for her husband and family was the dominate image of our time.  I mean, what if the 1950’s notion that women found fulfillment in domesticity was prevalent today?  If you do a quick Google search for “1950’s housewife” you are bombarded with television, radio, and magazines advertisements that assure women that the kitchen was their realm and that loving food preparation for their families was the way to fulfillment.  Were these women simply paid actresses or did many 1950’s mothers and wives actually did find fulfillment as housewives?  I found this unidentified quote …

“There were many unpleasant aspects of my life as a housewife, but I didn’t question my position. It was what women did. At least, so I thought. I did not have a brilliant husband, but he ruled our house nonetheless. That is what men did. He proclaimed it was my “duty” to respect and obey him. I had no say in money matters and was actually given an “allowance” for food, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc. It was woefully inadequate, but I had to try and make do.”

She added, when asked further about money matters

“No, I don’t recall being ‘in debt’ or even having a credit card.  My husband gave me an amount to spend and I did not go over that amount.”

Some of this is on my mind because Henry has been working to get our spending under control.  He had been up until this point hesitant to put any true hard and fast financial restrictions on my spending – oh they still existed, but not in a clear and concise way.  And to some degree I’ve taken advantage of his lack of structure over my spending.  So we are finally at the place where HE is comfortable taking responsibility for OUR household and that includes MY spending.  Today he presented an amount and asked if it is reasonable to keep our grocery spending at or under that amount.  My reply … “hmm, I honestly don’t know” because I haven’t really paid attention.  So we (HE?) decided to track a few weeks of typical spending to see what the correct amount is.  I wanted accountability, right?

Actually, “yes, I do” – because the security of knowing Henry is actively running our household is very comforting.  It was not too long ago that he barely paid attention to the running of our household because he knew I would over ride/bicker/challenge even the simplest suggestion.  Oh how far we’ve come!

When I roll together my satisfaction with being a stay-at-home mom, and who incidentally also enjoys cleaning and cooking, with being given what amounts to an allowance from my husband I had to chuckle at the possibility of being labeled a ‘Stepford Wife’ from the women at the club that Vesta mentions!  Because as TV and magazines tell us 100 times a day, if a woman decides to stay at home or if she confers with her husband about going out for the day, she is suddenly a Stepford wife who is surely chained to the house and under her husband’s complete and utter control.

So today a discussion about the implementation of a spending allowance and then a “just because I think this will help keep our crazy week straight” session.

And all of the above orchestrated and carried out by my dear HoH.  Kinda reminds me of that phrase “there’s a new Sherriff in town” … so in closing, if anyone has a few good recipes to feed a hungry brood on the cheap, please pass them along … to start it off, this recipe is pretty close to the go-to recipe my family loves, Rigatoni with Chicken and Spinach …! Off to vote ~Liz

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