Lately, a few controversies have been circulating the Internet and I've been hesitant to express my opinion on them. Dealing with bronchitis, yet ANOTHER ear infection for Clara, my mom's cancer and other stresses has depleted me of all energy to debate these issues (wah, wah, waaaah). I've also learned in life that when it comes to debates, there simply is no winner or loser. People come to their convictions for various reasons, and they aren't likely to abandon those reasons on a whim.
But, I do want to state my position on a few of these things. My long-term blogging goal has always been honesty, and I feel a bit disingenuous for my lack of candid discourse as of late. I used to be much more outspoken about stuff, remember? I miss that girl, so I'm digging her up today for your reading entertainment.
Here we go!
1. Yoga pants/leggings as 'immodest.' Let me be real for a sec -- I am currently wearing yoga pants. And when I'm not wearing yoga pants, I'm wearing leggings. As a very last resort for dressier occasions, such as a visit to Hobby Lobby, I will put on actual jeans.
There is a very simple reason for my preference. When you wash jeans numerous times, especially those of the darkly-dyed variety, they fade. They get worn out. I am the mother of a drippy, snotty, 9-month-old and a messy 4-year-old who both smear their various fluids, foods and filth on me and my clothing 11 times a day on average. Yoga pants and leggings are far easier to wash than jeans and don't really experience any wear and tear from washing. And they're cheaper to replace when they do get worn out. Plus, as a mom of three (one being a crawling baby), I need to be able to bend, stretch and move quickly. I find that jeans are a bit prohibitive in this department and tend to expose half of my rear end when I bend over in them. (Who's immodest now?!) Yoga pants and leggings tend to stay in place and are much better suited for an active baby-chasing lifestyle.
Point is, I don't wear yoga pants and leggings to make myself appear superior to anyone (the true definition of immodesty), nor to attract the eyes of lustful men. I wear them for convenience and comfort and I'm glad they just happen to be "in style" right now. I even wear them to church activities and don't feel a bit bad about it. No one has ever made a comment to me about my pants being "immodest" or inappropriate because NEWS FLASH -- they aren't. And as I said on Facebook yesterday, my butt looks way better in jeans than it does in yoga pants, anyway. So if I really wanted people to make eyes at my backside, I'd slap on a pair of tight jeans instead of giving into the temptation of Spandex pants.
On that note, if I'm guilty of anything by choosing stretchy pants, it's laziness. Not exactly the type of life I'm aspiring to, but please just give me a break until my kids are all self-sufficient walkers and I can stop bending over every 10 seconds to rescue them from imminent danger.
2. Vaccines. I vaccinate my kids and I think almost everyone else should, too. It's no coincidence the measles and whooping cough have come roaring back just as the anti-vaccine movement has gained significant momentum.
Science is right about this one, folks. Vaccines eradicate disease. Period. It's been tested, tried and proven. And don't try to convince me that simple hand-washing is enough. Yes, good hygiene (in addition to balanced nutrition, adequate exercise and a generally healthy lifestyle) is key in stopping the spread of infectious diseases. But guess what? Measles and whooping cough, as well as mumps, polio, diptheria, chicken pox, meningitis, rubella, and rotavirus are all vaccine-preventable, airborne diseases. That means you can get them just from breathing the same air as an infected person. Good luck washing your way out of that one.
The worst is when people try to convince me and other vaxxers "the measles isn't THAT bad." Scientifically speaking, it actually is "THAT bad," but I'll play your game for a minute. Let's pretend the one and only symptom of the measles is expelling glittery rainbow poop for a week. Well, even then, I still don't want my kids getting the measles! Lucky for me, there happens to be a simple, effective way to prevent them from getting it, and I'm choosing to take advantage. That's my right, just as much as it's your right to opt your child out. So please, don't try to minimize the symptoms of this or any other vaccine-preventable disease in order to promote your anti-vaccination agenda. It's insensitive and, quite frankly, uneducated. Talk about your fears of vaccine injury, manufacturing and other legitimate concerns all you want and I will listen. But my fears -- infections, compromised respiration, disability or death as a result of an infectious disease -- they're legitimate, too.
3. Clean House vs. Messy House. Some people are messy. Some people are tidy. I think the way we're raised plays a small role in this, but I also feel our individual levels of organization and cleanliness are in large part due to our nature.
Since cleanliness preference is mostly inherent and unlikely to change much, why do we feel a need to project our ideals onto others? A mom with a messy house is not a better mom. A mom with a clean house is not a better mom. What makes a good mom, then? One who loves and respects her children, takes care of their essential needs and helps them grow into responsible, caring adults. That's it.
Now, you might be thinking a clean house as an "essential need." And I bet most parents agree with this sentiment. The problem is, not everyone shares the same definition of "clean." What is perfectly tidy to one person might be an outright pigsty to another. And that's really OK! Unless you feel someone's family is in danger, it's not your job to police the cleanliness level of another person's home.
I personally like to keep my home clean. Some people say it looks like a model home, which I think is generous, but yes, it's very organized and clean. That's because I function best and feel happiest in an organized, aesthetically pleasing environment. But I don't spend every waking moment maintaining it! Most of the time, I have dusty blinds, scuffs on the walls, dirty handrails and crumbs under my table like everyone else. There are books and toys out pretty much always. My mirrors are covered in spots and fingerprints most of the time. The toilet has a ring in it. Oh well. I have three kids under the age of 8. Life goes on.
I will say this: my ability to keep a clean home doesn't make me a good mom. It makes me a good housekeeper. But being a great mother is so much more than clean house vs. messy house. Don't forget it.
4. Fifty Shades of Grey as Pornography. This one is easy. These books and their accompanying films (the first of which is set to be released this Valentine's Day) are definitely pornography. It's not just a fun way to spice up your love life. It is violent, degrading to human beings and deplorable. I don't have to read the books to conclude it, just like I don't have to eat a Big Mac to tell you it's a burger. This franchise, along with all other types of pornography, is anti-feminist and responsible for fueling the acceptance of rape, human trafficking and other sex crimes. What's to stop a person who is entertained by watching violent, degrading sex acts from taking their entertainment to the next level and acting those fantasies out on others, most of whom are likely to be unwilling participants? Based on how addictive pornography is, I'd be willing to bet nothing could stop them.
Alright, I've shared my two cents. Off to clean some toilets in my yoga pants.