So close, yet so far. 36 weeks pregnant is an evil point in time. My fingers look like hot dogs that have been in the microwave for about 20 seconds too long, my knees hurt like Tonya Harding’s been in town, and my insatiable hunger creeps up out of nowhere followed closely with a bottle of Tums and regretful moaning. On top of that, 36 weeks means that I could potentially have another 4 weeks and some change which translates into ETERNITY.
Now I could take the high road and talk about how pregnancy is a blessing and bask in the glow of knowing my little baby girl will be in my arms soon. But at this minute I’d rather just complain because pregnancy has not only stripped me of a waist line but also the ability to regulate rational, sensible emotions. Hopefully for the sake of everyone this will all level itself back out…
Anyways, the past two weeks have been dedicated to the Olympics. I never cease to be inspired by Olympians’ athleticism and many of their back stories that illustrate amazing courage and dedication. Normally I regulate the amount of TV the kids watch each week but when the Olympics are on I don’t care how much of it they watch; I think it is a great opportunity to expose them to great role models.
My heart is overwhelmed with joy when I see a role model for young girls who doesn’t wear a lycra tube top and have a camera entourage following her around while she talks about the flavor of the week she woke up beside that morning. Ech. No wonder our girls have poor self-esteem and are promiscuous. Shows like The Secret Life of an American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family make me wave a fist of fury in the air – they are really portraying strong moral development and respect among young women today. *Insert annoyed eye roll and faint nausea at the thought.*
Not too long ago I was at the store and my daughter, (age 6 at the time), was singing to herself. I didn’t think anything of it until I realized what song she was singing. Rihanna’s S&M. My little Lana Bear was singing:
Cause I may be bad,
but I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care,
I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me
Upon realization of what she was actually saying a woman passing by started to dance to her singing and yelled “sing it girl!” giving her a high five. You could have knocked me over.
It was like an out of body experience–time stopped and I had this moment of realization that my little girl was learning things that directly opposed everything I wanted for her. At 40 lbs and standing only about 3 1/2 ft tall she really didn’t know what her words meant, it was just a catchy toon. Pop-culture, almost in its entirety, has failed young girls.
From here I could rant and rave for another 10,000 words but my hotdog fingers are looking more like they have been in the microwave for 30 seconds too long and I am pretty sure I need to run them under cold water and perhaps seek medical attention to extract my ring. So for your sake and mine, I will cut to the chase.
It isn’t ABC Family or Rihanna’s job to teach my daughter values; it isn’t their job to create positive role models or even to set a moral tone – as much as I think they should. That’s my and my husband’s job to create that little nest for her and to build a strong foundation of love and respect for herself, her faith and her family. It’s my job to regulate what she does and does not watch and, when she is exposed to things I don’t approve of, its my job to arm her with the tools to filter through the bombardment of crappy standards our instant, self-gratifying pop-culture throws at her.
Where, oh where, is a mom to turn!
This week Lolo Jones, Missy Franklin and Gabby Douglas come to mind… I don’t know everything there is to know about them but what I see makes me happy. I want my daughter learning about women who are strong and fit, who have goals and work hard to achieve them and who aren’t afraid to express their faith.
Lolo Jones – a Christian woman who has vowed to stay a virgin until marriage. Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit!… Imagine a woman who doesn’t have to jump into bed with a man to feel validated. She is a beautiful athlete who has worked so hard to achieve so much – I would love my daughter to learn more about her.
Missy Franklin – At 17 years old she is a swimming powerhouse and did America proud in London. She is well spoken, respectful and continues to attend a Catholic school in Colorado despite plenty of offers from sponsors to swim elsewhere. She is quoted as saying she found peace in her Catholic school and knew that God was with her in all she did. Well fry me in butter and call me a catfish!… Imagine a young female acknowledging her journey hasn’t been alone but that God has been her source of strength by her side. Love it.
Gabby Douglas – Every time this cutie pie was interviewed she gave the glory to God for her success. (Are you ready for another one???)… Well slap me with bread and call me a sandwich!… Imagine a young woman publicly praising God first for the success she has worked so darn hard for?! A true role model.
These three women are such wonderful role models for girls today. They are successful, comfortable in their own skin and find solace in their faith. They have defied odds to achieve goals that have taken incredible strength and perseverance. These are the type of women I want my little girl to know about, talk about, and look up to. I love that the Olympic games have introduced all of them in our households. They are extraordinary women who help me show my daughter a moral standard that I haven’t found elsewhere. Love it!