Letter Writing Challenge Day #6: Letter To A Stranger

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m8
Dear Stranger(s),
I know a thing or two about being judged. About having folks make snap decisions about me based on what they see in the first five seconds of meeting me. Sad but true. You are one of those types.
I’m petite. I look younger than I am. For this reason, even at age 33 I have had a tough time convincing people I am even legally old enough to buy wine. Seriously, I get that this is a GOOD thing. But it’s not so great when you have 6 children and people do the math in their head of how old they figure the kids appear to be and how old I appear to be and then they figure that means I must have started popping kids out when I was 12 or something. This is for the lady at Wendys back when my oldest was 2 and I was hugely pregnant with my second son and she looked right at me and said “I was just talking to my friend about how sad it is….babies having babies.” I was appalled at your lack of discretion and explained to you that I was 23 years old. Christ, my husband was sitting right there with me! You just shook your head and walked away, clearly not believing me. I had to restrain myself so I wouldn’t chase after you and shove my ID in your face just to prove I really WAS 23. And married. :/
I have had total strangers message me on Facebook demanding I stop having children and “go get a job”. As if raising my sons isn’t a job in and of itself. Since when is the measure of a person measured only by how large of a paycheck they obtain? I ‘m sorry if my choice of being a Stay At Home Mom offends you for some reason. Frankly, I find that to be YOUR issue, not mine. I don’t give a rip about STUFF. Monetary gain, name brand belongings, etc….it doesn’t phase me in the least. I’m not here on this earth to get the nicest living room set, the shiniest diamonds, the hugest tv, the fastest car. I’m here to raise my sons to be honorable men. Being a Stay At Home Mom means I get to be here for it all. First steps, bedtime story reading, family prayers, movie nights, cooking together, discussing our future, soothing wounded knees and hearts. It is my greatest calling. And there is more to it than that. It opens me up to the opportunity to be available to my loved ones when they need me. I can sit and have tea with a friend who is going through a divorce. I can offer child care services to my friends when they desperately need a break for a few hours. I have time to volunteer at the local soup kitchen. I have more time to be there when folks need me. Because I’m not out there in the workforce seeking extra hours and more money. Because time with people. Real flesh and blood PEOPLE.(especially my offspring) is far far far more important to me than money.
No, this doesn’t mean I neglect my childrens needs. The bills still get paid. They are well cared for. What it means is when other peoples kids are all sucked into the latest Wii game my kids are playing with homemade play dough or catching fire flies in mason jars or building a fort in the woods. It means they will grow up to put more value on a human soul than on a price tag in a store. That’s what I am teaching them. That you don’t need to be slaves to the system. That your impact on other people is what will have lasting effect on this world.
Oh, and by the way, judging me for the fact I have a couple failed marriages and 6 kids from 3 different men is pretty damn narrow minded of you. Don’t assume I just jumped from man to man with no regard for anything else. Does it bother me at times? Heck yes. No girl grows up thinking that’s how life will work out. I wanted the happily ever after. But lets clear up the BS here. I was married for 7 years. We had 4 sons together. He decided the temptation of drugs and a new woman was too great to pass up. I got down on my knees and begged him, begged him HARD not to go. He left anyway. I wasn’t a whore. I didn’t do anything wrong. He just left. It was a solid 14 months later before I got into another relationship. I was using birth control. I got pregnant anyway. It was 6 months into the relationship when it happened. It wasn’t some random guy. We were together for 18 months until he got locked up for a crime that had NOTHING to do with me. Something I did not expect him to do. I moved on. 2 1/2 years later I got re married. Got pregnant with my new husband. But guess what? Alcoholism and abuse are deal breakers for me. So, I sent him packing. He was real good at making it look like he had his shit together when we first began dating. When I saw the truth I finished it. Baby or not, I knew what was healthy for myself and my sons. I DO know some girls who get knocked up like clockwork by every guy they even SPEAK to. I’m not one of them. I had children with 3 different men, all of whom I was in long term, committed relationships with. I judge myself enough on that one. I really don’t need YOUR two cents. Trust me.
I know I tend to march to my own drum. But please stop assuming that just because of my hair color or style, or clothing or choice in music or the fact that I think marijuana should be legal or the fact I call myself a hippie…..that these things in and of themselves or all accumulated as one make me a bad mom in any way. My kids have rules. They have boundaries. They know what respect and empathy mean. They know all about God and His love. Did I mention my goal here is to raise honorable men? So, if you think the fact that I have a particular color hair or listen to Pink Floyd makes me neglectful or abusive in some way, then you are sadly an extremely ignorant person. And I frankly feel sorry for your children. Because I’ll be damned if I want to teach my children how to fit oh-so-nicely into those round holes with the round pegs. Life is about adventure and passion and love. THAT’S what I am teaching them. So, step off my case, ok? Unless you are a fly on the wall in my home, you don’t have a clue how I run this ship.
Look, just step back and relax. Ok? I don’t even understand why you feel the need to spend so much of your precious time judging me for MY life. Why would my existence impact yours in such a strong way? Seems pretty silly to me. How about you spend a bit less time paying attention to MY life, and a whole lot more time carving your OWN pathways? That’s called inner peace my dear. Try it some time. It feels great. It’s why I guess you get so wrapped up in the obsession of picking at ME. Because I am walking out this life to my own tune and don’t give a crap what others are saying about me, it won’t make me change a single solitary step. And I guess that really irks some people.
Oh well. Such is life.
Sincerely Yours,
Tonia
xo

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