My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Women

A few weeks ago, we had a lesson in our Relief Society, which is the 3rd hour of our Sunday meetings. I call it The Women's Hour as it's for women.

This particular day the lesson was given by a young mother, probably in her very early thirties. She did a fantastic job, absolutely fantastic. She shook the whole time and would never think it was a good lesson. In other words, she beats herself up. About 20 minutes into the lesson, I leaned over to my friend, Patrice, and said, "I live a charmed life." She nodded agreement. I feel so blessed and grateful for what I do have in this life. I don't grieve at all for what I don't have.

It was about how women beat up on themselves, especially the mothers and, in particular, the mothers who stay home to rear their children. I knew it struck tender feelings because of the tears and tissues and there were probably some abused women in the room also. I grieved for those women because I can't ever remember feeling that way—unappreciated. But then I worked.

I went to work when my kids were 5 and 6 years old. Remember, my hubby was a Marine and we didn't make a lot of money; although, I must say we could have gotten by. We just wanted more things like a stereo, which is the first thing I bought with my first paycheck. (And I had every record Dionne Warwick and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap recorded and listened to them over and over and over!) I can't remember the cost, but I remember $55, which was either the cost of the stereo or my very first paycheck. But the figure $55 sticks in my mind. Probably my first paycheck because I only made $1.75 an hour working at the base PX. We were thrilled to get that, trust me. (But going from that $1.75 an hour to being the highest paid woman in a very large top Fortune 500 company was monumental to me. I worked hard to get there.) I can't say it was worth the sacrifice to my children though. I really can't.

Anyway, back to the story.

I went to college when my children were in school and didn't work for several years. I stayed home for a while with them. When hubby retired from the Marines, we did a whole lot better in life.

I belonged to 4 or 5 women's groups during the 1980s and loved the groups. I learned a lot about myself. However, I can never, ever remember putting down women who stayed home with their children. We were all professionals in the groups: a pediatrician, a nurse, an engineer, several of us businesswomen, etc. But not once did we denigrate women for staying home. I don't do it to this day. Why?

Well, I was reared (as I now realize) by parents and grandparents who always made me feel special. I just knew I was special! I also have a very loving hubby who never made decisions for me; they were mine alone to make. He stood behind me and encouraged whatever I did. Did I make mistakes? You betcha! But I learned much from those mistakes. I grew from those mistakes.

Rearing children is hard enough without women denigrating stay-at-home-moms. It's especially tough raising good kids today with the worldly influences and temptations that are thrown at them from all sides. They don't need to hear other women putting them down for the most important job they'll ever have. I know this because I didn't stay home with my kids when they needed me. Would I change all that now? I truly don't know. I can't answer "what if" questions. I just don't know.

I believe as women we need to help each other, not spew vitriol at SAHMs. They do a thankless job, believe me. The ones I know beat up on themselves far more than any woman could, but the ones I know also know they're doing it for the good of mankind. And that's what makes them so special in my book. We all need to pump up each other, be kind to someone who is struggling, whether it's the mom who stays home or the mom who is working. They all need positive feelings from us.

A favorite living room I saw. Yes, you can decorate with pretty dresses if you'd like.

Stunning color on this house. I'm pretty sure it's in some tropical place.

What a joy this pleasant entry is to someone who comes knocking on your door.

We all love to view beautiful windows and old buildings that have a lot of character to them.

A tea party or lunch in the woods or an orchard.

Froufrou will always catch my eye!

A beautiful antique French chair with pink cushions on it. Yummmm!

Balloons, a banner and cupcakes displayed on a beautiful plate or platter will assure a pleasant event for anyone.

Another interesting entrance to an older home.

Beautiful patios such as this one draw lots of attention.

Beautiful setting...and it just this moment gave me a great idea. I have two urns on my front porch. I think I'll cover them with glass and use them as tables for out there instead of the faux geraniums in them now. Why haven't I thought of that earlier?!

A cute red plate rack.

A delightful bedroom for little boys or girls who like exploring places. How many munchkins get to climb up into their beds? ;-) This one looks like a little girls room.

And this one looks like a BIG girl's bedroom! Yep, my kind of glamour.

This is an example of how to picnic in style!

A flower shop. From the language on the sign it looks like a far eastern country, which just goes to show you that no matter where we live we all love to have beauty in our lives.

Just beautiful eye candy for you.

One of the most darling footstools I've ever seen.

An example of what you can do with scraps of fabric or netting. Make a beautiful lamp. You'll see some examples of lamps I've decorated on my sidebar if you look. I love to froufrou up lamps. I don't want my house to look like everyone else's house and it sure doesn't!
Photos courtesy of pinterest and tumblr.