I decided to start it after stumbling upon a blogger who was offended by seriouslysoblessed because it mocked Mormon culture. First of all, I was aghast that this girl thought that the world of SAHM Mormon bloggers represented Mormon culture. A world-wide organization of 13 million people, represented by her and her little blog. That's confidence. Actually, it's hubris. And it bothered me. But what really upset me is how perfect this girl made her life out to be. She said that she had never fought with her husband. Her children were angelic. Her blog was peppered with pictures of a spotless house that looked like it was straight out of a Pottery Barn catalogue. The more I read, the more depressed I got. And when I jumped to the other blogs linked on hers, I saw much much more of the same. It seemed to me that these blogs were nothing but a forum for skinny pretty girls with good looking husbands with good jobs to show their friends and any other poor schleb who happened to stumble across their blog, how perfect they were. Well, what that girl didn't get was:
SSB is not making fun of Mormon culture, it's making fun of her.
I love my faith. But one thing I struggle with has nothing to do with my faith and everything to do with this culture of comparison that has been created.
Don't you dare confuse the two.
It is not "Mormon culture," but there is a culture that some Mormon women subscribe to that I think is wholly destructive and damaging to so many women. Let's face it, Mormon women are incredible at so many things. But too often being great and being competitive go hand in hand. Why do women feel so much pressure? And why do they put that pressure on each other? You have to be the best mother, you have to be the best wife, the best cook, the best decorator. And you have to do it all while being a size 2 and wearing stilettos.
If you have a blog, you blog surf/stalk (call it what you want). I really don't spend a lot of time doing this, but whenever I do, I see impeccably designed blogs by women and mothers who don't fight with their husbands, love their life all the time, can afford incredible vacations, post pictures of clean houses, perfect birthday parties, and beautiful children with every hair in place.
Now I'm not dumb (apparently I'm not funny either). I know that no one wants to read a blog about someone's every disappointment and frustration--that would be depressing. I also know that many of you really are just sharing fun things and good news with friends and family. But if you are one of the blogs I am talking about, you are putting your slice of perfection in a public sphere like this for everyone to see. And you have to understand, the effect is that a lot of people see your representation of your family and it makes them feel bad because they don't have a perfect life and inevitably compare themselves to you.
What is even more tragic is that when you feel pressure to be all these things, you change what is important to you. Case in point: In my little cyber spat, nearly all of the 80 plus responses that weighted-in on the side of my "cyber opponent" reassured her that she was a better person than me. Response after response was the same. I must be a bitter middle-aged woman, unhappy with my own life, a terrible mother, a bad Mormon. And my favorite, I must be ugly. (One of these detractors said, after viewing my Facebook page, "I didn't expect you to be pretty." Doesn't that speak volumes?)
Am I any of these things? Sometimes, and I'm not afraid to admit it. And I hope this blog will encourage and protect other women who may also sometimes be sub-par mothers, unhappy, middle-aged, ugly, but are better than me because they have rejected these pressures and decided to focus on what really matters.
I am a bit more caustic than the author of seriouslysoblessed. Some people think it's funny, some don't. But that's who I am. Its the style I use to try in a small (and sometimes clumsy) way to change what I think is very destructive behavior among people who should know better than to be doing that to each other. How sad is it that Utah consumes more antidepressants per capita than any other state?
However, I do regret the hurt feelings I've caused.
I have not actively tried to be hurtful.
I will not single people out.
And I sure as hell won't do it to someone who has 80+ blog links and 1200 facebook friends.
But I will have fun blogging and at least trying to be "funny." Sometimes it will be at the expense of others, but that's my way.
I do believe in being real and genuine. I am not going to pretend I'm something I'm not.
It's about Authenticity.