Wednesday, April 24, 2013

conformity ... The slowest form of suicide

 
Ever feel like you were being some how punished for your individuality, or simply that you didn't fit in? It would often appear that conformity is easier, because frankly, originality is not always commended.

For as much of my life as I can remember, I have always tried to be different, and maybe even stand out a bit. Not because I have some sort of freakish narcissistic need to be noticed. I simply believe that if you were born an original why die a copy?

As a mom, I have always tried my best to allow my children to explore their own individuality, and originality as well. Sure, their were  plenty snobbish society conformed moms (and teachers) who snubbed their noses the first time my 8 year old walked into school with manic panic blue hair. I however held my head high, proud that I had not only raised an individual, but also a child who was comfortable enough in his own individuality that he did not feel the need to fit into the standard mold society had created for him.

Sadly society tells us as people, and more importantly as parents, that we should conform to a certain mold. Even more sadly is the fact that if you do not fit into that mold, you may find yourself feeling punished by stereo types.

Society states pretty boldly that you if you aren't a pony tail wearing, mini van driving mom in your mid 30's who is a proud PTA member, loves to cook, has a spotless house, and can out craft anyone... Well, then of course you are not be a good mom, and therefore must not love your kids.  What the hell people, you can NOT be serious!

I guess by those standards, I am pretty much the devil! A walking poster child for the bad mom club. Mommy at 16, tattooed, pierced, lacks the attention span for crafting, Non PTA member, and mini vans make me want to puke. I guess I suck at motherhood, and possibly even at life.

Yet, I have some how managed to care for and raise two independent honor roll students, who are comfortable in their own skin. Hmm imagine that, and those are only two things from my list of mommy accomplishments.

I guess you could say that perhaps I am ok with being punished by societies stereo types, and I am cool with the glares from those society made moms. Honestly I would much rather walk around comfortable in my own skin, then committing the suicide that is conformity.

Truly conformity is nothing more than a socially breed and ignorance fed fear.  Personally I would much rather be hated for who I really am, then loved because I conformed, and became some one I so totally am not!

In the eyes of society I am far from the perfect or ideal mother. I have screwed up a time or two (or 100) but if you ask my kids, they will tell you I rock, and their opinions mean more to me, then those of a million mold made society moms. So I am happy being the non conformist rebel who is a poster child for the bad mom club. At least I can proudly say I know who I am... I am not the one who committed soul suicide just to "fit in"... Besides standing out, is a LOT more fun!!


 


34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You know what they say... Great minds think alike : )

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  2. I have mixed feelings on this topic. There is being an individual, and then there is trying to swim against the tide, out of spite.

    I want my son to experience his life to the fullest. I want him to try new things, and be open for any new adventure.

    I bet you want the same for your kids...

    But, what if he won't be an individual like I was? What if his individuality is COMPLETELY different from mine? What if his individuality appears to be conformity to me? Do I judge? Do I urge him to stand out more from the crowd? Is that good parenting?

    I know that my mother wanted me NOT to be like anyone else in my school... told me to be a leader not a follower, and then basically taught me how to outcast myself. So, as you can see, sometimes fueling individuality out of spite can be a bad thing...

    I don't want that for my kid. I think I will be just fine if he does well in school, and has a couple of close friends. I don't care what group they come from. He's got to be a good person. That's all that matters to me....


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    1. You make good points, asserting one's inviduality out of spite or to the point of becoming a complete outcast, is just as bad as comforming simply and purely to fit it.

      I do indeed want my kids to experience life to the fullest. Very much so, however I feel like at times society my potentially try to prohibit that by telling them that they are not allowed to be different or stand out... Or that they should not experience certain things, because society says it is taboo.

      I do not expect my children to be individual by being like me, to me that is not being individual. Of course I want the best for them, and don't want them to assert their individuality by hurting themselves or causing others harm. I also do not want them to be complete outcasts. I just want them to be theirselves, and know that they do NOT have to conform to someone else's opinion of what they should be, or what they should do in order to fit in or have friends.

      As long as my kids grow up happy, and healthy that is all that really matters to me, no matter what. I want what is best for my kids, even if they are like other people I am sure they will have their very own flare.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I love that there is so much diversity and different opinions here in bloggerland, and that can be expressed freely : )

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  3. I couldn't have said it better myself! Although I do like my mini-van just so I have more room LOL I'm not big on crafting, but my children have discovered it on their own and especially love art of any type. I don't remember the last time I spent lots of money on a fancy new hairdo. Not being a PTA member does not seem to be damaging to my sons' personalities and according to them, family, and true friends I'm still a kick butt mom in my own way.

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    1. Thank you! I had to LOL at the mini van comment simply because I can so totally understand wanting/needing more room especially with kids : ) My kids are also very artistic despite my patience for crafts or art. My 13 year old son is an amazing artist, and my tween scrapebooks to her hearts content. I don't think I have ever spents large amounts of money on my hair, and I never have been a PTA member, but my kids are still happy, healthy and very well adjusted even despite all that they have been through in the past two years. I do not want to teach my kids to be so incredibly different that they are outcasts, or that they conform to a state of purely being different. I just want them to have their own indivdual personalities, priorities, and convictions. I don't want them to ever feel that they HAVE to be a certain way simply because society says they should.

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  4. Well, I was a mom at 24 (almost), which is about 16 here in Germany :-) We are Atheists living in Germany's equivalent of TX, with me working and the hubby's raising the girls. Our town has maybe 2000 people, yes, we're definitely not fitting in, but who cares? We're happy, the girls are wonderful, so who are "they" to judge??

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    1. No one should have the ability to judge another person. I think that is partially my point in this post. Although it may appear that I myself am being judgemental, I am NOT judging anyone I have friends in every walk of life. My point is that no one should ever judge another person to the point of making them feel that they should have to conform to a certain standard just to be accepted.

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  5. Did something set you off on this topic? Someone hassling you? People don't like surprises. They worry that someone who lets her kid have blue hair will have such different values and behaviors that they'll never be able to be comfortable around her. Familiarity is safety, you know? I'm messy, chubby, fast talking about weird things and spacey. I have to prove myself safe to every new group I encounter. Slap with kindness, empathy and humor. They always come around.

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    1. I don't think any one thing or one person set me off on this topic, it is just something that has always bugged me, even since I was a kid. I hate that I was forced to miss out on things, because of society and I don't want my children to surfer the same fate because of a judgemental society that has set standards and molds, and tells children that if they don't fit those molds then they are different or don't belong. I want my kids to learn to be happy with being themselves despite what others may say or think. I want them to learn to stand up for themselves, and to kill people with kindness, empathy and humor... I don't want them to be forced into conformity just so they are liked. I want them to know it is ok for them to be themselves.

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  6. I used to drive a minivan and I'm a member of the PTA, but that's about it. I'm not trying to conform; I'm just doing what I want to do. If that happens to be mainstream, so be it. But if it isn't, that's ok too. And that is what I teach my children - be who you want, and the friends who stick around are then ones worth keeping.

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    1. That is sincerely awesome, honestly if being a member of the PTA is what you want to do, then that is amazing. Honestly I wasn't trying to say that PTA moms are bad, or that they are conformist. I know that there are people who join the PTA because that is their thing, and that is what they like to do. What I was referring to was the parents who are pressured to join the PTA or made to feel as though they are horrible parents who do not care about their children's education or future. I totally agree with you, and although it may not have been perceived that way that was my point. I want my children to know that they are free to be who they want to be, and do what they want to do without the judgement or pressure of others to be a specific way. I guess maybe I came across a little strong, but it was not intended to be offensive to anyone.

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  7. I totally get where you are coming from! My kids have always wanted to dress themselves and sometimes they look crazy! If it makes them happy to wear what they choose than I'm okay with it.

    Minivans aren't too bad. We have one (because we have a truckload of kiddos), I never drive it but it is much cheaper on gas than our monster truck! :)

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    1. Thank you, I am glad that you understood where I was coming from. My kids do all sorts of crazy things from the weird way my tween dresses, the crazy hair cuts & off the wall ways they dye their hair, the piercings they have (don't worry they aren't inappropriate ones) but it makes them happy and they aren't hurting anyone so I am totally ok with it, despite some people's opinions about it.

      I have never owned a mini van but I have owned and driven an SUV because I totally understand needing space for kiddos. I also have a monster truck, and that's usually my choice ride : )

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    2. PREACH! It sounds like you have a good job raising your kids - tats and all. I was a young mom-19 & wife 22, currently 41 and still married (2 adult kids, 1 in high school). The one thing my family will tell you that I have raised them to know from day 1 - EVERYBODY'S DIFFERENT and EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT! BTW I refused to get a mini van Jae Mac, I'm Just Sayin'...(Damn!)

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    3. Thank you! and Thank you again for the compliment. I have always tried to be the best mom I can be, and my number one priority in life is my kids. I just want them to know that everyone is different and every one is entitled to be different, and free from judgement or conformity. So far I have also refused to get a mini van, hopefully it is something that doesn't change : )

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  8. Keep on rockin' girl 'cause it sounds like you are doin' a great job. Your kids are happy and healthy and so are you!!! That is what counts. I have always been different, marched to the beat of my own drum, and refused to be pigeon holed into what society deems socially acceptable 'cause I tell it like it is whether you want to hear it or not. But guess who has been elected PTA President at both of her kids' schools for the last 4 years? ME. Go figure????

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    1. That's awesome that you are able to stand up and be you, and march to the beat of your own drum, I am very much that same way, and will also tell you like it is whether you like it or not, I feel like it is better to potentially offend someone with the truth then comfort them with a lie. That's also extrememly awesome that you can be you and still be PTA president, that totally ROCKS!

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  9. You SHOULD be okay with it all. You sound like a GREAT mother. And you have time to write awesome posts like this one and focus on being a great you, too. Keep it up!!

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    1. Thank you for the support and encouragement. There was a point when I tried to "fit in" and often worried about the possibility of offending people. Then I realized it was much more important to be true to myself because I am the only person I have to live with the rest of my life. Thank you again!

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  10. You said it sister! Why die a copy when you were born an original! <3 Looove.

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    1. Thank you girl! Being original is extrememly important to me, so what if people stare, or talk... Let them! I am comfortable in my skin and happy being me

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  11. Thanks for linking up to this on my Silly Sunday Blog hop. This is the kind of post people need to read about. No fluff.

    Allen

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    1. Thank you Allen, I am glad you liked it. There will likely be many more posts like this coming soon. For awhile I worried too much and never posted for me.

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    2. You are welcome. I think it's a really cool post.

      Looking forward to having you join the hop again next week.

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    3. Thank you, I am looking forward to joining up.

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  12. So glad you stopped by my blog and so glad to see I'm not the only crappy mom out there. haha

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    1. Nope, I guess we are both members of the crappy mom club : ) ha! ha!

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  13. I try to go by the rule "Do not judge least ye be judged." I've always been different. Very few people get my sense of humor or my 'redneckedness' for that matter. Sounds like we'd get along just fine. :) I'm stealing your button and slapping it on my "Crazy-good bloggers" page on my blog.

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    1. I also think we will get along great. Anyone who refers to their "redneckedness" with pride is #1 in my book : ) Thank you for putting my button on your page. I am honored and super excited!

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  14. Check out today's post; National Hug a PTA Mom Day...you will laugh

    http://www.worstmotheroftheyear.com/2013/05/national-hug-pta-mom-day.html

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  15. Awesome post, Kimbra! Nothing wrong with being different. If we were all the same, it would be such a boring world! And if you think about it, how did all these actors, inventors, authors, etc. become millionaires? Was it because they were conforming? NOT! They all wanted to be different! Thanks for sharing your post with us @ My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

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  16. I'm an older mom of a six year old seems like most moms are way younger then me. And I live in texas and I definitely don't fit in - hate wearing jeans - hate the sun - think sunburns and migraines....and like you way to adhd for crafting. i can't even focus on just one window on the computer and the tv is always on.
    be yourself!

    don't ever give in to the dictatoriship of media and conditioning - allowing others to tell you how to dress act or grrom yourself!Even colours are dictated by society - did you know pink used to be a boy colour - catalogs featured pink for boys - girls got blue all babies were in white it wasn't till the eightees that it became a predominantly female colour. I say like it if you want whether boy or girl. Society also chooses what boys where and what girls where - and in many places in history boys wore makeup, frilly clothes and more. Have to say that I'm actually glad makeup and jewlery and pretty clothes are the domain of women in this century though! Food for thought though - had things gone differently the heels might be on the other foot so to speak - on guys feet.

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  17. *wear is what i meant lol not what boys where and of course - how to dress act and "groom" lol

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