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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Perfect Moms, Walking Clichés, and Wal-Mart

Happy Wednesday MWOB readers!

Today, we are introducing a new voice who contacted me because of our "Join MWOB" tab where I encourage moms without blogs to let me know if they want to write.
Even though in the blogosphere it seems EVERY MOM has a blog, Amanda is one of the zillion moms who don't. But she writes. And she has a voice yearning to be heard like the rest of us. She's also a mom of four and a student so she doesn't really have the time to sustain her own blog - for now.

I am thrilled to introduce Amanda writing her first post for MWOB. Thanks for reading her and supporting our mission.

Written by Amanda, a mom without a blog

I am not a perfect mother.

I do pride myself on living a full and interesting life and my kids seem to appreciate it. Having said that, I must admit that I am prone to rambling soapbox speeches about the materialistic and corrupt lifestyle that is modern America. I loathe the feeling of spending a Sunday afternoon in "Babylon" buying crap I don't need and ingesting empty calories masquerading as food. That is why I refuse to indulge in any aforementioned activities whenever possible. I am guilty of people-watching, passing judgment and also contributing to and reinforcing stereotypes (much to my dismay).

I live in the epicenter of two corporate world headquarters (Wal-Mart and Tyson). Here in NW Arkansas we are in a pocket of financial stability and low unemployment rates due to these companies plus the University. Although I must indirectly benefit from this I do not condone many of the big corporate practices. I am of the entitled persuasion that can don a Che t-shirt like the rest of 'em and boycott Wal-Mart all year long - until we need organic raisins. The local organic food co-op thinks that the very same package should cost $3 more!!!

I don't set foot in Wal-Mart for ideological and energetic reasons. Clearly, I purchase a Smart Chicken if I need one. My family eats quinoa and millet, we raise some livestock, vote Democratic or Independent, heat only with a fireplace and cool without A/C. (Ask me about 98* and 98% humidity sometime) We do not drive Suburbans. We do not-repeat- Do.Not.Feed.The.Baby.Fast-Food!!!

Until I found myself in the throngs of a PMS craving for salty fried chicken (never mind that my PSYCH I course just went over the very real possibility that PMS is highly over reported and possibly not based in science). It was Thursday at 2:30 pm, way past lunch for a hypoglycemic nursing mom. On the verge of a killer migraine, I even ordered a Dr.Pepper for caffeine, something I gave up years ago and only indulge in on occasion. Much to my chagrin, I have reached that age where I have one failing organ to fixate on. Gallbladder related topics are heavily googled at my house. But, I was all "gallbladder be damned" and ordered myself and my two-year-old (gasp) a meal. What a hypocrite I am! Leaving the house without snacks for the baby (besides my boobs).

Who did I think I was kidding? I am as mainstream and unhealthy as the next guy and I'm over here feeding it to my little child. The "imaginary" PMS crept over me like a stealth fog and I was assaulted with guilt and melancholia. Holding back tears, I pull up to the window and retrieve my order. "She's never had fast-food before, y'all"! -Dude says "at least it's the best".


Then I am reminded by the beeping cellphone about soccer practice for the older kids. I am responsible for not only hypocrisy but overpopulation- Geesh! So, I'm off to caravan kids like a "good soccer mom" wondering all the while if I really am a walking cliché.


About Amanda

Greetings from the Ozarks!
I am a mom without a blog who has 4 kids ranging in age from 22 months to 14 years old.
My oldest are twins and not only are they amazingly agreeable (my fingers are crossed) but they are also still somehow boyfriend and cell phone-free girls who help with dinner and laundry. My middle child is the consummate middle child and is a real button pusher; she is a competing champion gymnast who loves being the center of attention. My youngest daughter is a real ham and will surely need to be some kind of rock star in order to get all her attention needs met. She is surrounded by big sisters who dote on her and teach her bad tricks. She is highly verbal and recently asked the grocery store cashier "Where's my yogurt, lady"?

I look forward to contributing to the hilarious, touching and insightful posts on MWOB, they are a great break from farm chores (we are raising 20 sheep) and college (I am trying to finish my Education degree). I can't wait to express my mommy concerns in this supportive atmosphere.


  1. Welcome to the dark side ;-)

    You're not a hypocrite! You're just doing the best you can. And I must say, way better than me. Not that the bar was that high to begin with. I'm a frequent Target and Walmart shopper - they're way cheaper than the high-end grocery stores that are my only other option - plus the odd people floor shows are just too good to pass up.

    I guess I'm a contributor to the plight of America and our over consumption problems. Though I am trying to do better. Future generations need to be taught to do more with less - an imperative really.

    Welcome to MWOB!! Can't wait to get to know you better - Em

  2. Thanks for the great post, Amanda -and welcome to the place where perfect moms rule!!!! :)

    As far as Wal Mart goes, I usually steer clear - Especially since my 9 yr old is still scarred by the time we went into Wal Mart a few years ago to pick up a large bag of cheap candy for school kids (another topic for another time) when we went by the fish area to see the "cute" fish - all the fish were floating on top of the tanks! It was so disgusting and disturbing...

    BUT, fast food is something I still indulge in here and there. Also, an embarrassing admission...In my attempt to get my 3 yr old to eat ANYTHING that would put some meat on her bones, I have been known to force feed her cut up greasy french fries and cheeseburgers.... Don't tell her nutritionists.

    Bottom line, Amanda - we do have good intentions, right? We're just trying to get by each day in a realistic way, if that means making things a little easier or a little cheaper during crazy times, well so be it...

  3. Welcome Amanda! I loved your post and I feel your pain. I am exactly the same. I so don't want to be an over-consumer and yet it creeps into my life much more than I'd like.

    I loved your confession of your baby's first fast food meal, and the workers response. Hilarious.

    But honestly .... raising four kids AND 20 sheep AND finishing your degree? You're entitled to more than a few drive-thru dinners.

  4. Hi Amanda (great name:D),
    Wow, you live how I want to...We are still working on switching over to being sustainable, but I live in a state that has had one of the highest unemployment rates for the longest period of time. With everything falling around me, and I find life much simpler now that we meet much of our own needs. Thanks for writing...and you truly are something to be looked up to.

  5. Nice to meet you Amanda and you know what, we are all this kind of mommy, just a little bit.

  6. Welcome, Amanda. My name is Jo and I am a fast food whore. And I am raising kids who are about to step into my shoes. The shoes seem to fit them nicely.

    I try not to shop Wal-Mart because every time I do I seem to end up in a fight with another customer because they have a)cut in line b) cut in line or c) cut in line and I won't stand for it.

  7. Yeah. Try as I might to be perfect, wal-mart and fast food free, I just can't seem to pull it off either. It's refreshing when we all just admit our imperfections, no?

    Welcome to MWOB! Great post.

  8. Thanks so much, ladies! I guess I overanalyze things too much and I really appreciate the chance to do so with other super-moms. You guys should see how much YouTube my baby watches- sinful! Nevertheless, I loathe the "hippy elite" that many of my peers seem to be members of. As my ex used to say "to each his own" I just feel better when I eat real food, however, my teenagers could live on doughnuts and white rice-well, my time's up......10 yr. old daughter is ranting about the injustice of 5th grade girl-dom!

    Thanks for the responses and support,

  9. don't worry ladies, i'll destroy the earth for all of you. and i'll take down myself and my kids with it!

    welcome to the pack, amanda. glad to have you along for the ride.

  10. Amanda, let me buy you a Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced latte on the way to Target and we can talk about how perfect we are while our combined EIGHT children eat Happy Meals.

    We do what we can, always meaning well...well, sometimes, at least.

    I dont raise sheep, but I do raise monkeys.

  11. Nice to hear from you Amanda! I get all perturbed about Wal-Mart but find myself there once every six weeks or so to stock up on those items that are gobs cheaper than every other store. As for fast-food, I really try not to eat it but fed my whole family Subway last night for dinner. I figure it all comes out in the wash -- can't always eat cod and quinoa! :)
    Keep the fun posts coming!

  12. welcome amanda! loved your post.

    i won't be a mom for 9 more weeks- but you can bet your sweet a** that my little unhatched chicken won't be walmart/mcdonalds free. is that wrong?

  13. we had subway for dinner on the way to soccer practice- i caught myself in the rearview mirror: cellphone glued to my head, checking out my bangs, driving kids to soccer- it was just so, i don't know- so NOT how I was gonna be when I grew up. oh well, the twins and I were cracking up and bonding nicely. However, I did have leftover "health food" for lunch today and it was just as easy to cook extra, brownbag and run!
    As women, we spend waaayyyyy too much time with guilt trips and picking sides: bottle vs. breast, day care vs. staying home etc. Geesh, let's all try to be a little more forgiving of ourselves and each other and then all those details are less important.
    We are all really just doing our best here on this crazy planet.....and like my grandma used to say : "You can't win for losin'"

  14. Welcome to MWOB Amanda! I can tell from your post, you'll fit right in here. Being a "good" (whatever that means!) Mama is sometimes doing what it takes to make it through the day. And sometimes that involves Walmart. And fast-food chicken. And valium (kidding...)

    Glad to have you here and can't wait to hear more from you!! :-)

  15. Welcome, Amanda! Great post! :)
    I ordered pizza yesterday at 4 pm so I didn't have to cook before rushing off to grad school. Not feeling one.bit.guilty!

  16. When I heard that big bad Walmart was coming to Canada, I was all "oh, I can't do it, I can't shop there, they're stealing the market from the little Mom and Pop stores ... yadayada....".

    But then I became a Mom; and they opened up a Walmart 3 minutes away from me. With a McDonalds conveniently located inside.

    I was totally doomed.

    Welcome to MWOB!


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