Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Are You There God? It's Me, Jenny.

It was Monday morning, and I was already starting the week off with a huge deficit of sleep. The girls and our crazy dog had me up several times throughout the night, and I had to get up at 5:30 to make a casserole for a work function. I was volunteering at my daughters school from 7  until 8 in the morning, and then had to make a quick stop back by the house to pick up my casserole before heading to work. But, by 8:45 am I found myself in complete traffic hell and late for work, again. I found myself vacillating between a verbal diarrhea of profanities to the drivers obviously preventing me from getting to work and a mental pep talk to calm myself down. And that is when I found myself pleading to the man upstairs to help me out.
Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. I am stuck in traffic, again. I don't think I can handle this anymore. I am not cut out to be a working mom. It is all too much. My youngest broke the sugar bowl before I even had my cup of coffee this morning. I feel like I am running a marathon. And, I am going to be late for work again. I have a meeting at nine. Please, could you just clear the traffic for me? It would really help.
And then it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, Judy Blume's fictitious Margaret grew up and continued to have the conversations that made me fall in love with Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret as a young girl. What I love most about this book, having recently reread it, is that her conversations with God are so honest and realistic for a 12 year old girl. They range from a superficial plea to develop breasts all the way to questions about faith and religion. And it is that brutal honesty of Margaret's desire "fit in" or be normal makes the book a refreshing read, even 44 years after it's publication date!
"Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. Gretchen, my friend, got her period. I'm so jealous God. I hate myself for being so jealous, but I am. I wish you'd help me just a little. Nancy's sure she's going to get it soon, too. And if I'm last I don't know what I'll do. Oh please God. I just want to be normal."
So I wondered what would Margaret's conversations with God be like if she grew up to be a working mom, like me. And this is what I think it would sound like....
Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. I am dead tired. Why won't my kid go to sleep God? What am I doing wrong? 
Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. We have company coming for Thanksgiving, and I am pretty sure the house will never be clean in time. Do you think it would be possible to create a house elf? I could really use one, God. You know, like in the Harry Potter books. I promise to be nice to it. I see cobwebs all around my ceiling, my blinds are disgusting, and I just saw a dust bunny fly off of my ceiling fan. I am judging me. I could use a little help.
Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. I know the last time we spoke I asked for a House Elf, and I realize that is a crazy request. But, I seriously need help with the laundry. It is taking over the house. Any chance there are laundry angels out there looking for some kids clothing to fold and sort? I would totally be able to focus on things like spending time with my family if I could just find them underneath this growing pile of clothes.
Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. How in the world am I supposed to do all things I am supposed to be doing as a Mom in 2014?  I just signed onto Pinterest and apparently everyone else is making their own detergent. I don't have time for that. And, I am pretty sure that our Elf on the Shelf will continue to be the lamest Elf. I am getting palm sweats just looking at all the amazing ideas my mommy friends are Pinning to their walls for their elves to do. Am I a bad mom? Wait, what am I saying? Surely you have much better things to worry about than some fake tradition created and marketed to our children. Succumb to the peer pressure to have an Elf of the Shelf feels like giving into the devil, God. You agree with me that it is a ridiculous, unsustainable tradition that sets the bar way to high for moms that value sleep over remembering to move the elf? Right?
But, eventually, the conversations always become much more serious.

Are you there God? It's me, Jenny. My daughter just asked me if she needs to be skinny to be sexy. How in the world do I respond to that question? She is beautiful just the way she is. Where is this coming from? Is it something I said? How can I teach her to be confident? I need help showing her how to highlight what she loves about herself instead of focusing on what she doesn't like about herself. And if I am honest, I need help with that lesson myself.
Which brings me back to Margaret...When Margaret first meets Nancy, she discovered that Nancy had a ton of cosmetics in her room, even at the young age of 12. And I love this part in the book-
"I asked, 'What do you do with all that stuff?'
'It's another one of my experiments. To see how I look best. So when the time comes I'll be ready.' She opened a lipstick and painted on a bright pink mouth. 'Well, what do you think?' 
'Ummm....I don't know. It's kind of bright, isn't it?'"
How young we are when we have already defined what it is we believe makes a woman beautiful! How young we are when we want to emulate that image! It makes me wonder what young girls with smooth, young, taunt skin think make-up does for them? I haven't had to cross that bridge yet with my daughters, but it certainly coming down the line. And when the conversation does come, I hope I will be prepared.

Recently, I was asked to participate in a Yes2You Preview Group through Kohl's. As part of the group, one of the first things I received was a sample of the Nude Dude Eyeshadow Palette. As soon as I opened up the makeup, I began giggling because the packaging reminded me the part in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret where the girls sneak an anatomy book to be able to see the male form.

The packaging is ironic and funny. But, more than anything else, I fell in love with this palette of eyeshadow because of the fantastic assortment of skin tone shades that accentuate the natural beauty in your eyes. It also comes with a brush that helps to blend the colors and a really great large mirror.

Just as I don't want my daughters to see makeup as a way to coverup and hide behind a mask, I also don't want my girls to see makeup as a bad thing. I want them to be empowered to use makeup as a tool to bring out the beauty in their face, not to hide their "perceived flaws." I hope they see the little makeup that I do wear on a daily basis as a confidence booster instead of a crutch. And, I also hope that when they do decide to wear makeup, they will choose tones and colors that are natural and nude tones and not the bright blues I wore in the 80's.

I imagine that fictitious, grown-up Margaret would agree with me that a natural color palette is the way to go when it comes to makeup. And, I think she would also feel just as confident leaving the house without makeup as she would with it on.

***FTC Required Disclosure:
This site is an affiliate, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Books, Babies, and Bows (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support!

I received a free sample of the Nude Dude Eyeshadow Palette as part of a Kohl's Yes2You Preview Group. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Wonderful! You need to start writing BOOKS and hook up with a PUBLISHER! Or write for a MAGAZINE! Imagine the "traffic" of going to work at HOME!

    1. Whoever you are- you completely and utterly made my day! Thank you!!!!

  2. I can so relate to your inadequate mom feelings and in truth I think a lot of moms can! Very, very funny and real.

    In response to your daughter's question - yes, you are doing something right because your daughter *asked* you instead of just wondering about it herself. I struggle with that some myself - teaching and for myself. :) Some of the things that I think have been a help in my "teaching" are American Girl books on relationships and health, American Girl magazine, and Discovery Girls Magazine.


I would love to hear your thoughts.

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