Chasing Ice Queens

I’ve been thinking about Frozen a lot lately. Have you? If not, you will be on Friday. Rumor has it there will be tons of tiny trick-or-treating Elsas and Annas wandering the streets.

In preparation for the big event, let’s take a look at these famous sisters of Arendelle…

7a6de96e4c16c10e08ef9838549eb76aFirst, there’s Anna….she’s silly, friendly, outgoing, clumsy, wakes up with drool and bedhead, but cleans up pretty nice. She can be starry eyed and a bit naive, but throughout the movie, she is strong, independent, fearless, and fiercely loyal to the people she loves.elsa-frozen-cartoon-mobile-wallpaper-1080x1920-3466-1296291838

Then, there’s Elsa…. for most of the movie she is reserved, consumed by fear and insecurities,  and spends years of her life being cold and standoffish.  Even after she finally lets it go in her over-youtubed transformation, she still remains the epitome of unapproachable. I mean, c’mon now… She builds herself a giant castle made of ice on a remote mountain and scares people away with shooting icicle daggers and snow monster body guards.

Elsa is cold; Anna is warm.

And the little girls of America have made their choice. If you poll a room of 60 girls under the age of 12, all but 4 of them will say they prefer Elsa over Anna (True statistic. My husband did this a couple weeks ago.)

But, I bet the moms of America would choose differently.

Which leaves me wondering why?

Why are little girls as young as 2 drawn to an Ice Queen?

Is it the beauty? Because “girls love beautiful things? ”

Elsa is definitely beautiful and far sexier than Anna. Anna is cute. And pretty. But, Elsa? The Elsa we all know and love is gorgeous….

Okay. I get that. I have a sparkle-loving child of my own. Elsa has a prettier dress. Points for Elsa.

But I wonder how long my daughter will be blinded by sparkly things.

Many girls don’t seem to grow out of it.

Will she think prettier is better when she enters middle school and the popular girls are the ones with the with perfect smiles and bitchy attitudes? Will she try to be like them? Will the pursuit of pretty cause her to ignore her quirky Anna-friend in pursuit of an Ice Queen?

Will she think prettier is better when she enters high school and the boys pay attention to the girls in the skimpiest clothing? Will she buy the lie that the worth of a woman can be measured by her sex appeal? Will she give away pieces of herself in an attempt to be viewed as sexy and attractive?

I hope not.

I hope my daughter becomes wise beyond her years and peers, so she can see true beauty in herself and others. I want her to see that beauty isn’t about sparkles and skin and flowing hair. True beauty in a girl is strength and boldness, and being comfortable in her own skin. True beauty is kindness and compassion. It is sacrificial love.

True beauty looks a whole lot more like Anna.

So go ahead and let your little girl belt out Let It Go for the 356,473,014th time. Or go ahead and play that drinking game when a bunch of Elsas come trick-or-treating. But at some point, let’s try to steer our girls away from their ice queen obsession before it affects their heads… or worse yet, their hearts.

“The heart is not so easily changed, but the head can be persuaded.” -Grand Pabbie (Frozen)

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To ALL the moms out there.

I am a working mom, my life is busier than yours.
~I am a stay at home mom, my life is busier than yours.
I go to work all day then come home to mom duties.
~My mom duties never stop.
I work so hard.
~I work harder.
I never see my kids.
~I never get a break from my kids.

Sound familiar?

Whether a full time working, part time working, or full time stay at home mom, we feel the need to prove just how difficult our lot in life really is.

And I think it’s time to stop.

Fellow moms, regardless of what’s listed beside the little briefcase on your facebook profile, we have one major thing in common….We are moms. Do we really have to argue about which “type” of mom has it rougher? If you’re a mom, your job is hard. No matter how many hours you spend with or without your children. Your job is hard. Let it go at that. We do not need a laundry list of negatives in order to validate our particular mom path. A busy, overstressed life should not be our litmus test of worth.

Let’s be people who find contentment and joy in what we are doing instead of constantly bemoaning the difficulties. It’s time to stop comparing and complaining. I know your baby has not stopped screaming all. day. long. I know. But, it’s time to stop the complaining. And I know you had to work late the past three nights and only had enough time to tuck your kids into bed for the night. I know. But, it’s time to stop the comparing. Let’s stop.

No more focusing on the worst parts of being a working mom. Let’s focus on the beauty. 

No more focusing on the draining parts of being a stay at home mom. Let’s appreciate the wonderful.

There’s a whole lot of good in motherhood. Focus with me on the roses instead of the thorns. And please do me a favor, focus only on the category you fit into right now. Do not allow this to become fodder in the world’s most worthless fight. Instead of competing and comparing, let’s celebrate and encourage. Breed some contentment in your own life.  Recognize the good things about what you get to do! Add to your list. Fill up ten pages. Post it somewhere you can see it, so in the miserable moments when you are tempted to say “woe is me” or think the grass is greener or fear that no one appreciates all that you do, you can look at your list and appreciate you, your many jobs, your children, and the gift that it is to be the specific type of mom you are right here, right now.

We are moms. We are blessed.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

p.s. A special thank you to the fellow moms, both working and stay at home, who contributed to these lists. I admire each and every one of you for what you do for your family, your children, and your own well being. May you always find the beauty in what you do.

For WORKING MOMS only

For STAY AT HOME MOMS only

Distractions along the way

My children are HIGHLY distractible.

Highly.

On every walk, they stop to smell the roses, eat some clover, find the perfect stick, catch a beetle, look in a hole…you get the drift.

They will even ignore a favorite TV show to watch the erratic flight of a rogue housefly in our living room. (This happened today.)

Their distractibility is really quite astounding.

Sometimes I find it frustrating. Like the times when they simply cannot pick up all their toys because they just discovered that a fishing net will fit perfectly on their sister’s head. Must. Net. Sister. Or the fact that we cannot get through a meal without someone darting off to “do something” or even just take a daydreamy walk.

But, sometimes…Sometimes I find it inspiring. Like the times when they stoop to pick a beautiful flower in the grass. Most people (including me) would only see a weed; my kids see a perfectly formed, peachy-salmon flower the size of a sesame seed that they absolutely must pick for Mommy. And my heart melts.

The other day, I decided to take the kids creeking (this is an official term in our household). So I put on their suits and packed up our towels, fishing nets, buckets, some snacks, drinks, the diaper bag, extra clothes, and a chair for me to sit on (you know, the normal stuff) and we headed to a creek nearby. I parked the van, loaded S into the stroller and everything else onto my body like a pack mule. The walk to the creek was not long, we could see the clearing from the parking lot, but it had just rained (hard.) and we had to pass several puddles on the way. I put my head down and started walking faster, knowing the puddles would distract. “Mommy, can we jump in that puddle?” See? I knew they wouldn’t make it to the creek. “Not now. We want to get to the creek.”  The creek would be perfect. We’d been there before. It has a little bank for my chair, some pebbles to throw in the water, crayfish to catch, and lots of shallow water to splash around in. Perfect.

Showing unprecedented amounts of self control K & J stayed out of not just one, but all four of the giant, amazing, oh so enticing puddles on the way to the creek.

We made it to our destination! …And it was a raging river. I somehow didn’t think about how the torrential rains that had formed those giant puddle would also affect our little creek. Big time. The bank for my chair and those pebbles to throw in the water were completely submerged and that shallow water they were supposed to splash in was 2-4 feet deep and moving fast enough to push me under. My kids were NOT going in there.

Disappointing day. Failed expectations. Turn around. Go home.

Not my kids.

They live in the moment.
The journey is more important than the destination.
They see beauty everywhere.
And they deem every little thing worth exploring.

So we went back to those glorious puddles and spent almost two hours happily splashing, belly flopping, and fishing for flip flops.

k&jpuddle

K, J, and S, thank you for teaching me how to live.