Sunday, April 5, 2009

All the things they should teach you in YW but they don't

This entry was written by my sister Allison's bff "Shana Darling" - I had to share... it is too funny not to. The original post with her kids pics can be found here. Side note: in my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons) our youth group for girls is called "Young Women or YW" - Maren

"I think the church does a great job telling the youth NOT to have sex until they are married. I think the church does an even better job telling already baby-hungry girls how wonderful motherhood is. So while the young women know they aren’t supposed to have sex until they are married, they also know it’s like the best thing ever to have a baby and they can hardly wait to do it. And they do cute little service projects like making baby quilts for all the newborns in the Ward. 

And they babysit all the perfect Mormon barbie housewives’ perfect little children in their perfect little Mormon homes and the girls are ready to get married by age 16. I don’t necessarily think this is bad. I married young and had lots of babies young and I am practically perfectly happy in every way. Motherhood is wonderful and joyful and blissful. But it’s also gross and messy and awful and not fun and exhausting and frustrating. And while making baby quilts and attending casserole-making classes are great ways to prepare, I think Young Women leaders everywhere might do good to consider some alternative Mother Prep activites. Some of the following might include:

Washing diarrhea out of a small child’s underwear, helping the newly potty-trained child go diarrhea in the toilet, and then cleaning up the small child’s bottom. Yesterday while we were out and about, Caleb had just such an accident. Did anyone prepare me for such messy disasters? Not so much.

Another fabulous idea might be some quick-thinking activities. Church members are great role-players, beginning in Primary. For example, a young woman could imagine she has six children, three of them are 3 and under. She decides to take them to the Aquarium for the day because that’s what a regular Mormon Barbie Housewife would do to stimulate her children and encourage intelligence. A few minutes into the visit, she allows the three older children to wander ahead as long as they stay together. Then, the 3-year old runs after them. Should this young gorgeous mother leave behind the twins and the stroller to snag the runaway? Or should she let the 3 year old wander ahead, praying no one nabs him, while she gathers up the other two babies and their belongings? And how ’bout that diarrhea incident? How exactly does that young mother deal with the mess with the other five children in tow, two of which are sound asleep in their car seats and the other three our busy eating their lunch and the bathroom is across the parking lot in the museum you haven’t paid to enter? Knowing how to make a quilt is great but knowing how to deal with these sorts of situations are invaluable.

You could spend an entire YW night on stain removal. Invite a member’s toddler to the church, have him step in some ketchup and walk around for awhile. Then teach the girls how to remove the stains as well as clean the child before he makes another mess. That will never happen in real life? It did in our home, just last night. You could also give a set of twins some green acrylic paint and let them go at whatever their little hearts desire. Mark and I are doing some painting in the bedrooms, a much needed chore after seven years of little sticky fingers running around the house. Last night while Mark was busy painting the ceiling in one of the bedrooms, I was playing Othello with Noah. Neither of us were paying much attention to the twins. When one of them finally appeared with green stuff all over their hands it only took me seconds to realize what they had gotten into. They had poured paint in a dish just like their Daddy and with pint-sized rollers painted a masterpiece of their own which included the carpet, my Sunday dresses and the wall. I really could have used a lesson or two in paint cleanup 

And we all know how great a lesson on what to do when your baby has the stomach flu would be. Wait until a family in your ward has the stomach bug and invite them to church for an evening of free babysitting. Let their kids drink lots of red koolaid and run around with lots of reckless abandon. The girls will surely learn how to catch barf in their laps and hands, remove vomit from clothing, carpets and furniture, and you can even make cute little handouts about how to feed sick kids teaspoons of fluid every fifteen minutes and what B.R.A.T stands for.

Really the ideas are endless. Multi-tasking like cleaning up vomit while making dinner and planning homemaking would be another excellent idea. Or how about a sleep-deprivation summer camp? You could put one of those newborn infant dolls in each of the Laurel’s tents and they could get their “I can still function on 15 minutes of sleep” badge if their baby is still alive by the end of the week. Want more ideas? Need to borrow a set of twins or a rambunctious toddler for an evening? We could totally help. Jericho just vomited on my lap about an hour ago and Denver sympathy barfed on the stairs. We could provide so many wonderful opportunities for your Young Women to fully understand the responsibilites of motherhood and just exactly what they’re getting into when they decide to become sexually active. And maybe instead of handing out condoms to the Young Men (which we all know the church is greatly opposed to) we could hand out Wet-Vacs and have them assist the Young Woman on an occasional joint activity. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?" - Shana

Here's my addition:

The YW’s who think you look so cute pregnant could come over on one of "those days" (laundry day here) where your clothes are either skin butt tight (the equivalence of wearing spandex) or your wearing a mumu with no bra - to see you 6 months after giving birth. They would want to rip their eyes from their sockets, hello. welcome to motherhood - (sexy, what a laugh), disgusting, celulite, fat, huge love handles, saggy boobs, acne, and all.

You know it doesn’t matter how many kids you have… kids are kids… And every family gets at least one “special” child. Mine is called James.  I think another suggestion would be to write a term paper (at least 16 to 20 pages), with at least 10 scholarly sources and have a review to turn in online by midnight for a completely different project. While taking care of a child that’s coming out both ends, keeping the other whiny kids occupied during spring break who want to leave the house, trying to keep your "James" from loving (aka dropping or smothering) your baby or better yet... just making sure you don’t forget to feed the baby, as well as prepare a lesson for church callings. Or try getting the 2 year old to unlock the car door in the middle of summer in Arizona. Good times. Motherhood is the best job EVER! - Maren

Do you have any fun ideas to add?


RatalieNose said...

Maren they need to put you back in YW's so you can do some of this stuff with us!!!

Joele and Matt said...

So true, so true!!

Genna said...

Its been forever, but I am so glad I checked out your blog today, I needed the laugh. Your hilarious! I loved everything you mentioned! It is all so true!

Lucy said...

Funny! I did get the Diariah washing episodes when in YW here in MO. I was the one that was watching all the leaders kids while the other girls got to go do the "precious" activities. When I had my first baby one of the girls I worked with was so baby hungry at 16. Years later I met up with her and she said that I had actually been the best birth control for her because I had scared her so bad. I had been so sick everyday puking up my toe nails and hurting from head to toe that she decided that she didn't want to do that and waited till she was in her twenties, finished with school and married. :o)