judg·men·tal: adjective \ˌjəj-ˈmen-təl\
Definition of JUDGMENTAL
1: of, relating to, or involving judgment
2: characterized by a tendency to judge harshly
I think as a general rule most women are very judgy of each other. You know how it goes, we check out each other’s clothes, hair, makeup, etc. Do homeschool moms do this or are we above it? When we show up for activities, co-ops, sports, meetings, etc., is it really any different than high school where we were consumed with sizing each other up? Every little nuance of speech scrutinized. A smile or a look critiqued. Are we any different? Maybe not so much.
I’ve always thought of us homeschool moms as a better breed of moms. Maybe better breed is the wrong terminology. Maybe different would be correct, maybe not. What I’m trying to say is that when I first starting homeschooling, I thought that I didn’t fit in. Case in point, my hubby and I went to our first homeschool conference about 13 years ago, young, bright-eyed and dressed in khaki shorts, nice tops, me with makeup and ballet flats. Don’t get the idea that I’m this fabulous fashionable person,because I am so not but I do try to keep up with the trends. I was in culture shock as most of the women wore long denim skirts or jumper dresses, white t-shirts and white Keds with white socks. Makeup if any was minimal and most hairstyles were buns. Note: I am not putting down how these women dress at all. I think they rock! Many of us even discussed the differences in our choice of style and we completely respected each other for our differences.
I loved these women and I felt like they loved me and I became good friends with them and vice versa. I was welcomed and really didn’t feel judged and even though I was different, I felt like I fit in. But over the years, maybe because I’ve been at this awhile or maybe times have changed, or maybe I’ve changed or just a combo of all of it, I’m finding that we have become sharply judgmental. It feels like if I don’t look like this, or talk like this or do this, then I’m not welcome.
You see I’ve reached a point in my life that I’m getting back to myself. Sounds weird. Who else could I have been? That’s another post. I want to be trendy-ish, (not the expensive unattainable trendy, but the I can go to Cato’s and get a cute shirt for $13). I’m not ready at 42 years old to look like I’m 70 and that’s how I feel I’ve looked over the past few years. Ok, so I’m exaggerating just a smidge but you get the picture. I love wearing makeup differently depending on what mood I’m in or what type of look I’m going for that day or maybe even (gasp!) just a tinted moisturizer and mascara. I like switching up my hair. It’s not like I made this switch all in one day, but over the course of the past few years. But since then, I’ve lost homeschool mom friends. Why?
I’m not dressing like a hoochie-momma. I’m completely covered! But does my showing up for a basketball game when it’s cold outside wearing dark denim skinny jeans, boots with a 3 inch heel over them (believe it or not they were comfy), a baggy sweater with a scarf knotted around my neck and my hair straightened and pulled back in a preppy ponytail make me the object of homeschool mom disdain? Not all the moms seemed to hate the loo and most of them said that I looked really nice, but at the same time a good bit of them stopped talking to me. Did they really like it or were they just being nice? Does it matter? Maybe I’m crazy and imagining things. Maybe not.
Does the fact that I don’t want gray hair to show just yet bother them? I have dark brown hair naturally and I really started having fun coloring it this year. So, I went dark brown. Very pretty. Then I went dark brown with auburn. I loved it! Still do, but I seemed to loose even more “friends”. What is up with that? My husband and family love the changes. Although Todd did smile at me and say, “You know you’re gonna get the looks from the moms for wearing those boots?” I laughed and just said, “Oh well.” He even agreed with me that they were appropriate, pretty and if I liked them, wear them. My girls loved my bravery! I loved it and I felt good. Isn’t that what matters?
But it feels like high school. I’m not a part of the group anymore. What happened to being accepting? Nothing has changed about me, except that I am coloring my hair and tossing out the stained, stretched out t-shirts. I feel more confident and I like myself more. What’s going to happen when I hit my goal weight on My Skinny List? Will I lose the rest of my homeschool friends? Aren’t we in this boat together? When I first started homeschooling, it felt like it. Now it feels like I’m being kicked out of the boat, ostracized. Shouldn’t we be supporting each other and look past the clothes, hair, makeup and my 3 inch heeled boots? After all, I’m a Christian. I’m a wife. I’m a friend. I’m a homeschool mom, too.