Today I would like to welcome back one of our awesome contributors, Brittany Case. We have a vastly larger audience these days, so I’d like to re-introduce her (so, this will be redundant for those of you who read her previous post here)
As a kid my big sister was always my confidant, my co-conspirator and of course best friend. We played; we fought, though rarely, and even ran away from home together (we made it as far as the underneath of our backyard deck…and only until the stolen apples and crackers ran out; so roughly lunch time.) As we grew older, she would always counsel me in the matters of boys, bras and blackheads; pretty much everything you think about as a teenage girl. As college roommates, her advice and counsel was often the backbone to every decision I made, including, what clothes to wear, boys to date and cars to drive. However, it went much deeper than that; she helped me to think about my education more seriously, my faith more deeply and caused me to think about my life in general more completely. It is nearly impossible to separate who I am from the influence she’s had on my life, which has only increased exponentially since I became a mommy.
It was no surprise when my dear sis went back for her Masters degree in mental health counseling. I cannot think of a more fitting career for her. She graduated at the top of her class and was the very first to land a job (offered to her before she had completed her degree). She is currently a clinician in Wasatch County and truly an expert in her field. She is married to her 2nd very best friend (I claim the title of 1st…Okay, not in rank, but chronologically), they have two handsome little boys and a rowdy pup named Mila. I have been begging her to write a post on My Mommy Style since the conception of this blog because she is truly fantastic at what she does, she’s hilarious and clever and she’s simply relatable. And so, it is without further ado I’d like to welcome Brittany Case.
Getting’ Clean the Clorox Way
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in things that just don’t really matter. We can get caught up in appearances, and trying to be perfect. Many eating disorders are started that way. I was sitting with a friend having brunch, when I was reminded of this fact. I had started my diet over again (a regular occurrence at my house, in fact my husband would attest that it is a weekly event) and forgotten that I was having a play date/brunch with a friend and her child. When she brought out the food, I should have had more willpower, but I succumbed to her delicious guacamole and tasty Mexican food.
When I told my friend that I had blown my diet, she quickly reminded me that consuming a few extra calories in one meal, is no big deal, and that I simply should try to eat really healthy for dinner. That makes sense doesn’t it? But, sometimes we get this “all or nothing” thinking going on. So, in my mind I was thinking, “Ah man, I messed up again. Oh well, I still have that coke and cookie dough in the refrigerator that I wanted to finish anyway. I’ll eat it tonight and then start my diet again tomorrow.” But, that was Monday, and in order to be perfect, the whole week needs to be perfect right? So, the rest of the week is blown too, and I try to start over again each Monday. How ridiculous is that? I mean, even when I write it, it sounds sick. Like, see a therapist sick.
Another example of perfection came in a funny form in an event that occurred several years ago with me and my husband. I was pregnant with our first son. It was such an exciting, fun, and sappy time in our lives. As expected, I set up my first Doctor’s appointment to make sure we both were doing well.
Before I got married, I was a shower-in-the-morning kind of gal, but after being married I converted to a nightly bather, I succumbed to his ways and began showering before bed. Anyway, who can resist jumping in the shower with your smokin’ hot other half? But, this section isn’t about sex, so I’ll get back to my point. So, the night before my Dr. appointment, I took care of all of the culturally appropriate cleansing/shaving items on the pre-ob list.
Fast forward to the appointment the next morning; my husband and I sat anxiously waiting for our doctor to appear and tell us all about our new little family member. As I sat there pacing (literally) around the office, I began thinking erratic thoughts, “What if I am not fresh? What if I don’t smell good? Did I shave too much; will he think I am a freak? Did I not shave enough; will he think I am tree hugger?” And then, as if sent from heaven…you can imagine the scene like the light that shines down on the Indiana Jones movie on the golden statue before he grabs it…that kind of light from on High ….I look up and there are wet wipes! And now the choir starts singing the Hallelujah Chorus in my mind! As I am prancing about in the paper towel they gave me to remain feeling “modest,” (come on, who do those paper towels really cover? Even Barbie has hips that would burst out) I notice the gleaming dispenser of baby wipes.
I quickly pull a MacGyver and strip completely, and begin “freshening up” with the wipes so kindly provided. And, I was thinking, “If I were a gyno, I would supply people with wipes too, I mean really, who wants to be knee deep in smelly female parts all day long? Not I. I am already loving this doctor more and more. Feeling fantastic, and confident with my freshly scrubbed nether regions, I began to walk back over to drape my paper-towel-loin-cloth over me like a good girl when…stop…hold on…”Something is wrong Jonny!” I screeched at my husband with a pained, twisted face. I then proceeded to do the dance found on Peter Pan, where He and all the little Indians are dancing and hooting and hollering around the campfire, all the while screaming, “Oh my gosh, it burns! IT BURNS!!!” You can imagine my horror when I realized that I had really cleansed myself…the wipes that I thought were sent from on high, were in actuality Clorox Disinfecting wipes. Of course the Doctor would not carry baby wipes on hand to help new mom’s freshen up. That’s absurd! The Doctor needs the Clorox wipes to disinfect his equipment from patient to patient. And, let’s be honest, if I smell a little funky from sleep the night before, I am confident that is not the worst thing in the world he has seen when examining people down there. Right?! So, now instead of smelling like bed (like a normal person), I had to explain why my nether regions were swollen, red, and on-fire to the touch to my new Doctor. Luckily our Doctor was a funny redhead with a sense of humor. We laughed about that experience every time we saw him for the rest of the pregnancy.
What is the point of that story, other than to hopefully bring a smile to your face? That experience taught me a lot of life lessons; about being happy with who I am, and having confidence in myself, and that in having confidence in myself I naturally allow others to feel confident in their skin too.
I think that one advantage that I have as a clinician, is that I see people for who they really are. Sometimes we walk around thinking that everyone has it better, and that no one has problems like I do. But, as I get to know people for who they really are, I come to realize that we are all imperfect, and that we are all trying our best, and that’s what it is all about anyway isn’t it? I mean, at the end of the day my guacamole is never going to taste as good as Charla’s, and my pita’s will never match my mother-in-laws, but when I look in the mirror I see a pretty darn fantastic mom, wife, and therapist and I think…I am not going to try and be perfect at everything, because I am good enough in the areas that matter most to me.