Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nobody Cares!

A quick note: I loved, loved, loved your comments! Thank you for reading, thank you for encouraging, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's obvious that we are all going to learn a lot from each other and I hope you keep the comments rolling. I think we'll also have some guest posts by those of you who want to share something specific that you have learned or struggle with. You can e-mail me at if you'd like the chance to post in the future. Thank you!

I married my sweet husband and after a three-day honeymoon we moved across the country--switched coasts--put our cars on a truck, along with our wedding gifts, newly purchased couch and entertainment center from RC Willey (where I got an employee discount) so the paid-for-by-the-new-employer moving company could make the drive for us while we comfortably flew--arrived in January to bitter cold with a new coat thanks to my in-laws who knew this girl from the desert was in for a rude awakening. I grew up in Las Vegas, much of Hubby's family was in Denver and we settled into our first apartment in Upstate New York. (I totally recommend this for newlyweds, by the way. Not specifically the New York in January part, but the part where you move away from both sides of the family at the beginning of your marriage. Except when it comes to my children. I recommend that they live about 5 minutes from me.) I had a lot of family and good friends on the other side of the United States who I was SURE wanted to have updates on our lives and know how we were settling in, so I would send long-winded e-mails with some frequency to a large group of people.

These e-mails only picked up recipients and interest when we moved BACK across the country, this time to Washington State. By interest I don't mean that the readers began clamoring for more...the added interest was because I was growing a little human inside of me which is infinitely more interesting than the walk we went on by the river or that I made meatloaf for the first time. My husband would read these e-mails and say, "WHO wants to know this much about our lives? Nobody really cares this much." There would be the occasional friend or family member, though, who would tell me, "I love your e-mails! Thanks for sending them. Keep it up!" If this was said just to me, I would make sure that it was repeated in the presence of my sweet husband. "See?! People care!" And he would just smile and shake his head, I'm sure silently cursing them for encouraging his verbose wife.

Fast-forward some. Now we've added children, three to be exact. I have an obsession passed down from my mother for Baby Magic lotion. It's heavenly. If you've never had the pleasure of smelling it, you should. Every time we leave the house, I MUST put Baby Magic on my kid's heads so that they will smell appealing and everyone who holds them or hugs them will instantly be more in love because they smell so good. I also have to fix hair - which involves more Baby Magic - and make sure clothes are presentable. MOST of the time, Hubby doesn't mind. But when we are just going to one store, running late, or if he is taking the kids out by himself and I insist on taking the time to freshen them up, he'll insist, "Nobody cares!"

When I stand in front of the mirror, frustrated by bad hair or a shirt that doesn't fit the same because I've had three babies and eat too much ice cream and cookies, he'll say, "Dana, nobody cares." Followed with a comment on how beautiful I am, of course; brother knows what's good for him.

Our oldest son is into making his own fashion choices these days (he's 4) which would involve his Wolverine costume every time if he were permitted. And somehow when my husband dresses the kids he has the uncanny ability to pick the one shirt in their entire closet that I really don't like and never put on them and then match it with the pair of pants that I should have packed away months ago because they are too small. It is SO hard for me to let it go if we are going somewhere. If I want to change them, I am sure you can guess what my man says, "Dana, seriously, nobody cares!"

Many times I will respond with , "But I care!" Which begs the question, "Why do I care?" It's something I've thought about a lot.

I think that many of us feel like we are living our lives on some sort of imaginary stage, playing out our lives for the world to see and critique. And, boy, are we concerned about reading the fact, we often write them ourselves! But if I am so busy playing the part in my personal play, I certainly don't have time to critique your performance. And the same goes for everyone around us. We are not being judged nearly as often as we imagine. I really believe that. And compliments can sometimes be the good review that encourage a destructive way of thinking.

Now, I don't think that we should walk around unkempt, smelly, and mismatched, never complimenting each other. I just think that we need to evaluate the reason we do what we do and not care so darn much! It's pretty liberating taking your kids to a birthday party in costumes even though costumes weren't requested...especially when your daughter wants to wear the Red Ranger costume that is way too big on her, rolled up at the ankles and wrists, with the mask sitting atop her messy hair and she is still the cutest thing you've ever seen. It also feels good to have a group of women to your home for a friend's birthday party without having had the time for a shower or makeup and realize that they love you just the same.

So, how does this nobody cares business translate into how we live our lives? I am still going to slather my kids in Baby Magic (probably until they're 20...I'll have to resort to doing it in their sleep at some point, I'm sure) and I still love to do my daughter's hair and dress my kids in clothes I like; I will continue to compliment others and appreciate the compliments I receive. BUT I am also going to chill out and let my husband dress the kids sometimes, I will proudly walk into Albertsons with my son in his Wolverine costume, and I will occasionally rock the shirt that shows my love handles because I still really like the shirt. When I receive a compliment, I will not think that I have to continue looking or living a certain way for that person to approve of me. In short, I will joyfully, and often, exclaim within myself that nobody cares! Not nearly as much as I think they do.

I still maintain, however, that people DID care about those e-mails early in our marriage. They cared and they loved them.


  1. This brings to mind a phrase Dr. Phil uses: "You wouldn't worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how little they did."

    I need to remember that :)

  2. Dana I have to wonder if it is how we were raised? Because I am the same way with my kids! To send them anywhere without having done their hair or made sure their clothes matched and were clean is something that I struggle with!

    I try to let go, but it is HARD! Jeff just smiles at me and lets me do my thing, but I am sure he probably is thinking nobody cares as well! I do need to let things go more, and maybe I will try it from time to time :) but it is something that I struggle with daily!

    I need to remember Linda's post, and Dr. Phil's comment, because I am constantly worrying about what others think! Sucks to be a girl sometimes!

  3. I truly love baby magic just as much as you do and do like to have my kids cute and together. However I also have a 4 year old girl who likes the layered look and loves cowboy boots so I have to pick my battles and she is still so cute:) I feel that if you are always put together hair and make up you never really see much of a change when you dress up for a date or go to a party. I am one to go out to the gym and be a scrub all day but who cares, probably not many people so why should I. You are great and keep it coming and I am sure your family really did appreciate the updates on your growing family I know mine does. Thank you!

  4. We must have married brothers! I've heard the same thing for years. But I love that because sometimes I need to get out of my own head. You know? Step outside and think "Is this really a big deal?" Usually it's not. :)

  5. I heard something similar to Dr Phil's comment years ago, and it's way easier said than done some times. I'll let the boys go out with mismatched clothes and crazy hair, but I'll obsess over my own hair. I'll worry about wearing ankle socks anywhere if I haven't shaved for a while. Things like that. But it is important to remember that we are human, therefore ALL of us (even the apparently perfect ones) sweat sometimes, stink sometimes, have messy hair in the morning, and even still get pimples in their 30's. We don't need to be so hard on ourselves. People will still like us even when they've seen us at what we think is our worst.

  6. I only wish that I hadn't worried so much about how perfect my little ones looked and lived more in the moment back then. Somehow we get it in our heads that we need to emulate the perfect mom or wife when most of the time it is plenty good enough! I did allow Russ to do his own thing with the girls and would ignore it if it didn't meet my lofty standards. That translated to freedom for me to have my own time once in a while and him to have his own unique relationship and time with them. He does know how to braid though. I don't know if he learned it because he knew it was something I liked or the girls requested it, but he did it on occasion. I, too, love the smell of Baby was a must!

  7. So interesting what you said about "compliments being that good review that encourages a destructive way of thinking." I think that's true, which leads me to wonder why. I think it's because I give those compliments to other people, which leaves me subconsciously hoping for them from others. It brings to mind Max Lucado's book, "You are Special" (Sorry if you've never read it but for the sake of space I won't summarize.): It feels good to get a star sticker from someone else, but it's still the praise of man and it implies that there are people getting dot stickers. The non-destructive way of thinking is that you don't have to let the stickers stick. You don't have to care if people like or don't like what you're doing, as long as you're alright with yourself and, as Mr. Lucado asserts and I happen to agree, you know that God loves you.

  8. Bravo Danalyn! A most needed message! When our eyes truly become "single to the glory of God" then we stop playing the "it's all about me and how I compare to others" game and we begin to look deep into another person's eyes, rather than their waist line or hair do. Another way to title this post is to state (and know in your bones), "I am enough." At times when I have fussed too long in front of a mirror, I remind myself, "It's not about me. They are all just worried about how they look. Put down the mirror and look through a window."

  9. I absolutely love reading your posts. I tried to comment on the last one, but my computer wouldn't let me. I tell my husband this all the time. In fact, I sometimes look in the mirror and think, maybe I should care more. But the truth is, when I look at the over all picture, maybe my hair isn't done, and maybe my make up isn't perfect either (if I even got a chance to put it on), I am happy with my life and love my family. It is a small reminder of what the very important things in life are. Thanks again for your blog. I look forward to continuing to follow it.

  10. When my 3 yr old daughter was 2 she was running around in her jammies and her hair wasn't done, I told her she was beautiful and she said "Not yet, my hair's not done." I wanted to cry, because I realized what I was doing to my 2 YEAR OLD. When I would do her hair I made a BIG deal about how pretty she was and have her look in the mirror and go show her daddy how cute she looked but I wasn't doing that same thing when her hair was crazy and she was in her jammies or mismatched clothes. It's not that I thought my 2 year old was ugly without her hair done, it was just the opposite actually I LOVED her crazy bedhead and I still do. I just wasn't showing her and telling her how cute she was like I did when I did her hair. In a way I do the same thing to myself, when my husband gives me a compliment when I amd all done up, I say thank you and love it. But when I am scraggly and my hair is a mess and he compliments me my response is usually, "Ya right" or I think, he must want some ;) (Haha, I'm only being honest here) So even though it's important for us to get prettied up it doesn't have to be always.

    I LOVE Linda's Dr Phil quote, It made me realize that here I am worrying about how I look to others (mostly women) and they most likely ARE NOT thinking about how I look because they are too busy worrying about how they look to me. We are all beautiful with or without makeup :)

  11. BTW the post above was your sister Adri, not Trent :) Love you!

  12. big on thoughts today, but short on words. i'll try to comment later. still loving this.

  13. I have to say for some reason reading that post brought tears to my eyes. I don't know why but it was a fabulous post and I loved it. I loved reading all of the responses they make me feel that the way I have been feeling lately is ok. I just had my 3rd child about 3 months ago. My very first beautiful daughter. I am a little nervous about how things will be when she gets older but I am really trying to soak up all I can with her now. I will admit at first I didn't think at first her look wasn't complete with out a bow until every time I put one on her then handed her to my husband he would immediately take it off. He kept asking "why do you need that anyway?" I thought to myself "why does she need the bow?" Yes it is cute but she is a baby and it should not be my main focus to make sure she has one on her head every time we go out. Granted I still like putting it on her but it is not a must. I just love seeing her happy smiling face and it just makes me light up! The same goes for my boys I use to care so much about what they wore until this year realizing they can dress themselves and I am tired and yes the truth is "nobody really cares" what they are wearing as long as they are dressed, including myself! It is ok that I look like I haven't had sleep in days but my kids are happy so that makes me happy! Having a 3rd child has really changed my out look on life and I am really starting to enjoy the new perspective that I have and hope to continue to improve it!

  14. I think that all men think "nobody cares", mostly because they don't care and it is taking too much time and effort for you to care. (Men are minimalists in my opinion, they want to do the least amount of good work to complete the task at hand as quickly as possible, so they can get on to more important things!)
    I don't think it is bad to care that our children are well presented to the world, but I do think it could be a problem if it gets in the way of living life or developing their self esteem.
    I have fabulous self esteem and I credit my parents. I never heard my mom say that she was unhappy with her body (although I know now that she had some extra baby weight after 9 kids!). My mom never wore make up (even now with no kids at home). When my sister and I grew up and started wearing make-up for special occasions, my Dad would say we looked prettier without the make-up on. My parents never allowed us to go out in pajamas or with our hair wild, but they alway though we were beautiful.
    I now have a daughter of my own (after 3 boys) and I catch myself saying things how I would like to be thinner or whatever. And I want her to have them same fabulous self-esteem I have. So I had better keep my thought of self doubt in my head and know that I am being my best self for now and I will always keep working on being better. Also to not make such a big deal in the difference between what we look like hanging out at home on a saturday morning in our pj's and when we get dressed up to go to church. One is not pretty and the other ugly, one is just more put together and appropraite for public.