Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crazy Mother-in-Laws: I am coming out!

Okay, I know everyone has a crazy mother-in-law story.  It is just a part of life.  We all grow up used to our own family's eccentricities (craziness) and learning to deal with other familial traditions (craziness) can be challenging. 

My mother-in-law is no exception.  The problem being that she has been picking at me for how I do things, do/don't treat her for months now.  No matter what I do or how far I bend over backwards to make her happy she is just not happy in my home.  No problem, she doesn't live with me, so she can just stay away.  But she can't.  Up until two weeks ago she would watch little l when I was at big L's school volunteering.  It was two hours during little l's nap time.  Easy peasy.  She would also watch her on Friday when I had girl scouts.  She would usually get to play with little l, as this has become a non-nap time period of the day (though it was for most of the year nap time).

The last time she took care of my little one she put her in the crib after changing her so she could deal with the diaper.  Totally unnecessary, but it was done.  Somehow she twisted her back, so my little one spent the next hour crying in her crib to get out (this is how I picture it in my mind).  Mind you she did not call to tell us that she was hurt or needed assistance of any kind.

All of this after she has stormed out on me a few times, and all in all tested my patience (as I am sure I test hers).  The real kicker though came last week when she told us she needed to unyoke herself from us.  It is basically my fault that she is making bad or ill-informed monetary/life choices lately, and this is all based on my religious beliefs.  If only I were a true believer her life would be going better right now.  I kid you not.

So here it is I am coming out.  I AM AN ATHEIST.  I have been for many a year now.  I am still an extremely moral and upstanding citizen, I simply choose not to have any form of god or religion in my life.  It is not like I came to this decision over night.  I was raised Methodist, my family is still religious, but I and my husband and daughters are not.  I have a religious studies degree.  I have tried on a lot of different religions and in the end none of them felt right or worked for me.  This is not to say that my children will not be exposed to religion, nor will I be angry if they decide that religion is something they need to make it through life.

I personally do much better without it, and truly have no need to pretend there is a higher power looking over me.  I am responsible for my life.  I make choices.  I live with consequences.  No amount of praying has every changed that. 

This is not to say that meditation does not help you focus your mind and achieve clarity in decision making.  Meditation is not religion.

As some other atheists have said (i badly paraphrase here), isn't it okay to to be a good person because you know it is right.  Because you feel that morally this is what you should or should not be doing, and not because some guy in the sky told you?

If you are religious I have no beef with you.  I only ask that you not push it on me or my children.  I ask that you respect my right to not believe as much as I respect your right to believe.  Perhaps someday instead of griping over whose religion is correct we can simply agree that there is one way we choose as a species to live because it is respectful and caring of one another.  Or maybe I am just dreaming.....

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