It’s Okay to be Awesome

A friend and I recently found ourselves standing in line at a department store, behind a mother and two children, aged roughly 3 and 5. The kids were swearing, pulling products off shelves and tossing them on the floor, screaming at ear-splitting volume, and threatening to hit people. Throughout all this, the mother alternately ignored them and apologised to the people around her with a dismissive, “Sorry. I can’t control them.” Occasionally, she’d turn and scream at the kids, “Stop that! Do you want the shop man to yell at you?”

When they finally paid for their purchases and left the store (much to the relief of everyone else), my friend turned to me and said, “I don’t really blame the kids. There’s no such a thing as a kid who’s born bad. I blame their parents.”

I held up my fist and said, “Right on, Sister.” Or something to that effect. There was probably less fist raising and hip-hop talk, but you get the idea.

We moved forward and Big Brother put our purchases on the counter. He spoke politely, made conversation about the things we were buying and how windy it was outside (he’s 4 going on 54, okay?), thanked the cashier, and then picked up some of the products that had been strewn across the floor by the other children and helpfully put them back on the shelves. And as we walked away, my friend turned to me and said, “You’re so lucky that you’ve got such a good boy. He’s so polite and well-mannered.”

I held up my fist and said, “Righ– What?!”

Hold on. Why is it the parents’ fault if the child is badly behaved, but “luck” if the child is well-behaved?

It’s not “luck” that I have a well-behaved son. It’s good parenting.

It’s not “luck” that my son speaks politely to people. It’s training, coupled with my husband and I consistently setting a good example.

It’s not “luck” that my son picks up things that have been left on the floor. It’s a habit he’s learned from picking up his toys at home.

So why can’t I stand up on my soapbox and declare loudly, “I am a good parent!” Well, I suppose I could. (In fact, considering this blog is my soapbox, consider it done.) And you can do the same. If you’re a good parent, stand up and say so. Don’t let people write it off as luck. And definitely don’t do it yourself. Stand up and be proud of the way you’ve taught your children to behave.  

It’s okay to be awesome.

It’s even okay to be awesome in non-parent related roles.

Back when I was gainfully employed as a sales manager, I had an employee who was awesome. Whenever I congratulated him on a great day, his response would be “I was lucky today,” or “It was great. Everyone I talked to was ready to buy,” or, my personal favourite, “Yeah, it must have been the advertising.” But if he had a bad day, he was the first to tell me why it was his own fault, and what he’d done wrong.

What is the fascination we have with refusing take responsibility for a job well done? Why are people ashamed to take pride in their own abilities? Why can’t we admit that it’s okay to be awesome?

I hereby issue a challenge to every person who reads this post. Step onto your soapbox and proudly proclaim that you’re awesome.

Leave a comment telling me you’re awesome, and that it’s okay.

I’ll start. I’m an awesome Mum, I’m an awesome wife, I’m an awesome writer, and that’s okay.

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20 Comments

Filed under Opinion

20 responses to “It’s Okay to be Awesome

  1. HIGH FIVE!

    Also a personal pet peeve: when people applaud talent. HELLOOOOO. It’s not talent. It’s HARD BLOODY WORK. I’m sure the people who practice musical instruments for hours and hours don’t applaud each others’ talent! They know it’s about the hours. / rant over.

    • That’s so true, Tamara. While some people are “naturally” more inclined towards a vocation (whether it be writing, music, parenthood, whatever), all of them get to be awesome through hard work, persistance, and sheer bloody-mindedness.

      • 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, that’s about it. Maybe 5%/95%.

        As I’ve said before, if I can write at all now it’s because I wrote crap for 20 years. Which definitely reflects sheer bloody-mindedness. 🙂

  2. I. Love. This. Post!!!

    I’m awesome. I’m not perfect, I’m making mistakes, I’m learning, I’m hurting, I’m reaching milestones, I’m not sure what I’m doing a lot of the time. That’s okay. I’m still awesome.

    • Well said!!

      You are awesome. You’re awesome for bettering yourself. You’re awesome for making mistakes. And, most of all, you’re awesome for being you. Stand up and be proud of being awesome!

      • I have to disagree with something you said there, not to sound picky or nasty in anyway, as that is most definitely not my intention, but I’m not bettering myself. I’m fine, I don’t need to be better, nor so I need to change. I’m suffering from an illness, which is taking a long time to recover from. Recovery isn’t going to make me a ‘better’ person. It will make me a healthier, happy person, but maybe not necessarily better. 🙂

      • Absolutely. I agree, and I’m sorry I didn’t phrase my response very well. When I said “bettering yourself”, I meant “taking steps to make yourself better” by way of recovering from an illness. As in, when you catch a cold, you can take Vitamin C to help you get better. Not that you want to change to be a “better” person.

        I’m not sure if that’s actually any clearer… But I certainly didn’t mean any offence.

  3. As I am not a parent. I totally agree, it is up to the parents to discipline them. When she says ‘sorry I can’t control them’ um yes you can control them. You are the parent, you control things, not the other way around. With that being said. Applause to you and your well mannered child(ren). I have a couple of friends or family with well behaved kids. They are kids so they act up, but listen when put in their place. Then I have friends and family with unruly kids, they don’t discipline, and then wonder why their kids are the way they are. gee I wonder. Got post and pats on backs. :0)

  4. I don’t think I can bring myself to say such a thing about myself. It’s hard to even think it. Kinda sad, isn’t it?

    • That is a little sad, Leanne. I think you’re awesome at blogging. I think you’re awesome at achieving goals you set for yourself. I think you’re awesome at deciding to make a change in the way you do things, and then sticking with that change. I think you’re awesome in a thousand ways, and I only know you through your amazing blog. Out in the real world, I’m sure you’re awesome in many more ways, and that’s okay.

      If you can’t say it out loud, give yourself permission to think it now and then.

  5. I am awesome and often say it/think it. But hopefully not in a braggy sort of way. I love my life and I got there with hard word and good choices. And that’s awesome. This kinda goes along with my philosophy – I can do anything. Paraphrased from a Robert Fulghum book – kids don’t think they CAN’T dance, or CAN’T sing, or CAN’T draw – they just have confidence and know they can do ANYTHING THEY WANT. I hate when grown ups say “oh no, I can’t……dance, sing, draw, write……whatever. Pretty sure you can, even if you’re not the absolute BEST at it. Who cares!? Do what you love! Sorry about my rambling. Loved this post!

    • That’s very true. Kids don’t even really consider the possibility that something is beyond their ability. Thusly why I’ve been to the emergency room 3 times with my 4-year-old. It would be great if, as adults, we could hold on to this energy. Except, without the ER visits…

  6. mamaharshman1

    you are right I am awesome!

  7. You said it, Jo. Every time Connor is awesome I am proud, not just of him, but of us.

  8. I’m certainly not offended, and that definitely makes sense. 🙂 ❤ You're a stunning writer, Jo! Thank you for your posts!

  9. “Stop that! Do you want the shop man to yell at you?”

    A sure sign of no authority. A person who tries to get somebody else to do something by invoking a third person’s wrath needs to just give up. 🙂

    This thread reminds me of the thing that was going around a couple of months ago for people to say nice things about their own writing, rather than complaining all the time. Which I did:
    http://u-town.com/collins/?p=2140

  10. I think I am a pretty reasonable parent (she says as she watches her son pitch a toy at his sisters head – no I am serious he really just did that but he was up WAY to early this morning and is completely beyond it – don’t worry hubby is disiplining as I type) But all kids sometimes get the better of you in public places (granted if my kids behaved the way you described above I would have them under my arm and out the door of the shopping centre in about 2 seconds flat!). My son has a tendency to go into ‘Deactivation Mode’ an interesting twist on the terrible two tantrums – he lies down on the floor and refuses to move, make eye contact or speak for an undeterminable period of time (sometimes we also get crying and very occasionally screaming but mostly it is silent). I have been offered very sympathetic looks by some parents and looks of disgust from others – make him get off the floor (ahhh yeah good luck with that – we have tried everything!). Hopefully it is just a phase

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