Thursday, November 6, 2008

my blue funk

For some reason, this week I am in a bit of a blue funk. And chocolate is not even really helping, though that hasn't stopped me from trying.

I think it is a combination of things; I am a bit bored and lonely, and I got a really judgmental email from someone that both angered me and hurt my feelings. I had a really hard time knowing how I should respond to the email, since I am not at all typically good with confrontation. Often, I end up talking to everyone else, besides the person who has offended me. Then, I just stew and get more and more angry at that person, but never give them the opportunity to address the offense.

I wondered what I should do. I mean, I want to be kind to others, but at the same time, I don't think we are expected to let people talk disrespectfully to us, are we? I was torn. I didn't want to offend this woman, who I see regularly at church, but on the other hand, she is known for being extremely judgmental and sometimes offensive. So, do I have a responsibility to explain to her how her email made me feel, so she could perhaps be more careful in the future? I don't know.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that she made me so angry because she had judged me as a parent, which always makes me defensive. She was wrong about her judgments, though, and I knew it, so why was it bothering me so much? For some reason, other people's opinions of me have always been important, even when I don't like or agree with the person. Is that crazy or what? Lately, I think I have been overcoming this, though, because in this case, once I wrote a pretty mature and calm response to her email (OK, the first response I wrote was angry, but I didn't send it), I felt a lot better. I realized that I am doing the very best for my child and that this woman really doesn't even know the whole story. Also, I don't agree with her parenting theories or philosophies, so it shouldn't bother me that she disagrees with me. Obviously, she is going to disagree with me.

It just makes me wonder, why do I always second guess myself when it comes to my parenting? Why do I assume that others are right and I am wrong, in every situation, including those situations in which they are not at all knowledgeable? Why do I care if someone thinks I am a lousy parent? Why do I care when someone is disagrees with what I know is right for my kid or my family? Maybe I need to go back to therapy to keep working on these issues....

15 comments:

Quirky Mom said...

Awwww, here's a big hug for you.

You know, I'm hard on myself too, and I care way too much about what other people think about me. I've gotten a little better with it, but now I'm dangerously close to not caring enough. It's a tough line to find.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Hugs! I think we all struggle at times when people comment on our parenting. I think it's because parenting is so humbling in the first place... and then when someone comments on what they think you could be doing better... then it gets even MORE humbling.

goodfountain said...

I struggle with this at times too. I hate the thought of people judging me - strangers, friends, blog-friends, etc. I want to always do everything right and when I don't, or when I think someone thinks I didn't, I beat myself up royally.

I think part of the answer to this problem is doing what you just did - talk it out. Recognize that you feel bothered, that you shouldn't, and try to move on.

Many hugs! I know how you're feeling.

~ April ~ said...

No advice, but jsut wanted to say ((HUGS)). I hope you can get our of your funk soon.

BQkimmy said...

Sorry you are in a funk. I think we all care what opinion others have of us. It's a matter of wanting people to know who we truly are and see us only for that and not for any misconceptions they may have. It is perfectly normal to want people to think we are good and right. I mean, who wants people thinking the opposite?

It's good you chilled a bit and chose to send a different email than the angry one. Giving in and answering in anger would only lead the woman to have an even worse and more false view of you.

While we all want people to think well of us we simply can't dwell on it if they don't. That is the tough part.

Hope you get out of the funk and feel better soon.

Casdok said...

Because your human? I am glad you said what you wanted to say.

lilmomthatcould.com said...

Good for you speaking up for yourself, there is nothing worse the unsolicited advice. Hope she can take a hint.

Amy said...

Hey funky mama... love you as you are!!!

rainbowmummy said...

Did I write that post?! Very like me. Well one for sending a calm response.

Amy Jane said...

Patty,

Can I say just once again how jealous I am that you will post on your blog and then proceed to get as many as NINE comments?!!!

Of course I remember your last ultrasound and the launching of our precious friendship, which still means the world to me. I'm so excited to find out what you're having!! You must tell me as soon as you find out, OK? In fact, why don't you even give me a call? :)

You asked what I'm going to make for T-giving. Since we have it at my sister's house, she makes most of the stuff, and I only have to bring one or two things. This year, I think I'm going to make a sweet potato dish and maybe an ambrosia-type salad. I'm glad I don't have to mess with the turkey, stuffing, etc.!

I'm sorry you've been in a funk, and I'm indignant that someone sent you such an email! I'm also dying of curiosity about it. Please, please email me and give me the particulars!!! Please? With a cherry on top?

I hope you're feeling better, and do something nice for yourself this weekend!

mrsbear said...

Being a mom is such a huge unpredictable endeavor. I think very often we doubt ourselves and all our decisions and worry that maybe somehow we're damaging the little people we'd kill to protect. When someone criticizes our parenting, even if it's completely off base, it's personal because it feed that self doubt. Something like that would have brought me down too, and I can see how easy it would have been to go ballistic. Good for you for keeping your cool. You're a good mom, deep down inside, you know it, even if you do have to remind yourself sometimes.

beckbot said...

I applaud you for not sending the angry email. This is probably super passive-agressive, but I usually write a ranty letter and then delete it and then I'm just slightly more distant with the person in question the next few times I see them. Most people pick up on that vibe and eventually things get back to normal. I have one person at church who regularly tells me (and everyone else) how to live our lives, perform church duties, raise our children, plant our gardens, run our fundraisers, etc. I was blessed to finally get some backstory about her and, now that I know about her childhood (horrific), I am able to ignore her comments most of the time. I'm not trying to say that you should put up with obnoxious behavior, but I'm proud of you for handling it without overt anger.

Jaimie said...

Hey,

this comment has nothing to do with your post (sorry!) but I just wanted to let you know that I put up another post about SPD :) (obviously it's no longer October...but oh well!)

and I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling...:(

kia (good enough mama) said...

Patty, I SO get this. It doesn't matter how many people tell me that I'm doing an awesome job and that I'm a good mom, etc. If ONE person questions me or makes suggestions, I focus on that. I'm so eager to accept criticism as "law" and compliments as "they're just being nice." Why do we do this to ourselves?

Would you like me to send an "anonymous" email to the church lady? Please? Please????? PLEASE???!!

Kidding. Kinda.

Hang in there, friend. You're awesome and you're too hard on yourself. Like me. See? We're twins. Wonder twins.

Shellie said...

Maybe it's because we care so much about parenting, that we are hyper sensitive about it. I find it a lot easier to blow off people like that now, but at the same time to take a close look at what I'm doing and how I might do it better without beating myself up over it. I must be getting really old.