05 January 2008

Eggshells Are For The Compost

Do you ever get a feeling of disrespect, or condescension by others?

Mr Coffee and I do our own thing as parents, married couple...thirty somethings. It happens but what happens when this judgement doesn't come from a stranger... You blog about it. Encourage them to fornicate with their own self. Tell the person to "Go home! You're drunk!". Ignore it. Tip-toe around them. Kiss ass? Grovel? HA! Not likely.

Unless you are feeling badly for being condescending, this post wouldn't apply to you at all. I'm not making people change. Not my place. I'm just keeping my boundaries where they should be.

I am Mama Bear defensive if someone acts out against my hubs or kids but honestly, Mr Coffee doesn't care what people think of him. He's awesome like that. I don't either. Although, I do have issue with how we are treated. If my family is disrespected, I have tendency to drop that relationship and never look back. I'm too ridic busy to baby people anymore. I prefer honesty, but my value for getting things out in the open is not always welcome. Ask me if I care. (I do not).

I don't let people define me or my family. Granted, everyone has an opinion and judges. I'm cool with that. We learn when we judge, we assimilate, collate, and compare and contrast. What we DO with that judgement is where communication can become eggshells and asshats. That's where I'm not cool with that anymore. Newsflash: If you're feeling guilty about looking down on someone - stop it. It's stupid. If you aren't feeling convicted, then you get two gold stars from me.

Emo-intelligence wins the interwebs.

I am so very thankful for those people in our lives. Sometimes you lean, sometimes you support. I'm thankful. No one needs pity but for support and relationship? I am thankful beyond words.

Just last week I mentioned to someone that I was finishing designing a website. I hear, "Oh, really? I didn't know you do that. So that's what you do during the day?"

Bloody hell, way to make someone feel special. Who listens to me anymore? I should just say,

"Um, NO, I sit on my butt all day, eat bon bons, and watch soap operas. I make my failure of a husband do all the work. I also sacrifice my values by letting my kids eat normal food, then sending them off to the Devil's Public School while I send myself into Zoloft hell under the guilt of not homeschooling. I determine my life worth threefold: a white glove test of my house, my ability to keep up with the Joneses, and driving around a nice car while I spend beyond my means."

People telling me what I can't do? Dime a dozen. Disposable. Good company makes good people and positive people. These are the people I keep around me.

My point is what do you do when you feel this condescension? You DO ignore it, because addressing it makes you the problem. You can't spend your days running after everyone else to make sure you don't offend. You bottle feed, you aren't giving your best. You nurse, you are exposing yourself in public. You homeschool, you are sheltering your kids. You send them to public school, you are sending them to sub par education. You give them nap schedule, youre controlling. You keep them up, youre abusing your kid who needs a nap. You don't clean the house enough, youre lazy. Clean it all the time, youre a doormat wife.

I can't and won't walk on eggshells with people who are always "offended!".Just be true to you - You are responsible for you.

I don't expect people to understand my values or even how I think. (I can't even do that for myself at times, lol). Just listen, respect, and remember that you teach people how they can treat you. Boundaries, baby. Boundaries.

-Bee has bigger fish to 'Fry'.
Listening to R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin


Anonymous said...

Are you talking about my MIL? Because I swear to the Good Lord, you are!

I guess it depends on the type of condescension, and if it's just typical behavior for that person (as is my MIL's case), or if it's personal.

If it's personal, have it out. There's nothing to be gained by keeping your yap shut when you know so-and-so is ragging on you to anyone who will listen. Some people are stupid and believe everything they're told. You'd be nipping that in the bud.

You've got a wicked scissor kick. Go on and use it, sunshine!

Anonymous said...

(meaning me...I do nothing)

Anonymous said...

well first of all I'm worried for your hide after this little blog outing. Let me know if you need back up. Because not only would I throw down with those sort of people personally but I would also extend that throw down benefit to you, my good and faithful friend. I no longer have time in my life for petty people who judge me and try to belittle me by comparing what I do with their awesome accomplishments. I mean, it;s pretty easy to do better than someone who really DOES nothing?

Anonymous said...

You know, even though my husband is retired military and now works for the US Post Office and I am a respected college professor and mental health professional we STILL rank very low on the 'success' radar where certain family members are concerned. Because we choose not to buy a 3,000 square foot house, or two new vehicles every year...because I choose not to wear diamonds bigger than my fingernail...because I choose to have small boobs...because we choose our child over our 'things'...we are considered 'less than' every one else. I too get the stunned response from family members when I talk about my 'small' successes with a student or a client. Our accomplishments, both personal and as a family don't even register as a blip on the family scale of measuring success. I am unsure of the mentality behind this, however, every now and then I succumb to the feelings you described here. I just don't understand why we are considered to be the 'poor' relatives when we are rich in all that matters.
Rant complete. Thanks. Just wanted to say...I understand.

Anonymous said...

That's my family. I guess a lot of what you define as success can be really subjective. My sister financially is probably way more successful than me, but I consider her a failure as a parent. She has one child whom my mother takes care of 75% of the time. She picks him up takes him to practice and lessons. My sister quit her job to start her own business to be able to spend more time with her son. After a failed business and now working for a non-profit not using her engineering degree my parents paid for, she still doesn't spend time with her son any more than my mom does.

I have 2 step kids and a daughter. We have mounds of debt because we have low paying jobs in education, but we live well and spend time with the kids. It's far from a Dickens-esque setting. We do fine. But I learned that success is how you define it.

I just choose to ignore my family. That's harder for my wife for some reason. I was unemployed for a month for a little while and struggled with my worth being tied to the prestige of my job. I had to learn that my worth did not equal what I did. My value was in something else.

Do you put food on the table and clothes on their backs? Do you teach right from wrong to your kids? Are you doing everything you know to better those around you and entrusted to you?

Take the high road and realize what people think matters less than the truth.


In other words ... you're doing just fine ... and your hair makes you smokin' hot!

Anonymous said...

If these people are really close, I would say something. If not, like for instance, my neighbor who always makes silly but mean comments, just be the happiest person alive when they show up at your door because they are not strong enough to deal with anything else. Notice I said THEY are not strong enough. Nope, they are not. People don't want to see struggle---they want to talk about it and hope it goes away because it is uncomfortable. Show them that one can be perfectly happy in the position they are in---without big rings, brand new vehicles, and steak every night.

That's just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Will you PLEASE teach me to fart rainbows too??

I love it that you have brass ones to get things done. I wish I was more like you. I am a don't-rock-the-boat type of person. I have a lot of pent up issues that usually don't come out until I am threatened or cornered and usually involve flying objects.

Don't listen to nay-sayers. They are not the boss of you and who are they anyway? Are they willing to be judged by the same standards that they judge you by? Judgement coming from family hurts worse because they are supposed to love you uncondtionally. I am sorry that these people do not see the value of making friends online or making them a gift...online.

I think you ROCK Ems. You are a Princess (your Father is king afterall) fireball of a woman, a super mom to 4 beautiful kids and a supportive wife. YOU ARE AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

I'm fortunate in the sense that my parents are extremely supportive of me and my decisions, wrong or right. They're thrilled that I am writing and read everything I put forth, whether on my blog or in a manuscript or whatever, and provide useful criticism on my fiction (a rarity from family, believe me!). They're excited about me making the career change to teaching and will provide what support they can knowing I'll take a significant pay cut.

My wife's parents, though...I don't even like to tell them what I'm doing. They're so judgmental. Ugh. Of course, it's even worse when my wife tells them and they come to me with a "WTF are you DOING?" kind of conversation. Ugh again.


Anonymous said...

I've been there, done that and have a closet of those t-shirts. My only piece of advice is that you keep on doing what you're doing....surrounding yourself with positive people who BELIEVE in what you do and why you're doing it. Disregard anyone else and what they might be saying because, frankly? They aren't paying your bills and therefore their opinions as to whether you work outside the home, how you school your children, how much money your husband makes, what kind of car you drive, how big of a house you live in, etc. -- doesn't mean jack diddly squat.

Sometimes being a better person means stepping away from those who drag us down.

Anonymous said...

I have this same issue. Go figure!

I'm bothered by people who have obviously spent too much time mulling MY life over ("Is that what you do all day?" Seriously, are they really worrying about me and what I do all day?). I feel inadequate when I think about a sibling who is obviously doing well and who once referred to my idea of staying home with my children as "lazy" - I think he knows better than to do that now.

You're doing what's right, and no one else's opinion matters, and people are stupid and thoughtless and don't pay attention. Those of us who are more sensitive and gracious (smirk) should forgive them for being the social incompetents that they are, and be grateful that we're us and not them, going around being offensive. Wouldn't that suck?

When you feel any condescension, remember you're the normal one.

Anonymous said...

i used to get worked up about it. but now i'm much much happier (although not so happy that i fart rainbows. cool. teach.) now that i just dodge it matrix-style. not easy, but i just almost don't hear people when they are negative. from lots and lots of practicing.

most people are so jealous of me anyway that i realize that they are jealous and just let them deal with their issues on their own. i mean how could people *not* think i'm awesome through-and-through?
1) i drive a yaris. the coolest ever car, which screams sexy.
2) we live in 3-bedroom house! it's almost obnoxiously opulent.
3) i wear only the finest threads asda/tesco have to offer (asda is the british wal-mart). i can NOT walk a hundred yards without getting whistled at.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Ems.

Let me tell you...I was a single Mom. Could not stay at home, had to work outside the home.

And my family suffered.

Even now, as I write this, Elder Son is somewhere. Where, we don't know. He skipped Christmas. Breaks my heart. Yet, I know that this is another part of the sowing I've done in him. I mean, I know he has responsibility, too, make no mistake.

Never doubt what you are doing. You and Mr. Coffee rock = you are doing well what you have been given to do. The love and stability you are sowing in to your children will stand for generations to come.

I know.

Be encouraged. And do not grow weary. You are absolutely, positivitely, doing the right thing.

PS - can you teach me the scissor-kick? Puhleeeeze?

Anonymous said...

You are preaching to the choir it seems.
I could write a TOME filled with all the naysayers who have come and gone in my life who have treated me/my job as if it weren't important. This has been the #1 stress factor in my life.

Conclusion of a heart patient: 1% of people you share/talk with are actually paying attention. Find the 1% in your life and cling to them as if your life depends upon it. the rest are simply going through the motions and are not capable of listening. It's hard to kill them with kindness. I don't have much kindness left.

quote from Joe vs. the Volcano:
99% of people live their life asleep. 1% live in constant amazement. You should continue to live in constant amazement.

Anonymous said...

ps. I have kindness left, but I don't waste my energy anymore on people who don't give a damn anyway.

(how unchristian of me!!!)

Anonymous said...

I have a very hard time with all of this and I handle things based on who I am dealing with... it's hard no matter how you slice it.

I guess it boils down to whether or not they will even let you talk, if they will listen to what you have to say without you having to scream to get your point across, or if it's something that they will forget about anyway.

I usually have to measure the anger/importance ratio. Am I mad enough to make my point no matter what happens, and is it that important that I am heard about the particular situation. Basically , is it important enough that it would be worth the further and exacerbated anger and frustration. ;)

I don't know you but I'm sending hugs your way, I so know the feeling you are having.

Anonymous said...

can't say i get to hung up about such things emma, - they are a fact of life and it's what YOU do that defines who and what you are, not others.

...also my wife is a stay a home mum and we wouldn't have it any other way!!

Anonymous said...

I can feel your frustration and I have lived at one time another that frustration. I guess my way of dealing with it, is not allowing it to change me....and just taking every opportunity to speak positively...talk about how proud you are of your husband when you have the chance...things like that. Share the enthusiasm you have for your lifestyle choices in a positive, happy, unapologetic, and unconfrontational way. It will reinforce your own ideals and it may change their feelings - at the very least, they will be jealous of the love and respect you share in your family and that is worth something!

Anonymous said...

I'll keep this simple -> me, I don't give a crap about what other people think. I guess that makes me like Mr Coffee in that regard. I do the best I can with what I have to work with. If that's OK with family, friends, co-workers, or whomever, then great. If not, then that's great too. Don't care. I really don't need anyone else's approval or acceptance for what I do or have in life. Life is so much easier with that approach.

Anonymous said...

neck dimple

Anonymous said...

Emma, your post title says it all. Keep on doing what you're doing and keep reminding yourself that umpteen-gazillion blog readers can't be wrong...you've got it right, girl! Whether you choose to confront the offending condescending ones or not (and really, who needs that kind of trouble...they're not worth the battle if you ask me...your best defense is a good offense, show 'em how life is supposed to be lived), know that you are a shining example to many in how to live a life that is meaningful. Kudos and a Happy New Year to you and the Coffee family!!

Anonymous said...

Who are these people? Do I need to bring out my baseball bat? Anyone with eyes in their head can see what a creative person you are, and a Great MoM. I mean, sheesh, you try to answer ALL your kids questions. And as far as the Coffee guy...I happen to know lazy is not in his vocabulary. Who are these idiots that dare judge anything about you...maybe they should pull that PLANK outta their eye

Anonymous said...

"You may or may not understand this, but I'm tired of being the one who 'causes the problems' when I'm the only one with brass ones to get things out in the open. Festering is never a good thing." Amen to that! It's like I wrote that myself.

At least you have us, your blogger supporters! Not that it does a lot of good when you are dealing with "live" people. But it's better than nothing. I am patting you on the back right now.

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