Friday, March 28, 2014

Others

Quiet, blessed quiet. The in-laws were here today and I now have a fridge full of food and a clean kitchen. At this point both David and Andrei are sleeping and I am typing, typing, typing.

After posting last time, I then read an inspiring, thoughtful post (with photos!) on doing art with children...written by my sister, Emily. :)

The interesting thing is that I don't begrudge my sister the amazing projects she does with her son. I wonder why? I guess it's because I know and love her. Otherwise I might be a little jealous. ;) It's hard to be jealous of someone's accomplishments when you are close to them and admire them.

I think the reason that the "Mommy Wars" are especially fierce over the Internet is because of that level of anonymity that is a two-edged sword. I like having a little anonymity online for various reasons...for example, discussing my toddler's eating habits without feeling like I'm going to come under scrutiny the next time I see that person. And the Internet is good for taking polls and getting a wider demographic.

But the problem with not knowing the people in real life is that you risk growing the kind of resentment I mentioned last time, because of the gaps in your knowledge. Even if all the glittering photos on a blog are not a lie, I still have no reason to be jealous of that person, for perfectionism isn't fun. My husband suggested that to me as I was commenting on another mom's accomplishments. He asked if I knew how much pressure she put on herself. Do I really want to live under that burden, especially if it is not what my husband desires for our home?

Unfortunately, ignorance (as in a lack of information) can exist between friends, too. There was one fellow mom at church I was feeling particularly negative towards, and then she wrote and told me she was having a hard time. I felt repentant and wondered why I hadn't even really asked her how she was doing prior to that. I don't know why, but sometimes there is this huge communication gap between mothers who were previously good friends, maybe because our social skills have become inept. Maybe because our priorities have changed and we're too busy being "Mother Bear."

As I talked about in the "Church" series, it really does take consistency and vulnerability for friends to get to a place where they can respond appropriately to each other's needs. This is especially true of people you don't get along with well. I believe that a lot of times the cure for making peace with someone you don't like very much is to spend more time with them and really observe why they act the way they do.

Unfortunately in a big city it's not possible to see each other often, so there's no easy answer, but I think these reflections have helped me realize where some of the negativity is coming from. I don't ever want to spread negativity. I want to spread salt and light-hopefully to friends and loves ones, but also to anyone else that I might cross paths with.

2 comments:

  1. You do spread salt and light!

    Also - you make me laugh! I'm sure you will be doing wonderful things with David when he's the age of your nephew! Even if you don't - all moms are different. I think we "connect" better with our children when they are at different stages, too. I just have this feeling that, like me, you will feel closer to your children when they are reading/talking/discussing stage. I really love Miss Monnie, but I know I always feel SO patience-limited with her. Reading picture books makes me nearly crazy - but my husband seems to happily pick one up and say, "Monnie, want to read?" I HATE not being like that. But, I have to face it; I'm not. Whereas, I love going to therapy with Nastya....and it just makes him feel angry and helpless.

    We just have to be glad we can do what we can do and let go of the rest (so long as we're doing our best).

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  2. Driving picture books drives me crazy too even though I'm big on reading and literacy. I like the IDEA of it but just can't stand it, I guess because it seems so sporadic at this age. And it's hard when I'm the only one who CAN really read to him in English. But I think you're right, it's partly the stage he's at.

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