Where my ego takes another hit…

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That’s right, folks.  Yesterday, I made a friend cry.  Today, I find out that even though I have been truly inspiring to watch, amazingly helpful and energetic, totally organized, passionate, and have completely embraced the ideas behind the group, I was passed over as the next group leader for my women’s networking and development group at work.  The reason?  My body language during the first few sessions was not exactly “welcoming to all of the members”.  ***blink, blink***  Ouch! 

What’s worse?  I mention this to a friend of mine who is in the group with me.  Her method of making me feel better was to tell me that it is okay that I’m not going to be the next co-leader because I am essentially an absentee parent and I need to spend more time with my kids.  ***sniff, sniff, wiping eyes***  Double ouch!  I know she meant well with the comment and was joking and laughing when she said it, but it definitely struck a nerve and had me grabbing a tissue to wipe away the tears. 

See, I’m okay with not getting the leadership position.  Would I have been fabulous at it?  Heck yeah!  But I’m not good around others.  I’m either very shy and completely withdrawn or I force my opinions down peoples’ throats.  It is a flaw about which I am very aware and towards which I have put forth tremendous energy and self-awareness to help improve.  And honestly, I HAVE gotten better.  But the leadership position was a stretch position for me, a learning opportunity to help me figure out if I ever want to be a manager rather than continue in my individual contributor role. 

But, the crack about my parenting?  Even made in jest, it still hurt because it is a concern I have myself.  I mean, I’ve been in school or studying for exams for the entire lifespan of my daughter.  She’s never known me NOT to have homework to do.  My son only faintly remembers a time where I didn’t have homework of some sort.  While I always tried to minimize the time I spent doing homework while they were awake, I know that I wasn’t always successful.  Lack of sleep because of late nights doing homework while they were sleeping made me quick to anger and may have made me not the best mom ever.  While my children have always come first, I remain concerned that I didn’t always show them that as well as I could have.  Being an “absentee parent” is a sore point for me, and she found the bruise and pushed…hard. 

Funny how something that was supposed to make you feel better actually ends up making you feel worse somehow.

On a lighter note, I found another article which would have been very helpful for me last week:
Walnuts offered to students for pre-exam ‘brain food‘”  I’m trying to devise a breakfast on Friday that will let me capitalize on this!

I hope everyone had a better Tuesday than I did!

Image: Signature Block

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13 Responses to Where my ego takes another hit…
  1. Jodie
    October 28, 2009 | 6:00 AM

    Aww reading through your back posts it sounds like you're having a tough time right now. No expereince myself but I imagine it must be incredibly tough to strike a balence between being a good mum and continuing to be someone other than a mum, to retain the essence of the other things that are important to you. But by involving yourself in things you're passionate about not only are you setting a great example for your kids (all little girls need to see their mum passionate, interested and hardworking) but you're also giving them that essential space to breath and develop on their own. They know you're around and they know you can be contacted and that you'll listen, which means they can call on you any time they need you.

  2. Michelle
    October 28, 2009 | 8:38 AM

    Thanks, Jodie! I must have had thin skin yesterday because normally those types of comments just roll off my back. But those momentary doubts do catch me by surprise sometimes, and when others comment about it at the same time I am having doubts? Well, tears ensue. My kids have never complained, and I am leading by example with my son, who tends to be a horrible procrastinator when it comes to schoolwork. I just need to focus on the good and avoid the bad!

  3. Stephanie
    October 29, 2009 | 1:48 AM

    Speaking from one “absentee” mother, I feel your pain. My sister-in-law made a similar crack one day about me working. Does she really think that I wouldn't love to spend more time with my kids? I do the best I can with the time I'm given. It's the best we can ask for. And I know you do the same. Anyone can see how much you love your kids. DO NOT be upset by this. Seriously. Your kids know what a great mom you are, and isn't that enough??

    Love ya!

  4. Michelle
    October 29, 2009 | 8:16 AM

    Thanks, Stephanie! Yes, you would understand exactly. And yet, why do people who love us (or at least like us) feel the need to tear us down like that? Why are women so harsh to each other?

  5. Lisa
    November 1, 2009 | 12:18 AM

    Wow–making “jokes” about someone's parenting skills is hardly ever a good tack to take. When my boys were young and I was working full time and often brought work home, I was filled with guilt that I didn't spend enough time with them. Hence they both owned massive Batman figure collections! As parents we can only do the best job we are able to at any given time. I'm sure that is what you are doing. Frankly, I've known a lot of SAH moms that paid very little attention to their children. Being there doesn't necessarily mean you are really there.

  6. Michelle
    November 1, 2009 | 6:17 PM

    Thanks, Lisa! Yeah, it always bothers me when someone makes jokes about parenting. It's such a subjective thing, and what works for one family may not work for others. Like you, I believe we all do the best job we are able to do.

  7. Hopeful
    November 5, 2009 | 12:30 AM

    Ouch. Yep, Mom's are damned either way =) I stay at home AND work and frankly even though I'm home I may as well be in an office. Working moms will always be judged more heavily. Just know you're doing your best. I'm sure your kids know that you are.

    Hey, LOVE the new blog design btw. Lovely.

  8. Michelle
    November 5, 2009 | 10:38 AM

    Hope – Why are we so harsh on mothers of any type? You can't stay at home with them without being judged, and you can't work outside of the home without being judged. It's just not fair. We should support each other no matter what we do. Goodness knows being a mother, whether you are working or not, is one of the most difficult jobs a woman will ever have. I just don't get it.

  9. Hopeful
    November 5, 2009 | 2:25 PM

    Agreed! I am lucky enough to hold both titles of “stay at home mom” AND “working mom”. And frankly…I think if “mom” is in your title, you're a “working mom” period. It's the most important and under-appreciated job there is.

    Kudos to all my fellow moms.

  10. Michelle
    November 5, 2009 | 9:51 PM

    You know – there are days where I want to have both titles too. How is the job going?

  11. Sarbear
    November 5, 2009 | 10:26 PM

    Wow, Michelle. It sounds like she made some assumptions about you as a parent, and it seems she has made up her mind. It's totally unfair… it's hard bc you want to convince people you aren't what they say you are, almost… but they're going to believe what they do, so it's best not to waste time trying to convince them. I'm SURE you are a good mom. You know it, so keep on being one. Not everyone can afford to stay home all day, with their kids, even if they'd love to. I don't know why she said that about you, but that's my reasoning on this, from one perspective. I wish she would not assume things and give you a chance. She needs a paradigm shift.

  12. Sarbear
    November 5, 2009 | 10:27 PM

    Lisa is right. I know a girl who nannied for a SAH mom who just didn't want to take care of the kids.

  13. Michelle
    November 5, 2009 | 11:32 PM

    Thanks, Sarbear! I guess it wouldn't have bothered me so much if it would have come from someone else, but the person who made the comment is someone with whom I travel on business every quarter. So, we've had lots of talks about my family and her family. And she was a working mother when her kids were younger. Crazy.

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