Unyielding Confidence

  • This post has nothing to do with gardening, just fyi. There has been something on my mind lately and I need to work through it. It’s the idea of having an unyielding confidence. My guess is that if you asked most who know me, they’d say that I’m fairly confident. I think that I am, too… until I’m not. I can be going merrily through my day and then someone’s offhanded comment can just knock me down. For example, the other night Adam and I were out with friends and inevitably when people are being introduced to one another, the question of “what do you do?” comes up. Well, rather than waiting for me to answer, my friend’s husband says, “oh, she’s a housewife, a housey.” It was noticeably awkward for everyone but I tried to play it off. I wish I had told him to eff off! This whole scenario bothers me for so many reasons but what bothers me most is that I allowed it to ruin my night. Ever since I made the decision to quit working to take care of our kids, I go back and forth on these societal pressures to be something else. When I’m in my right mind, I know that I have made the best choice for my particular set of circumstances. I love being home with the kids and taking care of all the stuff that makes our family life run more smoothly. I also thoroughly love the perks of staying home. I get to meet friends for coffee during preschool. I get to work in the yard, read a book, or knit during periods of downtime. It is a rare day when I don’t feel lucky. It’s only when people throw out comments like “housewife” that I get all whacked out. I don’t really know how to answer the question of what it is I “do.” I could say, “Oh, all the stuff you pay people to do, I do all of that stuff myself.” I mow the lawn. I clean the house. I take kids to and fro. But really, what does it matter? Even if you choose to pay people to do stuff because you don’t like cleaning or mowing the lawn, who cares? Good for you. Spend your time as you please! Why is it that we must justify all of our individual choices to one another or worse, compete? On one of my wiser, more confident days I came to the conclusion people usually only ask each other what we do for work to make themselves feel better about what they do. For the most part, jobs are pretty boring. Most people don’t want to hear about the ins and outs of your job. Unless you’re in a band. Or a professional acrobat. Otherwise, don’t we just want to know that our friends are happy? Don’t we want to know if they’ve been to a great restaurant lately or if they’ve read anything good? Isn’t that more interesting?

    Anyhow, this is an ongoing struggle for me and I am really going to work on it. Adam, my husband, is about as confident as one can be. I lovingly refer to him as a “tenderhearted asshole.” He truly doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks of him. He just doesn’t. Sometimes I find it obnoxious but most of the time, I’m just jealous. How freeing that must feel. Also, even though Adam spent years in school, training to be a doctor, he’d quit his job in a quick minute if we won the lottery or some such chance presented itself to live a life of leisure! Wouldn’t anyone? Absolutely! Well, unless you have a seriously brilliant mind and can do things like cure cancer. If you can do that, then you’re not allowed to quit! But after you’re done being brilliant for the day, I promise to make you a nice meal and pair it with a fantastic beverage. That is something I can do quite well. Hey, we all have our special talents. Maybe the lesson here is to surround ourselves with people who do appreciate each other and know to just dismiss anyone who tries to knock us down. Because at the end of the day, that guy’s comment had far more to say about him than it did about me.

    So my mission to live life with an unyielding confidence begins today. I have a good life. It’s time to own it.


    October 2nd, 2014 | girl has thyme | 4 Comments |

4 Responses and Counting...

  • Laura hill 10.02.2014

    I hand made Isaiah’s birthday invites and today when mike and I were painting his party props, I asked how his co worker liked the invites, feedback. I felt self conscious that maybe they looked at them and thought that I have too much time on my hands. Mike said that they did think that. Silly- he should have never said that and I’m sure they didn’t say that- probably my own issues.

    In the last months I have created gardens, breastfed, planted all kinds of crap, painted, fixed shit on my house aside from all the usual laundry, et al.

    And practiced immigration law. Won some pretty tricky cases.

    But like you said, I’m way more interested in the other stuff.

    I think life is being happy. And enjoying the daily life.
    If you do that, that’s what you “do.”

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  • DL

    Jen, I think you’re amazing! I love seeing what you’re up to and what great things you do with your great kiddos.

    After years of experiencing “comments from the peanut gallery” about my life choices (Are they twins? **When I had 2 identically dressed babies in a double stroller** Are they ALL yours? Wow, you have your hands full! I’d kill myself if I found out I was having twins! **yes, someone actually said that to me** and so forth), I’ve actually come to the conclusion that the vast amount of crap people say in similar situations, is just because they opened their mouths before they actually engaged their brains. I’ve also found that I care a whole lot less whether they meant it or not, now that I’m in my 40s. I think that’s the payoff in return for dealing with wrinkles, needing reading glasses, and extra aches and pains.

    Keep up the great work, you’re wonderful!

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  • I have unyielding confidence in you.

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  • Oh my gosh Jen… you do amazing things!! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I get this all of the time… but I must share with you… In the last 6 years, I have surrounded myself with way more people that are like me. SAHM’s and WIFEYS. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I could find it… but I just read an article on how “The Stay at home Spouse” actually has it a bit harder than the working spouse. And the working spouse is happier as a result of having a non-stressed spouse. Makes sense?? People suck.. .and the only reason they make comments is because they are jealous or they want to make sure they can one up you because on the inside they are not happy.
    In my own experience… if anyone should ask… I say… “So.. how well can you coach soccer?” “I find it much more rewarding knowing that I cleaned my own house, chopped down a few tree branches and made sure that my kids headed off to school in the most confident manner. Oh Ya… and I can make killer cards for you and your loved ones… and keep track of Shit like there is no tomorrow. AND… what do these people do for their significant others or other personal relationships? Probably not much. They are thinking… oh gosh… I just don’t have time for that. I could go on and on… but as DL said above… when I turned 40… you learn to not give a crap. You do what makes you happy. You learn to say no… and most importantly… pose this question to those lovely inquiring folks… How many times have you said “No” to something for yourself or for your kids because oh gosh… you are working? Everyone had such a different situation and reasons for doing what they do… most are hidden reasons… and it is really nobody’s business. I am personally striving for wanting to me remembered as “The one that was always smiling or said something nice to someone” vs. oh “She sure does create a superb spread sheet.” it sucks that our Hubby’s have to work… but in the end… we ALL benefit. Just think… and I know Adam realizes… he would not have that wonderful meal, beverage, time to chill, etc… if it wasn’t for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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