Monday, January 28, 2013

experience and the well meaning

My life is very concentrated in a few different areas. I feel like I have many talents, but there are a few that I am a master at. This may sound prideful, but I think it's great to focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. I have plenty of those me. But there are a few things I'm really good at.

For example, I can bake or cook just about anything. I can, and have. I do it, and love to do it. I know the techniques to make baking and cooking easier and more successful, plus tasty. I have spent the better part of 13 years cooking for people. I've got it.

Next, I can organize a house. I'm skilled at the art of decluttering. I'm good at it. At any given moment, my house is at the very most one hour from being museum quality. It's orderly up in here.

Also, I can sleep train any baby. On top of that I have successfully gotten four babies to sleep through the night in the first month of life. I'm good at it. No nonsense. Potty training comes in with that too. I get it done.

I have spent the last 13 years focused on the trials and failures of these things. Mother and homemaker are the roles that I label myself with. Just two of them, there are a bunch more, but these two I'd say I'm pretty stinkin proficient at and would dare say am an expert at. After all, if I tried to find a job at my age and had 13 plus years of experience in an area I'd say I would be considered very proficient in that field.

I've learned so much over these last 13 years. So much about being a mother and homemaker. I've tried and failed at things so many times that I feel once success was obtained, I deeply learned those lessons. To go with all of that work, I LOVE feeling like if my experiences could help one person not go through the trials that I did, well then my experiences, hurt, setbacks, etc., were worth it.

The funny thing about me though is I'm not close minded. I am constantly and annoyingly asking people their advice, experience and opinions on stuff I'm struggling with. I do this so often and so intensely that I think I often freak people out. The truth is I love gaining experience through others failures and successes. I can write a book on that one, but just know that I'm not too prideful to have to try everything myself first or say I know better than someone whose been there and done that way longer than I have. I ask questions on top of questions. I study people and what they are doing. I always say I'm a watcher. I take notes. Right now for example, I'm watching my friends, peers, and anyone that I come in contact with on how they deal with teenagers.

The thought of teenagers freaks me out because of what everyone says. Right?!? Well of course I can see how I don't want them to turn out. I can watch others and see why their kids turned out one way and not another. There's a very obvious pattern that I see. Now I don't dare ever say that I won't have a wayward teen, but I've watched enough heartache and joy to see what I feel will be the best way of dealing with them. Having watched for all of these years I'd be a total idiot to say that I'm an expert though. Just because you've read a book about doing something doesn't mean you will be good at it. Heck even reading fifty books is nothing compared to living it. See my point?

Recently I've been having a bit of an issue. It seems I keep offering unwanted advice. I know a bunch of new moms or moms with one or two little babies and apparently they know everything already. It actually hurts a little when I offer something I believe to be of worth and get basically told I don't know anything or even better, the inexperienced mother knows better. I just chuckle to myself. But why does it hurt. I guess because perhaps they take my offering defensively. I'm not sure. I never mean to say I know better...even though...well...anyway. I'm simply saying to them what I wish someone would have said to me when I was in their shoes. Offer another perspective if you will. I'm only offering my experiences which I count to be as gold.

I'm such an open person to the opinions of others on most topics. The topics of deity, well now that's one I can't be changeable in because I have a sure knowledge of those things. But the rest of it...we are all here to help each other. We are all here to share experiences and make life a little easier for the next. Why do people have to be so hostile when I'm just trying to help them.

I myself hate being underestimated so maybe that's where it's coming from with these inexperienced mommies. Maybe they see my advice as me saying that I don't think they can't do it. But that's not my point. I have learned how to have and run a successful little unit here and if I didn't share my experience I would be going against one of the things I'm here to do. I'm obligated to help those around me. I've been given these skills and this knowledge to lend a hand. It frustrates me when others don't see that as valuable or even put me down because of it. I don't go around shooting off advice or anything. It's just stuff that comes up when we are talking. I guess what I would say is if you don't want to hear my half of a conversation...don't talk to me. That's sad, but I'm not sure what else to take from it. I know personally I don't talk to many people. I really don't. There are a few people that I start conversation up with and never strangers. If I see a pregnant woman I don't stop her and offer my two cents. Quite the opposite.

And when I was a young mom I took the advice of everyone. I did. I watched those moms that have been through what I was in the middle of, and just soaked them up. I admired them and valued them. I still do. I'm not a proud person. I'm very changeable. I'm very moldable. I'm also very passionate on the things that I KNOW are true.

So if you see me around town...and don't really care what I have to say. Look at your shoes and just walk away... That hurts a lot less than you telling me that my life, my experience is of no worth to you!!

The lesson I've learned from all of this, and there is always a lesson, is I was able to gain some perspective on how the Father feels about us. He knows best, and we think we do. We learn by trial that He did in fact have it right. We could save ourselves so much heartache if we would trust and listen and learn. That perspective was invaluable to me and I'm thankful I was open enough to see the treasure in this little annoying trial.


Nicole said...

what i said last night. ;)

Melissa said...

I know, that's why it was on my mind. You are a good friend!