Monday, March 14, 2011

Feel Judged Much?

Posted by Mandy at 8:46 PM
I was reading a blog tonight and the writer was talking about how some people express that they think homeschooled children can't possibly be socialized... I would imagine anyone that truly felt that way had never met a family that homeschools.. or not more than one. ***side note - Doesn't it totally suck when someone only meets ONE family that lives sort of like yours and they base everyone from there on out by them? "Well they homeschooled and they had WEIRD kids... so that was a BAD idea!" Here's a novel idea - weird kids come from weird parents. Not always... but for real yo.... that's been my observation. (I'm sorry in advance, kids. You probably did get at least SOME of my genes..)

I also have read at least two other blogs in the past week or so that had similar feelings, with different issues. Of course, many were in relation to being judged b/c of being a foster family. Oh the things people think.. but even more shocking, the things they actually say.. OUT LOUD.. TO YOU. And I thought my filter was bad!

Here's my beef: how can anyone seriously judge families that are only doing what they feel God is leading them to do? If they act out of love for their children, then how can this be harmful if they're not extremist fruit-cakes?

And, if we all screw up our kids by living out of the box.. what's it to you? How does this affect you and your life? It doesn't. I answered that for ya!

I try not to do many posts like this b/c it's just a topic that is likely to stir people up, and my goal in blogging now is just to document our walk through this journey and hopefully be approachable to anyone that stumbles upon this randomness, that might be wondering about fostering or adopting themselves. Also, I have to say, I USUALLY don't feel judged. Sure, people stare, and even giggle sometimes, at our family size. I mean, we do look rather odd, I admit it! I'd stare too I'm sure. :) People make comments like "Well you've got your hands full" but I don't see it as rude or mean. I think they are just curious, interested, and want to find a way to talk to me. They'd probably be much more obnoxious to me if they knew that 3 of my 6 children have different fathers... making a grand total of 4 "baby's daddies" to contend with - and they'd judge me harshly without knowing the truth of our situation. They'd miss that we also have two other "baby's momma's" to deal with... and when I say "deal with".. that sounds bad I guess, but in my brain-dead state it's all I can come up with. Give me a break, I've got 6 kids. Seriously.

I have no idea what the point of this post is. I guess to say, hey, we all feel judged. Even if we do what "most people do", whatever that is, there will just always be things that we feel especially sensitive about. Even if someone says something, and they're not judging, it can come across that way because of our thin skin on the topic. For example - it would not be in your best interest to try to convince me that fostering children that have no home is going to hurt or corrupt my own children. My response will likely be, "Oh.. yeah.. well I obviously don't care about my kids that much so it doesn't concern me." Humph. How else should we answer that? I did once rattle off the stat about how 1 in 3 women in the USA have been sexually abused at some point, and that 1 out of 3 women are NOT sexually assaulting children or other people in a moment of lost cool... and I think I also said, "and i'm not an idiot.. I promise I know more about this than you.. because we LIVE this.. and you don't." I'm sure that person hates me... not my best day.

So - let's all take this time to just get it all out! Pour your heart out people! Whether it's judgement you feel from  homeschooling, public schooling, working, not working, spanking, not spanking, bottle feeding, breastfeeding, fostering, not fostering, or coloring your hair pink - let's have a hay day of it! Then, we can take a deep breath, feel better, and get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Everyone needs a vent day every now and then, right?


Wendy on Monday, 14 March, 2011 said...

Ha!! Great!!
And, as you pointed out, it often comes from knowing that "one family" who really are weirdos (hey, nothing necessarily wrong with that either, right?) that makes them think everyone out there who homeschools (public schools, fill-in-the-blank) is also whacko.
The opposite holds true, too. Because my in-laws have judged ALOUD, our decisions, we feel that condemnation sometimes from others, when it isn't really there. Everyone deserves a break.
I'm learning to feel okay in my own skin; not so defensive all the time. Had to happen, seeing as how I don't really fit in any one group, right? Red & black hair, 50's style, homeschool nature-loving artsy mom... which category do I go in? None. And most other folks, when you get to know them can't be categorized either. Because, like you said, most of us are just trying to make the best decisions for our families.
Okay. I wrote my own rambling late-night post on here. oops.
{{hugs}} :)
By the way, have I mentioned how much I appreciate your frankness?

Mandy on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

lol Well I'm glas someone appreciates it, Wendy! ;) Trust me, I'm SURE things I say are often taken the wrong way b/c I am so frank... but things don't bother me like they do other people so I can come across as a bit unsensitive at times. God made me.. blame him. ;)

Reagan on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

YAY for your post! I've felt judged for working and NOT working. For not co-sleeping and not doing baby-wise. For spending money on fashion and NOT spending money on fashion. For looking cute and for not trying hard enough. For not taking care of myself and for being too vain. For having two kids when the world is over-populated and for not having more children (of "my own" of course).

Sometimes I feel like I can't win for losing! But then I remember WHOSE I AM and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. Some days I just reach that point where I feel like people can judge me all they want so long as they keep their verdicts to themselves :)

When people say things like "you've got your hands full" to me I generally reply, "The Lord says children are a blessing from God and blessed is the one whose life is full of them" so yes, my hands are full of God's blessings. Isn't He good and gracious? That generally shuts them up! Ha!

I'm might be too sassy for my own good!

Thanks for venting space

Anonymous said...

I have had comments, they took a turn for the worse when my pregnant 16 year old niece lived with us and I,myself,was pregnant as well. I have to say,I have even had people comment on my 4 children.."Dont you know what causes that?" wow,really? I had no idea. Many years ago, I had told the school that if my daughter couldnt get the services she needed through them, I intended on homeschooling her. Socialization is the first term that came out of their mouths. If they had even one day in my house, they would understand that is a non-issue,as on a daily basis I have 6-10 kids here for hours on end. I could go on. People who are out and out rude, arent the ones who I have a problem with. The ones who mask their rudeness with well meaning comments,those are the ones who bother me. I am sure there are things in their lives I wouldnt agree with, but I would never be so unkind as to "joke" about it.

Mandy on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

Exactly KT - I feel the same way.

Reagan - you're exactly right.. can't win for losing! You can never please EVERYONE so as long as your family is happy, then who cares?!

Sarah on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

OK the "socialization" thing with homeschooling kills me.
We've opted to homeschool because between my hubby's "day job" of working 2nd shift (3-11PM) on the railroad and his part-time job as a Air Force Reservist, our kids were hardly seeing him! How could it possibly be MORE IMPORTANT for my children to see other people's kids than their own Daddy? Besides that... they have each other! Being a family with 4 kids means, there is ALWAYS someone to play with... learn to share with... even learn to resolve arguments with!
That crap just gets under my skin and makes me crazy. Sometimes people literally don't know what they're talking about but open their mouths anyway. Heaven help ME know when to SHUT UP!
And once again... I'm thankful for your post. I love your frankness and honesty.

Mandy on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

Sarah, as someone whose husband works insane hours, too - I totally get that!! If it weren't for my husband being totally not for it, I would be homeschooling.. well.. now that we're fostering, I honestly don't think I could - time wise.. but I agree completely! It is far more important for your children to see their dad than to see other kids!

Ailinh on Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 said...

Totally. Thanks for sharing this!

Becky said...

Sam gets comments all the time when he's out somewhere with all five kids. Like the people that ask "Are they all yours?" and when Sam says yes they then ask "By the SAME woman??" Uh, yeah. Because that is any of your business! lol

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