A few things have been on my mind lately. I want to say up front that this post is not about seeking sympathy or pity. It's totally not. At. All. That said we'll move on to what's really on my mind.
Being real. As a parent I feel pretty confident in the choices I make about 90% of the time. I feel confident about the choices I make where research can be done and I can feel positive that I have to the best of my ability made the right choices for our family, for our children. I don't feel a need to defend not vaccinating my children. I don't feel a need to defend the fact that Spider at 2.5 is still rear facing in his car seat. I do not feel a need to defend using cloth diapers (though I really don't do it for it's environmental impact, honest, it's cheaper. lol) I don't feel the need to defend nursing my baby until such a time as she and I mutually choose to wean.
I still feel though that there are times I can't be real about these things. I feel that in a mixed group - be it a group of women in the church foyer on Sunday or a group of women in an online forum on the third Tuesday of next month, that SOMEONE is going to take something I say personally when it isn't meant to be personal, take something I say out of context when I just wanted to be real about ME.
I try not to be selfish and self centered which being human is a pretty constant struggle but once in a while I do think that it's healthy, and necessary even, for the immediate world around me to be about me. I'm not one that wants to be the center of attention often and I've definitely learned over the years the wisdom of listening to those around before blurting out my own stories because that can then seem to them that I'm trying to compete in some way with them when really I'm just trying to empathize and relate. But I think in trying to be super sensitive about that these past months I've sat in the shadows, afraid to ever be real about me. I'm afraid that if I complain because my kids are driving me batty and I have NO time for anything and my house is always a mess that someone listening/reading is going to hear me saying "that person has it so much better cause she gets to be away from her kids all day long while she's at work and only has to deal with their insanity for a few hours at night." But that isn't what I'm saying. I honestly don't envy working moms. Mostly. But then if I say that they might hear "I think you're a bad mom because you work." Which isn't what I said or meant at all. So how do I be real without being selfish, trying to center all attention on me, or without offending someone who may have made different choices for her family/life than I have?
Still not sure about it but I had to get this frustration out in words. I've been thinking on it a lot the past few months. Since moving back home to where I grew up I do not have a best friend. I have friends. I have ladies at church I can chat with casually between chasing down our kids and rounding up our husbands after service. I have a few people I feel comfortable calling for a specific question here or there. But I do not have a best friend. I do not have that one woman friend that I can be 100% real with. 100% confident that no matter what I say she will love me and understand me. And all I can do is pray. Pray that when the time is right God will help me to find that person. To open up to that person and to be the real me.
What say you? Do you struggle with similar things? Have you found a solution?