Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Stream of Consciousness Vent About Filters

If you ask my opinions, you're going to get it.  You will get the honest opinion, no filter included.  Do not ask me to tell you what you want to hear, because I will likely disappoint.  I'm very blunt and I'm very honest, which becomes my greatest curse and greatest blessing all at once.  I have a very minimal filter.  However, this is when my opinion is solicited.  With certain members of my family, I don't mind giving my unsolicited opinion (hey, it's what we do) but not with everyone.  Of course I slip up and say things that are hurtful that could have been phrased in a better way.  Most of the time, I do make an effort to present my difference of opinion in a respectful way.  Until now.  I have always believed and tried to treat rude people by "killing them with kindness."  Recent events and conversations have sent me in a new direction.  I'm turning off my very small filter.

It appears that the ones I make an effort to turn my filter on for would prefer to have my filter off.  It appears that their filters are off with me.  Maybe it is because I'm pregnant and people feel that they have a right to tell me how I look, how to raise my child, how to feed my child, where to let my child sleep, and other ridiculous things about parenting.  People feel that it is acceptable to tell me that my life needs to be rearranged around their busy schedules.  Yet when these rude comments are made, people are often shocked that I might not agree with them and stand up for myself.  It may be a petty comment, but petty comments that come in abundance often lead me to a complete shut down with my filter. This often sends me to spouting off exactly what I think completely unsolicited.

Is this seriously a pregnancy thing or just a stupid people thing?  Do people really believe that it is acceptable to say the first comment out of their mouth regardless of how rude it may be?  Since when is it acceptable for anyone but my husband to discuss with me the pros and cons of breastfeeding or where Ethan should sleep?  I completely appreciate the respectful discussions that I have had with several blog Mommies over the past few months.  Conversations that are mature enough to allow me to appreciate another's opinion while mine is appreciated as well.  These conversations are always a learning experience.

You don't have to agree with me all the time.  If you disagree, do so respectfully.  It isn't necessary to share with me everything you did to raise your own children and insist that my difference of opinion is cruel or appalling.  It isn't necessary to disregard any maternal instincts I may have for my own son just because you are already a mother.  It certainly isn't appropriate to insist that my pregnancy and life with my son revolves around anyone else.  If this is the case when you share your opinion, Jason and I have it covered, thanks though.

Sigh.  Sometimes I wish my face-to-face encounters were unaware that I have a blog.


Katie~Loves Of Life said...

I love it. I'm the same way. And yes, its a pregnancy thing, but in general, people are stupid ;) I feel like when you have a bump, people think all bets are off and "say whatever they want". Its INSANE in my opinion.

I'm also very blunt & honest. Some people think its my downfall, but I've come to realize its a strength.

Brittany Ann said...

Preach, sister!

I know just how you feel. Dear heavens, it's annoying. I hate that no one can see that we can all make different decisions and still be good moms.

I don't agree with every parenting decisions my very best friends make. That doesn't make them bad mothers. And it doesn't make me a bad mother if I decide something different.

My filter, too, is low. But this pregnancy? It's blown mine away too.

People need to lay off and let us live as mothers how we best see fit!

I've unabashedly got you back!

Erika and Jason said...

Many-a-time I wish that my mother in law did not have access to my baby blog because she is being very difficult right now. I hope she's not to tech savvy to find this:-) I think pregnancy does bring out the unsolicited advice like crazy. And to me it's more advice that is stated in a way that "you must" and "you should" do this...rather than posed for a thoughtful discussion...because lord knows, you may actually have your OWN opinion about how you want to raise your own baby:-)

Jax said...

High five, girl. Lately, I've been SHOCKED at how people feel the need to give opinions on things they weren't asked about... It's so weird. I mean, mine was definitely not as big as a pregnancy, but it was just my hair. So odd. People just said rude things if they didn't like it and I was floored... not b/c I wanted to go run and change it back...but b/c I kept thinking "why would someone even say that?!" Sheesh. And I get TONS of "When are you and Eric getting married? Aren't you annoyed that he hasn't proposed?" It's very weird. And those comments are usually from people at my gym or at work...or people I barely know! I need to lose my filter more...haha!

And my friends who have had babies all say the same thing about what you're blogging... They get asked about the birth plan, the feedings, the sleeping arrangement, etc. It's so frustrating! I couldn't imagine. I'd backhand someone! haha!

Sometimes I think social media invites people into our lives in a good way. But, sometimes I feel like all this transparency makes people feel like they can comment on pretty much anything in your life. So odd...

Keep that filer in an off switch, girlie. Sometimes people need a wakeup call on what's appropriate to say!

Lyr said...

You are too funny. People are rude, but I think its good that you can let people know. I struggle with that.

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

It's so sad how people don't have a filter, arrrg!

lessonsinlifeandlight said...

You should print this blog post out and keep copies in your purse, lol.

I am absolutely committed to NEVER being one of those competitive "Oh, we did it like THIS so you should too" moms. That's just silly. I think I've been that way in the past, but as I've learned and seen so many other people's experiences, I've definitely come to two conclusions:

1. There is no right way. Just the right way for YOU.

2. People just love their kids and are trying to do their best.

But seriously, once the "you're so huge" comments start, you can expect to see a post like this from me as well, lol.

Anna said...

Brittany at Lessons of Life and Light linked this blog to me after a little pregnant rant of my own that involved people commenting that I must be having a girl because the weight is in my butt and my face. Who the hell says stuff like that? Jerks.

By the way, you are carrying that special child, you are certainly a mother too :) One full of all kinds of important maternal instincts.