"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

You Have Been Weighed, You Have Been Measured, and You Have Been Found Wanting

>> Friday, August 29, 2008

I know there is at least one reader who will know exactly where that title came from. And she never comments... Does it ring a bell with anyone else?

This morning I am perusing recipes (as I wait for the errant window guys) and trying to decide what to take to a gathering of Doug's family on Sunday. Of course we just found out about this gathering yesterday (why oh why can't they make plans with more than a week's notice?) so I am unprepared.

When it comes to the maternal side of Doug's family I feel just like my title suggests... Like, somehow, I am lacking something important... Something I can't acquire because I have no idea what it is. So I try to prove my worth with food... Pretty desserts or unique appetizers.

I know it's futile, but every time we must attend a family event I feel I spend more time trying to "prove" myself worthy of Doug than doing anything else. Wait, I take that back. I spend more time watching my kids than anything else. And since my kids are the youngest I am usually alone...

I've tried to blend in. I've done my best to keep with their traditions. But whenever we can't make it to something that is "always" done it seems it is my fault. I used to get phone calls at home from various family members telling me that certain things were "tradition" and "always" done a certain way. I used to tell Doug about it and he would assure me that he attended more family events now that we were married than he did in the past. After a while I quit telling him; nothing changed. Now that we have no home phone the calls have ceased...

Conversations feel barbed with sarcasm "It's so nice that you get to stay home and not work" or "It so nice that you have time to make (gifts, scrapbook, etc), maybe if I didn't work I could do that."

I just dread these gatherings sometimes.

11 comments:

~*~Jenni~*~ 9:21 AM  

I can totally relate to this... I have a family of in-laws that treat me the same way. Things I say are minsterpreted, me not cheerfully involving in conversation that has nothing to do with me, is interpreted me as being 'crabby' or 'what the heck's wrong with HER?'

I apparently have to kiss tail and act like they are best people on the planet. Then maybe I will be 'worthy' of being married to man I've been with for 9 years. Hmph.

pjmomof3boys 9:51 AM  

Ick! That is so not fair! I don't understand why they wouldn't find you worthy—you're awesome! I don't think it's as much as they don't find you worthy as it's that they are jealous of you. Jealous that you "get to JUST stay home", like that is soooo easy to do and like you're not making ANY sacrifices to do so, and it sounds like they're also jealous that you "took their little boy away from them." I'm sure it's not you personally. It sounds like they are the type of people who would be upset with ANY woman who took Doug's attention and affection. You don't need to prove yourself "worthy"—you are more than worthy. It sounds like nothing you can do will really change their mind until they stop being so self-centered and start acting like the supportive, caring family members they are supposed to be. So don't sweat it about what to make. Make whatever makes YOU feel good and whatever YOU feel like you have time to make. Go and have fun playing with your kids. And do as my mom always tells me to do: Kill them with kindness.

Doug Halsted 10:04 AM  

I think Jody is awesome too!

Tamara B 11:47 AM  

I think you're awesome too Jody. I say phooey on his family, head up my way this weekend and your kids can play with my kids, we can scrap book and the guys can talk politics.

p.s. I know that phrase but can't pin down where its from... grr

jennhuff2004 11:51 AM  

i feel you on this. sometimes you just can't penetrate the "cliques" that have been established. i went thru something like this before and it sucks when you feel as though no one is behind you. and i know how it feels to be the babysitter in your couple and be away from the party and people think you are just being anti social. i had kids and knew i would be caring for them until adulthood but that concept is lost on most people.

Cowboy Joe 2:16 PM  

Okay, I know I haven't been around in a long time. But this post hit a soft spot. I quit talking to my OWN mother for exactly that same reason. Nothing was ever good enough. Nothing I did or tried was up to her standards and she always always let me know it. After I was married, it was just easier not to talk. After 18 years and a separation I tried talking to them again. It lasted 18 months after exactly the same behaviour I gave up again.
Keep smilin' and big hugs.

Melody 2:26 PM  

I am lucky that I don't have this issue with my hubby's family.

I have to agree with Paula. I think you could hang the stars and moon and still not be good enough. It has nothing to do with you. By the way, you ROCK.

And if you want too you can come to my family gatherings because you make some seriously AWESOME food. :)

Jen H 6:09 PM  

I feel lucky because my in-laws just aren't that way. You do the best you can, and know thatyou did your best. That's going to have to be enough.

You can bring food & babysit at my house anytime! I don't like to cook!

Anonymous 11:25 PM  

A Knight's Tale. There I posted!!! LOL!!!

Amanda

Fantastagirl 5:15 PM  

I think you are awesome and shame of them for not seeing how great you are!

(Now, if you could convince my MIL that I was great I would be indebted to you for life.)

Jennifer 8:08 PM  

Inlaws, outlaws, friends, family, cats and dogs and well what or whoever.. it's a never ending cycle trying to please others...

That's why loving yourself is so great. You know you're awesome and it's just a bonus that any other being feels the same :) and double bonus for your awesome hubby and kids :)

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