Monday, April 10, 2006

Leftovers and Hurt Feelings

Have you ever posted something because it's late at night, your back hurts, you're holding a pity party in your head and you want to get it out of your system?

Either I am a terrible cook, overly sensitive, or both.

Even I will admit the pound cake was dry.

I shouldn't have listened to my grandma's advice and baked it early, trusting that the Tupperware cake keeper would indeed keep it moist.

I should have turned the tap on while I went to the bathroom--maybe then I wouldn't have heard the jokes and gagging as someone pretended to choke on a slice.

Maybe I wouldn't have heard the only two other women--both successful professionals--agree that they would have just "outsourced" the food for the cookout.

Maybe it was that one of them, when prompted by her boyfriend to help me with the setup, replied, "I've worked hard all week. I think I'll just sit and be served."

You've worked hard all week?

Why is it that no one would dare make a socially demeaning comment about another woman's professional career--yet everyone feels free to have an opinion about the way an at-home wife works? Don't people understand that I honestly can't afford to outsource everything? Or that I wouldn't for health reasons, even if I could afford to? That given my life choices, making this food is my job--and so much more?

I know that some of these people are just plain hard to please. Still, my feelings hurt in a way that my husband will never understand.

I'm wishing I had not thrown away the rest of that lemon pie. I could use something sweet right now.

32 comments:

Baleboosteh said...

Oh Meredith! (((Hugs)))
How unbelievably rude of these women! You are an extremely talented, resourceful and hospitable lady (and I stress the word lady -something these women by showing such atrociously bad manners obviously are not!)

Now give thanks to God for all that He has accomplished through you (which is MUCH), put this behind you and go treat yourself to something nice today.

Marie said...

Don't delete the post - you're human and it's ok to show it.

At least be aware that they said something when they thought you couldn't hear. I am sorry to say I have done that, even to people I love. I doubt they wanted to hurt you, or they would have tried to make sure you heard.

Kim said...

Meredith,
I know how you feel and God was the one who brought comfort to me. I had to face the fact that I only need to please Him. You worked hard to prepare for your guests and provided a wonderful meal. You added extra little touches of beauty and love to your home. I think you worked for the Lord and He was honored.
Now for the "professional women". I think their conduct was normal. Most of them have the same attitude of demeaning others who they think are lower than they. It is sad. They really aren't happy doing their job, so they have to critique others who convict them of their choices. ( I once was one!, so I have a good idea of conviction.) Many are so caught up in themselves that they don't see when other's sacrifice.
God created you to be a homemaker, a help meet, and a loving mother. I say, I think you have chosen a wonderful and God honoring "profession".
Kim

Frugal Homemaker said...

Oh honey- It's okay to feel hurt. That was rude! Those above me answered better than I ever could, so I'll just give you a hug. *hugs*

Mom2fur said...

I agree with marie, please don't delete this post. Shame on those women and their snot-nosed attitudes! Look at it this way...you can look in the mirror and know you have a kind heart and would never say anything so hurtful. People like that are miserable even if they don't know it. The way you feel now will pass, but they'll go on being miserable.
I can't believe in this day and age there is still a fight between SAHMs and working women. How stupid.
Frankly, those mean women were probably the kind of girls who treated people like cr*p in high school...and they never grew up.

Big hugs to you, sweetie.

Mom2fur said...

I just have one more thing to say. Who are these women and why do you even have to associate with them?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry these women hurt you. They sound very self-absorbed and insecure. Maybe no one ever took the time to teach them how to be decent human beings; maybe no one ever took the time to "do" for them...how sad. You sound like a very loving wife and mother. Your family is blessed to have you and your children will learn how to treat others by the example you are setting for them. I am grateful to God every day to be home with my little ones and I thank Him for the full life that I have. I'm sure you are, too. It sounds like your guests lead lives that are empty.

Anonymous said...

I only want to tell you that you are an inspiration to me personally. You have created a lovely, God-honoring home in a very professional manner. You have wonderful suggestions and you should be very proud of all that you have accomplished. It is such a shame about those small-minded women. Outsourceing does not come with love.

Anonymous said...

Merdith, I'm so sorry you had to overhear their rude comments. I think a judgemental attitude comes from insecurity. Sometimes those people are looking for anything they can critcize, no matter how small, they could have always done it better in their minds and that makes them feel better about themselves. Unfortunately I have 5 sister in laws who are that way, I'm the only one in the family who has worked really hard at being able to stay home and the fact that I have had success at doing it bothers them. I've heard nasty behind the back remarks about the choices I've made for our family so I could and they hurt. Wish I was there to give you a hug.
Carrie

melanie said...

You have a beautiful home and a beautiful heart, and you are doing what God has called all women to do, take care of their families. And on top of that, you are helping other women by showing them 'the tricks of the trade'! You have given me so many wonderful ideas. And you work harder that any of those other women most likely ever will. I agree with Mom2fur, these women sound like the stuck up snobs from high school who think they are better than every other human because of their social staus. How sad that, in reality, they truely are one the worst. They make everyone else's lives miserable and most likely have no 'true' friends. Keep doing what you do best and just throw those awful comments in the garbage, because that is where they belong!

Terri said...

Meredith,

**hug**

Donna said...

Meredith, sweetie. The above posters are right...shame on those people for being rude and catty. At the same time, though, don't look for your worth in their eyes. Very likely, deep in their own hearts, they know they couldn't do your career as well as you do it. So what if your pound cake was a little dry...who hasn't had a small fiasco like that. I'm sure everything else was fine and we all know everything looked absolutely beautiful. Even the one woman's boyfriend knew she should be helping you. How feminine do you think she was in his eyes when she refused? I'm sure the men all had a high opinion of your skills, but being men just didn't say so.

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
Bless you for wanting to serve instead of wanting to be served. I don't think men have any idea of the magnitude of undercurrents that exist among women - not their fault. Even though I spend 90% of my social life with women from our church, it seems I am always encountering this too. It took me a long time to figure out why. I am a stay at home mom who lovingly submits to her husband who has and loves her 6 children four of whom are homeschooled the other 2 being too young. Even though I am not confrontational and I would NEVER say anything about where these women's priorities lie - my very presence seems to confront them. It is almost as if my existence demands them to justify how they spend their time to me or attack me for how I spend mine.
The female guests were probably also intimidated and jealous by the fact that you're pregnant on top of having a beautiful home and wonderful husband. I do not know why there has to be so much competition and just plain mean-ness among women. I imagine if your cake had been the best they had ever had it would have only made things worse.
Thanks for posting the brownie recipe! -Melissa

Tina said...

Meredith, I for one want to thank you for posting this and hope you do not delete it. So often, if the only thing we see in blogs / hear from people is so editted that it never includes any harsh realities, we begin to think we are the only one who struggles with these kinds of things.

You are an amazing women who has much to offer and does on a regular basis. I'm sure you know that on some levels. But I just wanted to say it again. I also wanted to say - I'm sorry for the hurtful comments and ways! I know the rejection of self - feels so much worse than the rejection of food. It is much larger than whether people like your pound cake or not. :-(

{{{hugs}}}

Anonymous said...

I will never understand why anyone disdains homemaking and child rearing, the greatest professions in the world. Nothing else has the potential to make the world a better place as this.

There is no excuse for the unkindess shown by your guests. I have followed your progress all last week as you worked so hard to prepare for them. If only they had an inkling!

I, for one, love your posts, admire your creativity and special touch you give to all you do. I eagerly anticipate reading them, and I'm inspired by them. Keep up the good work!

Layla said...

Hugs from me, too, Meredith! Always remember that, no matter what jealous, catty women may say about you, you are honoring God and blessing your family by carrying out your vocation. You have a terrific ministry through this blog, too. I'm still in college, but I constantly file away your tips and tricks, eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to use them in service of my own family some day.

These rude guests are victims of a culture that tries SO hard to eliminate femininity. When given a picture (you!) of what a lady should be (and let me pause to agree with baleboosteh that these women are not ladies), they felt convicted, and they lashed out against you to defend their "work" in their own minds.

Shannon said...

Meredith - I just have to agree with all the other commentors. You did a lot of hard work and I'm sure it was wonderful. Anyone who's ever "outsourced" food knows that's never as good as what you make at home anyway. You deserve a great big bubble bath for all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

These women should read the blogs prior to there arrival so they could see all the work you did to prepare for there arrival. Painting, gardening, cooking and just plain concern that everything would be perfect...shame on them. We stay at home moms and most women in general can relate to what you went thru.

Elly said...

Oh my. Hang in there. Remember: God would NEVER talk to you or about you like that. Seems you had ungracious guests. But that can happen to us who love the Lord, as our tables at times are open to serve. Now, if these were FRIENDS/ACQUAINTANCES, you can choose to not 'react' to them or pray on a response. If these are FAMILY, you have a bigger prayer. But God is with you. Your value is in the inside of your hand. The fingerprints. They are yours alone and no one...NO ONE...can make us feel like 'less' of who we are in Christ that we don't ALLOW. Vent. It keeps you human and you've got a prayer going up for you from me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Meredith-
Oh, I am so sorry that you had to endure this kind of meaness after doing SO much to get ready for your guests!! I know that you probably find it hard to believe that there are people you have never met who care about you, but in the months that I have been reading your blog, you have become a dear "friend", even though we have never met. I thought about you all weekend, wondering how the time was going with your guests, and wondering who they were that you would go to SO much trouble and effort for them when you are so close to having a baby! I LOVED the photos that you posted all week about all the lovely things that you were doing to get ready, and I thought that your house looked lovely, and that all the food looked great too. My mom, who disparages everything that I do, is a quasi-feminist, has always worked in her "career" as a nurse, and NEVER, NEVER has one nice thing to say about anything that I do. I am a stay-at-home mom, I homeschool my kids, we live on one income (So I don't have "all the nice things I could have if I just worked"), and to top it off, I am pregnant with my fifth child at age 42! My mom had NOTHING nice to say when we told her the news and has been very hurtful and deliberately mean to me, in fact. So I will tell you what my husband told me: you are just going to have to realize that Satan very specifically works in and through people like my mom and your guests, to wound women who are living their lives in a way that pleases the Lord. The women who were your guests ought to feel utterly ashamed of themselves, and I only hope that the Lord will use all these posts from your community of online friends to soothe and encourage your heart. Invite all of us next time, and I can guarantee you that we will appreciate all the beautiful things you do for us on our behalf!!
With love to a dear online friend-
Susan from Illinois

Anonymous said...

Dear Meredith,

I too have so enjoyed and marvelled at all the wonderful things you have done to get ready for your guests! And all while pregnant! I am so sorry for how hurt you must have felt. Here are some more hugs out to you from someone else you've never met that cares.
Jessica in Georgia

Shelley said...

I say AMEN to all the sisters who have already commented and I wholeheartedly agree with all they had to say! Hugs and prayers from a stay-at-home mother in Iowa!

~Kayla~ said...

Sweet Meredith.... I so know the feeling of working yourself ragged to prepare to have guests and then they are rude, ungracious and downright mean. I have felt bad, I have been angry, hurt and I have cried when this has happened to me.

YOU know what you went through. Chalk it up to ignorance on their part, as well as your husband's for not understanding. And I say that with love, my DH doesn't understand some of my feelings either! God knows your heart, forget what those "people" THINK they know. And remember, they too will have a God to answer to, just like the rest of us!

God Bless you sweetheart! I love you!

Kayla

Jenn said...

Meredith-

Add my hugs to everyone elses. I personally couldn't believe everything that you did while pregnant! You would think these women would have understood that.

Personally I have no problem with women working, if that is what makes them and their family happy. I did it for many years myself. But I bet that you actually intimidated these women, especially if they have kids. I personally have fallen victim to the "Martha Stewart" syndrome-where people seem to actually feel guilty/upset/bad about me doing things by hand/homemade because they feels it makes them look bad by comparison. I bet that the effort that you put into everything made these women feel very guilty that they don't have the time and energy to put into the same sorts of things in their lives.

Malakela said...

Dear Meredith, I, too, am so sorry you were hurt by those self-centered, unreasonable people! They may have "worked" hard all week but you are one of the most hard working people I have ever "known" [by blog]. I am always amazed at the amount of things you accomplish and your generosity in sharing what you've learned -- from receipes to all the other "how-to's", You have been incrediable daily, not just for special occasions like this past weekend. You tried to make the people who came into your home welcome with your usual warmth and love and I admire you for it. Remember who comes to steal, kill and destroy. And it seems the mouth is a choice weapon of his employees!
{{{{hugs by the million}}}}
Miss Meg

amelia said...

I've been hanging around for a little while but never commented. I just wanted to let you know that I have a great amount of respect for how you handle homemaking. This is not an easy job we have, and you do it with such God-honoring diligence. I'm sorry these people treated you so poorly. They have no idea how incredible you are, and what a priviledge it was to stay in your home.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a saying that goes something like this, "Even bread and milk are a feast when eaten with friends". I wish I was there to eat some of those cake crumbs and the lemon pie you threw out. I wouldn't have cared how they tasted--they would have been a feast to me.

I know it doesn't help to say "Consider the source and forget it" but please know it was not all in vain. All of us have benefited by reading about all of the beautiful things you did to show hospitality (and the pictures!) I'll bet there are lots of copycats out here in blog land who will be a bit more hospitable because of the ideas you've given us. And just knowing that you're not perfect will give us courage too when we face similar situations.

I've never written a comment before but I am out here and I check in every day. I am an old granny who enjoys your blog and thinks that you must be One Fantastic Lady!

Meredith said...

Thanks again for all the encouragement! I do want to say that our guests were on the whole appreciative, and I was probably just being oversensitive. If the devil were at work at all, it was in my own mind and sense of confidence--not in the intent of the critics.

My Boaz's Ruth said...

Do you have the option not to reinvite people who are going to be catty about your hard work?

I have failed at things I cooked before. Our last bible study it was my turn to take sweets -- so I splurged and made the pink salad that was my favorite from growing up -- and most chose to not have any at all! ACK. Luckily the host graciously agreed to keep some so I did not end up finishing it all myself.

I guess I should have gone with plain crackers and sausage.

Kim C. said...

Meredith,
There's been plenty of great advice already, but I just want to chime in with a verse that helps me deal with attacks that feel so personal:
Ps. 51:4 Against thee, thee only have I sinned and wrought this iniquity...
I imagine Uriah (if he knew) and Bathsheba might have felt personally attacked, but even the murder committed by David was against God, God only!
It always helps me to remember that our sins (and our friends' sins) are against God - not against us, regardless of how they may make us feel.
Somehow, knowing so takes the focus off our own injured feelings and helps us pray for others.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have worked full time since my daughter was 10 years old - she is now nearly 26. My experience of professional life is that people can be very false and just downright nasty. I struggle with and am always shocked at how nasty folk can be - the herd mentality.
I've learned to care, but not to be too eagar to please. Look to your family , who appreciate your every move,

Annie

Cory Jaeger-Kenat said...

I am what our society would call a 'well-educated' former 'professional' woman, with a degree in psychology, where I graduated top of my class and worked many years in human service. However, I felt guided to help people with my cleaning and organizing skills...which also allows me to stay home and work on my art, as well as be a helpmate to my husband and there for my grown sons and daughter-in-law and grandbabies.
Well, I have been cleaning in some capacity or another for over a decade. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how condescending working women can be to me. The irony of it is--is that these women have homes that are completely out of control. It seems to me that because they don't have the skills...they belittle mine. The attitude has gotten so bad that I no longer work for the general public. Now I only work for people with special needs, both physical and mental. I am always amazed that the skills that are closest to our lives, namely that of feeding us, clothing us, cleaning our surroundings, etc...are viewed with such disdain. (I'm starting to wonder it it's some sort of collective self-loathing.)
Meredith, I am so glad I've found your site. You are simply wonderful. Thank you for this post.