June 29, 2012

Judge Not

I'll never forget the time I was visiting teaching CD and a phone call came from home.  Little Boy was upset.  The reason?  Oh no biggie, just that his two older brother's were about to kill one another.  "They are punching each other really hard Mom!"

I was in the middle of my spiritual thought, but after hanging up I was bluntly honest with CD.  I have little to no filter and was not really thinking too quickly on my feet when I said to her "I'm afraid we will have to cut this visit short today as my son's are in a fist fight at home right now."  She was ever so kind but I couldn't help but think she must be judging me right now.  How embarrassing!

I came home to find tempers raging and a black eye brewing on Middle Boy's face, and a few different versions of what happened being explained.  Sigh!

About a year later I was no longer CD's VT (visiting teacher), but our friendship had deepened.  She confided in me one day that her favorite visiting teaching moment with me was the time I had to leave to split up the fighting at home.  Wow, my messages must have really been unimpressive I thought.  She explained further.  That day she felt that I was not the perfect mother she had envisioned, and it made her feel relaxed I guess.  It made her feel all the more comfy with her position in parenthood.  Nobody's family is perfect.  She felt un-judged.

I've had people in my home before who I definitely felt judged by.  My step-Mom judged me unfairly for years.  Perhaps that is why whenever someone comes into my home and finds my house less than tidy I get upset.  Whenever we are getting ready for guests I feel my stress level begin to rise. If I get a surprise pop in from a visitor, instead of dropping everything and focusing on the visit, I am picking things up right and left.  Like they didn't have time to see it there already.  The impression of my dirty kitchen counter has already been seen, but I still wipe away like they caught me in the act of doing my chores for the day.  I have a distant relative who I have heard to be quoted as saying "I assume you came to see me and not look at the dirty house."  Wish I could adopt that attitude.

I was over to a friends home yesterday who was doing the exact same thing I do. Apologizing for the state of her kitchen and laundry and cleaning up in front of me.  I knew just how she felt.  So I started straightening right along with her, brushing toast crumbs off the counter into my hand and flinging them into the sink.  I wonder if that made her feel better or worse?  I hope better.  I meant well.

Sometimes it's better to show our imperfect side to others.  It gives us all a chance to let our hair down.  And let our black eyes show through.



mCat said...

Great insight and story. When I first became active again in the church, I was given as partner to the perfect woman for me. A total, kick in the pants hysterically funny woman. But then, one of our ladies was the bishops wife. I was MORE than intimidated at the thought of even being in her perfect home with her perfect children and pretending to give some sort of lesson to the perfect woman. One foot in the door and I realized that my expectation was completely wrong. Her house was a mess, the children were fighting, and every once in awhile she would yell out to one of them. In our times of visiting, I learned that she got ticked at her kids and hollered at them just like I did.

I learned right then, that no one really knows what goes on behind anyone else's front door and to quit comparing myself to anyone else.

Erica said...

I just love you Kelly! I think the world of you always...no matter what....probably because you are so down to earth! I admire that!

Kathryn Tripp said...

Kelly, I love you! This made me cry. So dang excited to see you SOON!
Love you, Kath

Kathryn Tripp said...

Kelly, I love you! This made me cry. I am so dang excited to see you SOON! Keep up the fantastic writing. You are so talented. Love, Kath

Kelly said...

Thanks Kathryn. You are a sweetheart