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.