Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Learning to stand up for myself

Often I feel I have been criticized, or put down, and instead of standing up for myself I take the lowest of roads and stay quiet. Or worse, agree with the person.

But today as I was laying in bed thinking about my day, I decided I wasn't going to do that. Last night while at a church meeting for everyone at work, Oceana was starting to get rowdy. She's the only kid there, so there's not childcare. Near the end I had to take her to the bathroom twice after (LOUD) announcements that she needed to use the toilet. I ended up playing in the back of the room with her - throwing a tennis ball back and forth, lifting her on and off of tall stacks of chairs, and generally aiding and abetting. :)

It suddenly occurred to me that instead of complaining about "missing out" or being "stuck" in the back - I was going to enjoy this! She's my blessing! She's my baby! I love her to pieces1 I get to be her Momma! This is my privilege! I came home from the meeting feeling really good about myself, my "title", and my family.

So this morning, while I was preparing to go out to the place that I often face opposition (they're the ones who carry on about failed birth control and 3in3), I decided I wasn't going to be down-trod today. I wasn't going to take it lying down.

And I didn't.

Once the 3in3 conversation started, followed by Oceana not being PLANNED and I cut it off with,

"Oceana is our honeymoon baby, and we weren't expecting her. But she is such a blessing! And we love you! Don't we?" (Followed by silly hugs and giggled with Oceana. And there was NO reply! *YES*

And when I piped up about wanting to cloth diaper baby #3, someone started in about how it wasn't time-effective, and it wasn't hygienic AT ALL (where does this argument come from - so silly!), and how the diapers just EXPLODE, and how disposables are just so much better. So - "Mah deeyah, just get disposables, ayyye?" And I said, "No, I think I'm going to do cloth diapering. I want to."

No, 'Um, yeah... I guess", like I might have done normally. I stood up for myself. I didn't laugh it off, I didn't take other people's opinions for gold and I gotta say - I feel amazing right now.

Wish I'd learned this in high school. Life would have been easier. :)


  1. Go Susie :) I still wish I had learned to do that... Im totally just a shake my head and go along with it person. Easier than confrontation. Other than with Tyson that is.lol.

  2. Good for you! I'm coming to a similar point in my life, so I can understand what you mean.

    Speaking of CDing - you probably already know, but Bum Genius actually will give missionaries a supply of their diapers. You can go to their website and check it out - I think you will have to send in an application and get somebody to vouch for you. We were thinking about doing it when we went back overseas too.

    We CD here in the States (b/c of my son's heart condition, we couldn't return to East Asia immediately) and it is most definitely NOT unhygenic. Not only that, but how unhygenic is it to have disposables laying in landfills and never decomposing? I'm obviously on board with you.

  3. Yay for you! Sometimes we think it easier to "take the low road" and just agree with people to make them shut up then we feel bad about being so 'defenseless' of our own feelings and beliefs...take the empowerment you learned today and run with it girl!!!!!
    Oceana is amazing, so was Joshua and it will be that way with little FlipFlop! (so funny to type that..lol)
    I am amazed at your 'back to basics' parenting type and your ability to live without luxuries that so many people see as necessities now...

  4. I have been working on this myself lately and have manage to stand up for myself and family/choice for 2 weeks now! I feel so free!!! Good job!! Those silly people dont seem to know what they are talking about!

  5. YAY for you! I too am somewhat of "roll over & just don't say anything" type person! I never make waves, EVER!! I am proud of you that you were able to stand up for yourself! I had an experience last week where a cousin (not one that I am close to) had said some ugly things on her facebook page about Christians & Baptist, specifically, and lots of things that were none of her business. Well, I am a proud Christian & my religion is Southern Baptist, so I knew her snide comments were directed at me & my entire family. So I dropped her a little e-mail explaining that I was a born again Christian & I was forgiven & her snotty comments were not going to bother me anymore because I have one thing that she doesn't & that is a Heavenly Father that loves me no matter what & forgives me no matter what! Well, I figured that would get me some really ugly comments, but she apologized. So I know exactly how you feel after standing up for yourself! It's a wonderful feeling, especially if you a not used to doing that. Well, Congratulations on your battle win & I am proud of you!!
    Emily in Mississippi

  6. You go girl. Good job standing up for yourself and your three precious loved wanted babies.
    Rachel in PA

  7. Congratulations!!!!!! And also WAY TO GO!!!!! You go, girl!

    (I'm jumping up & down @ my computer cheering! My kids are Really looking @ me strangely but I'm their mom & now that one's almost a teenager I feel like being strange Is part of the job description!!)

  8. Go You!! I need to hang around people that act this way. I am getting better but Man! I am bad about "taking it."


  9. Good for you!

    My best friend did find out for sure, definitely pregnant again, definitely due with number two three days after their second wedding anniversary. She's already afraid of the comments and the only ones who know are their parents me and his brother. I'm thrilled for them, and actually jealous, I'd love to be in her shoes right now, but we're just not ready.

    Oh, and I tagged you on my blog :)

  10. You go, girl! Way to stand up for yourself.

    Now that you've felt how good it feels to not take someone's else's cr@p, I hope you'll continue to be that way.

  11. You go giRL!!!!
    That is one thing that I really need to work on... standing up for myself. Seriously... I am so easily convinced by others that their way is the right way... not!

  12. Good for you!! I too was soft spoken in high school but sometime after my kids came along my loud voice came out. Doesn't it feel good!

  13. Go you! My daughter (on the way) was not planned either...and I am so encouraged by your responses...you have given me courage for the next time someone says something to me (I am never really sure why anyone thinks it is their business or right to comment about my sex life/planning/birth control, but hey, they do...). Also, I am not completely decided, but thinking about cloth diapering too, and have gotten similar responses...I like your reply...I may "borrow" that...

    Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  14. Way to go!!! I am very happy for you and pleased that you feel so good about yourself. I'd like to know more about cloth diapering. I know I can find info on the internet but I'd love to hear your experience?

  15. Congrats on this...it takes time but you will be so much happier standing up for the way you parent, live, believe, eat, exercise- EVERYTHING!!

    I became a really quick stats person - someone would throw out an uneducated opinion on breastfeeding, and I would quickly point out an opposing stat to back up what I was practicing. Now I get a hard time about parenting older children and my lack of buying them cell phones, laptops, cable television, etc, etc ..and opposing the idea that children NEED these items. To do it politely and firmly is an art..one which you will perfect..I imagine you are well on your way!!

  16. Its no fun feeling criticized all the time. Just remember God loves you and He made you exactly the way you are... who cares about everybody else?!? Good for you for sticking up for yourself.

  17. WOO HOO SUSIE!! I wish I had your balls ;)

  18. It seems as though some people just live to complain and criticize. If you didn't have children, they would be wondering when you were having one. Now that you have them they wonder when you are going to stop!

    I choose my battles carefully and stand up when it is necessary, though not always easy. It is hard to know when to be meek and turn that other cheek.

    Yay for you! I'm glad you found your voice and confidence!

    As an adult who was cloth diapered as a child, I really cannot think of any adverse reactions or permanent scarring it may have caused me ;)

  19. Good for you Susie. People need to mind their own business and get a life. You can always throw out the environmentally friendly cloth diapers as opposed to disposable. Standing up for yourself is a really good thing and will save you much frustration. You have learned this at the right time. Praying for you and baby #3, such a blessing. Children are a gift from God, each and every one of them.

    Laurie in Ca.

  20. I wish I could do that. I normally do exactly what you have done in the past. Good for you!

  21. WAY TO GO!

    please pass some of that bravery over here? : )

  22. Good for you! It feels great doesn't it? I was always the same way, just taking it to avoid confrontation...I am doing better about standing up for myself now as well. Don't worry about how your life would have been different if you had spoken up earlier, your past is what made you the Susie you are today...and I bet the people who know you and love you wouldn't want you any other way :) Stay Strong!

  23. I tend to be a "take it lying down" or "agree with them" kind of person myself. It is hard to stand up for ourselves sometimes. But it is good for the soul and it is a good example for our own children. As for the cloth diapering. I wanted to, but was talked out of it. I have a friend that does it (she actually sews her own, I know, CRAZY!) and loves it. I imagine it is only hard if you expect it to be.

  24. Of all the weird coincidences...

    I've been feeling that exact same pressure (staying quite or saying nothing when ppl critique me, not nesc. the 3in3 - though I do CD and have had to defend that). I am trying to stand up for myself more, too - and while it isn't easy, it IS rewarding to put and end to the criticisms.

    Anyway, the coincidence part is that I came to read your journal because you made an appearance in my dream last night (details are fuzzy), along with most of my high school classmates!

    I agree - having confidence in high school would have been nice. But it's never too late to start!!

  25. Good for you, Susie!! I am the same way...I never stand up for myself! Maybe next time I will ; ).

    We use cloth diapers, though admittedly not 100% of the time. I'm not sure why I'm so afraid to take the complete plunge...we use disposables at night and when we go out.

  26. Dear Suzie
    I enjoy reading your blog. i am a mom of 3 a 5 year old girl ad angel boy mc at 12 weeks named alex i was lucky enough to get to hold him and now a 14 mth old baby girl. when i decided to cloth my youngest i got all kinds of negative feed back from eveyone. my dd is 14 mth and tells me already momma poo i hope she will be potty trained next summer. i love the happy hienys one size and bum genious never had leak. and congats on finding your mommy voice my first dd was not planned and them we had 4 years of broken heartsand shattered dreams and contanthow come you arent having another baby yet. but my newest addition to our family gives me the greatest joy. i hope to add to my famly soonas it happens but iam still nurseing and i may not be lucky enough to have a very much wanted 4 th child. oh and iam not trying to get a boy either i hate it when people say that. much love from one mom to another nanaimo canada

  27. Good for you!! I wish standing up for ourselves came easier, but most of the time it is just easier to agree or ignore it. Hopefully these people will stop saying such things because now they know that you aren't going to take it. Right on sister!!!

    Oh and good job and not sounding rude...I probably would have! :)

  28. Way to go Susie!! I need to learn a lesson from you... especially when someone tells me it is ok to transport 9 kids in 7 passenger vehicle 1/2 mile away! (10 people total including myself) I did NOT do it... but.. they didnt GET it when I gave the mathematical equation of it all....

    GOOD JOB! Keep us posted on more times you stick it to someone! YAY!

  29. I am so proud of you, Susie. You have learned how to stand up for yourself at such an early age. It took me years and years and now I am finally at that place where I can make a defensive argument for myself. How precious it is that Oceana is your honeymoon baby. That makes your marriage much more meaningful. Joshua was even more precious and this baby girl is even more precious. I did both cloth and disposable and admire you for not giving in to the convenience of disposable. You are a momma not afraid of hard work and sacrifice so that you can do the work that God has called you to. His approval is most important and I think you have found the truth in that. Congratulations! Love you so much!

  30. Ya know, I'm 9 years older than you and you amaze and inspire me.

    Reading your journal (which I consider wisdom most of the time) makes me to be a better mother to my 3 boys.

    I don't usually stand up for myself with strangers or certain family members. If I do, I'm always afraid I'll sound *itchy. Sad, I know!

    Good for you, girl!

    Allison in Baton Rouge

  31. Good for you for counting your children as a blessing regardless of what others think!