Perfect Moment Monday: Reflected

March 28, 2010


Perfect Moment

In this week’s Perfect Moment Monday, Lori asked for a time when a person reflected yourself back to yourself.

The best compliment I ever got came on the heels of the worst insult, both from the same person.

Regular readers will have a good guess as to that person’s identity: DH’s mother.

When Burrito and Tamale were new, we had a series of visits from relatives and friends to help us through those overwhelming, hazy early days of round-the-clock feedings.

There was one visit that I was dreading. In some ways it was better than anticipated, but in most ways my MIL was just as unhelpful and unpleasant as I knew she would be. DH even had to leave town on business for a couple of days, leaving me alone with her without him to act as a buffer.

At one point, she gave me the single worst insult I’ve ever received. It was obviously rooted in her own insecurities, but I didn’t know it was possible for one sentence to simultaneously debase my career and my mothering. She’s very talented with her insults.

Then, just a few hours later, she gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received. It was magnified by the fact that although she’s quick to spout opinions, those opinions are rarely positive. There’s not a lot of praise that crosses her lips.

She said that she’s never seen someone who is as good a mother as I am. That I am so attentive to their needs and so calm. That it makes her calm just to watch me with them.

She is probably the least responsive and least calm person I know, and I was surprised that she could even identify those as positive traits.

It’s very hard to feel competent in those first few weeks, especially with twins. A little praise goes a long way, especially considering the source.

It’s almost enough to make me lift the ban on ever letting her visit again.

Almost.

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10 Responses to “Perfect Moment Monday: Reflected”

  1. Carrie Says:

    What a kind thing to say! It almost makes those bits of praise more meaningful, coming from someone who has little good to say at all.

    But I might not let her back, either…

  2. Lavender Luz Says:

    This line is brilliant: “She’s very talented with her insults.”

    I’m glad she recognized in you what I know to be true, too, even though I’ve not yet had the privilege to see you in action.

  3. Mama Bird Says:

    Could this be an acknowledgment that she was wrong to insult you with her first comment? Maybe it’s her way of apologizing and recognizing in you what she lacks.

    I have a difficult relationship with my MIL too, so I feel your discomfort and hear your hurt all too well.

  4. Two Kayaks Says:

    People can be so cutting. I’m glad that she acknowledged your skills as a parent. Yes, those first few weeks with twins can be hazy and clouded with self-doubt. We both got through it. Can you imagine?

  5. Kristin Says:

    It’s a shame she is so difficult most of the time but I’m glad she was able to recognize the awesomeness that is you when you are in mommy mode.

  6. strongblonde Says:

    lol. this really hits home for me. especially as my MIL decends upon us on friday.

    gasp!

  7. Heather Says:

    Wow! Congrats on such a great compliment. I’m lucky I have a great relationship with my MIL. My mother on the other hand……

  8. Jen Says:

    hahahahah! I had some baby blues six days after my emergency C-section. I was up most of the night (while the MIL SLEPT, I might add) and was crying in the morning. She said – “what’s the matter with you?” and I replied that I had a rought night. She said “well, you don’t have to cry about it!”. I’ve hated her ever since.

  9. Wishing4One Says:

    That was awesome, if thats possible from her. MY MIL was awesome, she’s gone now (2001) and I SO wish she was here to see my and Super S’s babies, she would be so happy for us. I am fortunate that all of Super S’ family is good. Especially lucky for me, being in a foreign country without my family it makes life so much easier, thank God. I bet you are an amazing mommy, I hope I will be too. xoxo

  10. ana Says:

    Wow, that’s amazing, but well-deserved I am sure 🙂
    (I think it seems all the more amazing to me, because I, too, have a difficult relationship with my MIL…I can’t imagine her giving me any kind of compliment!)


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