Great reminder from Walk a Myelin* My Shoes

Earlier today I read a post that reminded me of a topic I had wanted to discuss many times, but had never gotten around to.  Amanda, at Walk a Myelin* My Shoes wrote this post today, that I think everyone who has to ask someone for help, myself included, should remember.   BE Kind and Thankful for the people that are there for you.  But not only that…. REMEMBER to THANK them.

I reblogged this on my page a few minutes ago, in an effort to share her post, but I don’t know if I did it correctly.  If you have a minute, please take a minute to visit her post on her page at the link above.

We’ve all held the door for someone without receiving thanks.  Maybe you have let someone with a smaller cart checkout in front of you?  Doing those things and helping people for the most part makes us feel good about ourselves, when it is our choice to do them, and it’s an added bonus when the person you help Thanks you.

I’d like to share a story that while I am not ashamed of, I am not particularly proud of.  I’m not going to go back and “fix, or undo” it, but I do try to be better than that now, and I really try to remember to thank the people I have to ask for help.

Ok so here’s the story….

When Thing One and her husband started dating, he lived in Michigan and she lived in Il.  I am so thankful that the kids have decided to make Illinois their home.  I felt bad for Z’s mother, who has several physical limitations, that she would not be able to see the kids as easily.  Once the kids decided to get married, Z’s mom, (we’ll call her T) decided that she wanted to move to Illinois to be closer to our kids and potential grandchildren.  She asked for my help.

I have learned the hard way in the past, (and I am still learning) that it’s important to set boundaries when you help someone.  One boundary I try to place is that I will happily TEACH you how to do anything I can, but I won’t do things FOR you, if you are capable of doing them yourself and chose not to.

I helped T find maps, handicap accessible apartment websites and phone numbers, and offered to take her to the buildings if she did all the other prep work of reviewing the websites, and scheduling appointments.  That process wasn’t without it’s issues, but we did it.  She came to Illinois to stay with the kids for 4 days, and Friday was the day I would show her around and take her to her appointments.

When I arrived at Thing One’s to pick T up, they (Thing one and T) weren’t quite ready and neither had eaten breakfast, so I offered to make eggs for them both.  I asked, T how she wanted her eggs,  ( which is more than I did for Thing One) and she replied “Over medium”.  Ok, I will give it my best shot.  I made her eggs first, and when I placed them in front of her she made a face and said, “I guess I can work with that”.

Deep breath Grace!…Deep Breath! ( no I did not throw the plate in her lap)…..  I did look at Thing One though, who instantly gave me an apologetic look.  ( l love that my kiddo and I can communicate through facial expressions and body language so well)  Next I made Thing One’s eggs and placed them in front of her.  She replied, “Thank you.”  (Yes I had to point out that my daughter has simple manners).  Finally, I finished my own eggs.  (the same way I made T’s) eggs.  I sat down to eat and T immediately said, ” well that’s how I wanted my eggs, that looks good.”

WOULD YOU LIKE MY FUCKING EGGS?!?!?!?

What I actually said was,  “If you would like my plate, I will happily trade you.”  She dismissed me and began to eat from her own plate.

Several times throughout the day she barked at me that I was doing something wrong, or this wasn’t what she wanted.  I really really tried to be patient, but after seeing 4 different apartment buildings, and constantly being told I was incorrect, I made up an excuse that I needed to be home for Einstein for something, and took them back to Thing One’s.  (sorry kiddo, I did what I could….but she’s all yours)  and yes I did say that in her ear as I hugged her goodbye.

For the remainder of the evening I tried to offer Thing One appropriate responses to her future mother in law  (via text ) as she got on Thing One’s nerves more and more.  I was also supposed to hang out with the kids and T on Saturday for a couple hours.

When I got there on Saturday, I told both of the kids I was only staying for one cup of coffee, and asked which excuse they would like me to give about why I wasn’t staying longer.  Since the kids were “entertaining”, I offered to make everyone coffee.  Thing One wanted hers with creamer, no problem.  Z wanted his with a scoop of sugar, also no problem. I don’t even remember what T wanted in her’s because I honestly I had had ENOUGH of being told how many things I did wrong…

Here comes the not proud part

I placed T’s cup in front of Z and told him, “Here, YOU fix her coffee for her, because if  she tells me I did ONE MORE thing wrong, she will wear it”.  T gasped and looked up at me saying, ” Oh do you mean about yesterday?…. I was only joking!!!!”

Uh huh.  I quickly drank my coffee, made my excuse to leave, and wished T an enjoyable rest of her trip.

Yes I know that was wrong and very passive aggressive of me.  As I said I’m not proud.  But I think it illustrates my point.

A year has passed since that day, and while I have not been MEAN to Z’s Mom, I have not been helpful in ANY WAY.  Normally I would have spent some time at the kids wedding in March with her, making sure she was settled in ok etc.  I didn’t, other than to make sure the obligatory newlywed’s with their mom’s picture was taken.  I have not shared any of the kid’s ultrasound pictures with her (as I would have in the past).  I know that it’s not my job to do those things, but that is who I normally am.  The one who tries to treat everyone like they would like to be treated.

I’m sure I will have more dealings with T in the future, and any help I give will be because I chose to help not expecting anything (even a thank you in return) I know that this is the way it is supposed to be, but I am human, and would at least like a Thank you.

Thank you for reading along today.  Do you get bent out of shape too, when a Thank you is not spoken? I think we all do a bit.  PLEASE remember to thank people who are kind to you, or that you rely on for help, it can really make a huge difference.

**** I didn’t realize until reading some of your comments, that I neglected to add that at this time, T still resides in Michigan.

23 thoughts on “Great reminder from Walk a Myelin* My Shoes

    1. ah, but see THINKING about it is one thing, the SAYING it a step up, the actual DOING it, could make me end up in jail or being sued……hmmm on second thought…jail…free health care…. just kidding…but yes she is a real peach

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have someone in my life who criticizes everyone and everything. I don’t think they realise just how often it’s their default response. It’s exhausting to listen to. I’ve tried to gently point out that so much negativity is damaging their physical and mental health. I repeat the mantra ‘Be kind not critical’! Other than that, I do what you’re doing; try to limit how much I allow it in my life and change how I react to it. Very difficult when the relationship is part of your life. What’s your son-in-law’s take on her behaviour?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s so hard to be around people like that and not feel that all of your energy is sapped. Fortunately, at this point she doesn’t have to be part of my life frequently, and if it comes to the point she is, there will definitely be boundaries. Z has apologized for her, to which I responded, he has nothing to apologize for since it is our “thing” not his, but he does understand my reluctance to be around her. I think that is a large part of why the kids chose Illinois as there home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are in a difficult situation Grace! I would guess your not the only one who struggles with communication with T. That said, it doesn’t make the task of building a relationship with T any easier. I’m sorry for the added stress — try to remember her capacity to appreciate kindnesses and style of communication are triggers for you.

    Here’s what I know — even Lucy Ricardo made mistakes but just like you she ALWAYS found a way to make it better!!! Your a good person Grace! I appreciate your post and so appreciate your honesty in sending your message.

    Message received loud and clear!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To be honest, I would have felt exactly the same with that scenario (and would have been DESPERATE to comment on how she’d like her fucking eggs!) though I wouldn’t have, I’d probably have gone passive aggressive too. Thank you for sharing that and the post, it’s definitely good to be reminded to thank those who are there for us, good times and bad, to truly acknowledge their importance & impact on our own lives.xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Years ago I was in another country and got into a conversation with a guy on a train. He said, “You know why no one likes American tourists? Because you ask for things without ever thinking to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.” I don’t think that’s true of all of us but after that I always made sure to say “please” and “thank you”. I still do. It’s not hard. And I’m pretty tolerant of others because, hey, I make enough mistakes myself without worrying about other peoples’.
    T would almost certainly push me over the edge, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I watch other people to learn from their behaviors I unfortunately learn a whole lot more about what not to do than things I want to do ( I think the gentlemen was right)…. I’m glad you try to be better every day Chris, so do I

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I have missed you during my hiatus, Grace. I actually think you should be really proud of yourself that you didn’t react sooner. I have someone in my life who is negative, passive aggressive and a know it all; I find it really hard to keep my shit together around this person and sometimes I don’t manage too. We are human and there is only so much we can take of someone being rude and insensitive. I was wanting to kick her the entire time I read this post, for not expressing her gratitude for everything you did. I know I know….kicking isn’t nice, but damn it’s hard sometimes not to lash out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not a saint that I didn’t kick her, it’s more the guilt I would feel after I kicked her that stopped me. With my luck I would have hurt her and then I would be known as the bitch that kicked a lady in the wheelchair….lol

      Liked by 1 person

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