Alllll growing up I loved being social with anyone, any animal, anything that moved. Ha ha. I had no problem talking in front of big crowds of people, singing, acting on a stage, or getting to know any person and was very comfortable making new friends. Then.... my rose colored glasses began to be lifted. Kids, if handled with care, wear rose colored glasses. They don't imagine that walking down the street could bring harm or that terrible things can happen. Everywhere they go is an adventure and they don't have the worries us parents have.
Somehow over time my rose colored glasses were lifted and I saw life in a harsher light and so I had to wear my shades. I saw how vicious girls (women) can be as far as judging each other's bodies, homemaking skills, talents, etc. Instead of accepting each other for differences and seeing the beauty in it, judgements are made.
Large family mamas fall into a special category because of being put into a fishbowl. It doesn't matter where we go we have people staring at us, watching our ability to handle our children, and seeing how the kids interact with each other. I don't blame them because I would do the same. I love to watch how mamas do it with so many kids. It's fascinating. The hard part is hearing the comments. You don't know whether you're gonna hear harsh words or kind words. Over the years I've begun to pull myself into a protective shell. I'm not sure how healthy it's been. I don't like being watched and this week was particularly hard because I had extra kids. I went to IKEA with 10 kids and I felt like I was part of a circus I didn't want to be in. I like to SEE the circus but not be part of the act. It's easy to want attention when you never get it because you have a couple of kids but I get it every little place I go. My old friends from the past have no idea how shy I've become. They are used to loud Jenny who doesn't mind the spotlight. However, when you are hurt, whether attacked in person, online, through anonymous hate mail, by family, or what used to be good friends, it's easy to slide into a shell like a turtle for protection. I hate that I've become this person.
I promise you that I never intend to make myself appear as someone different. I might withhold things to protect myself and my kids and because some things are just no one's business. I have been accused of pretending to show a perfect side but believe me, I just blog because I love to blog. I don't blog for applause, or a show. I blog about what I love and care about. I blog about our adventures or misadventures. I don't blog because I need to air out my dirty laundry nor do I look for sympathy or praise. You know you are a true blogger when you can't imagine going a day without getting things off your mind and onto your blog. I have a secret blog no ones knows about. Not even my bestest of friends. :)
I think it's time I ask God for help in opening up my heart again and not being so afraid to be watched. After all, about 80% of comments I get are positive when in public. "The kids are respectful, well behaved, act good in a restaurant, and can sit still." It's those few weirdos that are just angry I have more than 3 kids and have to give the evil eye or say something. I can't let the small percentage get to me. I know I say that but I need to practice it. Having a tough shell without it being a hard shell if you know what I mean. After all, I'd rather have smile wrinkles than sad ones.
Like it or not, I am in a fish bowl. "God, can you just paint it a little rose colored... for me?"