Attitude Adjustment

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 14 Comments A+ a-


I had just finished giving a quick speech to Jon about how to get Devyn to eat her dinner when Mom leaned forward in her seat. “Jenn,” she whispered, trying to grab my attention. I lifted my head from my plate and whispered back, “What?” I wasn’t sure why we were whispering, we were sitting at table in the middle of a cafeteria, with Jon, Devyn, my dad, and Allison all sitting between us; it wasn’t as if we were going to be able to share some dark secret without the rest of the world, if not our family, finding out.

“I think you need to be nicer to Jon,” she confided in me. Before I could start it on my explanation of raging hormones and elevated emotions, she continued. “He told me this morning that if you keep this up, this is going to be your last pregnancy.” My head snapped back and I felt like I had been doused with a cold shower. I glanced at Jon and he was suddenly busy trying to get Devyn to finish her corn. When he finally glanced up at me, the sheepish, boyish grin (the one that usually gets him out of trouble) was no where to be seen and I realized that he was more serious than I thought.


This was the wake-up call I received in Yellowstone and man, did I need to hear it. I knew that I had been crazy on so many different levels; scolding Jon one minute, crying the next, and laughing a moment after that. I knew that I had been snappy, snide, cold, and annoyed with Jon on many levels. I would LOVE to blame it on hormones and I’m sure that they play a huge part in it but since I wasn’t like this during my pregnancy with Devyn, it’s been a new experience for all of us. While the news that if I didn’t shape up or else didn’t please me, especially the fact that he talked to my mom about it first, it really made me stop and think.

The biggest thought that ran through my mind was this; had I grown so comfortable with Jon, and taken his steadfast love for granted, that I really thought it was ok to treat him this way? Anyone else would have told me to jump in a lake, and my sisters already had in more ways than one, so why did I expect that my husband had to put up with it? And what kind of example was I setting for Devyn?


Needless to say, I’m doing my best to change my attitude and while I wish I could say that it was for the sole reason of treating Jon better, I have to admit that I also want more babies in the future and I don’t want to see if he carries through on his threat or not. I’ve still had my moments where I’ve been overcome with exasperation or frustration or tears, and Jon still has to deal with the effects of that but overall, I think I’ve noticed an improvement and I think Jon has too. And I have to admit, hearing that news from my mom went over a lot better than if Jon had come to me directly; which would have surely resulted in a huge fight. Sometimes it helps to have a 3rd party involved… sometimes.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

14 comments

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Mary
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1:39 PM delete

{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}

I know what you mean. I've been trying to make a more concerted effort of being considerate of Shannon and even others (friends/family).

It's great you have a mom who can approach you and help you see from an outside perspective something that you may have trouble seeing from the inside.

I know everything will work out fine and you will see a difference - hang in there girl. You're in my prayers!

BTW - is that a pic of your baby or an "example?" Cause if it's a pic, I'm totally JEALOUS! ;o)

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2:33 PM delete

You handled that way better than I would have if my Mom had said something like that. :) ((((hugs)))) It's so hard when your emotions are running rampant!

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4:36 PM delete

Wow! My husband is a kind and forgiving man, but there was a time where he had to come to me with a similar issue. It hurt like crazy but it was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.

I'm so thankful to this day, because I was so oblivious to my own bad behavior. It would have driven him away eventually, I'm sure. (And I'm happy to report that it happened about three babies ago!).

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4:52 PM delete

I really appreciate your honesty! I am so the same way...pregnant or not pregnant. There are times where I step back and think, gee, would I want someone to talk to me that way??
Thanks for sharing!
Blessings.

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Amy...
AUTHOR
9:30 PM delete

Thank yo so much for sharing! I tend to blame everything on this pregnancy and it really just is me and my faults. Thank you for being so honest!

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Overwhelmed!
AUTHOR
9:47 PM delete

Jenn, I'm not pregnant and I'm guilty of this type of behavior towards my husband from time to time. Just this past weekend we argued about something silly and my stubbornness got the better of me and really angered Oronzo. Eventually, I apologized and we worked through it all.

I guess I'm sharing this to tell you, we're all guilty of taking our loved ones for granted and not being as loving towards them as we should.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

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Joy
AUTHOR
4:45 AM delete

I can so relate. Usually it's hearing my tone of voice and attitude come up in my 4 year old that makes me step back and evaluate how I have been speaking. It sure isn't pretty on a child and I know it isn't pretty on me. But oh so easy to do!

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Wendy
AUTHOR
7:55 PM delete

I can relate too. Sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else, especially when you know they are telling you that out of love. I think you have to go through times like this though to get better and grow.

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O Mama Mia
AUTHOR
10:03 PM delete

Oh NOT me! I cannot stand it when Mom takes Hubs side. I got no one! {{sheepishly}} Even if I am inthe wrong. I know you like Beth Moore, but have you heard of Elizabeth George? She has a great book "A Wife's After God's Own Heart". Some pretty good stuff. {{hugs}}

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Jennifer
AUTHOR
12:56 PM delete

I would just like to add, as a friend pointed out to me in a private email, that mamas-to-be deserve some lee-way and some grace when it comes to pregnancies. After all, there are over 300x more hormones in our body during a pregnancy. So, in that aspect, I'll agree with that.

But as I pointed out to my friend, it wasn't a matter of being pampered or being offered grace. It was simply pointing something out to me that was ugly and need rectifying. While I'm still crying at the drop of the hat, stupid commercials, I'm trying to make a more concentrated effort in my interactions with family and friends.

I cannot begin to explain how relieved I felt that I was not the only woman to deal with these issues!!

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Andrew
AUTHOR
6:58 PM delete

Being able to step back like that and take an objective look at a potentially emotionally charged situation isn't always easy. Good for you that you were able to do so!

To Love, Honor and Dismay

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9:51 AM delete

Katherine sent me over here. Great post.

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a Christian mom
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7:19 AM delete

Jenn, I don't know you well. (This is my first comment) And you seem like a wonderful, friendly, caring, devoted Christian wife and mother. I respect that, and as a fellow Christian mom, I love you for it.

But I'm concerned for you. The fact that Jon could not tell you this himself is very childish on his part. (It is also unfair of your mother to bring it up in a public place where discussion wasn't feasible.)

But most of all, it is downright wrong for him to try to "blackmail" you into being nicer to him. Everyone has rough days, everyone has whiney moments, and everyone occasionally forgets to consider those around them. We're not perfect--that's what makes us human. If this is an issue, he should have brought it up to you personally, and the topic of future pregnancies should never have come up.

The fact that "being nice" to him factors in to the possibility of your future children is horrifying. It says that he puts his level of comfort above not only you, but also your children.

And that's not the right thing for him to do. Not under any circumstances.

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Jennifer
AUTHOR
8:21 AM delete

I should clarify that Jon did not mean for this to be said on a serious level, he was merely joking with my parents during a recent tirade by yours truly. As for my mom bringing this up, obviously you don't know my family very well, you'd probably be horrified by the subjects we bring up at the dinner table, even in public restaurants.

Again, I won't apologize for needing a wake-up call about my attitude or the way I was treating my loved ones. It wasn't a "whiney" day here or there, it wasn't a bad day; this attitude and treatment had been going on for weeks. I have NO right, pregnant or not, hormones or not, to treat my loved ones in that way.

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