January 15, 2017

INITIAL reactions

Several months ago, I read an article that had been shared by a friend on Facebook about what traits parents of successful kids all have in common.  According to the article, the traits ranged from having a college degree to learning math at an early age.

One trait in particular stood out to me:  a working mother.

After reading the article, I went back to Facebook and reviewed the comments.  Everyone loved all of the traits, and agreed with them, with the exception of the working mom.

I didn't know any of the women that made comments.  I barely knew the friend that posted the article to begin with.  But, because of their comments, I allowed myself to make all sorts of assumptions about them.  And what I assumed was not too great.

I consider myself a working mother.  While I am in no way the bread winner of our family, I work five days a week and contribute to our family's income.  I work to make money, of course, but also because I enjoy the satisfaction I get from completing a task that is separate from my motherhood responsibilities.

I took my anger and frustration to my blog and wrote a post criticizing these women for their comments about working moms.  But, before I published my thoughts, my mind was suddenly filled with doubt.  I started to wonder if the assumptions I had made about these women had any merit at all.

What I heard these women say was, "Successful children are not raised by working moms."  

But, maybe they meant, "Stay-at-home moms raise successful children, too."

I had a variety of different thoughts race through my mind.  I wish I could articulate how my perspective on this article, on the comments changed within a short period of time.  It really was a remarkable experience.  

And, basically, what I learned is this:

My reaction to something is not necessarily a reflection of intent.

I can think whatever I want, but that doesn't mean that I'm right.

Living in a world where it is so simple to respond to virtually anything within a matter of seconds, it's easy not to get caught up in our initial reaction.  

And sometimes our initial reactions are spot on.  

And sometimes they're not.

And so long as we're all aware of that, I think we'll all be okay.


  1. Love this. I find myself getting offended far too often by articles but always step back and tell myself most people dont try to be mean. That doesn't mean you cant feel offended but that's what I got out of it bit necessarily what the writer intended. Your a good, hard working mom who loves her girls.....who will be successful. :)

  2. Please don't be upset at me for taking the conversation this direction (I think this is safe since you know how I feel!), but I think this is such a great post and a great message to remember as we go into a new administration. The Orange One says terrible things that he absolutely means. But then there are times where his words are taken completely out of context, his message is completely (usually intentionally) misunderstood, and it needs to stop. And that happens on both sides in politics, in social circles, everywhere. This is why it's so important to stop listening to respond and to start listening to understand. We have to understand each other. We have to be kind and courteous and thoughtful and respectful. And it starts with never assuming we understand someone's point of view. ESPECIALLY if you disagree with it. Hear them out before you know for sure. How often do we say things and then realize that it didn't come out at all the way we intended it to?

    1. You're so right. Right now, our country is so divided and listening to understand is the only way we're going to come together.


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