i am no stranger to swear words. believe me, i have said my share in my day. with the kids being literal sponges, though, i have tried to curb myself to a point. there are still some words that escape my mouth during times of frustration...but i have to give myself a little wiggle room because i am a work in progress.
since my faith has begun to grow, i have also been trying to refrain from gossiping about other people. i will chat with someone about someone if 1) i would say the same thing to their face (or already have), and/or 2) it's only to inform someone about the facts of their life.
however, i'm struggling with someone bearing false testimony against me. i'm having a really hard time right now with not-losing-my-temper-and-telling-this-person-to-kiss-my-butt.
a person that is part of our extended family by marriage has been talking about me in an untrue manner. not even just in a mean way, although that is occurring also. but he is saying very mean-spirited and untrue things. i am being called manipulative, mean, a poor parent, etc.
this person is a person that has had quite a few life events pertaining to my career (medicine and health), for which i have helped him in many ways in the recent past. he is a family member that has leaned on us for advice, for help, for various other things that we gladly do, because he is family. that is what family does!
but i'm unclear on where to proceed from here. i have looked to myself, to see if there is truth to what he is saying. i don't consider myself manipulative. do i like to get my own way? well sure! i'm stubborn and tenacious and, at times, audacious. but i don't sit around in the evenings, twisting my figurative mustache and trying to figure ways that i can make people do my bidding and calling. am i a poor parent? i hope not. yes, my husband and i are on the strict side and ask that our kids behaving politely and that they are rightfully and proportionately punished for things done wrong, but they are also proportionately rewarded for the things done well, and things done without asking.
the problem is that i believe all of this to the depth of my soul. Hubs believes it. and the problem becomes what do we do as far as the children are concerned? i don't believe that the children should be around this person for a few reasons...number one being that i don't feel that at the ages of 3 and 5 they should be put in a position where they feel they have to defend their mother against what another family member is saying. they are 3 and 5, for goodness sake. i don't feel it's right that someone be around them that is going to be putting down their mother. they shouldn't be put in that position. number two is that i don't feel great about having my kids around someone that is supposed to be their role model, letting them believe that it's okay to speak about a person that way without confronting that person. spreading infectious thoughts without going to the source. i just don't believe that is a proper way to behave, especially as an adult.
i have a thick skin, and the things this person is saying about me doesn't bother me insomuch as i don't believe him...and i respect the fact that he can have his own opinion and he doesn't have to like me at all. it doesn't truly matter what anyone else thinks of me except my children, my husband, and my God. i know that. it doesn't bother me that he is saying these things except i don't know what to do about my children. this person is a prominent figure in their lives, and this leaves me feeling that i have to pick and choose. and i don't like being backed into a corner.
i can forgive and forget. if this person said nothing like this in the future, i'm not going to hold it against him, and i have already forgiven him for the things said in the past. but it continues to happen, and i'm afraid my children will be in his presence sometime when he decides to have a rant.
what do i do?