Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Positive feedback

When you think about it, us moms spend most of our lives hearing what a bad job we're doing from our clients children. It's the very nature of our job to make our kids unhappy. We spend our days thwarting their plans and goals. Here's a list of things I said yesterday:

  • No, you may not have ice cream now (it was 9am).
  • No, you may not tie toys to the ceiling fan to give them a ride. . . . Because doing so will break the ceiling fan.
  • No, you can't have a sleep over at L's house because we don't want to spread lice to their house.
  • No, M can't spend the night here because we don't want to spread lice to her house.
  • No, you may not sleep with your mattress flipped upside down. . . . Because now the sheets are on the bottom.

Most days, praise is hard to come by, and it's usually only as a result of something like new running shoes or root beer floats for dessert. Those kinds of things will elicit a "You're the best mom ever!" But those comments are forgotten the next time I say no to something.

Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting about a project I've been working on. This particular project involved writing a 20-page continuing education module on childhood diabetes. The meeting was attended by the project manager and her assistant from the marketing/pr firm I work for and diabetes experts from Health and Human Services who have the final editorial review of the document. One of the men there is THE expert on childhood diabetes for the State of Texas.

I was a bit nervous going in. I hadn't received any feedback of any type on the module, and since I'm not a medical professional, I was worried that I'd missed the mark on the paper.

Instead, the doctor offered some revisions based on his expertise. But otherwise, he left the paper alone and said I'd done a good job on it. He even commented that he really liked that I'd added two sections that weren't in the original outline and approved some suggestions I'd made for further additions. Another one of the experts said that my explanations of the different types of diabetes were clear and well written.

I left the meeting walking about three feet off the ground. Not only had the experts liked my work, they'd said they liked it in front of my boss. I immediately called B to tell him the good news.

My buzz didn't last long, though. When I got home, Campbell started melting down about everything. Then the neighbor called to say that her kids have lice, probably from my kids. That's when I cancelled the two sleepovers and had to break the news to the girls, who cried. And then Campbell threw up on the living room floor.

Back to reality. And unfavorable feedback.


runnerdude said...

Positive Feedback? You want positive feedback? Having spent 4 days with you and the kids I can attest to the great job you are doing. You are taking care of the important stuff. All you need to learn is that you can not take care of everything!

Jolly Roger said...

Why do you think I still LEAVE THE HOUSE to go to work?

Is it bad of me to say Whew!! It's not just ME!!

Yay on the great project :)- boo on the lice and melting down :(

Barb said...

Well, but you can't wait for the positive feedback from your KIDS--That will never come! I mean, you remember that your mom forgot to pick you up but how many of the times that she was there waiting patiently do you remember? You get your positive feedback when they grow up and become functioning members of society who need only a tiny bit of therapy. Or maybe they don't. Kind of a crap shoot.

I think we moms have to find a way to find some INNATE positive feedback. So SELF-GENERATED positive feedback. Because, dude, it just isn't going to come from our children, anymore than we give it to our own mothers. And there are those of us out there without real paying jobs who may never hear a positive word again --not that my daughter is entering the dreaded adolescence or anything.

I'm so sorry that you are still dealing with the lice. You are living my biggest fear --that we will get it and I somehow won't be able to get rid of it and we'll be in lice hell for months. Hang in there!! I wish I knew what to suggest to do besides what you are already doing.

Anonymous said...

I got a twisted sort of positive feedback today from the short noisy ones. My husband has been away for a week and a half, and they had been behaving pretty well - but I had to work late tonight, and both flatly refused to go to sleep until they were certain that I was home. It was subtle, but whatever. I'll make up what I can get.