Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like nothing you are doing is good enough? I’m struggling with leadership at work, struggling with my relationship with my mother…just all around struggling.
Today was the final straw. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really discouraged at work. I love my job, don’t get me wrong. Love it. But I’m struggling with some of the aspects of leadership and how that applies to my team. I lead two different teams and each person has WILDLY different personalities…which really makes it difficult to find the best leadership style to use to get everyone on the same page. It’s a lot to really juggle, and I really never understood how hard it would be until I was in this position. Obviously, I’m not giving up, but I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching these past few weeks, to find a way to be the most effective I can be, while leading and encouraging my team at the same time.
So, this is all background. Sure, I’m struggling at work, but that’s ok because it’s a hard job and no one gets it right all the time. And if that were the ONLY area of my life I were feeling less than par in, well…well done in my book! But, it’s not. Ever since my mother found out that I’ve started the process of converting to Catholicism, she’s been incredibly discouraging, to the point of being downright mean (she’s told me multiple times I’m going to Hell).
So…today, after multiple weeks of being beat down at work, I’m walking through Lowe’s looking at tile and whatnot, and thought I’d give her a call. I used to call more often (several times a week), but realized that every time I spoke to her on the phone, I’d leave the conversation bitter and angry because SHE is so bitter and angry…and I was internalizing all those feelings coming off of her in waves. So…I still call…at least 1-2 times a week…which to me is PLENTY sufficient! But anyways…I call her. First words out of her mouth (after “hello”) is, “Well, you never call anymore. What is this, the second time in two weeks?!” I tried to defend myself (no idea why I bother), and mentioned that she hadn’t called me either (she never calls me, it’s my responsibility to call her), and she made the comment that when she calls, I never answer or I’m working.
Now, she’s right. When I’m working, I cannot take personal calls constantly. But how does she know that?! SHE NEVER CALLS ME AT WORK! I apologized that I couldn’t talk on the phone a lot while at work, because I was supposed to be, you know, WORKING. She replies that “It’s not WORK that’s the problem.” Which means, in mom speak, it’s back to the Catholic issue AGAIN. I am so tired of having to defend myself to her! I’ve explained my position again and again, and I (foolishly) wish she’d either a) be happy for me, or b) keep her mouth shut about it. Then she goes on to say she’s not sure if we’re doing Thanksgiving this year. Honestly, I feel bad saying this, but I’d rather we didn’t. This way, I would be guaranteed a stress-free holiday with my husband, at home, where we could relax. But, I know that won’t last and we’ll be expected to attend (once she gets over this snit, and before she gets into the next one). I miss living overseas for this EXACT reason.
But anyway…the point to this is…I’m never good enough for her. If I try to be good enough, she tells me that I think I’m better than everyone because I’ve lived overseas and have a few degrees. If I don’t follow her exact plan to the letter, I’m a bad daughter who’s causing her so much stress and worry. I truly cannot win, and I’m getting exhausted even trying.
So, there it is. I’m tired of struggling with this feeling. Work is work…I expect to feel this way at times. But my own mother?! I’m just not sure where to go from here with her.