By Shannon Magsam, mama of 1
Remember when your kids were tiny babies and you were so protective of their “soft spot”? You guarded it, you might have even obsessed about making sure nothing hit it until those bones grew together and you didn’t have to worry anymore.
Thinking about those soft spots made me think about another kind of soft spot today. I mean those areas where I’m super sensitive or feel a little stab of hurt when someone brings them up.
Everybody has one. I’m guessing we all (probably) have multiple ones.
For me, mentions of an “only” child can be the trigger. I go on the defensive when someone brings up the topic up in a way I perceive as negative. For example, a friend recently said of her husband, “He doesn’t know how to communicate” and then by way of explanation: “He was an only child”.
If you haven’t been reading my blog for long, I suppose you just guessed that I have one child 🙂 I happen to think that my daughter is pretty well adjusted, gets along well with others and knows how to communicate very well, thank you.
Of course, I realize my friend didn’t mean to offend me. It’s just easier to explain, and understand, people when you can put them in a box.
If you just thought to yourself about my thin skin, Oh come on, think about your own soft spot.
- What about your co-worker’s comment about someone who’s overweight?
- Or the friend at a party who said she’d never get divorced, who could do that to her kids?
- Maybe it was the time(s) your mother said, “I never let you kids act like that!”
Babies’ soft spots go away, but not because of anything they do. I’ve been working on toughening up my soft spots. Partially, just knowing that people aren’t trying to be thoughtless or rude really helps.
Knowing about my own also makes me more considerate toward other people because I know they’ve got their soft spots, too.
So the next time I feel the urge to think, Oh lighten up, instead I hope to think, That must be a soft spot for them. And I won’t press it. In fact, I’ll consider guarding it until maybe it’s not so soft anymore.
Shannon Magsam is mom to 10-year-old Ladybug, married to Ladybug’s dad, John, and co-founder of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of Life With Ladybug, click here.