When Giving in doesn’t mean Giving Up

I am argumentative, always have been, probably always will be. I love a good ‘debate’, never shy away from an argument and almost always stick up for what I believe in.

I was the one who, aged 14 at school, told the teacher who would shout and SCREAM at us all until he was red in the face and had to literally MOP the sweat drops off his forehead with a handkerchief, to stop talking to me like that, and that I wouldn’t do what he wanted until he spoke to me nicely. Thank god he took it well and apparently went on to tell the story to his other classes- I didn’t really think that one through before saying it.

I was also the one who, when staying with the family of a boy I was seeing heard that his mother (not a particularly nice woman, to be honest.. who then went on to drunkenly ramble to me about how her husband had cheated on her, at lunchtime the next day) referred to the fact that I was ‘medicated’ and told her son to be wary, confronted her at the head of the table over dinner with ‘so, you have a problem  with me because I take medicine for anxiety?’ AGAIN, thankfully this went down ok-ish, and I think she respected me for it  (however, she then went on to say that she was aware that I had dated 2 of his friends… you can’t win ’em all! ha!)

These two examples that jump out at me have taught me a couple of things – firstly, that maybe I should pick my moments better! but secondly, that it’s right to stand up for what you think when you’re being wronged. However, this is definitely not always the case. It’s like giving out advice: to many friends in similar situations I’ve said ‘just leave it, it’s honestly not worth it. Ignore them’. However as we all know, it’s almost impossible to actually do that when you’re in the situation yourself (for me, anyway).

BUT, I’ve got to admit that I think that is changing, every so slightly. I realised, when bickering with F on saturday evening (over something tiny that escalated, as ever), that sometimes it’s best to give in and drop it – a point my mum’s been trying to hammer into me for 23 years. Before now I had always considered giving in as giving up. Losing… but that’s not true. Maybe motherhood is changing me, maybe I’m just growing up- who knows, but I think being a mother has put some things in perspective. It is honestly not worth it sometimes (sometimes it IS). Particularly when it’s F and I who are bickering, I need to learn to give in and let it go, because I value our time together as a family so much, and because it’s not nice for Ottie to see or hear. It just brings a bad energy into the house and we’ve got to set an example.

I remember when I gave birth I felt like we were literally unbeatable, an unstoppable force. We could do absolutely anything together and he was perfect. OBVIOUSLY he is not perfect. Neither am I. No one is (except Ottilie- though she could maybe work on her sleeping) but it is simply not worth the fight. I did that potentially for the first time on Sunday morning. ‘Let’s forget it and move on’. Instantly it was done, and instantly things went back to being peachy. Most surprisingly for me, I didn’t have this niggling feeling in the back of my head that there was unfinished business to attend to- it felt good to rise above it!!! And we had a much nicer weekend than we otherwise would have.

I’m probably light years late to the party when it comes to this one- it seems so obvious. It’s also hard to put into practice… but I’m going to try to give in – and not to my argumentative side, when I next disagree with someone (over something minor). Giving in is not the same as giving up- quite the opposite.



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