I have a confession to make.
Remember my last blog post? Remember how I sounded thoughtful, rational, and somewhat mature?
Thirty minutes after I published that post, I was locked inside my bathroom, crying on the floor while my kids banged on the door.
Here’s what happened: I asked my husband to look over the post before I published it, mostly so he could make sure I hadn’t made any erroneous claims about the Church’s teaching on contraception, but also to check for any grammatical errors. Ten minutes later he said, “It’s fine.” And I said, “But is it good?” He paused, then responded, “It’s fine.”
I gave him my best wounded-puppy look while dramatically clutching my lower back and making my enormous belly stick out even further. He said, “I don’t want to give you an honest criticism because then you won’t publish it, and I want you to publish it.” Annoyed, I sat down and hit PUBLISH POST. Then I turned around and said, in an extremely exasperated tone, “NOW will you give me an honest criticism?” He told me that I really needed to do some brushing up on basic rhetoric, pointing out several areas where there were failed parallelisms and other missed opportunities to make the post more polished. “But that’s why I asked you to edit it!” I whined. He said, “I didn’t want to make any changes because you often get really upset when I criticize your writing!” (Note: This is absolutely true.)
At that moment, the tea kettle whistled. I slowly, slowly got up from the chair and waddled into the kitchen. As I was standing at the stove, unwrapping a tea bag, it dawned on me that I was a terrible writer, was wasting my time, that no one would ever read, enjoy, or appreciate these stupid, random posts, and that I might as well just keep having babies because at least that’s something I’m good at. So, five minutes after I had left the study, my husband heard our children attempting to kick open the bathroom door, came to check out the situation and found me crying hysterically on the bathroom floor.
After a brief conversation in which he assured me that I wasn’t a terrible writer and I wasn’t wasting my time, but like all things, there is an art to writing and it is one that must be learned and practiced, I felt marginally better.
But I was angry at him for making me feel marginally better, so I said, “Can’t you just leave me alone and let me cry for a little while?”
To which he replied, “You just wrote a post about learning not to feel sorry for yourself, and not half an hour later are asking me to leave you alone and let you feel sorry for yourself?”
In the interest of humility, I thought I should share that with you.