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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Worried About What People Think?

Sometimes, I worry too much what people think.

As a working mom, I worry that other moms will think I'm too career-oriented.  That I'm not focused enough on my family.

As a lawyer, I worry that if I talk too much about my kids (and constantly showcase my darling pictures and stories) business-minded folks won't think I'm a top-notch lawyer.  Instead, they'll associate me with "mommy" brain.

Case in point, I've recently wondered whether driving my mommy mobile is a career limiting gesture.  My wagon is scratched, worn, and dented (I’ve never pretended to be a skilled driver), but it has also survived the stains, pains, and drains of three small children. 

Which has recently caused me some embarassment.

I was visiting a high-profile client at his office.  After the meeting he asked, “Hey, I hope it isn’t a bother, but I was hoping you could give me a ride to the dealer.”

My heart sank.

Did I mention that I also use my car as a second office?  Since the passenger side is usually empty, I always have papers and trash sitting next to me.  And I always spill my coffee, which is why there are multiple stains in the front seat and carpet.

“Of course you can have a ride," I replied. 

He got into the front seat, and I just couldn’t find the right words.

Please excuse the stains, I can assure you they are old and don’t contain live bacteria. 

Despite the dents on the passengers’ side, I’ve never hit another car – just my garage and inanimate objects.

I’m really a much better lawyer than driver.

I’m due for a new car, but I just haven’t make up my mind.  There are too many options.

Nothing sounded quite right.

And I don’t know what bothered me more – the fact that he was riding in my mommy mobile, or the fact that I was so worried about it. 

Do you ever get caught up worrying about what people think?

8 comments:

Ann Kroeker said...

Oh, Susan! Yikes! Did the client seem grossed out, or did he hide it well?

I felt the tension. And because I felt it, I surely must worry what people think. :)

I live in an affluent area, so I've always felt concerned about what others think of my house when they visit. It's simple, compared to most people's homes I've visited around here. I don't have nice furniture. I don't have it nicely decorated. We live and work in it every single day without a break, so it is worn down, chipped, and messy.

Yes, I am concerned. But I am letting the Lord teach me many things about perspective, contentment, generosity, and comfort in Him...and more.

csyusten said...

I didn't know my car has a twin! Seriously, I live out of my car. Just the other day I was dropping my daughter off at kindergarten and when the teacher in the carpool lane opened the car door I cringed. "Please let all the stuff littering the floorboard stay inside the vehicle," was my initial thought. I guess I do care what other people think but maybe in small doses this keeps me accountable because before I picked her up from school that day I cleaned out my car. The teacher may not have even noticed but I did and my children did (they both cmemted on how clean my car was).

There are other things that I probably shouldn't care about how people see me but I do. Those are the insecurities that I face but I think often times we think we are being judged when in reality others don't notice or even care.

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

That's so real. At our office, there are those with the sparkly clean and always-new cars, and those of us with the racked-up mileage and the questionable condition of cleanliness... I think it's a personality style type of thing. My car has 215,000 miles and smells just a little bit. But I don't want to get a new car yet. This one still rocks.

David Rupert said...

great story and how true! So much of the business world is 'how we look'. Is all of that really necessary?

MC said...

If he was so "high-profle" he could have arranged for his own ride. He should worry about what you think. And most likely will only remember the kindness. MC

Tessa said...

I think its just a part of our nature to worry what people think. The important thing is not to dwell on it...our Mommy brains only have limited space to take care of the most important items :)

And as I was transporting my customer to another building last week I was thinking, "Oh, I hope he doesn't see the moldy cheerios on the floor." :)

...I dropped $20 and went to the local 'full-service' car cleaning service the next day :)

Susan DiMickele said...

So glad to hear I'm not alone (and my car has a twin!). Ann -- he didn't seem grossed out. But he also didn't laugh at my jokes about the car.....

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Sometimes I worry...but less now than I used to.

I'd opt for "I'm a better lawyer than driver." :0)