Wednesday, April 8, 2009

To Defend or Not Defend...That is the Question

I have a dilemma and I don't know what to do about it. Can you help me?

There is a neighbor down the street from us who also has five children and homeschools. You would think it'd be a perfect friendship, wouldn't you? Well...I would have thought so too. I went down to introduce myself when we first moved in and I knew right away that we would never be best friends. I was at least hoping for "friendly" though.

For most of the almost year that we have been here, there wasn't much contact as we all seemed to be busy. But as the weather has gotten so nice, my kids have been outside a lot riding bikes, scooters, etc... and have run into the kids down the street more. They have ridden bikes together and enjoyed life.

The dilemma comes from the mother down the street. My kids wake up pretty early, much to my chagrin, and get started with school early, hence finishing school early. The mother down the street made a comment to my Kally one day questioning the fact that we even do school since my kids are out earlier than they are. Well, that frustrated me, but I thought "whatever".

Then one day their daughter came to our house to play with Kally and she said that her mother thinks that we don't homeschool because our kids are out playing early. Really? She tells that to her children? So...that really began to bother me then!

Yesterday we took a gal from down the street with us to Kally's swim lesson. On the way, she mentions that the woman down the street (same one, 5 kids) has commented to her that we don't homeschool! Are you kidding?

So my dilemma is: do I do my normal mama bear act and go down and talk to her or do I leave her alone and let her think whatever she wants to think. I know that I am doing the stuff I am supposed to be doing! Just a bit of frustration on my part...trying to do what God wants me to do...maybe venting to y'all will just help me get it off my chest and then allow me to in a lame way follow Jesus' example on this very week so many years ago and not defend myself....


Anonymous said...

Hmmm...seems to me this lady is the one with issues not you. It sounds a lot like GOSSIP to me!

We have seen these people before in home schooling. The "my way is the only way" and "my curriculum is superior to yours" people. The full Abeka boxed collection!

The question is what purpose would confronting her serve? Make you feel better? Maybe or it might just cause more issues. If she was truly interested it would seem that she would actually talk to you about it.

If you confront her you would really only be defending yourself and not the kids. As the parent you are the one under accusation.

Walk away and let others defend you. Anyone in your home schooling circle can and would defend you. You are one of the best home school parents I know.

How about if we do a co-op together? (smile)

Lisa A.

Ben DeBusk said...

I strongly recommend that you not rip her throat out. Our insurace doesn't cover that!

Jennifer said...

Oh Ben, what a comment! That made me laugh.

I agree with your friend Lisa A, it wouldn't serve any real purpose to confront her, she is going to think and say what she wants no matter what you say. The ones she is gossiping to know the truth and so do you. That is all that matters. Maybe when she decides to be a sociable neighbor you could talk to her then, but until then walk with the Lord and do what is in your heart. He will not lead you astray!

Nathan, Shelly & Kaleigh said...

That makes me mad. I want to come down there myself! Seriously, I hope you can get to know her better (& she can get to know you) and hopefully she can get past her issues that she seems to have. And I'm sure you can work it into the conversation sometime how early your kids get up and how motivated they are to finish their school so they can move on to play! So sorry. She doesn't know what a wonderful neighbor and friend she is missing out on.

Alisa Cornelison said...

I would have the hardest time not confronting her. The christian voice in my head agrees with everyone else, but that other voice in my head that I'm sure I listen to more than I should says otherwise. As hard as it may be, just grin and bear it. And know that those who know you best know the truth. (Now, on a different note...I have no problems coming down there and setting this lady straight for you. I can be mean when I need to be and this lady just might be getting a spot on my list :)

Jill said...

Oh I hate gossip, and even worse when someone includes their children, and it's not true. My experience has been that when someone is concentrating on putting down others, that typically they are the ones with issues. So I would probably hold off on saying anything to her and just start praying for her. There's a big chance that she's struggling with something and it's just easier to focus on what others are or aren't doing. Feeding into that unnecessary & unwanted drama probably won't make you feel better.

Sara and John William's Mom said...

well, i would say is none of her bussiness what you do or you don't, she doesn't pay your bills!
even if it's hard, do not ever go and talk to a person while you are still angry, pray that God will provide the opportunity when you might be able to visit with her and clarify in a friendly way that your kids get up early so they can finish up early. What a frustrating situation, i understand you completely. Our first reaction would be to go and talk to her about this but on the other hand if you think about it the best thing would be to wait for God's timing to deal with it.... i'm sure the opportunity will come! and she will be ashame of what she has been saying, think of Proverbs 25:21-23!!!

Ben DeBusk said...

I think the biblical guideline here might be to never confront anyone unless it is truly for their own good or perhaps in defense of another (although I might have to study this one further). It's easy to rationalize, but anger is generally an indicator that one is personally vested in a situation and may not be able to act in a "pure" manner. In such a case, simply stay out of the way let the Holy Spirit do His job to convict him/her.