Losing the need to be liked

17 10 2012

I hate being perceived as the bitchy lab mate, the bitchy mom, wife, daughter etc. I have embraced and accepted the fact that I’m the bad daughter (in-law) and I’ve also accepted that I’m a non-perfect parent.

I can’t seem to get over the desire to have people perceive me as “nice”. Its inhibits my ability to actually stand up for myself or to speak up because I don’t want to be thought of as being rude or mean. I thought I had been getting better at it. Being a blogger and on twitter has definitely thickened my skin, but at the same time when put in new situation (ie Monkeys soccer team), I don’t want to be the one rocking the boat.

But someone has to rock the boat. Especially when shit isn’t right. If I don’t get over my desire to not be perceived as bitchy, then I can’t really complain what is happening.

What is happening? Monkeys coach is an overachieving, self-promoting, ass.  At this age, the kids are supposed to be playing for fun and all the kids are supposed to play for equal time and all positions. The coach is playing the kids to win. Weaker kids are being sat out and the stronger ones are playing in the games. Its BULLSHIT.  At 5, kids are smart enough to pick up what is going on, even if they don’t express it.  My son shouldn’t ask why he didn’t get to play. The other parents son should be stuck in goal for 30 minutes. Yes, life isn’t a care bears tea party, but a 5 year old learning a sport doesn’t need to be told that.

Another parent wrote to the assistant coach and team manager that a group of us had noticed what is happening and are not OK with it. At the same time the coach emailed the parents asking for input on where practices should be held because weather is changing, the sun is setting a lot earlier. He strongly advised against indoor practices because it hampers skill level and the kids could get hurt on the hardwood.

I responded with the following email:

Thank you very much for asking for parents feedback on setting practices times.

Also thank you for volunteering {redacted}. That is very kind of you.

In regards to practices, my preference is for indoor practices for these reasons:
the games themselves move indoors when the weather changes
if the kids decide not play because they’re cold and miserable does skill development matter?
the goal of {redacted} is to first promotes participation at all levels of play, second promote good sportsmanship, third to  promote fair play and lastly to increase skills in the game.
If there is risk of injury on hardwood, there is also a risk of injury on gravel and all weather fields as well as a risk of illness from being out in the cold weather.  {redacted}
ball will roll / behave differently on a grass field vs all weather field vs a gravel field

Its challenging as working parent to have practice time change constantly, so if we could pick one time and stick to it, that would be really appreciated.

I would like to re-iterate that we appreciate you taking our input and volunteering the extra time.

The private response I got was:

Save any comments you may have until practice Thursday. I find your comments very disruptive.

The public response, the one sent to all the parents because my initial email had gone to all parents was:

Wow. Thanks for your very detailed opinion {redacted}. I thought I had the most soccer experience on our team but I stand corrected.

I am including all parents in this email so you can see the emails from the league on winter practices and our practice schedule.

2/3 of our practices or more will be outdoors and only January games will be indoors so there will be lots of outdoor soccer in poor weather. Soccer is an outdoor sport. After next season, 100% of games will be outside and only cancelled in severe weather or snow.

My initial reaction was, what did I do? How did I cause this? I was NICE in email.

But the thing is, the dude is an ASS. As a coach its his responsibility to take our feedback. It took me 24hours to not feel sucker punched. To fell like it was my fault. And to stop worrying about what the other parents are thinking. I had a right to express my opinion, to provide reasons for my opinions and EVEN if I was being rude, its his job as the COACH to be respectful of parents.  Secondly, in sending this email to all parents, he’s letting them know that people like me, who give reason explanations as to why this disagree with him are going to smacked down. Rudely. WTF!!

My PI is AWESOME at not giving at shit. Its because she is confident in her actions and behaviors that she doesn’t care if a person or parents don’t like her. She only worries about the issue / task at hand. I need to learn to be like that.  She wouldn’t care if the parents thought she was shit disturbing because she is confident that she is doing the right thing. How I worship that women. I will be channeling her at the next practice.

 

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9 responses

17 10 2012
Wedge

Wow. What was the reaction to the other parent’s email to the team manager/assistant coach? Is there someone even above those people you can contact? Because this reaction is completely rude and uncalled for. Your email was in no way a judgement of his coaching skills, and was worded quite objectively.

As for your PI, you might be surprised, she might be great at looking like she doesn’t give a shit, but behind closed doors it could be another story. We all present varying different outer skins to the world.

17 10 2012
Liz

Wow, what a rude response to a 100% polite email. I would be pissed. Is there a league coordinator you can speak to? I would seriously consider having your son moved to a different team. (I worked as a division coordinator for a soccer league for a bit and actually got a lot of parent requests like this so I would think is it a reasonable possibility). I’m actually surprised a soccer team for 5 year olds even have practises and they should have a policy about even playing time. It is possible that you might want to consider a different league with different priorities.

17 10 2012
becca

Well, you know that being too concerned what other people think of you is totally a “too feminine brain” right? That’s what the evolutionary biologist said, so it MUST be true!

18 10 2012
scientistmother

Wedge / Liz – I agree it was 100% rude. What I”m annoyed with is why I worried about whether I was rude because it was a mute point. My PI cares about what the people she respects thinks, but she is much better at laughing at individual like monkey’s coach. She would not be worried if the other parents thought of her. Probably because she is always very respectful in her tone and she knows it. I have been known to lose my shit.

18 10 2012
Namnezia

I didn’t think your email was rude at all. Maybe he had some pent up hostility for some other reason. Or maybe you were one of many folks who had an issue and complained. In any case he clearly doesn’t do well with feedback of any sort.

18 10 2012
scientistmother

Thanks Nam. 2 days later I can completely agree, but at the time it felt like being punched. I’m still frustrated that I doubted myself. Especially since dude couldn’t look at me today!!!

19 10 2012
chall

oh, I so get that. It’s hard to “turn off brain” but really I hope you see that there was nothing in there from you. The coach… well that seems to be another story there ^^

As far as the liked… isn’t that the old thing about being raised “being a good girl [and keeping temper in check] and not create a situation”? That’s a feeling I have, esp to doublecheck I wasn’t out of line. It’s been a process to remember that sometimes it’s even ok if I was out of line 😉 Life.

I hope you get a good solution to that immediate problem with the coach and as for the “need to be liked” I give you lots of cheers to conquer it and be a wonderful person as you are on yourown.

27 12 2012
Susan

I think your email was perfectly reasonable, and I bet most of the other parents thought so too (but didn’t say so, this is common behaviour).
I suspect this will not get better. The coach sounds mean enough that he will pick on you or your kid because of your email. He already doesn’t give the kids equal play time. This team is not going to work for you. Are there other teams around? Or other sports?

1 06 2013
Huh?

Um, not trying to defend this guy – his response *was* totally rude, even the public one was clearly passive-aggressive – but I was struck by this line of yours: As a coach its his responsibility to take our feedback.

I’m not terribly familiar with current standards of professional kids’ coaches, so maybe this is something that was written into his contract and I’m just being ignorant, but I have to say I’ve never known this to be in the job description of a kids’ coach before. Aren’t the coaches supposed to make the calls they believe are best, irrespective of the kids’ parents’ opinions? And then if the parents don’t like them, they simply take their business elsewhere? That’s the way I’ve always seen it done before.

Again, I don’t know anything about your specific situation – maybe this coach is the employee of some other organization and he’s signed a contract to that effect. I have no idea.

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