Sunday, November 05, 2006

Too much estrogen?

I may get in trouble for writing this post, but sometimes I have to get away from women. Let me explain.

Right now we still don't have our own home yet. So my daughter continues to live with friends. The woman with whom she lives has two daughters. She is also the guardian for four foster daughters. The husband is the only male in the house, unless you count the little toddlers his wife keeps in her home daycare.

My daughter and I are grateful for friends who would allow her to stay there. They treat her as if she's part of the family. But sometimes my daughter gets frustrated - like now. With so many females in the house, she has plenty of people getting into her "business" and making comments about virtually everything she says and does. I've witnessed it, so I know.

I visit my daughter and grandson as often as I can. I am fortunate because I am treated as "family," too. While I love our extended family dearly, sometimes I have to leave because there simply is too much "estrogen" in that house for me. Too much attitude!! My daughter finally told me yesterday that sometimes it gets to be too much for her.

My daughter, the youngest of three children, almost has been raised as an only child because there is a big difference in ages between my sons and her. Even after the baby was born, it was just the three of us - my daughter, the baby and me. (My oldest son is dead, and my other son lives in his own apartment.) So imagine the adjustment my daughter has had to make living in a house where, if you count the daycare kids, there may be 10 or more people in the house at the same time.

My daughter's comments about her frustration didn't come as a surprise to me. I have suggested two things to her:

1. To go into another room and shut the door when she feels she needs some time alone

2. To call me if I'm not working so that I can pick her up and get her out of the house

I am also going to talk to the mom in the house about being understanding if my daughter seeks some time alone. The mom says she considers my daughter to be one of hers. Sometimes I think she takes it a little too far, though, even though I know she means well. That's the challenge of living in someone else's house. That's why should everyone should have his/her own home.

It's my responsibility to provide housing for my daughter and grandson, and I take that seriously. In order to make it possible for us to get a new home, I am job-searching again. I have a job I like, but the pay is very low. No one gets rich working in public education, especially the position I have. I really don't like the job-hopping, and I hate to leave a job where I feel I have a "calling," but I have to take care of family.

I am proud of my daughter. Her grades are wonderful, and she's a fabulous mom. She's been very strong despite a very turbulent year.

Back to the topic: "Too much estrogen?"

I love my women friends, but sometimes I honestly can't deal with a lot of women at once. My daughter is like me in that regard. Both of us grew up as the only girl in a family that is overwhelmingly male. So we both have always had lots of male friends, and we get along well with males. I don't remember either of us ever complaining about being around too many guys.

One of the biggest challenges I ever had was working a job where 95% of the employees were female. They were, for the most part, wonderful women, but I never adjusted to the "attitude" and catty remarks heard throughout the office on any given day.

Do my daughter and I prefer "testosterone" over "estrogen"? I'd like to think we have a great appreciation for sisterhood - that I simply need to get us a permanent home. What do YOU think?

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Shirazi said...

LOL! Who can live with so many women ;-)

Yes, the best can be when you have your own home - however small it may be - where you lve with your daughter and he family. That will give all of you some personal space. To top it, the welll paying job might make oweing a house possible sonner.

But I am sure that like you, your daughter can is a rational younglady. Her frustration will go away when you councel her or take her out of that crowded home. No?

Naomi said...

Shirazi: My daughter is a stronger person than I. I could not live day in and day out with that many women! :-)

You are right about the housing situation. You are also right about my daughter being a rational young lady. She knows her place, and she would never complain. But I feel that as her mother and an adult, I can speak to my friend and help her to be a little more understanding. As I said in my post, I know they all have the best of intentions.

Some time ago, the other mom told me to tell her if I thought she was overstepping her bounds by being a second "mom" to my daughter. I do think my friend has overstepped in some cases, but I will never use those words. I will just ask her to be understanding if my daughter seeks some solitude.

I did not mention it in my post, but we had some uncomfortable situations when we stayed with another friend of mine. The issue wasn't about too many people. My friend simply felt it OK to make judgmental statements about my daughter and me. She meant no harm, and my daughter and I took it.

But as a mother who wanted to speak up on behalf of her daughter, I was grieved because I couldn't because my friend had extended hospitality to us.

I am very proud of the fact that my daughter has demonstrated so much maturity and resilience.

Finally, as for housing, we are not looking for anything elaborate. But I must have a place that is safe for my daughter and the baby. With the income I have now, I can barely take care of the kids and pay my bills. There is little left over to save towards housing. But I know that will change soon.

Naomi said...

BTW, until recently, my daughter was working five to six evenings/days a week while going to school full-time. I begged her to stop working because I knew how stressed she was trying to juggle school, her job and the baby - plus living in someone else's home.

I was happy when my daughter quit, but she is already looking for another job that is more family-friendly when it comes to scheduling employees.

Shirazi said...

One more thing that comes out clear is that you two are friends to each other in addition to being a mom and daughter. And I tell you, that is one of the best things. No?

Cristina Banu said...

I also grew up among males, I have alwayas had more guy friends than females. In university we were only 20 women out of 250 students. I have found discussions with males more interesting, I found out a lot of practical and scientific things from guys. Females usually talk about makeup, guys and hair :) so what can you find out from them really? I don't want to sound misogynist but too much estrogen can be harmful.

Naomi said...

Shirazi: How perceptive you are! Yes, my daughter and I are great friends. In fact, I consider my daughter my best friend. She puts up with me. :)

Cristina: OMG, you do understand! Imagine a bumper sticker or poster that said this: "Too much estrogen can be hazardous to your health." LOL

I get bored with those makeup, hair, fashion conversations, too. You don't sound misogynist at all. I would think your guy friends love having you around.

You were one of 20 women out of 250 students at the university?? Girl, you're awesome!!

Everyone: Thanks for putting up with my long post and comments. Usually, I edit myself pretty well. This time I think I needed to vent a little. I feel better now. :)

Alina said...

I guess it also depends a little on the type of women you are around. I have no brothers or sisters, but my cousins are all male, I'm the only girl. So I understand you. I had to study for 4 years in a class of 30 girls and one boy and it was too much at times. My mom was also a kind of boyish girl and I have girlfriends that also get along quite great with male friends. But girly-girls, sometimes I need to get away from them, fast! :)

Naomi said...

Alina: Yeah, that's it - girly-girls!
I feel better now. It's not just ME! :)

Cristina Banu said...

Oh god not too much of girly-girls time please :). I was lucky enough to not be around them, maybe accidentaly or because I had to. Naomi, at first I thought I was cursed with only few girls in the University, but after a while, when I heard conversations of other 'exterior' girls, I felt relieved and lucky to be almost one of the guys, to find out smart and interesting things from them. And another thing; women can be so mean among eachother and envious. I could never understand the reason for this. I know it depends on the situation, but still I don't approve or understand this behavior.

Naomi said...

Cristina: The "mean-girl" thing is very real. I don't think I will ever understand why girls do this. It's a form of bullying. I pulled my daughter out of a school because she was harassed by a mob of girls - so many girls that she didn't know them all - nor did she understand what they had against her.

To this day, I think it started with a couple of girls being jealous because my daughter, who is considered by many to be very smart and pretty, was dating a boy a lot of girls were crazy about.

Alina said...

Hey Naomi, just dropping by to say hi. How's everything? Busy at work? When's the next post?

Shirazi said...

Yes, when is the next post?

Naomi said...

Alina and Shirazi: I can count on the two of you to keep me on my toes! :-) Typically, I respond to comments pretty quickly, but I didn't do a good job of that this week.

I really do have plans for another post. I thought I'd have it up by now, but it will probably have to wait until next Wednesday. I've had my hands full lately with work and taking care of my family.

You have my permission to complain if you don't see a post up by next Wednesday! I'm still determined to post more often. The ideas are there. The challenge is always time management - and seeking to achieve some balance between work and family.

Thanks for caring!

Tubby said...

Your daughter lives with a woman who has two daughters and four foster daughters. That means your daughter is involved with six females in sibling relationships. Wow!

Growing up, my siblings were two sisters and I thought that two females too many for sibling relationships. Not that I have anything against females it was just that living with two of them as siblings at close quarters was too much for it featured events such as:

1. The time I used my redheaded sister's shampoo not realizing that it would give me red streaks in my hair that would take me a long time to get rid of.

2. The time my father made me chase my sister's rabbit all over the neighbourhood after it escaped.

3. The time I relented and finally let my sister use my new wagon only to have her come home and tell me she lost the wagon.

I have a lot of stories like the ones just listed, involving my sibling relationships which featured only two females. I would have gone totally crazy if I had lived at close quarters with six females that were in sibling relationships.

On the other hand, Alina's situation of having to study for four years in a class of 30 girls and one boy sounds okay. I wouldn't have minded being the boy (wink).

Elizabeth said...

Do you mind my asking what your ethnic background is?

I think this issue doesn't exist in every ethnic group.

Naomi said...

Welcome, Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by. I can assure you that I am a part of the human race. ;-)

EXSENO said...

I read your post on Shirazi's site. I also posted my comment there. I hope you read it. We have had some similar situations.
Good Luck to you.

Naomi said...

EXSENO, you are such a sweet soul! Thanks so much for your comments here and on Shirazi's site! I am taking your advice. I'm so glad that someone understands!

I am sorry you went through your own trials. But I am so happy you bounced back. I know my situation is temporary. I may get weary at times, but I will not be defeated.

Have a wonderful week!