Monday, October 7, 2013

Mommy Struggles

This has been sitting in my draft folder for a while so I figured I'd finally let it out.

I have a confession to make: sometimes people without children really grind my gears (aka get on my last nerve) with their little judgemental selve's. Now let me first say I have quite a few friends that don't have children and we get along great. They come over to my house instead of asking me out so my son can run around in his own element while we chat and have some wine. They don't get upset when I need to step away to give him a bath and put him down for bed. They engage him when he comes running towards them with all of his babbling glory. They even don't mind if I have to bring my son along for whatever we are doing or get upset when I can't make something that may not be kid-friendly. They even try to convince me to have a girls night out every now and then but when I say not right now; they back off.

I'm not talking about them.

I am talking about acquaintances and other random people I encounter while I am out and about.

I am talking about observations I have made of people being down right rude to parents in stores and other places with their side-eyes and comments.

Now I have a been a judgemental person without children before so I get it. But if you have a problem with something, it is NOT your place to say something to a parent ESPECIALLY while their kid is having a melt down in Target because their mom isn't letting them have the gigantic bag of M&M's or because they have to part ways with the toy mommy or daddy let them hold that allowed them to get through the majority of the shopping trip unscathed.

You'd be surprised why kids through fits--waffles instead of pancakes, wanting a the toy their brother or sister has (even if they have to exact same one), not being able to stand in shopping cart in the store while it is moving, wanting to play games on your phone while you are trying to read your shopping list, or my personal favorite taking off in a full sprint when you put them down for one second to grab something, etc, etc, etc.

Bottom line: Know when to keep your mouth shut. You don't know our story so cut us some slack *fights the air*. My grandmother used to tell me people don't like you when you talk too much...I really believe this. You don't have to say everything that comes to your head and if you must, phone or text a friend.

The next time you see a parent struggling to get their groceries out of the cart because their child is throwing a tantrum, offer to help them. You'd be surprised how good that will make you feel.

Anywho, below are two fun posts about the same subject. If you go to the full articles and skim the comments, you'll see some of the egregiousness that comes out of peoples mouths just in case you think I am making this stuff up.

Do something nice for a parent today (a hug, compliment, whatever).

Is there a parent appreciation day before Mother's and Father's day??? I need to research that.


Day 166: To all my friends without children.
by Jason Good
I know our friendship has changed since I had a family. I never answer the phone; I don’t return texts as quickly; I almost never “hang out” anymore. That’s because my priorities have changed. I would have warned you, but I didn’t know it was going to be so severe. I still love you as much as I always did, but between my job/art and kids, I’m fucking tired at night. I still want to see you, but can you please just come to my place? I know it’s far, but I needed a house and yard or I was gonna lose my mind. It will be hard to have a conversation because my kids will be angry that I’m not giving then all my attention. I wish I could just tell them to be quiet and go play, but that’s not really how it works.
It’s true, I hang out a lot more now with families who have kids the same age as mine. That’s because when the kids are playing, the adults have a little time to talk. If there are no other kids around, I’m responsible for all the entertainment, and it’s exhausting. Also, people with kids understand that I’ll have to leave in the middle of their sentence to get a juice box. They understand because they just did the same thing to me 5 minutes ago. It’s not because I like them more than I like you, it’s because they understand the situation, and it makes everything easy. I need things to be easy a lot these days, especially when it comes to “entertaining.”

I know you want us to just get a babysitter and drive out to your place and drink wine until 3am. I want to do that too, but I can’t. Not for a few more years. My kids are too young and they still wake up at night for various reasons, and I want to be there when that happens as much as possible. So for now, you kind of have to come to my house. Understand that when you do, most of what we do will be about the kids and not about us. I’ll have to put the hotdogs on the grill before the steaks because if I don’t, someone will freak out and throw themselves on the ground. You’ll also probably have to spend some time by yourself while I take one of my kids inside to talk to them or read them a book or put on a TV show. To me, it’s all worth it for that 15 to 20 minutes I get to spend with you totally uninterrupted...

Read the full article here.

If You Don’t Have Children, You Don’t Get An Opinion On Parenting Issues
By dadcamp

...My thesis is that it’s all well and good to stand on the sidelines and tell people how their kids “should” be raised, but until you’ve actually sat down and had a fight over what color mittens, socks, or underwear will be worn in what order, you are hereby asked to keep it to yourself.

I added it up yesterday. I spend about 5 hours a day with my kids. That’s an hour or so in the morning, and 4 after school. Of those 5 hours, maybe 45 minutes of it is “fun”. You know, laughing, playing, giggling – he lighthearted, non-stressful stuff we love about our kids. The other 4 hours are spent breaking up fights, cleaning up messes, negotiating meals, bathing, cooking, helping them get dressed, etc. The “work” part of parenting is, by far, the greatest weight in the equation.

To say the work outweighs the reward is wrong, in the end it is worth it. But the thing that people without children don’t understand is that it is work. Every single day it is work. It is a struggle to lead these little minions through the day. It is stressful. So, on occasion, we take shortcuts. We just do. It keeps us sane.

I just don’t think you can appreciate that “work” part of parenting, and how much effort/stress/emotion it takes until you live it.

Read the full article here.

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