I hear you say that worrying is worse than this.
Never knowing where or when your kids will be home next. Constant worry and stress. The mouths, the attitudes, the teenage years.
I hear you say you wish you could have “this” back.
I hear you say that this is “easy” and I need to savor every minute.
You know what I think?
You’re damn delusional. Time has fogged your memory and you’ve forgot just how exhausting this is. Nostalgia has you fooled and your well intended advice is not only unwarranted – it’s insulting.
I see you strolling the isles of the grocery store, buying whatever your heart desires.
No concerns for the color, texture, or any sudden food aversion your toddler may decide he now has.
Your nice bottle of wine and steaks fill up your cart and I think – it must be nice to eat a hot meal.
It must be nice to sit down after a long day at work and have a glass of wine without the guilt of it tainting your milk.
Yeah, that sounds pretty damn easy to me.
That pasta you’re buying – I bet you won’t peel that off your walls later.
I don’t see diapers and wipes in your cart, which makes me think you likely haven’t wiped anybody else’s ass today – have you?
Nobody peed in your bed after they came to your room at 3am.
You don’t have luggage in your cart so I assume you can pick up and leave the house with just your kids and a pair of keys.
Yeah that must be pretty easy.
I don’t see sweat rolling down your forehead from this “quick trip” to the grocery store.
Nobody hit the floor in protest or made you carry them while pushing a grocery cart.
Damn – those teenagers of yours are a lot of hard work.
I see you watching me struggle.
I see you recognize the sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion and yet you think you’re being helpful by telling me – “You’re going to miss this”.
Is that advice you would have welcomed a decade ago?
Time hasn’t only made you delusional – it’s made you an asshole.
I will miss a lot of things about my children being small.
I can assure you, taking them into public to run my errands will certainly not be one of them!
Sweating while shopping will not be a cherished pastime and I will never tell a mother of young children how “easy” she has it.
I will never demean the tireless work of young children and compare her stress to mine.
I won’t forget this pain and most importantly I won’t impose my nostalgia on her “easy” life.
Raising kids is hard freaking work. No matter their age – we worry. We’re exhausted and we’re all just doing our best to savor the moment while not loosing our shit.
It’s a fine line we all walk. Learning as we go and feeling inclined to pass along lessons learned the hard way.
Let this be a lesson to you – don’t insult this stage of our life with your hindsight theory. We’re in the trenches and we’re just trying to survive. It’s not easy. Motherhood isn’t easy. You may think you remember, but your story may be vastly different than ours. Don’t compare. Don’t judge. Don’t try to help with your words of wisdom while my child looses his shit in the middle of the checkout line.
If you feel inclined to say something – say “you’re doing a great job”.
Say “this doesn’t last forever.”
Say “I remember those days.”
Say “I’ve been there before, do you want to go ahead of me?”
Say anything other than “I used to think that was hard too. Just wait until their teenagers.”
Even if it’s true – nobody wants to hear that shit.
Yeah, we all some how seem to forget just how awful that was and recall only the sweet moments and beauty.
Could you imagine telling a laboring mom how “easy” she has it compared to your teenagers?
This isn’t a pissing contest, this is motherhood.
Not one second is “easy” for you – or for me.