Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not Helpful At All

This weekend, I came across a question from one of my Facebook friends (I actually know this person, have met her, worked with her for two years in my mid-twenties so yeah…friend.) She’s married with two kids in elementary school.

This wife/mom/woman was asking for advice from her fellow Facebookers for how to do it all. By all she meant, work, take care of her children, spend time with her husband, take care of their home, buy groceries, and still find time to actually take care of herself.

She ended her post with, “And please, not snarky comments.”

Because I’m sure she’s heard them. Haven’t we all?

She got quite a few really nice, helpful comments. There were suggestions for cooking hacks, ways to schedule workouts, how to talk to her husband about the guilt she feels when working out because he doesn’t get it (does any man? I mean, seriously?)

But one comment, while not snarky or even mean, was NOT HELPFUL.

One woman wrote: Kids grow up fast so know that it won’t last forever.

Duh, right? She knows this. We all know this. The days are long but the years are short and blah, blah, freaking blah.

It’s right up there with telling the mother of three screaming children under the age of five to, “Enjoy it, someday you’ll miss this.”

Um, no. I will never miss the middle of the night screaming, the waking up every twenty minutes every night for YEARS.

It doesn’t help someone in the middle of the drudgery of day to day life, someone who is trying to schedule time to work out in order to keep herself healthy in order to care for those children who are ‘growing up so fast’ to tell her to ‘enjoy it’ or ‘it doesn’t really matter because it won’t last forever.’

Somedays feel like forever when you’re covered in vomit and haven’t slept more than an hour at a time in three days.

I didn’t reply to the unhelpful comment because, well, it wasn’t my wall and it wasn’t my question. But I wanted to.

I’m a little farther in this game than my Facebook friend and yet I still have days when I wonder how I’m going to make it until bedtime. How I’m going to survive making one more dinner or washing one more dish. I wonder who’s going to sweep the kitchen floor this time because it’s NOT GOING TO BE ME, DAMNIT!

What I wanted to say to the originator of the post and every mom out there on the front lines was, “We all have days when we wonder how we’re going to muddle through just one more activity, make one more meal and kiss one more booboo. We wonder when we’re going to connect with our husband again because it feels like forever since we had two minutes alone with him to remind ourselves of why we’re even a couple at all. We all wonder where we’re going to find the energy to get up ten minutes earlier tomorrow morning just so we can have those few minutes to ourselves to do whatever we need to take care of the caregiver but we do it. We get up every single day and we try. We love our kids. We love our husbands and if we’re really lucky, some days we get to love ourselves just a little too. But the fact that you’re asking this question means you’re trying. And believe me, you’re succeeding way more than you’re giving yourself credit.”

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