I admit that despite my tendency to lose my mind and cry when Baby E is having a fussin’ screams fit at two a.m. because he’s a baby and something is amiss, I’m probably more outwardly grateful about baby stuff than most new moms these days. The long NICU stay tends to bring that out, I’d bet. It also tends to serve as a guilty reminder when I’m feeling less than grateful, or less than mom-ly. But then I remember that Feelings are Complex Things and that it’s okay to be stressed and annoyed with Baby E when I’m tired, because being a new mom and having a newborn are hard. Good job, me!
However, I have not, THANK GOD, experienced anything like this yet:
A selection (but go read it!):
Constantly telling parents – Be grateful! Be grateful! One day they won’t be shitting on you! And you’ll be like “omg, I long for the days when I was covered in sour milk and diarrhoea!” So – be grateful! You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL – leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel. It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a fucking monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.
…this might seem like an overreaction to a comment, but I (and other parents) get it All. The. Time. The other week I said: “Just as one little bogan falls asleep, another little bogan wakes up. They’re like a tag team” and I got one comment and three messages with the “one day you’ll miss it/be grateful” message. I get it about once a week. And the more I get it the more I feel like I can’t talk about the hard parts of parenting, or the things I’m struggling with. Because I don’t want to appear ungrateful for my awesome kids, even the one that hates sleeping. And you see how that’s a problem right? So, here are some things you can say instead of be grateful:
- I don’t remember how hard it was never sleeping because I’m retired and I sleep until 10 now and I spend all day playing Candy Crush. SO I’m just going to shut the fuck up. (Might be too specific).
- That sounds tough, want me to drop you over something with chocolate in it?
- You don’t look tired at all. You look like a glam actress who only eats paleo stuff and drinks grass smoothies.
- I heard kids who don’t sleep are smarter than kids who do.
- Parenting is really hard sometimes. It’s ok to find it hard sometimes.
Oh my god, that bolded bit (bolding mine) KILLED me. Sounds a lot like some Millennial retirees I know. Or, um, don’t know. I don’t know anyone like that. I’m sure they don’t read this blog anyway, because if they were reading it, they’d surely know that comment wasn’t about them.
In any case, I’m continually amazed at what people say to each other. FB absolutely encourages more off-the-cuff and well-meaning stupidity from people we know, but still, yep, continually amazed. Despite all the crap slung toward new parents, why the bumrush to police a little bitching? I’m sure there are other things to do with your day than hang out on FB. Right?