I’m sure you know what they say about opinions. And every mom can tell horror stories about some kind person giving them advise and how it made steam blow out of their ears. Probably every dad too. So maybe this topic has been beaten to death, but I’d like to share some responses you may like to use yourself.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself after having two kids, back to back, with only three months between pregnancies, is that I’m not as nice as I thought I was. I used to always have a calm, thoughtful response to most everything life put in my path. Now, I just don’t have the emotional resources to put up with everyone’s bullshit. So, although I have yet to completely snap and say these things out loud, here are my deep dark thoughts on your silly comments about my life as a mother.
“Oh Jess, you look so tired!”
Wrong. I don’t just look tired, I am, in fact, very, very tired. Each day, I take care of little humans, dogs, chickens, gardens, our home, the laundry, the dishes, and every single meal. I also have a highly stressful, wildly rewarding job. Most nights, when the kids are in bed, I log back in and work some more, after already logging 8 hours that day. There’s also chores to do, plus this blog I’m writing. Oh, and my little guy is still not sleeping through the night. So, no, I don’t look tired. This is just how I look. And I’m exhausted.
“Wow, this house is a mess!”
Yup! Sure is! And you know what my standard is now? As long as there are no leaves tracked in by the dogs that my son can put in his mouth and choke on, again, we’re in good shape! Scariest 30 seconds of my life. Bought a Roomba.
If that standard is too low, we’d love a gift certificate for a cleaning service! In that brief period between pregnancies, we could afford a cleaning service twice a month. Do you know, I was so foolish that I terminated that service because they “didn’t do as good of a job as I would.”? Damn. Talk about first world white lady problems.
“You know, sometimes I even forget you have kids!”
Oh, we know.
“I don’t know how you do it!”
Huh… Do we have a choice at this point?
You know how we do it? One moment, one challenge, one glass of wine at a time. And we love every second of it. We wouldn’t give any of it back or change a thing. Do you understand the painful love a parent has for a child and how it changes everything, but that’s how we want it to be?
It’s ok. Our hearts are big enough to let all this go, even if my face indicates otherwise sometimes. And we know you’ll forgive us too, for not being the perfect family member or friend, because your hearts are big enough too and we know you love us.