Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunshine, Rainbows, Perspective, and New Buttons!

I'm taking some time out of my normal rambling awesomeness to give myself a bit of a plug.  I have a fan page on Facebook now, so you should click that nifty "like" button on the right.  And while you're at it, do me a favor and rate my blog for The Mom Blogs (but only if you like it - skip rating it if you hate it, obviously).

That said, let's move on.

I love my children, and they are my world.  When I suffered from depression for three years, they were the ONLY reason I dragged myself out of bed in the morning, and interacted with the world.  They kept me going when no one and nothing else was able to.  Obviously I love them.  Obviously I want what's best for them.  But even given all that.. my life is not sunshine and rainbows, and that's okay sometimes.  It's okay that sometimes my facebook status is "I want to crawl back into bed until tomorrow."  And when I post this, I don't need to be reminded of how 90% of the world is so much worse off than I am.

It really upsets me when people, especially women, suggest to other women that their feelings aren't valid because someone else is worse off somewhere.  Here are some example scenarios:

"Ugh, my kids are so frustrating today.  Is it nap time yet?"
"You know, there are alot of women in the world who would give anything to have frustrating children, if only they could have children at all."

"My baby was up all night crying for *insert reason here*.  I'm so exhausted I can barely think."
"You should be glad your baby CAN cry.  Lots of babies in the NICU have tubes in their throats and noses, and they can't cry."

"My son is being so annoying today, I just don't know what to do with him!"
"At least you have a son.  I lost my baby at 13 weeks."

Uhhh.. thanks? You're right, I guess, but was making her feel like crap for being frustrated really necessary?  I'll tell you: no, it wasn't.  If you know a parent that does nothing but complain about their children all day every day, then by all means - throw some perspective in their face.  But when a normally cheerful and happy mother complains once that she's frustrated with life or whatever, just let her have her freakin moment.

The concept that mothers must be perfect, that we must always be enjoying our children every moment, that we can never think about anything negative because it's just not proper.. this bugs me.  Life isn't perfect, and I hate the way we make each other feel inferior by suggesting it should be.  I hate the way we shove mothers into hiding their feelings, because of how "improper" it is to think negatively about your children.

I was once told that I must not love my children enough because I would pay someone to change all the blow out poopy diapers.  Instead of thinking about how gross the poop is as it seeps over the edge of the diaper and onto your fingers, you should just be thankful that you have a baby that can make such diapers, as opposed to having suffered a loss.  Uhhh.... no.  I mean, yeah - I'm thankful I have a baby that can poop, but the fact that I would pay someone to live in my basement and emerge only to change all these diapers in no way means that I don't love my children, or have compassion for people who don't have pooping babies in their lives.

We really need to stop attaching this "Sunshine and Rainbows" stigma to parenting.  All we're doing is hurting ourselves and each other in the process. Sure, there are some mothers who could use some perspective; that's obvious.  But I think the majority of us fully understand that our lives could be worse, but that doesn't mean we have to enjoy every second of them, just the same.

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