Friday, February 25, 2011

On Perspective and Stuff

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now. I’ve had the conversation with some of my Twistas a time or two. I’ve run into situations that have left me baffled.


What is it with the fierce mom-etition that is in the air? Why the need to constantly one up each other? To constantly try to prove to everyone that the situation you are in is just a little bit worse, harder, or more extreme than the one they are in?

I think sometimes we lose perspective. We forget what it was like when we were in a different situation.

Recently, I’ve had a few experiences where my first time Mom feelings were made to seem inferior. Specifically, a few weeks ago, I was sharing some of my feelings and challenges with some Moms I know (don’t worry – it’s not you. Or you. Or you.). These moms have more than one child. When I expressed my concerns over some difficulties I had been faced with, their reaction hurt me in a bad way. They kind of chuckled to each other and, in jest, of course, one of them said something along the lines of, “Oh how I remember the days of having just one baby. Having just one baby was so easy. I could sleep during the day. I could get house work done” and blah, blah, blah.

Really now?

Having just one baby was so easy?

I’m willing to put money on the fact that when they were new to the mom thing and had just one baby, they weren’t dancing around telling everyone how blissfully easy it was.

And sure, of course, I know that having two, three, four, five, or six children is harder than having one baby.

But guess what? I don’t have two, three, four, five, or six children.

I have one.

That’s where I’m at right now.

And sometimes? It’s not that easy.

I was hurt that when I put myself out there – seeking some kind of support, guidance, encouragement, whatever – my struggles and my challenges were made to seem petty. I felt belittled

If I’m being completely honest, I know I’m guilty of doing this exact same thing to other women. And I’m not proud of that. On more than one occasion I’ve caught myself saying things to friends with no children, friends who are pregnant, or friends who have a baby younger than Eva – things that I remember hating when I was in their shoes. You know, the “Just you wait…” comments, or the “You think that’s bad…” comments, or the “You wouldn’t understand because…” comments.

And at those times?

I try to bite my tongue.

And I try to remember that I was once in that same position.

Hindsight is 20/20. But foresight? Is not.

So let’s try to keep a handle on our perspective and encourage rather than belittle, mkay?


Anonymous said...

Ugh. The "just you wait" stuff makes me stabby. I just want to tell them to SHUT.UP. It's so unsupportive and condescending and is basically telling me that you think being a parent is awful.

Brittany Ann and I BOTH made a pact to NEVER be "mompetitors". It's just so silly and unproductive.

Katie~Loves Of Life said...

Girlfriend you KNOW how I feel about this. When I was pregnant (37 weeks), having nightly meetings at school,etc..I wrote a facebook status about being 'exhausted & needing more time in a day'.

This 40 something woman (I THOUGHT was a friend-type to me) replied to my status with a "ha you think THATS BAD? Try having 3 kids, all in different sports, after school activities, etc and THEN let's talk about being tired".

I was LIVID. Like PISSED. I replied back with "just because you're in a different PHASE of life than me does not mean it negates the feelings I AM HAVING RIGHT THIS SECOND"

Freaking people.

Tereasa said...

Sweet L, I am sorry if I've ever made you feel belittled. I know you weren't talking about me in this post, but it might have happened any other time. I think you are one hot mama. LOL. No really, I admire you as a young mom and think you are doing a great job.

I remember what it was like being a first time mom and I can testify that the first was the hardest. Not because he was hard (cuz we all know he was stinkin' easy) but because I was clueless!

I've only tried to encourage you and if it's ever been interpreted differently, I was saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and... I'm sorry.

By the way, you are right. There will always be competition in every single stage. You are wise to catch on early and to choose better.

Love ya.

Nicole said...

Well, just you wait until .... JUST KIDDING, JUST KIDDING, JUST KIDDING! :)

I get you completely. I think we all often assume that we are the "younger" Titus 2 woman and forget that we are also the "older" Titus 2 woman who is called to impart wisdom, love and compassion to our younger (or newer) cohorts. I think it just occurred to me recently, "Hey, I guess I'm the older woman more times than not these days. And I have to be an example, and a help to other women"

We all need support, no matter what age we are, where we are or who we are. And we all need to think before we speak.

Great post!

Kimberly {YeP, they are all mine} said...

Yeah. This bugs me to NO END.

There is nothing easy about being a parent. You are living in the moment, and THAT moment, what/whenever it is, is HARD.

Sure, looking back, some things that I thought were hard, in comparison, are easy. But when I went through them, they were hard.

And there's nothing worse than not being heard, especially when you are reaching out to a friend.

Kar said...

I get what your saying girl! In times like you're describing I find myself 'wishing' that the 'other mother' would feel what I feel- you know, to give her a friendly reminder HELLOOOOO we are ALL Mother's and we should be on the same team dammit!!! haha

almost every single time someone tells me about their kid- I'll 'catch' myself saying something about my kid.
I've pondered this- and I think I do it because I want people to feel like I can Empathize with them!
but, I guarantee that somewhere, someone out there has NOT taken it that way... oops! LOL

In my opinion, you rock the Mom stuff.

Elizabeth said...

Who was it? I will hunt them down and kick their ass.

I'm sorry if I've ever done this to you or anyone. I know I have unintentionally and didn't realize until later. But when it happens to me? Pisses me right off.

Anonymous said...

Comment #2:

I HAD to come back and share this. One of my co-workers just came up to my desk and asked about my due date. I said, "Oh, sometime between mid-June and mid-July." He commented about how it'll be nice and hot. Then he told me not to worry. I said, "I'm not worried. We're taking a great birth class. We love it and feel very prepared."

Then he said, "YOU JUST WAIT until you get that little bugger home!"


Jackie said...

So true. I hope I have never done that....and I probably have and I am sorry. I just know seeing where you are at now and the struggles I had then--thinking (at the time) they were never going to end (sleep deprivation, struggles in breastfeeding, etc.). Now that I am on the other side, just trying (hopefully) to encourage you, saying it won't last, it gets better. Because I know when I was in the thick of it--it IS hard but knowing now, it doesn't last and a new phase will start (for good or bad ;) before even realizing the other is over.

That was sort of rambling, but I hope that makes sense. We need to be as Nicole said, Titus 2 women, encouraging others even it we're not sixty and completely removed from the phases of mothering/life not trying to one up the other.

Thanks for the reminder. :)

shirleygirl said...

I follow your blog regularly and typically don't comment but this one just struck me. My babies are now teenagers so I am in a completely different stage then you but...I am amazed as a first time mom that you understand how special each moment is even when it is not easy. Although I enjoyed when my kids were little I don't think I focused on how much I would miss those moments later on. It is so tempting to look back and only remember the good but not the times when you were frustrated or felt inadequate but when we are honest we realize we all had those moments. Each stage in life comes with the good and the bad and to remember as the song're going to miss this.

Anonymous said...

Hey you! I got caught up on your blog tonight ... well most of it since its been a while. I'm not a big "commenter", since I don't have the mommy wisdom yet,but this one irked me.

A smart lady once told me "people will always have their own opinion, you just need to do what is right for you!" ~ Mrs. Cramp.

And just in case this saying doesn't calm you I have come up with a multiple choice response for you:

A) "Well, clearly you must be the greatest mom in the world .... pause... NOT!"
B) "Suck it"
C) "Oh, well when I was finishing my MA ... (insert anything you please).

Keep doing what's right for you and your family.

~ Amos Lee

Jess said...

When I had one baby, it was really hard. REALLY hard. Looking back, it's different. Because now I have 3.

But when you're new to motherhood? It's like flying a plane without any lessons. You hope to God you don't crash or kill anyone.

We've all been there, and we all sometimes forget that we've been there.

But, I agree. Women need to support each other, be there, and sometimes just LISTEN. Give a hug and say "I get it".

This Texas Momma said...

Oh, I tend to roll my eyes (in my head) and think "yeah yeah yeah" when those kinds of remarks come up. I agree, they do nothing to help anyone! I know that I've been guilty of commiting this sin in the past though. I hate when I realized I have the exact trait in myself that annoys me in other people! Sorry if I've ever done it to you, you are doing a fabulous job wit that little girl! Sometimes I feel like with the first one you are ALWAYS learning on the job, because no matter how many kids you've got behind them, at any given point you can say "I don't know what to do, I've never had a _____ year old before." I'm saying it when he's 2 and I'm pretty sure I'll still be saying it when he's 15!

Anna said...

Hey! I am aware that I have done what you have nailed as 'not very helpful!' I remember the first. And it is an amazing, wonderful time. I have been in awe of you and your awareness and the way you are treasuring each moment. You are an example to me! Anna-Lise

Brittany Ann said...

Amen amen amen. That is all.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...