“You’re going to miss this!”
A woman told me in the grocery store when I was *clearly* struggling to wrangle 3 kids, and navigate $150 worth of groceries through the narrow aisles, while one kid was lollygagging behind and another was trying to retrieve and open a pack of candy before I noticed.
I know that she meant well. I know that her words are supposed to make me feel better, but you know what?
They make me mad.
They make me want to say rude things like, “No shit, Susan!”
But, instead, I force my lips together and flash the hardest smile possible to the less-than-helpful lady.
Why do people do that?
Why do we automatically dismiss the chaos and the stress and the frustration that comes along with having small children?
I *know* that one day I will miss having small kids.
But, you know what?
I won’t miss the tantrums. I won’t miss the constant vacuuming of crumbs in my house.
I won’t miss having to move mountains just to get a date with my husband.
I won’t miss sacrificing my sanity.
I won’t miss comments like that.
Because, I’m struggling.
When you see a mom obviously stressed or frustrated, don’t say it! Don’t you dare say those words!
Don’t you dare, layer on guilt on top of her pile of emotions that she’s already struggling to contain.
Because that’s what it is- it’s guilt.
Moms can’t be upset.
We can’t be mad or dreaming of bedtime, because “one day we’ll miss this.”
So, when a mom glances at her phone to see how many hours till bed time, she’s now reminded of that day in the grocery, where the elderly woman gently reminded her to also feel like shit for doing just that.
Moms don’t get to say that this is hard, because it’s our precious little babies that we are talking about.
We don’t get to say that sometimes our favorite time of the day is at 10PM with a glass of wine and Netflix without small children hanging off of our bodies.
We don’t get to say that we’d rather just stay home then try to take all 3 kids to that play date at the park without a fence.
We don’t get to say that it’s hard.
Let’s change the script:
When the moment arises to say, “You’re going to miss this,” why don’t you try, “It was overwhelming for me to grocery shop with my kids, too.”
When you see that momma struggling at the park, tell her about your own park catastrophe story from your child-rearing days.
Comfort her in the form of comparison.
Because you’ve been there before, too.
It wasn’t that long ago that you were dying for practical advice from a seasoned mom who can admit that most days are a shit show and this *one* thing they did seemed to help!
It wasn’t that long ago that you were the one complaining to your husband that your toddler wouldn’t listen to you and your teenager has been super emotional lately.
What would that season of you had liked to hear?
I bet it wasn’t, “You’re going to miss this.”