Do you get that response sometimes when you express your exhaustion over a long day with the kids? Or your frustration at not able to get anything done because your toddler is whining and hanging on your leg for all waking hours?
I wish people would think before making comments like that. Is it fair to assume that us moms with young children are really that unappreciative of our children and are oblivious to the fact that we only have them for a short time? Even if it’s not assumed, how else is a worn-out mom who can’t think straight going to take it?
Could it just be that we’re simply worn out? That we need to vent after a long day of not seeing our husbands because they went to work at 5 am and didn’t get home until 11 pm?
I know my children are only this small for a fleeting moment. My oldest will be 9 in just a couple weeks. He’s growing up while I blink. Time flies. I get that. I get that my kids are an incredible blessing. I thank God for them every day, all the time. I also know that one day I will miss this.
Comments like “You’ll miss it” or “Appreciate it now, they’ll be gone before you know it” can heap more guilt on an exhausted, under-appreciated mom already on the verge of a breakdown. I used to feel like there was something wrong with me because I apparently didn’t “appreciate” my kids enough. It just made me feel worse. Or I’d try to assure the person that I really did cherish my children and I knew they were growing up quickly. And their look or online comment assured me they didn’t believe me.
It’s not that I vent all that much either. If I constantly was complaining, that would be different, but I don’t. And sometimes you do just need to let it out versus keep it holed up inside.
It goes back to that “super mom” mentality where we feel like we have to be perfect moms and not only do everything but also love it.
Now I’ve had to come to the realization (probably because I’m slowly moving out of the fog of having a baby and 3 other children) that most people saying things like that don’t mean any harm or judgment. It can be like the unwanted advice at times – (isn’t that what it is? Advice?) Sometimes you just have to smile and move on. Or not even smile if you’re too tired for that. Just move on. They don’t mean that we’re being unappreciative bad moms. They just mean that they miss the days when their kids were small.
What do you think? What do you do when you hear such comments?