Usually this is the response of a parent of older children or teenagers if you bring up any concern about littles. When they're teenagers, all hormonal and crazy and defiant, you'll be longing for the no sleep, potty training, won't-hold-your-hand-in-the-parking-lot days. This part's a breeze. How I wish my kids were blah blah blah.
Really? This is helpful and supportive? Um . . . thanks?
Because even assuming it's true, that someday I too will wish for these days, what good is it doing to point it out to me? Why not instead show empathy and understanding? Were you not once right where I am now?
|What our days look like now|
And I wonder . . . will I do that? Will I completely forget what it is like to be lost in the crazy throes of young children and toddlers? Will I be convinced that my new day-to-day, whatever stage that happens to be, is more challenging than ever before? Will I someday have the same slightly mocking reaction to meeting a mother whose daily life is where I am today?
Or worse . . . do I do that now? When I learn a particular family does something outside the mainstream, is my first reaction one of judgment? Do I look at new mothers, struggling with one infant or toddler and think, lady, you don't know how easy you have it. Have I completely forgotten that having one child is hard work? Have I, just 6.5 years into motherhood, already lost perspective?
I hope instead that no matter where I am on my journey I will listen and respond with compassion and not diminish any mother's experience, no matter where she is on her journey.