We’ve all had that one family member, friend, or coworker who downplays the struggle you are facing.
For me, it started during pregnancy when a friend said, “If you think pregnancy is hard, just wait until you have a newborn and aren’t sleeping.”
Followed by, “If you think the newborn stage is hard, wait until she is mobile and destroys your house.”
And then, “If you think she’s tough now, wait until she’s 3 and throwing epic tantrums.”
This leads to, “If you think those tantrums are bad, just wait until they have real problems!”
Which drives me to wonder, is it ever going to end? Why can’t we all agree that my hard is hard and your hard is hard too?
It doesn’t have to be a competition on whose life is the greater struggle. When we say things like the phrases above, it makes the other person feel guilty for thinking their life was hard to begin with.
When you have one infant or 10 teenagers, it’s all relative. There’s nothing easy about a two-month-old who wakes every hour to feed, just like there is nothing easy about consoling your teenager through a heartbreak.
So instead of diminishing other’s troubles, let’s be more empathetic and understanding. How about we try saying, “I know you are struggling. I understand.” or “I am here to listen and help.” Because let’s be honest, just being a mom is HARD, and we need each other through all the ages and stages for support, not to diminish each other’s feelings.