Saturday, May 16, 2009

An Open Letter to Mothers Who I Hope Won't Actually Read This

1. Do not complain that people are diminishing your achievements when people say that you're "lucky" that your babies sleep through the night/you can breastfeed exclusively/etc. Yes, you've worked very hard to achieve that. Other people have worked just as hard and even harder and not achieved it. Life is a chancy thing, and your little program does not have a 100% success rate. So enjoy your blessings and don't brag too loud. Some of us are very sleep-deprived and our tempers are rather short.

2. Do not complain about the way your husband does things with the kids. Do you really think you would get a better deal in the Husband Exchange Program? You would not, because no man would want to be married to such a whiner. If your husband changes a wet diaper and forgets to use wipes, say, "Thank you, you're such a good dad" and reflect on how few children have died because of an occasionally unwiped bottom. (Um, such as those of all the mothers who never wipe after a wet diaper. Not naming any names, of course.)

If your husband still comes home every night even though the house is now full of screaming kids and an exhausted, uninspired wife, then you've got a good man and you should appreciate it even if he never does another thing. (By all means ask him for help when you need it, but do it because YOU need the help and not because 75% of other women's husbands do it.)

*And a note from the Grammar Commando: after careful consideration, I've decided that the word "whom" is dying a natural death, like "thee" and "thou," and I no longer feel obligated to use it.


Wendy said...

So true! I remember hearing someone complain that her husband had vacuumed up some Legos again. Her friend looked at her in disbelief, "Your husband vacuums?"

You really put your finger on it: what do YOU need to be happy? If you say a week in Hawaii without the kids, you probably need to stop reading parenting magazines.

(To be fair, I'm not saying that wouldn't MAKE me happy, just that I don't NEED it to be happy!) :)

Rachelle said...

1) AMEN AND AMEN! I'm also sick of people's potty-training programs.

2) So often I have wondered why Mike doesn't stop for a drink on the way home just to prepare himself for the chaos he will encounter and me when I'm near tears. That he bolts out the door at 5pm and comes straight home is pretty much reason to thank him (and God) over and over. Even if he can't seem to find the laundry basket.

Devona said...

Ha! I hope that the people who should read this DO! I am sick sick sick of hearing about "how much are you feeding in the day time," blah blah blah... If anyone saw how often my kids ate they would know that sleep is sleep and eating is eating. My kids eat plenty and sleep less than normal.

I vow with Kid Number 3 to take what I get and not tell anyone how often they wake up at night so that I don't have to be given a feeding plan to "save me from exhaustion," that only infects me with guilt that I couldn't figure out the exact right ratio of naps and snacks to get a 6 weeks old to sleep through the night! Ah!

the Joneses said...

1. A kid who sleeps is just like a kid who doesn't need constant parental interaction and attention: you can do a bit toward moderating the tendency, but you can't eradicate the personality. So, yes, sometimes you get lucky.

2. I used to find myself at a loss among other moms because I couldn't come up with things to complain about my husband, so had nothing to contribute to the conversation. *whisper: I don't use wipes for wet diapers, either.*

-- SJ

Debra said...

1. I'm right there with you. If we wake up twice and go right back to sleep, that is an awesome night.

2. I don't use wipes with wet diapers, I was told not to by a doctor or nurse. I can't remember, something about it can irritate the skin if you use them too much.

I realize you don't know who I am but I love your blog. I can't even remember how I got here it's been so long ago.

CappuccinoLife said...

Amen! is all I can say to that!

CappuccinoLife said...

And, um...I regularly neglect to wipe for wet diapers. I didnt know I was supposed to wipe for *every* wet diaper. Just if things are smelling a tad "ripe".

the Joneses said...

I'd like to clarify that I COULD have come up with complaints about Darren if I'd tried, but he does so very much for us that it was petty to pick at the things he doesn't do. Just in case I sounded like I thought I married the perfect guy or something. Which I did, but I hate to sound that way. :)

-- SJ

Dani said...

I actually bookmarked a posting of yours about 3 years ago...

Going through my bookmarks I found you again but it won't be 3 years before I come for another visit. *smile*

Take care, Dani
Mom to 4 sons, including twins

Rise said...

My husband is not perfect, but he puts up with me, so that is saying a lot. I don't like to spend time with people who complain about their husbands because I also feel like I don't have anything to contribute. And even on those days when I think I might have something to say, I don't want to get into that mode. Still, there are times when I am mumbling to myself.

One time I was mumbling about something trivial, like picking up dirty socks, and I had a friend whose husband had recently passed away. It just hit me that she would probably not complain one bit if she could have him back, dirty socks and all. Suddenly dirty socks didn't seem like anything worth mumbling about.