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I am grateful, now fuck off.

It was some time between midnight and 3am. I was dead asleep. I’d fed the littliest at midnight so it was after that, and it was before he woke up for a feed at 3am. This hardly matters, because that time of night is Hell unless you’re pashing, happy drunk, smoking in a bar, dancing, or on drugs – y’know, generally having a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve milk dripping out of your breasts or playing the fart or shit game.

So, I’m asleep and I feel this tiny hand on my face and then there’s a kiss on my forehead. And for a second I’m confused like – did the tiny one do that? He’s only four-weeks-old? Is he a mutant? That would be amazing.

And then I realise it’s my big baby and I pull him into my arms while still asleep and think “oh he’s delicious”. But then he elbows me in the tit and says “JAY JUNGLE MAMA” and I’m like “ughhh fuck you’re not delicious at all. What is that smell?” And I tell him to be quiet and I cuddle him and he says “NO JAY JUNGLE” and he climbs onto my chest and it hurts so bad because my boobs are about to explode. And then I cuddle/smother him and spend the next 40 minutes or so (who knows how long it was – it felt like days) getting him to sleep. And then I got him to sleep and I got up and I went to the bathroom and I came back to this:

Bed

And I was like “FUCK THIS SHIT IT’S MY BED. WHY ARE YOU EVEN UPSIDE DOWN? WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE SPACE THAT IS MY OWN? WHY ARE YOU ALMOST THREE AND YOU SLEEP WORSE THAN A NEWBORN? WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY ROOM FOR ME??”.

And even though this was an internal scream the little one woke up angrily demanding a feed. While feeding on the floor I took a photo and I put it on Facebook and Twitter. And on Twitter I said ‘sigh’ because the parents on Twitter get it. And on Facebook I did a slightly longer comment because I was trying to be a bit light hearted because…well, we will get there…

So, I said “How come it’s my bed and there’s never room for me in it?” Which you’ll note is not “FUCK THIS SHIT…” It was meant to be funny, a way for me to be like “see?” without being like “OMG KILL ME SEE?” And then I got this message, which I fucking always do, from a friend’s mum. It said: “Be grateful for your boys. They will be adults before you know it and they won’t want to sleep with you. You should enjoy this time”. And I was like OK, I hope I’m never so unstable that when my sons are in their 20s I want them sleeping with me. But aside from that – CAN YOU NOT?

I know the first thing I’m going to be told is “people are just trying to be nice! They’re trying to comfort you”. Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to be charitable when you’ve had two hours sleep. Here’s the deal – trying to be helpful or not – it isn’t. It isn’t helpful. It’s condescending, patronising, and it’s actually (without being melodramatic but maybe a bit melodramatic) it’s dangerous.

Constantly telling parents – Be grateful! Be grateful! One day they won’t be shitting on you! And you’ll be like “omg, I long for the days when I was covered in sour milk and diarrhoea!” So – be grateful! You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL – leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel. It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a fucking monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.

I am so grateful for my kids. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. So I don’t need you to tell me to be grateful. I am. Guess what – I can be so grateful and so tired. I can be so grateful and so fucking over it. I can be so grateful and also imagine not having kids and just pashing and dancing and drinking bourbons till I puke.

These comments always come from people with grown kids. And I get it. Maybe? I mean when the boys are in their 20s I might be wishing they still lived with me and needed me 24-7. I mean, I kind of hope in my late 50s I’m acting like I was in my early 20s – boning their dad, drinking bourbons, going to gigs, spending all my money on band tee shirts and fast food. But I digress – I get it kind of. Your kids are grown, you miss them, you see parents at the beginning of their parenting journey and it makes you nostalgic. I get that there’s no malicious intent.

But just again – can you not. Because when I make a heavily sanitised comment about not sleeping and you make a comment about being grateful, it implies I’m not grateful. And in my sleep deprived state it makes me feel like an asshole.

And this might seem like an overreaction to a comment, but I (and other parents) get it All. The. Time. The other week I said: “Just as one little bogan falls asleep, another little bogan wakes up. They’re like a tag team” and I got one comment and three messages with the “one day you’ll miss it/be grateful” message. I get it about once a week. And the more I get it the more I feel like I can’t talk about the hard parts of parenting, or the things I’m struggling with. Because I don’t want to appear ungrateful for my awesome kids, even the one that hates sleeping. And you see how that’s a problem right? So, here are some things you can say instead of be grateful:

  • I don’t remember how hard it was never sleeping because I’m retired and I sleep until 10 now and I spend all day playing Candy Crush. SO I’m just going to shut the fuck up. (Might be too specific).
  • That sounds tough, want me to drop you over something with chocolate in it?
  • You don’t look tired at all. You look like a glam actress who only eats paleo stuff and drinks grass smoothies.
  • I heard kids who don’t sleep are smarter than kids who do.
  • Parenting is really hard sometimes. It’s ok to find it hard sometimes.

xB

Update: wow! I’m really overwhelmed by the response to this post. Thank you so much for all of your comments. I wish I could reply to every one – but I’m typing one handed because cluster bloody fucking feeding. But thank you – I feel less alone and I hope you do too. Also, I love the idea of #iamgrateful!

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1,161 Comments

  1. Darlene

     /  February 28, 2015

    I like you. You are so right. And I do NOT look back on those late night feelings and miss them. There is exactly one that I remember as being special. For no particular reason. But miss them? Hell no.

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    • Debra

       /  March 8, 2015

      My kids are in now 32 and 30. I remember one night so clearly with my first baby it was a WTF moment the terrifying realization that this was now my life! Getting up and feeding all hours worrying how I was going to protect them. I sort of bumbled my way through motherhood and everyone has remained in tact and sane. Just when you think the worst stage is past then their teenagers. Do i miss them now their grown and living good lives? Hell yeah.

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  2. YES YES YES! I witnessed a friend post a pretty nasty mom-shaming rant on instagram yesterday about how people shouldn’t complain about snow days and just “do YOUR JOB” because you “signed up for this” and I wanted to barf. Mom shaming is the worst. I totally agree with the “can you not” attitude. We all love our kids. We all have hard days. Its not a competition about who is better because they simply don’t complain.

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    • Miche

       /  March 4, 2015

      Ask her how long she’d work for a boss who shits his pants and expects her to change them without complaint, screams at her, hits her, throws stuff everywhere and won’t pick it up, won’t leave her alone for five seconds, and expects her to be on call 24/7 WITHOUT PAY.

      It may be “our job” and we may have “signed up for it” but sometimes the working conditions are shit (literally and figuratively) and it’s just as okay for us to complain about our “jobs” as it is for any wage or salary earner to complain about theirs.

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      • Thank you Miche! And thank you boganette! This post (and reply) are perfect. I used to be a boat captain pre-babies – sailing with 50 kids at armies doing outdoor ed in whatever weather came up – but let me tell you, one kid that is “yours” is epically harder. Everyday.

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  3. Your words are so valuable and important for exhausted/stressed/”fucking over it” parents to hear.
    Thank you. Your honesty is a fucking gift ❤

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  4. eunoiadigital

     /  February 28, 2015

    Great and important article – thank you!

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  5. Samantha

     /  February 28, 2015

    LOVE THIS! If you would be interested in being featured on Scary Mommy, please send me a message: samantha@scarymommy.com. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. I, for one, am deeply grateful that I won’t change diapers again…I don’t foresee EVER missing that!! And, I absolutely hated getting up at night so I am immensely grateful that I don’t need to do that and I absolutely will not miss that!
    There’s plenty of things our kids do that we don’t enjoy and we don’t NEED to enjoy! Anyone who’s talking about constant enjoyment or gratitude has clearly forgotten all the messy, tiresome, and plain annoying parts!
    So glad you wrote this wonderful, honest post and am totally behind you on this!!

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  7. Kimberly

     /  February 28, 2015

    my kids are all grown, ive lived through the poop, the crying, the puking, the drop kicks to the boobs, sucking the sexy right out of them… the insomnia (and not because I have insomnia.. my children gifted me with it for years…. luv them. I have to tell myself that…) it doesn’t really get better,.. even in the teen years they are still needy buggers.. like seriously, let me take my mom hat off for a day! an hour?? I have three biological children of my own, and was gifted with 4 steppies. I didn’t have to deal with their poop tho thank god.. puke yes. poop no. they were old enough. a few years ago my sister gifted me with a book (to which I have lent out so I cannot tell you the authors name) but it is called “I LOVE MY LITTLE A-HOLES”… I feel all you parents should read this. it is everything you are all talking about .. that I talked about when my kids were little.. all put together in a nice little book … you know.. because you have so much time to read. I know. at least buy it, flip thru it when junior is on the potty.. or napping. its funny. you all will appreciate it I feel. if anything maybe it will lul you into a decent little nap. bc sleeping for x amount of hours doesn’t exist when you are parents of small children. so… read it. have a nap. xo

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  8. Ha! So true. I always hated people saying that kind of sentimental wish wash to me as well. My children are 6 and 10, so I’m well and truly past the baby stage, but I don’t miss it. If you’re missing some past thing, then you’re not enjoying the present imo. I should just say though – I’m awake at 4am because I was squished between my husband and my 6 year old daughter…

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  9. Antonnia

     /  February 28, 2015

    My daughter slept well when she was little, for that I’m grateful. Around age 2, she started getting up nearly every night. In the night, it was all I could do to not scream her. It’s not that she deserved it or could understand why I was upset. Every day is hard for a parent. Now, she’s begging her teenage years and it’s no different for me. I’m grateful that she’s old enough to help around the house. I go crazy with her incessant talking and tendencies to argue EVERYTHING. Teens know it all right? I honestly never intended to have children, but I still take it in stride. I learned very early on that people’s opinions were something I wanted to shove down their throats. So, I learned to smile and nod. 😉

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  10. Andrea

     /  February 28, 2015

    Every word of this rings true to my life. Some people have already lived what we are going thru and somehow that makes them a pro at it. The way they remember their lives, they never had a meltdown or experienced anything other than bliss during parenting. We ALL know that to be bs! Great post!!!!!!!

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  11. Brenda, doula and yogi

     /  February 28, 2015

    Thanks for vindicating! Love the post! You look fantastic btw. Parenthood really agrees with you. 🙂

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  12. Laura

     /  February 28, 2015

    I’ve gotten the, “Be grateful…” comment as well. My rejoinder is usually, “Don’t worry, in twenty years, I’ll be grateful.” Based on how many people with grown kids use the be grateful comment, it’s probably even true.

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  13. Hallie

     /  February 28, 2015

    This is exactly what I am in the middle of right now. So…thank you!

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  14. mia Scotland

     /  February 28, 2015

    Having babies is hard. Beyond hard. Painful emotionally and physically. “Losing” them too quickly is also hard. There is no language or cultural understanding of this grief that is always there when your babies stop smiling as they run towards you. So we say dumb things to parents who still have that. I think I have actually said it, and I’m sorry. I try very hard not to.

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  15. fedupwithblamehelp

     /  February 28, 2015

    Well Said! In so many instances people are credited for “trying to be helpful” when really they are just telling someone who is expressing crisis emotions that they are wrong. And that is wrong. There is no real listening or understanding going on, just platitudes and implied wrongness which are themselves the real wrongness. So post those pics and thank you for posting this rant. I’m not a mom, my my crisis rants have other sources, but I have definitely encountered “helpful” people who don’t realize the damage their invalidating response can have, so thank you for saying it. The demand that someone in crisis should just reach out, just ask for help, is hurtful when the “help” looks like this. It’s not help, it’s blame. Again, thank you.

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  16. Ade

     /  February 28, 2015

    Haha! Perfect brilliance! It is SO refreshing when people are real about parenthood. Of course it has its loveły moments…..but it can be really tough, and I only have 1! Big hug. X x x

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  17. As the parent of three grown children, I would not presume to pee in your cheerios and take away anything negative from an endearing photo that clearly sums up parenting of wee ones. Anyone who doesn’t relate to the frustration of sleepless nights and dripping boobs is either memory challenged or lying. We all have been there, and while nostaligic for that sweet baby smell, no one is nostalgic for poopy diaper and vomit smell. Condescending comments such as the ones you got are not helpful to an exhausted parent. My best wishes to you and your babies!

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  18. The first couple years are such hard work. I wish somebody had told me beforehand. Great post.

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  19. Schroeder

     /  February 28, 2015

    Parenting is hard. If ANY parent says that they never think of their times of being free and single and wanting to spend a week without obligations – they’re lying. Everyone here knows that we love our kids – that is different from loving the care taking part. Flinging hummus diapers, defusing tantrums, cooking meals, no privacy to do anything, etc. – is not fun or rewarding. It’s as hard as hell and it can be lonely.

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  20. Every time we go on a road trip, we stop at Cracker Barrel because our kids love it.
    Every time we go to Cracker Barrel, someone does this to us.
    I want to reply, “I WAS enjoying it until you made me so freaking depressed about how the time flies.”

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  21. Love this. My kids are way older, but I JUST wrote a blog post about how damn hard it is having babies and little kids and how way easier it gets as they grow up. Overwhelmingly I heard from mums that they are sick of being told “enjoy this time! it just gets harder!” That is so crazy! And it really makes a mum of little ones feel like, “wait! this isn’t hard?” I think as our kids get older we must have the same amnesia about life with babies and toddlers that we we have about labour! Anyhow, nicely expressed and I like your suggestions of what people should say.
    PS This is my post if you are interested: http://www.sarahrosensweet.com/days-long-years-short/

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  22. thank you thank you thank you! You said it, sister! The Candy Crush thing had me in stiches. Absolutely brilliant. Ah those days of being up until 3 am because you were dancing your ass of & making out. What I would give to sleep in until 10 am!

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  23. Awesome post, I should send this to my retired neighbours who have made several comments on my parenting when I’m beyond exhausted and their curtains aren’t open before 10am!

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  24. Re-blogged (I think!) on Lizzyloveslipstick, I get this so much! we need to share all aspects of parenting and not just pretend we’re perfect! Awesome post! thanks xx

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  25. Reblogged this on lizzyloveslipstick and commented:
    This!! I’m so there & understand… we should be able to talk about the good the bad and the ugly! xxx

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  26. My kids are 17 and 24 and I am ever so glad that they sleep through the night and don’t play the fart or shit game with me. When they grow up, there are other things to love, appreciate and to be irritated by (OMG did he just destroy the tire on my car? That’s $200!). They don’t stop being awesome and sometimes tiring parts of our lives. Sometimes I think the be grateful crowd doesn’t like their adult children. None of them say- “Just wait until they grow up and you can appreciate their enlightening conversation!” etc. Don’t mourn the littles, peoole. Love the bigs!

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  27. I’m one of those older parents… I’m 50, with a nearly 25 and 19 year old. All I can say is the days are long and the years are short. I loved my babies but didn’t love every single minute of that stage… loved my pre-teens, but didn’t love every stage… oh, can we talk about the teenage stage… yeah… life is full of contrasts ain’t it. I had kids who never stopped talking… they were bright and funny, but every thought came out of their mouth all the time and I love quiet, so yeah, sometimes it was just too much. Having said that, I was then faced with the teenage one-word answer stage soon enough (just as annoying). I don’t look back with nostalgia… I’m SO happy that with all the crap I dealt with in my life (domestic abuse, chronic illness, nearly going blind, single-motherhood, and a list of other stuff) that they’ve grown up to be so amazingly well-adjusted, and loving human beings. And I enjoy their adult-ish minds. But I don’t miss the drama (oh please, don’t read that last sentence that I didn’t love them throughout their lives, I adored them). But, yes, raising children isn’t for the faint of heart and yes we lose ourselves and yes it’s draining (and it’s also a bunch of positive superlatives, too). I’m a better person for having been their mother. I’ve learned a shit load. But just like school… who the hell loves every class, every teacher? Oh, and there’s a reason grandparents whisper under their breath “I love spending time with my grandchildren, but thank goodness I get to give them back at the end of the day”… because they REMEMBER how fucking hard it is. Who’s kidding who? No, really?

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  28. Thanks for your honesty. I’ll try not to fuck my daughter off ( even more) by saying something like that . I am in my fifties and yes , it is like being in my 20s again but somehow better.

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  29. Oh my god, yes! Thank you. This is the post I needed back when I was in the fog of newborn + toddler and every time I expressed the *slightest* negative thought people leapt in to tell me how lucky I was and/or how quickly they would grow. They were right of course, it does pass quickly but it sure as hell doesn’t feel it at the time and it sure as hell doesn’t make comments like that helpful!
    So yes, thanks. Oh and it sounds like we have the same sort of plan for our fifities too 😉 Haha.

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  30. Brilliantly put! I don’t have kids but I think you rock! And you ‘re right! Bravo x

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  31. Look….just be grateful you have kids ok? JUST JOKING!!!!! I have toddlers 15 months apart and feel like I haven’t slept in 4 years. Loved your post so much and I tell myself everyday that I’m being taught to be grateful for any snatch of shut eye I get and will be blessed with lots more down the track 😊

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  32. Feel your pain but I hear what the ‘grateful’ grans are saying because my eldest has hit highschool and I”m thinking where the fuck did those years go. You just dont’ get it and that’s ok, that’s your journey and them telling you to be grateful is theirs. Dont take it personally. Sleep deprivation sucks dogs balls but in years to come when you think back on their baby days, you dont’ even remember their shit or vomit or bed hogging or any of that. I actually can’t recall one diaper change..ok maybe a couple of feral toxic ones that had me vomitting and thinking about the mum who gave me the advice “when it’s your baby’s shit you just don’t care’… I DID CARE.. a lot.. shit is shit and is horrid! Anyways, chin up …. hope both are sleeping through the night soon, if not there’s always phenergan 😉

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    • IrishMadre

       /  March 4, 2015

      Good point about how us moms with young kids just don’t get what it’s like to be a mom with older kids. I can completely understand how I will be nostalgic in few years for their little hands and hugs, But these comments about being grateful usually come when motherhood is at it’s hardest and somehow just make things harder. Enjoy your time with your older kids! And the sleep:)

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  33. Alison Tassell

     /  February 27, 2015

    OMG you go mumma completely hear you and well said, always wanted a child,i now have an amazing baby boy but hell i want my bed to myself and partner at night, you have your own great bed, for god sake sleep in it.!!

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  34. Great post. My first child slept so well, my second child did not. There is no third child. That is because the second child kept me awake and grumpy.

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  35. LiesaM

     /  February 27, 2015

    We had difficulties conceiving our daughter, our first, and when she was about 4 months old, she went through a 6 week sleep regression from hell, where she would wake every 45 minutes, around the clock. I thought I was going to die from lack of sleep. While crying to a girlfriend about it, she actually said, “this is what you said you wanted when you were trying to get pregnant. Remember?” I could have slapped her.

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    • Christina

       /  March 3, 2015

      Ha ha this sounds familiar! The ‘but you wanted kids so bad why are you complaining about them’ comment. Usually said by someone single and childless who is just ‘so crazy busy’ they ‘totally understand’ how tired you are… Um, no.

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      • I just have to say AMEN to your comment, Christina… loving this whole discussion (obviously, I’m a totally solo mother (not by choice) wasting my precious alone time reading this crap?!)) I had five miscarriages, that’s right, a whole fistful, then once I gave up and got a divorce I fell in love with a sociopath, whoops! but here is my gorgeous son. Not what I imagined, wrangling a baby, toddler, three year old, four year old… by myself by surprise, and frankly, not all that much fun when the ratio is 1:1. Guess what? People don’t exactly line up to help single moms after they give you that slightly frightened, very sympathetic look: “Wow, that sounds hard. I’m like a single mom, my husband works 80 hours a week at the law firm.” I get the grateful speech from everyone who hears about my miscarriages until I cut them off to tell them I have no time for adult conversation because I am late to pick up the little miracle. If one more person tells me I need to take time for myself without following up with the day and time they will be coming to pick up my son for the morning/afternoon/evening/weekend I just might start pelting them with all the random shit in the bottom of my mom-purse – broken crayons, two dried out clementines, large sequins from an art project, ancient band aids in dirty wrappers, a box of raisins, two matchbox cars, three dried-out markers, and a package of baby wipes.

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  36. And the constant “Make the most of these moments, time goes so quickly, they’ll be gone before you know it”.

    Thanks. Thanks so much for tainting so many special moments by making me dread something I would have never have thought of until your busy body self decided to piss on every else’s fireworks just because your kids left home and never call. Probably because you also were an insufferable, know-it-all, killjoy asshat to them as well.

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  37. Hahaha Sarah that’s an excellent idea!! Jess – some friend! How rude! I think “you look tired” is the most unnecessary and pointless thing you can say to a mum of young kids!

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  38. sarah Adcock

     /  February 27, 2015

    Hey you could say how about I recreate the past for you and drop my kids off to yours for the weekend 😉 Then they will most likely be grateful they only have them for the weekend!

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  39. I love all of this! it’s hard when you just want to complain to someone and for them to say “yep its hard and you’re doing awesome” rather than give you advice!
    also love: “You don’t look tired at all. You look like a glam actress who only eats paleo stuff and drinks grass smoothies.”
    I put a photo on face book of me and my 6 week old, obviously no make up on coz who has time to do that, and a friend commented that I look so tired and I should take care of myself!! what? I have a newborn if I had time to take care of myself ofcourse I would sleep more and make delicious health food I would! haha you just have no idea no until you’ve got your own kid huh.

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  40. Jim Walsh

     /  February 27, 2015

    Have two disabled kids out of three and the one who isn’t disabled is both spectacularly saintly and perplexingly strange from time to time. The strange one was the eldest and he was the dream kid. Slept through from early on, ate everything put in front of him, likes everyone, never complains, though when he does you know it needs careful attention. Other people struggle with his literal zen-ness and try to label it. He just a nice person. Leave him alone.

    The other two. Middle child had 50 hospital admissions under his belt by age 5 including lengthy stays on ICU and I would stay at night with him in hospital and go to work and my wife would look out for him during the day. We had months where we had no adult interaction with each other, would go two or three weeks without meaningful sleep and I’d I’d keep going to work until I’d get hospitalised with pneumonia or wake up in an ambulance after collapsing from exhaustion. Middle child has the worst asthma ever seen by any of the paediatricians we deal with and we’ve only kept him alive because my with is a paediatric nurse with more than 20 years experience and magic foo when it comes to get people breathing again with none of the tools of the trade to hand. He now has a neurological disorder that presents as sever Tourettes which spans from minor (but crushingly hurtful) vocal tics to being afflicted so badly that he can’t walk or talk and may spend hours drumming his heels on the floor and screaming inarticulately. The neuro disorder is a direct result of constant strep infections caught from being IN hospital. He’s a bright cookie too, but everyone treats him like he lost 100 IQ points when he can’t talk.

    Youngest is Down Syndrome and ridiculously healthy but all the developmental milestones you take for granted take forever to happen, if they do at all. He dances and has won awards, been in big shows and is the most social animal ever. He is incredibly high functioning, but he has all the standard intellectual and physical issues you would imagine. His speech still isn;t really intelligible to anyone except his immediate family. He’s 9 and not night time continent. So we’re still being woken for middle of the night help.

    We had all the issues you talk about and people STILL give us the “it will get better speech”. It won’t. We got VERY little help from family members with all the dramas we had, and still have, EXCEPT for the glorious, “treasure your kids, they won’t be there one day” speech. THis is the first article I’ve read that’s made me thankful for something. I’m male. I don’t have boobs to be jumped on. I have however received more than one 2am wake up call via a small knee in the genitalia.

    All of what I’ve written is MY stuff though. EVERYONE’S problems feel like insurmountable mountains ESPECIALLY the child generated desperation of never feeling rested, never being on top of anything, always covered in some sort of effluvium. Complaining to a trusted, loved family member should be part of the parental rite of passage and those family members should just nod, and say, “I know, how do you have your coffee again?”

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    • Thank you so much for commenting Jim. My oldest had three surgeries before he was two to try and get him breathing well. So I know a little bit of what you’re going through (seriously, how tough is all night in hospital and then working the next day? I felt like it was killing me!) I’m sorry this post struck a chord but also happy too – coz, I hope you know you’re not alone, and your suggestion of “how do you have your coffee again” is the best of ALL of the suggestions! Just someone shutting up, listening, making you coffee – it means the world. Thanks for sharing Jim. I hope the next kick in the balls you get at 3am isn’t too bad 😉

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    • Jim, you sound like the most amazing dad. May your family go from strength to strength. To all the moms of young kids: mine are grown. I will never ever forget the torture of lack of sleep as long as I live. It is very good to vent, so vent!

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      • Jim Walsh

         /  March 4, 2015

        Thank you for the thought, but no, I’m not. I just a normal person making as many horrible parenting mistakes as I can. In fact, I suspect I am actually pretty bloody awful to be honest.

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    • Andrew Wakeling

       /  March 6, 2015

      @Jim Walsh, re “Complaining to a trusted, loved family member should be part of the parental rite of passage and those family members should just nod, and say, “I know, how do you have your coffee again?””

      So how do ‘we’ explore how we might be able to help, other than making the coffee? Your load sounds huge. ‘Making the coffee’ is so small. It sounds like you might be saying a response like “How can I help?” Is insensitive(?). Empathy may be very good. But ‘doing something useful to help’ must be better? Surely those of us trying to help must try to do both?

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      • Miche

         /  March 7, 2015

        “Making the coffee” might sound small but it can be the small things that make the biggest difference.

        Make the coffee. Please. Let us vent.

        Ask how you can help _and then follow through_ when you’re told. The help needed might just be a hug, but it might also be the vacuuming.

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      • Jim Walsh

         /  March 7, 2015

        There are whole systems of Government based on simply validating people’s daily struggles. 99% of people are actually managing everything OK. It just feels really hard sometimes and someone acknowledging the daily struggle is a real “thing” that affects everyone differently, but is inherently the same “thing”, is enough validation to keep going for most. Giving someone an hour of your time to vent is utterly invaluable.

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  41. I really don’t get this, I really don’t. I love the hell out of my kid. Love. Him. Am fascinated by him. Think he’s awesome and amazing and smart and cute.

    I also would like some time alone with my wife and I would like him to stop the incessant babbling about Minecraft… The two aren’t mutually exclusive…

    People like that are not helpful at all.

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    • kim

       /  March 5, 2015

      Omg you child is obsessed with the mine craft too I’m beyond tired of the babble about it and the videos

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    • Sarah

       /  March 5, 2015

      Minecraft and Stampy…… I would happily slaughter Stampy and his oh so annoying voicebox!

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  42. I love this. People complain about their jobs all the time and no one is like “well, be grateful you HAVE a job.” So why can’t parents complain about parenting? I’m in a constant struggle with parenting to the best of my ability, loving the crap out of my kids, yet just every now and then doing something for ME and about ME because my whole life has been consumed by my family. I’m a distant memory somewhere under a heap of diapers and legos and laundry. Would I like it any other way? Probably not. But god forbid I actually express my feelings without being told to be grateful. Ugh.

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  43. peopledonteatenoughfudge

     /  February 27, 2015

    Oh god, the pressure of trying not to be a turd when I do it so well … I miss many things about my children being small, co-sleeping ISN’T one of them. It must be really hard work being one of those eternally grateful parents …

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  44. kara

     /  February 27, 2015

    omg it’s like u dove into my mind and wrote everything I was thinking!!! very very well said! couldn’t agree more thank you for being so open and honest. awesome mums like you make me relise we r not alone in the trenches!!

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  45. Rosebud

     /  February 26, 2015

    Yeap i definately hear you! And very much ditto to all you said, nicely put. I will Always be grateful for my two boys, but it is damn hard to be a mum to two, under two, in your forties. Throw in an earthquake that wreaks half your city (along with the 10,000 or so aftershocks) and sleep really is a memory. 4.5 years on and things have certainly improved, in all areas. Yes you do crazily and weirdly miss SOME of those times in the middle of the night with baby 2 and toddler one, but then there is even more good stuff happening now. Glad to be where i am now and not back four years during the struggle time. Chocolate is always good!

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    • Hmmmm – wordpress won’t let me comment in reply to comments…sooo, I’ll do one comment in response to comments (does that make sense? I’m LOL sleep deprived).

      That does sound really tough Rosebud! You’re so right, I’m absolutely sure there will be times when I miss snuggles from my boys, but I reckon I’ll miss the snuggles and not the tit kicking! Glad you’ve got so much good stuff going on now 🙂

      Awww shucks, thanks so much for your comment Lillith. And I hear you on the terrifying mama bear thing. Never cross a mum!

      That’s the thing – it’s selective isn’t it Magda? They’re only thinking about the good and not the bad. And that makes sense, but seriously how do they not recognise that? That they’ve sugar coated parenting and not every day was sunshine and bloody roses! Never apologise for a rant – that’s what this place is for. And thank you! X

      Anthea – Thank you! We need more honesty. But also, not to be punished for that honesty!

      Tegan, I struggled to get my oldest child. Three surgeries and a long road thinking I wouldn’t ever be able to conceive. That’s why I also really hate these grateful comments. Like you, I really didn’t fall into parenting, I ran toward it, totally desperate for it. So don’t lecture me about being grateful FFS! Anyway, I fucking love your advice. Totally going to say that haha!

      Yep that’s it Lena – and trenches is so the right word! Because shit – getting them to sleep does feel like a war!

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    • Sarah

       /  March 5, 2015

      OMG… I need to meet you LOL! I remember feeding my child at 3am (he was 2 months old when the first one hit) and the aftershocks just kept coming and getting bigger and bigger! F*uck this shit didn’t even cover it!!! Well done us for getting thru two very hard things at once!!!!! And yes I am grateful for my children and a still standing house!!! 🙂

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  46. Lillith

     /  February 26, 2015

    OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!! This. Is. The. One. The ONE article that makes me want to sing the halleigh effing luyah chorus and then cry because every word is true. Even now 18 years later, apart from the co sleeping thing (I still get an occasional tit knock – because both kids are bigger than me and clumsy) it’s still true, yadda yadda I get it, but when my 18 year old asks me, “how do I put out the rubbish”….I want to lose my shit. Parenting is only occasionally fun, very very veeeerrryyyy occasionally. Ok. (But if you hurt my child, whom I would set myself on fire for – if needed, even one tiny incee wincee bit, I WILL destroy you)

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Melisa

       /  March 5, 2015

      Your kid asks how to take the garbage out?? Mine just stuff banana peels in couch cushions and dump everything else down the garbage disposal. (PS. We dont own a garbage disposal) 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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      • Heather

         /  March 5, 2015

        Omg I love it this made me laugh historically. The sad thing is it sounds like my husband not my child.

        Liked by 1 person

  47. antheaw

     /  February 26, 2015

    Fuck yes. When people gloss over all the hard stuff it’s like the world is playing one big trick to get us to procreate.
    I so appreciate your honesty about your kids because it’s REAL and I never ever for a second doubt that you love them and are glad to have them. Would you clean shit out of showers (and well, everywhere else) for anything less?
    Some people parrot from a script though and I think many of those “you’ll miss this stage when they’re older” bleaters are just saying what they have heard or been told. Thanks for putting the word out that shit ain’t cool. X

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  48. Magda

     /  February 26, 2015

    They may think they’re being nice or comforting but they’re actually being inconsiderate, unthinking arseholes. Maybe they are projecting their problems on to your situation, maybe they do miss their grown up kids but holy shit. Where is their empathy? Also what’s happened to their memory?! They might be nostalgic for those baby times but I bet they’re not nostalgic for the ‘no sleep since 2 days ago-he’s got an ear infection-she’s demanding attention-someone needs to cook dinner-I don’t even have time to frickin pee’ times. I’m a parent of grown up children and I’m certainly not!
    Ok ok I might get all misty-eyed over their baby photos but I love having grown up kids I can hang with – they’re both wonderful humans, I love them to bits. Yes I miss them being so far from home but no, I don’t want those baby times back.
    Oops, sorry I had a bit of a rant myself. 😊
    Keep being awesome, I think you’re a great mum. xx

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  49. So much yes to this! I know I’m damn lucky to be able to conceive and give birth to a healthy child but sometimes it’s really fucking hard. Maybe next time you see a retiree with grown children complaining about something comment saying ‘you have all of this free time and one day you’ll be dead so stop complaining and be grateful.’ I usually find that putting their well meaning advice back on them makes them think about what they are saying.

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  50. I didn’t sleep, and I’m clearly I’m a genius now ha ha ha. Being a parent sounds v.hard, and whilst you prob will look back wistfully when they’re older, what good is saying that when you’re in the trenches of it now? I would think any normal person would know parents are sometimes (maybe often) like fuck this shit.

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    • Mel

       /  March 4, 2015

      Ahahaha my husband said to me just the other day “have you noticed you say fuck this shit more now we have a baby?” Hahaha!

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      • T Hopkins

         /  March 6, 2015

        Never cursed until I had kids. Now I make sailors sound like angels.

        Like

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