This thing came up online a couple of days ago and it’s been gnawing at me ever since.
So, my friend Katie – do y’all know Katie? Because you should, she’s awesome – she had a baby recently. And then her husband went out of town for a week and she was on her own with the baby for a week. And she wrote a post about how difficult it was.
And then a whole bunch of commenters showed up and basically blasted her for not having a clue how difficult it is to really be a single parent. They said she was a spoiled brat and a rich lazy housewife with an easy little life (none of which are things that are true if you know anything about Katie, but I digress).
Here’s the thing: I’m a single parent, and I read the article and found absolutely nothing offensive about it. But it’s another example of something that seems to be a very common phenomenon online, particularly among the parenting blogs, and it drives me bonkers. Here’s the thing, y’all: IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.
Is life generally harder for me as a single parent compared to other moms with spouses? I don’t know. Probably, I guess.
Some of my married friends have husbands who are useless pieces of crap (sorry, truth) who do absolutely nothing to help out with the kids and who basically function as an extra (very large) child that they have to clean up after and take care of. I imagine their lives are probably WAY more frustrating than mine.
(Note: I’m not saying that’s true of all of my married friends. I know plenty of awesome husbands/dads too.)
Some of my single parent friends don’t have the support system around them that I’m very lucky to have. I imagine that’s got to be really hard too.
So Katie had a rough week. Why jump on her case for it? Taking care of a 4 month-old is HARD. I would so much rather deal with my toddler and 5 year-old together than one tiny newborn. (Another reason I’m definitely done having kids – I mean, besides the whole divorce thing – is that I’m pretty sure I would never survive another newborn baby. I love my kids to the moon and back, but I am SO GLAD to be past that stage.) She didn’t claim that she was a “single parent” because she took care of the baby by herself for a week, just that she could sympathize with single parents because she had a taste of what it’s like to do it on your own, and she saw how hard it is. Can someone tell me what’s offensive about that? Because I just don’t see it.
I don’t sit around thinking about who has it easier and who has it harder than me. Because it’s none of my business. And I prefer to just go ahead and live my life rather than thinking about what everybody else is doing.
And I think that if you DO sit around thinking about other people’s lives that much, maybe it’s time to turn off your computer and go find yourself a nice hobby. (I hear knitting can be very relaxing. Or maybe go pet a horse.) Because life is too short to sit around feeling all “woe is me” all the time. There’s no medal for winning the Adversity Olympics.