Friday, February 14, 2014

A Note to the Older Folks

Yesterday, I had an altercation with an older relative on my Facebook page. This person, though I know means well, has consistently made comments on my pictures and status updates that were anything but helpful, and if anything, were condescending and hurtful. I'm not going to go into specifics on the things she said, but I do have a few things I'd like to say...perhaps a "note" to the older generation who have children who are grown and out of the house or are about the fly the coop.

Right now I am smack dab in the middle of the toddler years. I have an almost six year old, a four year old, and a two year old. All three of them are very different from each other but are loved just the same. We have good days and we have bad days - everyone does. There are times when I miss my children so much I can't breathe and they've only been at school for an hour, and other days I cannot wait until bedtime just so I can get some peace.

I guess what I'd like to say to those who no longer have children at home, please, think back, really hard, to what it was like when your children were small. You may have had one child, the easiest child to care for, or you may have had ten children. I can guarantee there were days when you felt like you barely had your head above water. Right now, I'm there. In a world where social media is the "thing" to do, I take advantage and reach out for support to all of my friends and family. When it's clear that I'm struggling, making judgmental comments like, "a mother doesn't ____ " is anything but supportive. When I say I am ready for a break, saying, "cherish these moments for they grow up quickly," is anything but helpful. In fact, it does the opposite - it makes me feel like my feelings of being overwhelmed are not only irrelevant, but they are wrong. I am fully aware that these years are flying by; yesterday I gave birth to my first child and next month he turns six.

So, Older Generation, please be considerate. I know you have been there, I know that you've seen it all, I know that you have the best advice in the world...but unless you can be empathetic and supportive, please do me a favor and keep it to yourself.