This blog entry may seem mean-spirited to some, so read at your own risk. It's not my intent to minimize other people's difficulties, just to point out that a little perspective is sometimes a good thing. Also, to be honest, it's my turn to whine. I know that the things I've been through are trivial compared with at least 2/3 of the rest of the world (and probably more than that). But, I'm sick of listening to other people complain. I hear the same things over and over. It's my turn. 😛
The complaint: “After my C-section/appendectomy/hangnail removal, I was in SO MUCH PAIN and the evil nurses wanted me to get up and walk around!!!111one!!1one”
My response: I had to have a tumor (benign) removed once. It hurt. When someone cuts you open and rips something out of you, it hurts. The reason the nurses want you to get up and walk around is because studies and observation have shown that if you start walking around sooner, you will feel better sooner. So, lay around and whine if you want. You're just prolonging your agony. My dad was up and walking around within 12 hours of having open heart surgery (triple bypass). He never one time complained about the pain. We had to hound him in order to get him to even admit he was in pain because he was afraid of getting addicted to painkillers. You could see it in his face, but he wouldn't admit it. In other words, “Cry more, noob.”
The complaint: “I catch every single bug my kid(s) bring(s) home from daycare! I constantly have a cold!”
My response: I always just want to say, “And So?” Ask my sister about that. She went through it 4 times. Yes, it happens again with the second kid. And the third. Etc. Sometimes the older kid catches it too, and you have to deal with 2 or 3 sick kids while being sick yourself. Have you ever talked to an elementary school teacher? Enough said. I'm not saying it's easy, just that it's temporary and survivable and it happens to everyone. Mostly, I'm saying that it happens to everyone.
The complaint: “I don't know how to balance working full time with taking care of my kid(s)!”
My response: This one I can actually sympathize with. When my daughter was in child care, her father was in the army, stationed in Korea. She was my only kid, but I was all alone. AND working 50-60 hours a week, AND going to college. Other factors that I don't wish to discuss also contributed to my stress levels. In all honesty, it just about killed me. I do think, however, that at least some of the stress these people are going through is self-inflicted. We make choices every day. You cannot have both your family and your career as THE priority when your kids are little. You have to choose one. If both parents are working 70-80 hours a week, noone is going to have enough energy to deal with the normal.
The complaint: “Childcare/private school is so expensive. Our investment advisor says we should be investing x amount of money but we can't afford it!”
My response: There are so many people in the world who would gladly beat the crap out of you for complaining about that. When my daughter was in childcare, the cost of her preschool was more than my rent every month. I couldn't afford a car. Note, I DO NOT mean, “I couldn't afford a car nice enough so I wouldn't be embarassed to take my coworkers out to lunch in it.” I had to make choices. College tuition or car payment? Electricity or car insurance? — stuff like that. I only bought textbooks every other semester because it took that long to pay off the “emergency” loan I inevitably had to take out in order to buy textbooks. I guess it goes without saying that I didn't have an investment advisor, but if I did, I wouldn't have been able to afford to meet with her, much less follow her recommendations.