Don’t Call Moms Martyrs Just Because They Complain Like Everyone Else
I’ve never met a person who doesn’t complain a little and I probably never will, unless I run into the Buddha himself. People complain about their jobs, their weight, their neighbors, the crappy selection of produce at Pathmark, the weather, their boss, their slow Internet connections, their lukewarm coffee, their crappy service at lunch… I could do this all day. Everyone complains. For some reason, when moms do it – it’s the most annoying thing in the world. I refuse to be labeled a “martyr” because I bitch about parenting occasionally. I reject your label.
I think the problem is, the stuff we complain about is pretty banal. Staying home and caring for kids isn’t the most exciting thing in the world; I’ll give you that. Sorry complaining about my boring existence makes me unbearable – but we all do it.
If you ask me how I slept last night, the honest answer is “Not great. My toddler woke up twice and my infant wanted to breastfeed all night because she’s teething.” But I guess I should just say, “Fantastic!”
If you ask me what I thought of the Oscar Movies, the honest answer would be, “I only saw Despicable Me 2. Oh and Gravity because my husband and I were able to go on ONE movie date last year.” I guess I should just say, “Haven’t seen them all, but plan on it!”
Being a mom – especially one that works from home can be really isolating. If I had to put on a happy face every time I talked to my friends, I don’t think I could make it. I need to tell them how hard my life has become for me occasionally. I understand being annoyed by moms who bitch about something like their kid’s disrupted nap on Facebook – that is totally stupid. But validating the narrative that moms are always complaining is just as stupid. I don’t think we’re more guilty of it than anyone else – I just think our problems are more likely to be seen as “no big deal.”
Frankly, there’s a line being drawn in the sand – and it’s not by moms. It’s by people who insist that we need to shut up about the trials of our lives. I’m sure I could go to the Facebook page of any one of the regular commenters of a site like GOMI or STFU Parents (sites that I love, by the way) and they would be full of complaints too. It’s a human condition. Not a mom one.
Basically what I’m saying is – get off our backs. If you have a friend who you think complains too much – maybe you shouldn’t be friends anymore. Because I know when my “friends” vent about their lives, I like to offer a glass of wine – not roll my eyes.