Just a Casual Reminder That You Don’t Have to Be Grateful

I’ve only really started meeting moms in real life, but I’m lucky to have a lot of online friends who have kids, and they’ve been unbelievably helpful in figuring out this whole parenthood thing.

The other day, I was talking to Nancy, one of my internet pals, and she said something that really struck me.

“I’m guessing that because Baboo was hard won, so to speak, there’s a lot of that ‘I should be grateful so I shouldn’t complain’ stuff happening,” she said. “Fuck that.”

This was life-changing insight. Before she said it, I didn’t even realize that I was feeling bad about struggling. Because the thing is, I am so unbelievably grateful for Baboo. Not only did I want a baby, but I didn’t even know how much I’d love (and like!) my actual baby. She is hilarious and awesome and I feel like I’d hang out with her anyway, even if I weren’t her mom.

But being a parent is exhausting. We hear that so much that it feels less important than it is. Like, the sky is blue, being a parent is exhausting, that’s just the way it is, so why even talk about it? But there’s a difference between knowing that you’re going to be tired and slogging through a week of nights with a teething baby and then getting up to try to string words together the next day.

The worst part is that it’s crazy boring to listen to complaining, even in your own head. So on the one hand, you’re like, “I’m going to lose my mind if I don’t get some sleep/a minute to myself/figure out how to exercise once in a while.” And then on the other hand, you’re like, “Ugh, shut up, me. This is all you ever talk about anymore. Don’t you have any hobbies?”

I do have hobbies, but they’re all baby related. I enjoy working … to pay for the baby, and writing … about the baby and to pay for the baby, and performing basic maintenance activities … to stay alive for the baby. Sometimes I fit in a little obsessing over the news … because of the world we’re leaving to the baby.

Once we get a sitter, I’m going to go to the gym and/or have like three glasses of wine with a friend who doesn’t care at all about children. And thanks to the conversation I had with one of my mom friends, I won’t feel guilty about it.

affection appreciation decoration design
I am. I am grateful. (Through clenched teeth.) Grateful. GRATEFUL.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

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