By Fredrica Syren:
One day I was talking to the mom of one of my kids’ friends, and she asked me how things were going. I responded that we’re trying to return to routines now that school has started, and that it’s been a struggle. She then told me that it’s much harder for her because she has two older kids, and that they needed a lot compared to my three kids because my two youngest are still so small. I was baffled and honestly didn’t know how to respond, so I just agreed. However, that night I realized her comment really bothered me, and I have to admit I hate that it does.
The truth is I really don’t know how much work it is to have an 8-year-old and a 11-year-old. I can only imagine that it is tons of work to help with two sets of homework; and to drive two kids to lots of play dates, friends and activities. I really don’t know how much work it is because my kids are 8, 4 and 2. This mom, on the other hand, does not know how much work two small boys are along with an older child who needs help with homework, has play dates, and needs to be driven to activities. I do most of these things along with cooking, cleaning, laundry and running a business on my own since Dad works a very demanding job. And because I have two little boys to care for full time, I have to work once they are in bed at night. Last week, I went to bed at midnight every night because of it. Of course, she does not know all that.
So why does her comment bother me? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that I’m tired right now or that I need some acknowledgment of my hard work. Or maybe it’s just that she is right that her life is harder than mine and that she works harder. Or maybe I just totally love my life to the fullest, with the craziness, the hard work and chaos. I totally love my life and work and would never trade it for a million, and that’s what makes the difference. Truth be told, you never know what someone else’s life is like unless you take a walk in their shoes.