When I wrote a post about my husband's upcoming deployment I had quite a few responses. The ones that stood out to me the most were the ones from fellow moms who spoke out of guilt. It sounded something like this:
"I complain about my husband being gone one night or one weekend. I can't imagine what six months would look like," said with an apologetic tone.
So it got me thinking about this subject of guilt and judgement. I've talked about this before and obviously it's something I am supposed to be learning right now. So since you are reading my blog, you are forced to as well. You're welcome!
Here's the thing I am learning, our struggles are all relative to where we are at in our lives.
Whether it's about your weight, parenting, your marriage...whatever...it's all relative.
I am battling with what I will do when my husband is gone for six months. But that does not in any way make your battle with your husband being gone a weekend any smaller. It's all relative to our situation.
This is my journey. These are my stories. You have different ones. And that's ok.
It's ok that I am a size 8 and struggling with my weight and you are a size 12 and struggling with yours. Because it's all relative to where we are at in our lives. I wrote "Stop Telling Me I'm Not Fat" out of this same mind set. I almost didn't because, what if people with really bad weight problems get their feelings hurt?! (And they did, sorry!) But I let that go. Just because we vary in sizes doesn't mean that one struggle is worse than the other. A struggle is a struggle. Right? (Serious health issues, aside, obviously! I'm talking about "I don't like my butt" weight issues, here.)
It's ok that I am parenting the way I do and you are parenting the way you do. We are not the same people. My struggles and yours in our parenting are all relative to the kinds of kids we have and our family dynamics. I am not right. You are not wrong.
We react based out of that fear.
"Oh, she deals with her husband deploying for months at a time, I better not complain about my husband working late."
"Oh well she has 30 pounds to lose and I only have 10 so I better not mention my weight issues."
"Oh she has perfect angel children, if I tell her the truth about my wild maniacs she will think I am a terrible parent." (This is usually what I am thinking.)
Stop that! If it's hard on you, then that's ok! Talk about it! Don't hold it in in fear of judgement from someone going through something harder or different. We all go through different things at different times. Why do we allow ourselves to feel badly for where we are at in our lives?
Sure, some people have it worse off than us. And it is good to stop and be grateful. I am not suggesting that we be rude and say, "Oh yeah, look at what I am going through!" I am simply suggesting that when someone presents their struggle to you, you respond with the understanding that they are in a different place than you. They live a different life. Don't compare them to yourself. Don't compare yourself to them. We all handle things differently.
Let's work on this, ok? Let's support each other with what we are struggling with without harsh judgement. Let's agree to disagree on various subjects and realize that we are all in this together. Let's support one another and realize that it's all relative. I'm not right. You are not wrong. And vice-versa. I am struggling with something that seems so, so big to me...and so are you!
I hope my rambled thoughts make sense to you.
The bottom line, I don't want anyone to feel like their problems and feelings are insignificant.
No matter how big or how small. It counts. It matters. Give yourself a break. Because I sure am!