I just knew she was going to come up and say something to me. Most people were. I suppose an about-to-pop pregnant lady at a destination wedding sort of sticks out.
“Hi there,” she said. “I just wanted to tell you that you look great, and don’t worry – being a parent isn’t as hard as everyone says it is.”
I chewed on that for a moment. Clearly, she mistakenly thought this was my first. But that wasn’t what gave me pause.
“Being a parent isn’t as hard as everyone says it is.”
Yikes. It isn’t?
This woman is about my age and had her 6-week-old son with her at the wedding. I guess he must be a great sleeper. I guess he never had “fussy time” at that age like Monster did.
Or maybe she just wears parenting better than me.
Or maybe … she’s just a bright-eyed newbie without a clue.
Moments after her shocking comment, I walked inside for the mother-son dance. My sister-in-law watched as tears poured from her eyes.
“One day, I’ll have to do that,” she said, clearly thinking of her three beautiful boys. “I’ll be dancing with one of my sons and I’ll have to let them go and live their life.”
Much, much later that night, I tiptoed into my sister’s room where my 2-year-old nephew was screaming uncontrollably. My sister was kneeling beside the bed, begging to know what would calm him.
She looked at me with pleading eyes. “I just … I just don’t know what to do!”
I scooped him up in my arms to give her a break and watched through the window as my husband was trying to soothe our own screaming toddler, who earlier that day was diagnosed with an ear infection.
The wedding girl’s words echoed in my mind. “It isn’t as hard as everyone says it is.”
Well, newbie, if you find parenting easy, congratulations. I’m only a few years in and I can’t tell my right hand from my left most days, much less be on point with organic vs. nonorganic, cloth vs. disposable, breast milk vs. formula, cry it out or attachment parenting, etc.
Parenting is a balancing act. Some days, the scale tips in favor of long naps and happy babies. Some days, the scale crashes and burns an inferno that is all-consuming and leaves you a tattered mommy.
Maybe wedding girl was having a great day when she made that comment. Or a great six weeks. Maybe she’ll go her entire life without feeling parenting is difficult because she has figured out how to maintain a good balance.
And those of us who haven’t done so secretly hate her. That’s our right as parents. We can secretly loathe the mommies and daddies who have it together, who have endless patience and who think this parenting thing “isn’t so hard.”
Had someone told me, “See? Isn’t parenting easy?” when I first had Monster, I think I would have crumpled into a tearful pile of overwhelmed-Mommy-mush.
At the wedding, I simply smiled and told her I also had a toddler at home, and I love being a mommy.
I think parenting is hard. But brushing off ridiculous comments that make me question my capabilities? That’s easy.