Monday, March 18, 2013
Okay so here's the thing, why do people with children think people WITHOUT children want to do the mundane things with their children that they have to do?
And I mean NO offense to people with children. This is solely directed at my best friend, but I've seen it a number of times from different people I know.
So last night, my best friend of 25 years invited me to dinner at her house. She has two adorable boys, a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old. She also has an 11 week old puppy (a St. Bernard no less) - so needless to say, her hands are full. Anyway, so we have dinner at which her 2.5 year old proceeds to have a meltdown because there's no watermelon in the fruit salad. Like him, I wanted to have a meltdown too - I really like water melon. But I held it in thankfully (though sometimes I do wish I could express my emotions the same way a child does - it seems so much easier and straightforward). Now, this is totally cool - kid can have a meltdown all he wants - he's 2.5. They do that. But my sensitive non-child rearing ears were ringing so I had to step outside to 'enjoy the view' while they got him under control. This annoyed her and she told me in an offhanded way that if I wanted to have children I'd have to get used to it. My point is that I don't have children right now, so no, I don't have to get used to it.
So then after dinner she says 'come and bathe them with me! it'll be fun!'. And this is where I didn't stand up to her because it would seem extremely rude (at least to her). Don't get me wrong, I love these kids, they are my best friend's kids! I'm their 'auntie'! But that's the thing - they are my friend's kids! They're not mine - so when I decide I don't want to bathe your kids, don't be offended. The thing is, I know her and she would be instantly offended if I said 'no thanks'.
I am a 36 year-old single woman with no man in site who desperately would like to get married and have a family and hears the biological clock ticking in her ear constantly. My best friend knows this and thinks she's HELPING by asking me to come along and help her bathe her children. Quite honestly, the last thing I want to do is try to keep a slippery one year old from falling in the tub and watching the 2.5 year old dog-pile on him because he loves him so much.
I never know what to say to her that won't set her off! She's so sensitive and to her eyes, she's helping me 'experience what it's like to be a mother'. And while I understand the sentiment, I'm not all that interested. When and if I have a kid, I'll be able to experience what it's like then. And as you mothers know (and I've been told) - your love for your children creates an abundance of patience and understanding. But when you're one step removed, maybe not so patient or understanding. A naked 2.5 year old standing in a tub yelling 'I DON'T WANNA GET OUT OF THE TUB' is not my idea of fun and since I don't have children and he's not mine, I don't want really want to be doing it. I'm thoroughly convinced they made babies and puppies adorable because otherwise they'd be left on doorsteps constantly.
I don't have the patience - I know this about me. But I also feel, I don't need to have the patience. Yet. If/when I have children, then it's my responsibility and then I need to have the patience. So how do I tell my best friend that while I love her children, it's not my idea of fun to change their diapers or try to get them to go to sleep? She acts as if I've never taken care of babies and need or want to 'learn'. Now that she's the expert mom, she seems to have forgotten that I've done it. Plenty of times. In fact, before she had her own, I had changed hundreds of diapers more than she had, had more than a single girl's fair share of baby puke and tried to calm a shrieking child down dozens of times. Granted, I was being paid for it. So I'd just like to point out - she was not offering to pay me to help bathe her children. :)
Does all this sound harsh? I'm just hacking this out in my head. Part of my journey to get healthy is to think about the things that bother me, be really honest with myself about my thoughts and feelings, deal with them better, journal them, plan better ways to handle them.
So I guess this was just a venting really but I'm considering it part of my journey.