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Somewhere between being a toddler and being an adult-we learn to stop whining. It becomes socially unacceptable to whine, throw tantrums, and have emotional outbursts. We learn that no one wants to hear about how miserable WE are or about how awful our day has been. We forget how good it felt to just let all that emotion out. We forget the relief of being heard. Whining can be extremely therapeutic. If you have a particularly close friend who you can exchange the favor with or an amazingly tolerant husband who would be willing to allow you a moment to just whine, I suggest you take a moment to do so. If these options are not available quietly journaling or blogging your whine may be just as helpful. These last two routes are much less fun and I'm not sure why, but having someone else hear the whine is the most effective way to relief. (Going to a wide open space and just screaming can help too...not that I've ever done that)
So bear with me a moment as I whine...it'll just take a moment and then I'll feel much better. And maybe you'll feel better too because you helped me by listening. Or maybe your feel better because your smugly aware of how much better a person you are than me- because you don't whine.
Sometimes I am very whinny about the expectations thrust on us by the culture of motherhood. (Not Mother Culture because that's actually helpful. The culture of motherhood as in- the shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize what makes a good mother). No other undertaking in the world demands so much of your time, energy, emotion, and commitment than being a mother and yet still expects us to do it with no complaints. Unlike most careers where you can complain at the water cooler about the boss, complaining about any aspect of motherhood is like the elephant in the room. The negative stuff is something everyone knows about and surely experiences but no one talks about. It's a dirty, tiring, demanding job literally changing the diapers of our future- and yet we are expected to bear it all with a cheery smile.
Like this poor woman.....
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Please don't get me wrong...I'm not trying to make out like motherhood is bad. It's wonderful! Motherhood is the single most amazing thing you can do with your life. It's incredibly rewarding and completely worth all the stuff you have to deal with along the way. I'm just saying it completely bugs me when you tell people (that are not your husband or best friend) how something having to do with your job as a mother annoys you or is challenging in some way. They look at you like you've just said a curse word.
We all have hard days as mothers. Our perspective is off a little because of chaotic emotions. Sometimes we are just too exhausted to think anymore. Stress, lack of sleep, a challenging child, being thrown up on, pooped on, and told you don't know anything at ALL by a teen would ruin anyone's day. So give us mom's a break will ya!
Let us whine a bit and just listen.
Let us bemoan our lot in life without recommending a good parenting book.
Give us a sympathetic look, Maybe a hug even (those are nice).
Don't tell us how much harder you had it, because this is not about YOU!
Don't tell us much better your children are than ours (because frankly WE DON'T CARE)
Please refrain from giving us a good kick in the pants and offer instead a soft place to land.
We just want a moment to be human. While those little people around us cry, and yell, and tantrum. We remain calm and in control. While the problems of the world come at our families from all sides, we fight a valiant fight. We put on a brave face and we do our job, when a lesser man (well men in general) would have given up. Give us a brief moment of weakness.
Let us whine-
we won't do it for long-we don't have much time...
after all we are in high demand.