Friday, August 24, 2012

Mother Superior

I love having twins.  I mean, how adorable is this?

And now, two-and-a-half years later, I find myself looking at them and thinking they are still unbearably cute.

They are also a handful.  They collude and conspire and do things that neither of them would ever come up with on their own.  And yet, if I hear one more Mom of Multiples say, "Singleton moms have no idea how easy they have it," I'm going to smack someone.

What is this, a contest?  Yes, it is tricky to make sure two babies are diapered and fed and cared for.  But it's also tricky to make sure one baby is diapered and fed and cared for.

Whatever you are dealing with is difficult.  When you have three children it is difficult to manage the grocery store with those three children. But when you only have one child, it's still difficult to manage the task.  With that one child there still comes a learning curve, a reconfiguring of the way you approach every chore, and the mental exhaustion of changing your entire routine to suit a person who screams at you on a regular basis. So it irks me when people go around thinking their difficulties are so much harder to deal with than those of someone else. 

Twins are exhausting, yes.  But it's not helpful to frazzled mothers of singletons to say, "You have it so easy."  In fact, they don't have it easy.  No one does.  The difficulty of a given situation is not based on how hard it would be for you to handle, it's based on how hard it is for that person to handle.

It's like we want the proper amount of points allotted to us; i.e., I have twins so I deserve more points than you.  (Never mind that your baby cries constantly and doesn't sleep through the night).  Or, I gave birth by c-section and you delivered naturally -- points for you!  I breastfed my babies till they were a year old and my husband works late every night (points for me!), you hold down a full-time job and whip up cookies like you are Martha Stewart (points for you!)... the list goes on.

You can't compare apples to apples when you are dealing with bread and grapefruit.  Yes, from the outside it might look like apples to apples, but appearances can be deceiving.  And telling someone that their struggles aren't struggles is damaging and unkind.

Let's have a little more sympathy, shall we?


Stephanie Black said...

Love this! Thanks!

MyDonkeySix said...

So true! I have never heard the term "singleton" before, but it drives me nuts when mothers downplay other's struggles because said mothers have more kids or twins or whatever. This is not a competition so let's just be nice to each other!

Cath said...

Wisdom Bonnie. Good, healthy wisdom.

Amy said...

"Comparison is the thief of Joy." --Theodore Roosevelt

And Satan definitely uses it as one of his most deceptive tools. Whether it be to cause us to have poor self-worth, or to make us think we are better than someone else. Ironically it's usually the people that have the most insecurities that are dishing out the put-downs.

Self-elevation. Or self-deprecation. Both are extremely annoying. So Here-Here! to the call for more sympathy and esteem toward ourselves and others.