I run into a lot of older women in my line of work. (My momly line of work.) They are so perfectly sweet and nice to me and don’t judge me for being a baby having babies, which is awfully good of them.
But one thing older ladies like to say is that “everything is going to be all right.” They’re probably saying it because they’ve lived longer and they have much more perspective on life’s problems, big and small, and they think I’m overreacting, and they want to stop me before I get into an emotional train wreck.
Here’s the thing, though. I know I’m overreacting and turning into a blubbery mess over a problem that will probably just blow over. But saying that everything is going to be all right really isn’t going to help anything. The emotional train wreck is just going to happen. You know why? Not because I have a silly little problem. It’s because I’m a brand-new mom, and my whole life is changing, and my body is postpartum, and I’m freaked out because my heart is bursting with a love for this baby that I never knew I was capable of. And I’m realizing that I don’t have the kind of free pass to make mistakes that I used to, because I have a husband and a baby now, and they’re relying on me. And this big life change is causing me to question who I am, and what I want, and those questions are scaring me because what if I was always wrong about the answers, and I’m secretly a total screw-up headed for a major mid-life crisis?
So basically, I’m a mess.
If there’s one thing I could really use right now, it’s five minutes where I can just whine about the tiny problems in my life, like how my baby hates tummy time but she has a mild flat spot on her head so I do it because I’m afraid she’s going to have to get one of those corrective helmet things. Or how breastfeeding is terribly frustrating but I can’t even think about stopping. Or the million other small grievances that don’t make life impossible or anything, but they’re kind of annoying.
Yeah, I know everything is going to be okay. I mean, everyone in my family is healthy and well, and I have the support of countless family members and friends, and I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I know how huge those things are. In ten years I’m probably not even going to remember how much my first baby cried when I put her on her tummy. But there are a million worse things that could happen that I’m trying not to think about and that scare me every day, so really, when I complain about how many times I have to change a diaper in a day, don’t say “Everything is going to be okay.”
How about instead you just say, “Man, that sucks.”
Or whatever the older-woman equivalent is.