That “You think YOUR life is so hard?” feeling

This weekend, I visited a relative who may or may not be my sister, and I pretty much felt like I could smack her. She started it! She started it! (To quote an oft-repeated refrain from childhood.)

She kept stressing out. First, she got irritated at her husband because he was in the kitchen preparing food for lunch instead of helping her feed their baby. Then she got peeved that my little girl came into their bedroom while she was trying to put the baby to sleep. Then, when I asked for a plastic knife, she snapped “I’M BUSY!!!!”

I literally said to her, “You think YOUR life is so hard?” Implied: I have a kid with special needs, my life is just a bit more involved and challenging and, at times, heartbreaking than yours is.

She said, “It’s not a contest.”

She wasn’t wrong. Besides, every single mom out there has her burdens. She is a working mom who’s currently a little worried about whether or not she’ll keep her job. She definitely has stuff to be concerned about, I know that. But still, the empathy doesn’t quite come pouring out of me. Because no matter what, I think her life is relatively easier than mine.

I am not playing the violin for myself here; my life could be significantly more difficult than it is. In many ways, I am lucky. But sometimes, I can’t help but think these thoughts. I never voice them. I would not want friends to think I look at them that way, or seem “whiney.” As it is, I feel like sometimes they treat me with kid gloves.

This is not something I sit around pondering. But every so often, when I hear another mom complaining or losing it over small things, a little voice inside my head goes, “You think YOUR life is so hard?”

OK, tell me I am not alone here: Do you ever think this sort of thing?

Ellen blogs daily at Love That Max


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