I’ve got it worse. I’m more exhausted. I’m more tired. I’m more worn out. You don’t understand. Don’t even try.
These thoughts pop into my head about a million times a day. Okay, well perhaps not a million. But they seem to creep in on a fairly regular basis. And to make matters worse, they are all directed at my husband.
Oh your husband must be one of those lazy, insensitive guys that never jumps into the messiness of parenting? Nope. Actually my husband is probably the best dad and partner a gal could ask for. And his schedule allows him to be at home and in the thick of it much more than other dads I know. The only parenting task he doesn’t do is nursing (and many days I’ve lamented that I wish he could!). On top of that, he cooks much more often than I do and does dishes almost every day.
So, readers I know you are thinking by now what in the world do I have to complain about? And you would be right. I really have nothing to complain about. But isn’t that one of the toughest aspects of parenting little ones? You become so exhausted and so worn down that instead of linking arms with your partner and saying “We got this! No man left behind!” … you begin to have the strongest urge to turn and punch your hubs right in the face as he loudly snores in bed next you while you hold a crying and inconsolable baby.
And then the “I’ve got it worse” game begins.
How dare he mention he is tired after a long day?! I was the one up every two hours with a baby that just wouldn’t sleep! How dare he grumble that he would love to never change another dirty diaper?! Doesn’t he know that I change them every day too! And why does he think he can commandeer the TV for yet another basketball game? Doesn’t he know that I just need to zone out and binge on some more Netflix?
This my friends is the inward self of a so-tired-I-feel-sick mom of two kids two and under. And I hate it. I hate that part of me that wants to win the gold medal of the “I’ve got it worse” games. For some reason, part of me thinks that winning that gold medal will make it all worth it. I can barely shower every day or even remember to brush my teeth, but darn it if I win that gold medal then I can proudly wear it around the house and shove it in my husband’s face whenever he even thinks about venting his own parenting frustrations.
Apparently in the midst of cluster feeds, teething, toddler tantrums and the gazillionth box of mac n’ cheese, I forgot my vows to love him through it all.
I just never imagined that parenting would so often be the “worst of times.”
It is so easy to show understanding, grace and overflowing love when life is easy and I’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I better learn how to love well when life is hard and I’ve gotten no sleep. Because if I don’t, then my only accomplishment will be a dusty gold medal.
The first step is to silence those “I’ve got it worse” thoughts that want to compete for the most sacrificial parent. Instead I need to link arms with the best man I know and stop leaving him behind in the dust of my self-righteous attitudes. If you are like me and find yourself competing for whose got it worse, I challenge you to stop playing this week and instead partner up.