You know how people make comments that they don’t really mean anything by, but it makes you feel like the shittiest parent ever?
With living out of state, then having two recent moves and being in a wedding, C has spent time staying with both sets of his grandparents. When we lived out of state, my parents took C for a week once so that I could have some time to work and rest.
Other parents have said things like:
- Wow, I could never do that. I’d miss my child too much.
- How can you handle being away from your child that long?
- Don’t you miss him?
- I don’t know how you do it. I was devastated to leave (insert child’s name here) for just one night!
How is someone supposed to respond to these comments?!
I hate to admit this, but I didn’t really miss C when my parents had him for one week in October. I was so ill with PPD (this was pre-diagnosis) that I spent that entire week in my pajamas lounging and sleeping. I was overwhelmed and exhausted by my role as a mother; and even though I had planned on spending time shopping, exercising and working, the only thing I was able to do that week was rest.
I missed him some in March, when I went with Hubster to his interview at the university where he’ll soon begin his new job. But when we moved in May, I finally missed him a lot. I missed him the way I knew a parent might miss their child. Then I knew what people were talking about, even though they really shouldn’t have made any comments at all.
Now every time that any comment (positive, negative, passive) is made about C staying elsewhere, I immediately recall how I didn’t miss him when I was in the pit of my mental illness and I’m hit with a wall of guilt and shame.
I encourage us all to think before we speak, so as to avoid inadvertently hurting others. xoxo