Yum/Yuck

I had to tell a child for the millionth time that we do not yuck another person’s yum. We do not look at something someone else is eating, and express our opinion that their food is gross; we do not observe someone else’s passionate interest and then volunteer, unasked, the information that we think that interest is stupid and boring and a waste of time. Oh, you don’t like every single thing liked by every single other person? HOW INTERESTING, HOW UNIQUE, WELCOME TO THE HUMAN RACE. We can use empathy to consider how bad it would feel to have someone sneering at what WE like, and know that we should not sneer at what THEY like.

Later that same day, I was thinking about how tempting it is, at this stage of parenting, to idealize the earlier stages: I see someone out with a baby in a baby carseat, and I just want to tell her how LOVINGLY I remember it: the sweet little baby companion in the cart, cheeks within easy squeezing-reach! But wait: when I was in that stage, I rejoiced in the times I did NOT have to take the baby with me to the store. And I absolutely did not want to hear how I should cherish every moment. I wanted to hear how cute my baby was, YES. I wanted to be asked how old the baby was and what the baby’s name was, YES. But I did NOT enjoy being told again and again by what seemed like an endless procession of older ladies that I should be appreciating every moment, and that it all went by so fast, and that I would be sorry when it was over that I hadn’t appreciated it more. Because, as I also remember, that stage was filled with a weeping lack of sleep, and babies who cried unless they were held even when I had things to do that were incompatible with that, and blow-out diapers right after baths, and having to constantly assess the well-being of a child who COULD NOT TALK, and treasuring the two minutes I could be by myself in the bathroom, and having fantasies about getting sent to prison so I could be by myself, and so on.

I was NOT cherishing every moment, NOR SHOULD I HAVE if I wanted to continue being counted among the sane: some parts were just TERRIBLE, and we don’t have to pretend they weren’t, let alone feel guilty in advance for not ENJOYING them enough. Hearing someone else claim to have gone through this same stage and to have emerged thinking of it as the best time of her life made me feel like RUNNING SCREAMING INTO THE SEA. Oh, it’s all downhill from here, then? GOOD TO KNOW, BRB FLINGING MYSELF OFF CLIFF. Oh, I’m going to REGRET not CHERISHING the diaper that required me to mop up the baby as best I could with rough brown paper towels in a public bathroom, then wrap his soiled clothes as best I could in more paper towels so that I could get them home, then wrap the baby in a blankie and go back out into the store to buy him a new outfit on the spot so he wouldn’t have to go out into the sharp winter weather without clothes? In the future I will be looking back on this moment as belonging to THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE? THANK YOU FOR THAT GIANT DOSE OF DESPAIR ABOUT MY SAD FUTURE, OLDER LADY.

(What’s funny is that one of my happy memories ACTUALLY IS the time Elizabeth threw up in the car when my mom and I were almost to Target. She mostly just got it on her clothes, so we stripped her down to her diaper, put her clothes into a plastic bag I kept in the car because car-barfing was not rare, cleaned her up with baby wipes kept in the car for the same reason, and then went into Target and I had the excuse of buying her the darling four-piece mix-and-match Carter’s pink elephant pajamas I’d really wanted to buy her. I went through the line with Elizabeth and the pajamas while my mom waited with the cart and the other kids, and I took her right into the bathroom and put one set on her, and then we continued shopping and she looked adorable, and I felt so RESOURCEFUL to have handled the whole situation, and so HAPPY to have those cute new pajamas.)

Anyway, thinking of both of those things on the same day made me realize one is the flip of the other: we shouldn’t yuck someone else’s yum—but also, we should try not to yum someone else’s yuck. If we know from personal experience that a particular stage of life is filled with loveliness but also with suckiness, we should avoid rhapsodizing about the loveliness in a way that makes the other person feel as if they can’t admit to any suckiness, or as if they alone are finding it sucky whereas WE found it wreathed in roses and angel-song. When someone else is going through an experience universally acknowledged to be rough (even if also glorious), we should avoid telling them it was the best time of our life, even if we now remember it that way, even if it turns out it actually was. It’s not going to sound like good news to the hearer.

Similarly, I saw someone posting on Facebook about something they were worried about, and someone else commented “I’d love to have that problem,” and then added a mention of her own problem, which was indeed worse, and yet the original person’s complaint was not about something anyone would “love to have.” It should go without saying that we do not tell someone else that their worry/problem/issue is actually a POSITIVE thing when compared to our own problems. We do not yum someone else’s yuck, or act as if we think they should be yumming it.

I remember what was my favorite thing to hear, as I was walking through a store with a fussing baby and fretful toddler. I would be fighting my way through a store, and someone would hold a door for me and I would thank her fervently, and she would say, “Oh, no problem—I remember those days!” Or if my child was being loud and unpleasant in a store, I loved to get a sympathetic look from another mom, combined with “Oh I’ve been there!” Do you know what those words told me? That I was one in a long line of women going through this same experience—and that other women had LIVED THROUGH IT. That one day, I would be able to hold the door for someone else, because my hands would be free. And that I would think, “Oh, how nice that my hands are free,” instead of thinking, “OH GOD, MY HANDS ARE FREE AND NOW I AM MISERABLE AND I REGRET NOT REVELING IN WHAT I ONCE THOUGHT WAS MISERY AND NOW PERCEIVE AS PURE JOY WHEN COMPARED TO THE FRESH HELL THAT IS MY LATER LIFE.”

69 thoughts on “Yum/Yuck

  1. Suzanne

    Yes. Yes to all of this. I hate when people yuck my yum (although the phrase makes me a little queasy) and it is equally irritating when someone tries to yum my yuck. Empathy is tougher than it should be I guess.

    What I want to know is, why, having lived through the teeth grit of being “cherish every moment”ed, do I have the nearly IRRESISTIBLE urge to do it to others? It wasn’t that long ago! And yet I do look with wistful tenderness upon the squalling baby at the grocery store. Biology is wack.

    1. Swistle Post author

      The phrase makes me a little queasy TOO! It just has kind of an icky sound. And it’s even worse when reversed, I think.

      1. Holly

        Ha! I was thinking the whole time “I really dislike the yum/yuck phrase” but I love everything else about this essay. (And I do think of your posts as essays that could be gathered neatly in a nice book).

  2. Lawyerish

    Yes to all of this! The prison fantasy! I had forgotten about that, but I do recall at least a fleeting thought in that direction during the Dark Times of No Sleep.

  3. Jenine

    I have to share my mother of a toddler and an infant escape fantasy — spending a winter by myself in a remote snowy cabin somewhere in New England. Strapping on cross country skis or snowshoes when I wanted to go out and breathe the quiet frozen air. Or staying in with a fire and a book and only one of each dish (mug, bowl, plate) to wash. SIgh.

    1. Jenny

      I spent slightly over a year obsessing about a cruise ship (which actually exists) where you can buy and furnish your own apartment, then travel all over the world, in the comfort and seclusion of your own home. Greece today, Italy tomorrow, somewhere else after that, and every night a book and a glass of wine and your own bed.

    2. Sheila

      My fantasy is getting hold of the TARDIS so I could take a summer vacation at the beach, come home all rested and missing my kids, and find I had not missed ONE SECOND of their precious, fleeting childhood.

      Of course, the way the Doctor drives, I’d show up in time for their college graduation. Whatevs.

  4. Rah

    ” …having fantasies about getting sent to prison so I could be by myself….” Hahaha! This is why I love you.

    I have a memory of sitting in a gas station bathroom stall while my husband waited in the car with the kids, and relishing the fact that I was alone. In the bathroom. ALONE!

  5. Emily

    One of my favorites from you!

    I had to teach my fiancé (who is the pickiest eater I have ever met by miles) that is not OK at all to grimace when I, the human with normal eating habits, am enjoying something he doesn’t like. Thankfully he has made big strides in eating habits and now sees why the grimace is inappropriate, but it is a bizarre thing to have to explain to an adult.

    In general though, this falls into the category of responses that you should not express, despite it being our instinct to do so. I wish more people thought about this kind of thing!

    1. Thesaurus

      I am inordinately proud of having taught our now 5 year old daughter to say, “No thank you, it’s not to my taste,” when offered or having tried something she doesn’t like. So much easier to cope with than, “Yuck, that’s disgusting”.

        1. Slim

          Might I suggest a simple “No, thank you”? Whether someone doesn’t like something or is allergic to it or has a moral objection to it, “No” is a complete sentence, as they say.

          That goes for food and volunteer work and sex.

      1. Sheila

        The way I know my kids didn’t like the meal is when they say “Thanks for all the trouble you put into making this.” It’s because I told them that even if they hate the meal, they should still be grateful because it was hard work making it. ;)

  6. Rachel

    As the mother of 1 year old and 3 year old boys, thank you for this. Cherish every moment?! DO YOU REMEMBER POTTY TRAINING? Potty training all day and being up with an infant all night? Seems like no, older lady at the store.

    1. Swistle Post author

      This is what so surprises me. I mean, we all know that the older ladies aren’t INTENDING to make us feel bad! They mean to convey GOOD feelings! They’re trying to say something NICE! But…don’t they remember how they felt back then? WILL WE TOO LOSE OUR MINDS?

  7. G

    Yes!

    The other day, I was at the grocery store delu, trying to by their “family combo meal” and doing it wrong while attempting to keep climbing 2 and 3.5 year olds safely in the cart. Another woman brought me the bag I was supposed to use and quietly started helping me load it.

    I was feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed and, after thanking her, I said something apologetic about “not doing this very often.” She smiled and said, “you deserve this.” She added something like “your girls are gorgeous,” but said nothing else.

    It gave SUCH a boost to my mood. But if she’d included anything on that interaction about “cherish every moment” or even a psudo-sympathetic “they grow up so fast!’…it would have punctured that pleasant balloon of good feeling. Because there is nothing to cherish about trying to prevent my children from bashing their heads open on the floor.

    1. Carolyn

      “Because there is nothing to cherish about trying to prevent my children from bashing their heads open on the floor.” Hahahahaha, SO TRUE! God bless Swistle and God bless all of her commenters for TOTALLY GETTING IT! ;)

  8. Tracy

    I like this whole “don’t yuck my yum” and “don’t yum my yuck” philosophy. It fits many facets in life. Something I find interesting about child-rearing is that you just don’t know which things you’ll look back on and miss. I feel there’s just no way of knowing what you’re gonna miss until you are missing it. When my kids were all too old/big for strollers but too young to be left home alone, I missed that I couldn’t take them on a walk (we could certainly go for a stroll). Now that they’re all teens, they can be left home alone. I miss that I can’t scoop them up in my arms and hold them, spin them around, etc. One is taller/larger than my husband, and two are about my height. I miss that… holding them. I do not miss in any way, shape or form dragging them to the grocery store or Target. That was pure hell. I have a lot of things that I do not miss BUT I definitely look back on and laugh about! It’s sort of like a victory lap – can you believe we made it through THAT??!!

  9. Kirsty

    This isn’t an easy thing to confess, but here goes: I am totally not a baby person. I Loved both my daughters more than life itself when they were babies (and still do, obviously, though now that they’re wrring 15 and 13 year olds, it can be a challenge sometimes), but DESPITE that, I couldn’t wait for them to grow up, start walking, talking, etc. When well-meaning ladies told me that the baby days were the best thing ever, you can imagine how depressed that made me feel!
    In other words, reading this really resonated with me! You are incredibly insightful and always seem to say exactly what I think… 😀

    1. Shawna

      Don’t feel bad: I am met with incredulous laughter when I say I don’t really like kids except my own and a few rare exceptions like certain friends of my kids / kids of my friends. I didn’t realize until seeing the reaction it gets that it was kind of a THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE SAID.

  10. Katie

    Thank you for your thoughts, your writing, and your site. It makes my day many days. From a mom who relates to nearly every single word.

  11. Tessie

    It’s been well documented that the baby/toddler years are a “yuck” for me. This appears to be so uncommon, particularly in hindsight, that I have often questioned whether I fully belong in The Club.

    On the other hand, I need to be careful not to “yuck” the Timehop posts, the “I can’t believe this was xx years ago!”, the “LOOK AT MAH BABY”, the “they need to stop growing up!” stuff . I don’t relate, but that’s ok.

  12. BKC

    Ugh, for me it was pregnancy. You can SEE I am sweating and staggering under the weight of my own abdomen and my face is a purple mask of broken blood vessels from puking and I am wearing this blanket with a head hole cut in the top because not a damn thing fits…and still you smile and tell me how lovely this part is? To enjoy this rest before the baby?

    Go jump in a lake, yummers.

    1. Swistle Post author

      “Go jump in a lake, yummers” made me literally laugh out loud. I am going to be thinking of that line in future situations, I can tell already.

      1. Slim

        And it makes “don’t yuck my yum” more bearable, because without that phrase, we couldn’t call people “yummers.”

    2. Deb

      I think “go jump in a lake, yummer!” will be my mental go-to line when someone tells me to enjoy every moment. While I’m at the grocery store. With three small, often tantruming children. Although truthfully, I get “your hands sure all full!” the most, which to me sounds like “I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with your yuck!” and truthfully makes me want to punch them.

      My favorite line, which I hope will be the only comment future me will make, is “your family is beautiful!”

    3. dayman

      omg afreakingmen! I also thoroughly did not enjoy the people who implied, or outright stated, that if I was complaining about the unrelenting waves of nausea and puking into my office garbage, the insomnia and insane dreams, the heartburn, and the bone-crushing exhaustion, that I was not grateful. Thanks, yummers. You’re super helpful.

  13. Slim

    Why, just today I got to witness parents of teenagers telling parents of three-year-olds how happy they would be to trade places, not because it all goes so fast and they would like more time with their kids, but because THREE IS SO EASY AND TEENAGERS ARE SO HARD.

    And maybe that is the case for them, but three was . . . the age I dealt with the least well. And so far, so good, on the teenagers, not we’re living in one big rosy Axe-scented cloud around here, but really, it’s fine. It’s often very good. It is sure as heck easier than 3YOs.

    For me.

    1. Katie

      Oh my gosh, that reminds me of my other least favorite people, the “just wait,” sayers. The people who no matter what stage of parenting or life you are in, they respond with a condescending, know-it-all attitude of “just wait,” (aka, it gets worse and you know nothing). My MIL is a classic “just wait,” sayer. Maybe that’s why it rubs me the wrong way so much… :)

      1. Swistle Post author

        Ug, this is my least favorite too. I could never share a difficult parenting moment with my mother-in-law without her telling me to just wait. It was as if she were crowing at the idea of my future increased unhappiness.

      2. Carolyn

        I HATE those people (especially because I’m ALSO one of those people who isn’t as much of a fan of the baby stage. I LOVED it when they started crawling and walking and running and DOING STUFF!) and I hate when I hear people telling new parents, “Oh, he’s rolling over now? Just wait, before you know it he’ll be crawling and then you’ll never be able to get anything done!” I usually sneak over to the new parents afterwards and say, “Actually, I think life gets MUCH easier once they’re more mobile and can entertain themselves instead of relying on you to hold them EVERY DAMN MINUTE OF THE DAY!” ;) The most recent person I told that to literally said, “Huh. I’d never thought of it that way!” and then explained that she figured everything was going to be downhill from here on out because everyone kept telling her that the baby stage is as good as it gets. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE GO AROUND SAYING THINGS LIKE THAT TO NEW PARENTS???? (Ones with no memories, is I guess what we’re going with!) :)

  14. whitney

    I will definitely be employing the “don’t yum my yuck” phrase often. Added to the arsenal. Thank you.

  15. juliloquy

    Yesterday, my husband and I were enjoying lunch out while the kids were at school. A couple with 2 preschool aged boys were also there, and the parents were clearly not having an enjoyable time: continually having to rein the boys in, reinforce the boundaries, etc. etc. I whispered to my husband “dare me to tell them to enjoy every moment?” and cackled to myself. (I swear I will never utter that phrase.) Thank you for giving the further idea that compliments about the children/babies and commiseration are always welcome.

  16. liz

    I’ve been trying hard to say, “I’ve been there, you’re doing great!” to parents at the end of their tether, and to folks with wee ones, I say, “the days are long, but the years are short.” Acknowledging the hard, and the wistful at the same time.

  17. Nathalia

    I don’t dream about going to prison, but I often imagine a brief illness where I won’t be too sick, but it requires me to stay in the hospital for a week. Reading in bed and the hospital feeds me. And then I feel like a crazy person!!

    1. Swistle Post author

      YES, I had this fantasy too, especially right after we went home from the hospital and my home seemed so grubby and cluttered and room-service-lacking compared to the maternity ward.

      1. Lynn

        I was JUST coming here to say the same thing! I used to dream about a three or four day hospital stay for something relatively minor. I also used to fall asleep every night with the soothing fantasy that my bedroom was actually a sealed chamber on a spaceship and no one could possibly penetrate it for several days, at least. That one still works from time to time :).

        There’s a line in the move Date Night where Steve Carell accuses Tina Fey, who is playing his wife, of having fantasies about another man. And she casually says, “What? No. Fantasies of being alone, yes.” YES.

        It’s sometimes nice, isn’t it, to remember these bad sides, especially when confronted with an especially cute baby. My youngest sister is having an expected fourth child in a couple of weeks and I am constantly chanting to myself about the glory of sleeping through the night and not having to wipe anyone’s butt. Still going to smell the hell out of that baby’s head, though.

    2. Maggie

      YES the not too serious but still need to spend several nights in the hospital illness fantasy! My kids are 8 and 14 and I still vividly remember having this fantasy when they were babies/toddlers.

    3. Rachel

      My cousin had to have her gallbladder out when her girls were 1 and 4. It was outpatient, but her husband took the girls to daycare and she got to be home all alone. All day. For 3 days in a row. She said it was amazing. I really really want to have my gallbladder out! Haha :)

  18. Maggie

    I haven’t had anyone give me the cherish this time it goes so fast comment in awhile and then just today an older woman at the gym said it when I mentioned that Oldest started high school this week and I realized that for the first time that statement didn’t make me feel incredibly hostile. Evidently my kids are finally old enough that I can cherish enough minutes without feeling exhausted/overwhelmed/on the verge of tears. I mean, I still didn’t like it, but I didn’t feel like screaming at her so . . . progress?

  19. Nicole Boyhouse

    Once again you have made it inside my head and perfectly articulated my feelings. How do you do this? ARE YOU ACTUALLY IN MY HOUSE AND I HAVEN’T NOTICED? If so, sorry – here’s a glass of wine and a brownie (recipe is your mint chocolate coated brownie, naturally). Seriously, Swistle, you are so smart and witty and you just know exactly what to say!

  20. Alison

    Yes. This is exactly what I want to hear and not hear when at the grocery store with my small children. My last baby is nearing one, and I understand the wistfulness, I do. But please don’t try to convince me in the Cereal aisle.

    I would add “you look tired” to the list of things not to say (to anyone ever actually) because it will inevitably be on a day I *thought* I looked cute and pulled together.

  21. Chrissy

    I have a close friend who is constantly lamenting that her ‘babies’ are growing up too fast, that she wants them to stay little, never wants to let them go, etc. I do not get it at all. I loved my kids when they were babies, and yes there were sweet moments, but I would NEVER want to go back to that time. No sleep, no freedom, having to wait and wait for my husband to get home from whatever free-wheeling errands he was running JUST SO I COULD ESCAPE (aka go to the grocery store alone). Nope. No thanks. I love me some teenagers who can dress themselves and feed themselves. Love it. I love that I can stand up and leave the house to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I love going to bed at night and waking up in the morning, like God intended. But I still think about offering to hold strangers’ babies so they can eat dinner, so there’s that.

  22. Angela

    Is it wrong to prefer different kids at different ages? Because my first was a horrible colicky baby and I much prefer him as a cute talking self-butt-wiping preschooler. But my third is the sweetest little rosy-cheeked baby and I don’t want her to get bigger ever. She can just stay 12 lbs and sleep on me in her baby k’tan all day forever.

  23. Jessica

    I spent three hours today at the car dealership getting my van fixed. The older two kids were at school and I just had my three-year-old who, though she can be whiny as all get out – especially in the evenings, is truly the easiest child I can imagine most of the time.

    Also in the waiting room was a mom with kids I’m going to guess were 4 and 2. Girl, then boy, like my oldest two. She was pregnant.

    I had quite the existential moment where I wanted to go to this mom (who seemed to be doing fine) and tell her how viscerally I remember that time. How TIRED I was. How out-of-control everything seemed. How my days happened TO me, because you just can’t predict what’s going to happen with children that small. How different everything seems now, only 4 short years later. I was off on family-building island back then and now I’m in the land of the well-slept grown-ups again.

    I remember family-building island mostly fondly. It’s like a vacation where the scenery was gorgeous, but also everyone got food poisoning AND pink-eye AND your hotel reservation kept getting cancelled on you. Plus, for a while there you thought you’d lost your passport and might be stuck! But oh! What a fun trip to reminisce over at Christmastime now…

    1. Shawna

      Years ago my poor sister in-law was that woman you saw with 2 young kids and visible pregnant. Only it was at the grocery store and her 2 were acting up. And instead of someone kind like you saying something nice, someone sniffed “And you’re having ANOTHER ONE? You can’t control the ones you HAVE!”

      CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?! I’m still shocked remembering it.

      1. dayman

        omg I want to find that person.

        I have no idea what I want to say because I loathe confrontation and I’m never witty until like three weeks later, but I want to find that person nonetheless.

  24. Lobster

    I have zero kids, but all of these incidents sound hellish. What I’m experiencing now is UNEMPLOYMENT and JOB SEARCH. Everyone keeps telling me I’m so lucky and to enjoy my “funemployment” and I want to scream at them that not knowing how the bills will get paid is not my idea of fun and sending my resume into a black hole is a recipe for a depressive episode. Funemployment, my ass.

    1. Lindsay

      Wow. People are unbelievable. I’m sorry you’re going through unemployment, and dealing with idiots on top of it.

    2. Becky

      OMG – I have never heard of anyone referring to it as “funemployment” and cannot imagine a scenario where anyone would think that was appropriate (or remotely accurate). So kudos to you for not absolutely losing it on them.

      I remember when we were stressing about layoffs at work and someone commented that I was so fortunate since I didn’t have kids. Which, yes, I felt tremendous sympathy for anyone with kids in that situation. But I also really wanted to point out (but didn’t) that I was also a sole family of one with no partner/spouse/roommate to help carry or lighten the load for a bit.

  25. Lindsay

    Sigh. Yes to so much of this. I can’t stand when people tell me the later years are harder, like what I’m going through is a piece of cake. So discouraging!

  26. The Sojourner

    Oh dear God thank you for this post.

    I have a special needs 3yo and a baby who can *almost* walk and is therefore very angry. My son’s occupational therapist had jury duty this week and I was honestly relieved because I am having the kind of week where I CANNOT face somebody calmly asking, “And what do you do then?” when I tell her that my kid never sleeps/tries to run into traffic/makes his sister cry/destroys the house/take your pick I’ve got more. I FANTASIZE ABOUT STICKING MY HEAD IN THE OVEN THAT’S WHAT I DO.

    So, yeah, I kind of look forward to having surly teenagers. :p

  27. Meg

    I used to work with a woman who would talk about her kids (that’s fine!) and would then turn to me with a knowing smile and say, “Big kids, big problems!” And then go off into some segue about how I’d know when my kids were teenagers.

    I frequently wanted to smack her. I have a 17 y.o. now and yeah, sometimes he’s not easy. But it sure wasn’t fun when my 2nd kid didn’t sleep through the night till she was 4 1/2. Or when my 3rd kid who has adenoidal issues would snore so loud as a baby that she’d keep all of us awake. Or when I’d just gone back to work with my 1st and he started teething, and so I was getting about 3-4 hours sleep per night, broken, and still had to work 8 hours each day. Or having kids who were apeshit in the afternoon on the weekend and I knew they needed to get out of the house, but by the time I got everyone clean and clothed and relatively well behaved, by the time I got myself psyched up it was already 4pm and most things were shut or closing soon, so our options were very limited.

    I miss lots of things about my kids being little. They’re 7, 12, and 17 now. I miss having a little baby in a pram to wheel around the shops with me, to ramble at, to give cuddles to, to get compliments about. I miss having a little toddler tucked into my side at a restaurant because they’re a bit nervous and need help with eating.

    On the other hand, it’s delightful not having to buckle all the seatbelts any more. It’s delightful being able to say to a kid “do you have [item you need urgently]?” and if they haven’t, they can actually go back into the house and GET IT THEMSELVES. (This doesn’t always work, of course, because kids are batshit and/or because they can get distracted by a marauding dust bunny and/or they can stand in the middle of a room with the item right in front of them and not see it. But sometimes it works!)

    It’s delightful being able to share some shows I like. It’s delightful watching them begin to manage things like ordering their own meals, like taking their own rubbish to the bin, like introducing an item at school assembly in front of hundreds of kids and twenty teachers.

    Every stage sucks. Every stage has good things.

    I love your posts.

  28. Sarahd

    I have wondered, though, as a mom with now 12- and 15-year-olds if maybe “the baby time is hard while you’re in it but it’s possible to one day look back on it with pleasant nostalgia” might be an okay sentiment for those situations, too. I feel like if someone had said THAT to me then I might have appreciated that some day I would indeed have fond feelings of those time IN HINDSIGHT if not right now.

  29. rlbelle

    A woman from my church discussion group says to me, shaking her head and sighing, “I just don’t know how you do it, with young kids. It’s just amazing that you’re even walking upright.” And she herself raised two young kids to adulthood! With an apparently useless husband! It’s just so encouraging, it makes me feel like superwoman, even though most of the people in our group have WAY worse problems than you know … raising kids.

  30. Beth

    The 10 seconds (15 if I walked reallllly slowly) it took me to walk around the car to the driver’s door after buckling my little darlings into their carseats used to be the best, quietest 10/15 seconds of my day.

  31. Emily R

    Late to the party: hospital fantasy. Nothing deadly, just a vacation in bed with no one climbing on me and jello at every meal.

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