Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh the complaining

I just innocently asked a coworker friend how her weekend was. She started by pulling a face and said it was awful. Then said she shouldn't complain to me about life with her kid, because she knows all about all my efforts at TTC and she does love him and he means the world to her. But then, despite saying she shouldn't complain to me about it, she proceeded to rant and offload for about 5 minutes straight. Which of course seemed a lot longer to me as I was trying to just nod noncommittally and look sympathetic, all the while dying a little more inside. And then of course she got onto the "honestly, I don't know how anyone without a partner does it" spiel, along with the explanations of how you can't even go to the bathroom without someone there to hand the kid off to. Then she rambled off into a long tale of how your life changes, how you can never sleep in ever again, how you can't have time to yourself, you can't go out. Then, after I made the mistake of trying to empathize by saying I had lately been reconsidering the child-free option because I knew that right now my life was too hectic to consider having a kid right now, she moved on to telling me to "think long and hard" about doing DE or in any other way continuing on with thoughts of becoming a mother.

OK, well, first of all, I had no expectations as an SMC of having a poop without an audience for ooh, about 7 years straight. Or having time to myself. I don't sleep in (much) now anyway, nor do I have a wild and crazy nightlife that I would miss. It's not like I am part of a couple that feels it necessary to go out 3 times a week. Or that I need quality time with a partner. Or any number of things. Basically I would give my eye teeth to be where she is. I know it's hard. I know. And I also know that I have no real conception of how hard because I don't know how I'd react to living on less than 4 hours of sleep a night for several years. I know it'd be the hardest thing I have ever done. But that doesn't stop me wanting it.

Bah. I suppose this will be my lot in life, eh? Listening to other people complain about their kids while having to look sympathetic. It's not exactly a lot of fun, I gotta tell you.


calliope said...

ugh. People can be so obnoxious. And everyone has an effing opinion, don't they?
This woman needs to go on the mental list of folks that you just tune out. Because seriously- the kind of person that would know your history and STILL have this kind of mean conversation is just cruel and self-serving. I am very sorry that you had to waste your time listening to her.

Almamay said...

I just look people in the eye when they draw breath during their rant about how awful parenthood is and say, "I'll take the baby off your hands if you want."

My comment is usually met with silence and people tend to avoid me afterwards but it is effective. It does shut them up.

bleu said...

I cannot stand when people do that. Yes it is hard, but I will say this and I DO say this often, very often. I have loved absolutely every single moment of motherhood, of SMC motherhood. I have loved every non private moment, every loss of autonomy, every juggling act and every single second of it.

I am sorry you got stuck with such a witch.

Dora said...

Oh, man! How did you keep from smacking her?

QueenYogi said...

Hi Sarah! You've inspired me to start my own blog. Its nice to find other people in the same situation as me. Best of luck.

Melissa said...

In the spirit of open and honest dialog, you should have said, "Remember at the beginning of this conversation, when you said that you shouldn't complain to me because you know how hard I have TTC'd? Well, you were quite correct. You shouldn't be complaining about this to me. Your behavior is self serving, self centered, rude, and thoughtless. I am going to walk away now, but please be more considerate about what you say to me in the future." And then, you should have spun around and walked away. Trust me, you would have felt sooooo good!

katedaphne said...

Hi Sarah. Sorry you got pigeon-holed like that. My line is usually, spoken in a friendly but tight tone, "I want to be supportive to you. But this is one topic you simply cannot complain to me about. I'm sure you understand."

This is NOT your role in life!!!

Sam said...

It sounds like someone needs a break from parenting. There are days like that, but holy crap inappropriate? Hell yes! Parenting is like anything in life, hard days and great days. Stupid twat your coworker is, I'm sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at how judgemental the comments are here. Didn't you ASK how her weekend went? (Smacking her? Twat?) There's being supportive and then there's being over the top.

I'm just wondering if perhaps you need to wear signs warning people about what they can and cannot discuss with you.