Whoever Hashtags “Too Blessed To Be Stressed” Is Either A Masochist Or A Liar
Who is REALLY AND TRULY too blessed to be stressed? Because I think that’s a load of horse crap. I’m sorry. I’m calling it out. Just because you are blessed does NOT mean you can’t get stressed.
I feel like society has almost set us up for failure. There’s this idea of “Smile and be happy, you have a beautiful family, there is so much to be thankful for, this time will pass, enjoy it while you can” out there. And I get it. I really do. And I am beyond grateful that I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. I also am a realist and can admit that I was COMPLETELY shocked by how utterly exhausting parenting can be. And this isn’t always the case. Most days I’m making my toddler laugh by pretending to be a bear, or we’re watching her baby brother try to roll over and taking 1,013 pictures. So at this point in my life with a toddler and a baby, I just expect to wake up tired, and with this new altered mindset I can tackle the day with coffee and be happy and fine. But when I first became a mom, I was almost embarrassed to admit that I was overwhelmed, and exhausted, and worried sick that I wasn’t meeting my brand new baby’s needs. And I looked at social media and saw that no other mom appeared to be struggling like I was.
I see so many pictures of smiling and happy babies and kids, or of sunsets, or of cupcakes with #tooblessedtobestressed and I immediately laugh. Because come on. Are you really going to put up a picture of you crying with mascara running down your face and your baby wailing from colic in the background? No. People (for the most part) use social media to only show what they WANT other people to see. And to be honest, I’m guilty of that too.
I’ll use myself as an example. I will admit my humanity and normalcy and say that today when my kids and I had all sat down for lunch and I looked at my smiling happy cooing son and then to my sweet daughter making up a sweet little song about saving the day, I thought to myself “I really am so very lucky”. And not two minutes later, the baby started projectile spitting up all over himself, my freshly made sandwich and the floor. Adding to the chaos, my toddler began screaming about a bumblebee eating her peanut butter (it was a fly) and burst into tears when I explained it was just a fly (at this age she’s not a fan of being wrong). And not to be outdone, in my haste to mop up the spit up, burp the baby, dry toddler tears and shoo a bumblebee (it really was a fly!!!) I knocked over an entire new gallon of milk to join the spit up breastmilk on the floor. So whoever said not to cry over spilt milk either never breastfed or was just rich. Back to my point, that was a stressful situation for me, and yet I know that it could be so much worse. I do. Thank God my family is healthy, we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our back and food on our table. My stressful times could be referred to as “first world problems”. I realize that. But if I went comparing my stressful times to a brain surgeon’s then I would always fall short. And it’s not a competition. So back to my point, if I went around chanting that I am too blessed to be stressed and actually believing that? I would lose my ever loving mind. I would. Because parenting is HARD! So did I upload a picture of that hot mess shit show of a lunch onto my social media? No, instead I put up a smiling picture of Young Sir in his new whale overalls. Human nature.
We have every right to feel stressed. To feel like we’re sometimes failing. To lock ourselves in the bathroom and just cry because we had NO IDEA parenting would be this hard. To feel exhausted because you have the most important responsibility of keeping your precious tiny baby alive. Or to sometimes nostalgically look back at our lives pre-children and think “Wow, life was SO easy back then”. That doesn’t mean we’re not blessed. Or grateful for that matter. It just means we’re human. And normal.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love, adore, cherish and whatever-other-adjective-that-describes-love-to-it’s-fullest my children, husband and life. My family of four takes up my entire heart, they are my everything. And I will say that in my humble opinion that I am so truly and very blessed. I’m 30 years old, I have a loving and funny husband, a beautiful hilarious 2 year old girl, and a sweet baby boy. I honestly cannot imagine my life without them. And I know many people who would LOVE for their stressed out problems to be because the baby woke them up every single hour to breastfeed all night long. Or because they had a surprisingly long argument with their husband about scotch tape. I know friends who can’t get pregnant, or are in the middle of IVF, or are years into the adoption and/or fostering process. I have friends and relatives who have had numerous miscarriages, or its taken them years and years to get pregnant. So I truly do know that I am very blessed, I will not argue that. I will argue, however, that I (and anyone else) have every right to get stressed out. No one “owns” stress. People can’t be “exempt” from stress. And new (or seasoned) parents should be allowed to express this.
So please, when a new mom or dad tell you how stressed they are because their baby is waking up to nurse every 1-2 hours; or because their 9 month old needs an ultrasound to confirm her kidneys are actually working; or they have to take their 6 week old baby to a pediatric cardiologist because he has a heart murmur (all situations I have personally been through & can attest to their stressful-ness), instead of solely telling them how blessed they are and how this time will just fly by, maybe throw in some empathy too. You never know how relieved a person could feel to know that they’re not alone in this wonderful, beautiful, stressed and blessed time of parenthood.