On this Mother’s Day, I was reminded to be careful to whom I voice my frustrations. For those who have not been both mother and father, or raised a family by themselves on one income, they look from the outside in with snap judgment. For those who have never lived with obstinate, messy boys, or had children of their own, it’s easy to criticize and assume your parenting skills are weak. These people who have not walked in your moccasins have their “easy, just-do-this” fix that should solve all your problems. If it were just that easy, don’t you think I would have done it?
“Easy, just tell them move out.” “Easy, just make them pay rent.” “Easy, just quit your job.” “You let them walk all over you...” These easy fixes are about as ridiculous as someone saying, “Easy, just pray away the gay.” Or, “Easy, just leave your abusive husband,” “Easy, just get up and walk on your broken leg.”
For those who think life as a single parent is easy, walk in my shoes. Work a demanding job, struggle to meet your financial obligations, keep a neat house, set a good example, disciple with love and fairness, try to stay healthy, never have time for yourself, play handyman to fix what’s broken in your home with little resources but a band-aid and WD-40. Learn to pick your battles wisely so your entire world is not just one big battle. You do that for 30 days then maybe I’ll be more open to hearing your criticism.
Easy, I’ll just keep my frustrations to myself and no longer share with you, then you can just keep your opinions about my life to yourself.
To my sisters who understand where I am coming from, I empathize with you and see your strength beneath the comments of those who think your struggles can be alleviated with an, “Easy, just do this” comment.