Next time you need a last minute volunteer for that important church event and I’m not available, please don’t judge. What you don’t see is that the night that event takes place is the first night in a week I will have to spend at home, just being with my family.
Next time I show up to a potluck empty-handed, don’t be angry. Maybe I barely had enough time to get home and change after a long day of work, opting to simply show up instead of losing another hour of sleep to cook something the night before.
Next time I seem to be ‘not present’ in a work meeting, looking close to dozing off, don’t take this as me being rude. Please understand that my baby had a rough night and I chose to stay up nursing and cuddling him, instead of listening to him cry while I ‘slept.’
Next time I appear at a get-together with a stained shirt and no make-up on, please don’t assume I am lazy. Just realize that getting there at all was an accomplishment and be happy that I was able to join you.
Next time you hear me complain about my weight, don’t assume I shouldn’t complain because I’m simply not making the time to work out. I’d love to work out, but I choose to spend the last few hours of my day with my child, and then to ‘sleep in’ until 5:30 a.m. rather than to get up at 4:30 to work out.
Next time I don’t reply ‘promptly’ to your ‘urgent’ email, don’t get frustrated with me. Realize that I am trying to instill in my child a sense of importance to me by having device-free time in the evening together.
And please, please, remember. If you have been there – if you have been a parent of small children – don’t forget how overwhelming it was at times. Don’t forget that you, too, have traveled through those parenting battlegrounds. Understand that I am doing my best and just try to be supportive, even if that means greeting me with a hug and offering a genuine smile, despite the spit-up in my hair.