Hi, I'm sorry for forum crashing, but I have a small dilemma and I thought your input may be helpful. I'm a single mom to one 3 yo boy, and I have a coworker/friend who is the mother of two beautiful, fraternal twin girls. The girls are now about 7-8 months old and my friend has just become a single mama herself, so she is understandably very stressed out.
I've been trying to offer her what support I can...not in the form of advice or anything (I know better than that, LOL!), but more cheering her on, saying she's fabulous, offering an ear if she needs to vent, etc.
Anyway, my dilemma is that I am starting to get a little irritated by some of her remarks and by her attitude in general. For example, she recently made a comment that the hardest thing about parenting alone was never having any time to herself. I empathized with her and said that, IMO, we were both doing a great job. She then asked how I could have any idea how she feels because I only have one child, and I have no idea of the meaning of exhaustion and stress. We've been having a lot of similar conversations lately, and I'm not really sure how to handle it. I don't know what having twins or even more than one child is like, but I do know the stresses of divorce and single motherhood. I guess I feel that my own experience with exhaustion and stress is not being respected, if that makes sense? I don't feel like it should be a competition.
As MoM, do you have any advice on how to respond to her in a way she wouldn't find offensive? I respect and admire her own unique situation as a single mom with twins, but I want to let her know...tactfully...that it is not okay to belittle my own situation. Also, any general ideas/thoughts on how to support a mama of twins would be appreciated. TIA. :-)
Mama to DS (5)
I'll have to think a bit to see if I have any advice, but I did want to say that it is not ok that she is doing this towards you. I make a bit point not to do this very thing to friends of mine with similar age singletons, as on the other side of the coin, I also expect them to not claim that our situations are the same. (there is a whole thread around here bitching about that!)
It is not a contest, it is a chance for mutual support. You are a good woman for wanting to find a way to communicate with her and be there for her.
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!