Recently I've been able to get back in touch with an old friend. Several old friends in fact. But one in particular has challenged me to take a different perspective.
Two years ago this particular friend lost her husband. Their two little girls--the youngest an infant--lost their dad. Her girls are about the same ages as my children. She is now tasked with raising those two precious girls by herself. Yes, she has family and a huge support system, but ultimately it's all on her. There's no one walking in the door at 5 o'clock to give her a break. No one coming home to help her out with supper. No one coming home to help with bath time and tucking little ones into bed. She's it. And she's terrific at it. Her girls are her world and it shows in every single picture. Every single thing she does. Yes, she's tired. Yes, she has good days and bad days. And, yes, she misses her husband every single day. But she's determined to give her girls everything she can and make their world amazing.
I tend to whine a lot on facebook with status updates...Was there really a time in my life when I wasn't constantly exhausted? And...The kiddos are running laps around me this morning--where is their father? This one was a frequent one...Playing the EOD wife waiting game--again. And the biggest whinyhead post of all...Left to cook supper by myself--again.
Lately, however, I've found myself typing something and then looking at it from her perspective. And I saw just how whiny I was really being. Pathetic, really. To be fair to myself, there have been a lot of positive updates as well. But this isn't about those. I think a lot of times I use that status update/what's on your mind feature as a means of getting stuff off my chest and out of my head. Much like I use this medium. But, ironically enough, this is more private. The choice has to be made to come here and read my drivel. Facebook just pops up and it's out there--oh, look...Dori's whining about being stuck at home with a two-year-old even though it was her choice to remain home in the first place and her husband is going to be a whole half hour late. Somehow, that all seems like stuff that should be a piece of cake. Well, not a piece of cake, but certainly survivable and not at all worth whining about. Publicly.
After all, my husband is coming home. But if the day should ever come that he doesn't, I really don't think she would begrudge me a whiny post or two. Or three.