Reflections on motherhood...


Saturday, August 13, 2011

It could've been worse

That's pretty much my motto for life: "it could've been worse".  My Poppa used to say it all the time, usually when we'd hurt ourselves or something hadn't gone our way.  He'd say "it could've been worse - it could have been Poppa".  It helped put things in perspective.

It's useful to keep some sort of perspective on this motherhood gig.  For example:
  • poop all over baby?  Could be worse - there could be poop on you, the floor and walls.
  • baby vomits on the floor of Noel Leemings?  Could be worse - at least you got a new dishwasher out of the transaction.
  • sleep deprived?  Could be worse - you could have got up 5 times in the night instead of just 3.
  • housework gone to the dogs?  Could be worse - at least you have a house to whinge about.
Lying in hospital, feeling not so great after three doses of morphine and a general anaesthetic, I'm thinking "yep this could be worse, at least I'm not a Somali mother right now, having to walk 30 days with no food to get to a refugee camp".  Now that's something to whinge about.  I bet those mothers never complained.  I saw one in a clip on the news who, despite already having four of her own children to look after, adopted another whose mother died on their 30-day walk to the refugee camp.

Now it's one thing for me to sanely keep my perspective, but it's another for someone else - nearly a stranger - to try and provide it.  Last weekend we had a visit from some of the DH's elderly relatives.  It happened to come up in conversation that I'd been in hospital.  And when I say "came up in conversation", it truly was mentioned in passing, rather than "hey, guess what, I was in hospital last week, poor me blah blah".  Anyway, of course they asked why and so I told a very short version of the whole sordid story ("oh I got mastitis").

The first thing they said?  "Well, it could have been worse -- at least it wasn't cancer."  They went on to tell a story about someone they knew with cancer.  It was a sad story, I felt for the cancer victim, and I was definitely glad it wasn't cancer.  But I couldn't help but feel a bit taken aback by the conversational one-upmanship that had just taken place.

But hey, it could have been worse - they could have been my relatives!

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