Your Complaints Are as Good as Mine

After we got our son’s official diagnosis of having cystic fibrosis, I was angry. My tender and delicate three-week-old baby had been suddenly thrown into a lifetime of hospitals, treatments, and life-threatening possibilities. When I went onto Facebook to make the announcement of his diagnosis–because what kind of sleep-deprived, devastated parent wants to make that many phone calls?–I only felt worse. Seeing all of the status updates about the wonderful things happening in the lives of my friends and family was like rubbing the injustices of the world in my tear-filled eyes, and it burned. There were friends who announced their children’s healthy well-checkups. There were family members who were on vacation, relaxing on a beach with a drink in their hands, like they were never going to have a worry again. What really made me livid were some of the complaints.

“Traffic is terrible today!”

“Ugh, the house is a mess, but I don’t feel like cleaning. Anyone want to do it for me?”

“I’m so hungry! Is it lunchtime yet?”

“Some people are so frustrating! Can’t wait for this day to be over.”

In that moment, those complaints seemed so insignificant and petty. I wanted to scream, “Really? That’s what you’re complaining about?” While these people’s biggest worry of the day was whether or not they were going to have time to stop at Starbucks on the way to work, I had real problems. I had a baby with a life-expectancy of 38. I had to endure the blood tests, the long doctor’s visits, and sorting out the confusing details of a complicated disease. Real problems, people.

I was angry with the world.

But then I thought about it from my son’s perspective. Despite the disease that had manifested inside of him, he was still a beautiful and innocent newborn. He cried and nursed and pooped and slept just like any baby should. He was content with the world. The last thing I wanted was for him to feel angry. After all, it was his body that was affected by this disease. It was his life that was imposed upon, and no matter how much it affected me, it would always affect him more. I couldn’t let him grow up thinking that he had a reason to be angry. I didn’t want him to believe that anyone else had a better life than he did. Or was more normal. Or was luckier. Or was more blessed. Something in me shifted when I looked at my sweet baby boy and saw the kind of man he needed to be: healthy, strong, and determined.Β I let go of the anger as best as I could, so that I could see my son as the perfect, tiny being that he was. I was grateful for him, and my Facebook status probably would have read, “I am such a blessed mama.”

Six months later, what do I complain about? I complain about the half hour wait at the doctor’s office. The never-ending piles of laundry and dishes. The grocery store being out of Cherry Pepsi. And somewhere out there, someone may overhear my complaints who is tackling something big. Something real. Something difficult. They may feel angry at my complaints. Β Just give them some time and perspective, and their complaints will be as good as mine.

He's perfect.

He’s perfect.

**It’s Yeah Write Challenge Grid time! Come and join us.**

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50 Comments on “Your Complaints Are as Good as Mine”

  1. I admire the perspective you have now. I don’t blame you at all for being angry. I think I would be too – as well as scared and depressed.

  2. Cindy - The Reedster Speaks says:

    I love this post. Challenges, perspective, and an innocent baby, stunningly photographed.

  3. Your attitude is amazing, your son is so lucky to have you as his mom. And I can’t stop looking at that picture. What a cutie!

  4. Bee says:

    Sometimes I feel the same way about my own misfortunes, but I try to remember that I am truly blessed. I am still full of complaints, but I try. I’m so glad you were able to put things in perspective.

    • It was the first really big “misfortune” of my life, so it was shocking to say the least. And I agree that it’s always good to find reasons to feel blessed, no matter what you’re going through. Thank you.

  5. I appreciate your anger and your new perspective in this post, both so honest. i’m so glad your in a good place and can appreciate.. things are always better when you look at them better.
    love that baby picture!

  6. SnapInTime says:

    As parent to a daughter with cf, thank you. I really enjoyed this. And your son is absolutely precious!! ❀

  7. I think this is such a hard thing–I have totally been there. When really hurting to see such tiny complaints. And while knowing there are larger things helps frame and give perspectives to our own tiny struggles, it doesn’t make them not hard. It doesn’t make them not frustrating or a struggle. Recently I wrote about my hard time with having a C-section. I had someone comment: “My friend lost her baby AND had a c-section–that’s something to complain about.” Her friend wins! But it’s not a competition. I’m so sad for that stranger I’ll never know, and yet that doesn’t snap some magic wand and make me feel okay about my experience. Perspective? Yes. Magic pain eraser because my hurt wasn’t as big as hers? No.

    I’m sorry for the hard things that you will be facing in your life and ache for your son. I love the way that you wrote this and how you handled this idea of big and small complaints! Lovely.

    • Thank you so much. I read that post of yours, but I didn’t see the comment. That was the overall point of my post exactly, is that to you, your complaints are always valid, no matter how big or small. But that there will always be someone out there with life happening “better” or “worse” than you. It’s all about the perspective. Hug for you, Kirsten. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. Perspective is a lens we all need to look through, every day.

    First timer here, visiting from Yeah Write!

  9. RFL says:

    Touching post with wonderful perspective.

  10. Ginny Marie says:

    Oh, he is just perfect! I know, I’ve felt that way before. It’s hard not to when you’re going through some rough times. I’m glad you’re back to the normal complaints…let’s hope that lasts for a long time!

  11. I loved this post so much! You are such a great Mom and he is such a cute baby. Your attitude is perfect, and so is he.

  12. Larks says:

    How cute is that picture?! I love this post and the perspective you bring here. The whole thing is just awesome.

  13. muddledmom says:

    What a great way to look at it. I think that’s one of the harder things about being a parent, not being able to wallow in misery if we want to because we really need to be something else for our kids. But look at what you are giving him: an incredible, loving life. He has a good mama. πŸ˜‰ And I totally thought that picture was a stock photo. Are you kidding me? Precious.

  14. Gina says:

    The picture of your baby is gorgeous. I walked with a friend yesterday and we talked about the same thing…peoples’ complaints and that everyone has something. I love your attitude and your son is a very lucky boy to have a mommy like you. Loved this post very much!

  15. Emma says:

    “It was his life that was imposed upon, and no matter how much it affected me, it would always affect him more.” This line made me cry. This is exactly the way I feel about my experience. This is what I love about you – your compassionate, gentle perspective. As others have said, that photo is thrilling to look at. I wish you and your babe the best!

    My new blog was awarded with a Liebster. Being very new to all this I wasn’t sure if you’d already been awarded one or not. If not it is long overdue, and I have passed on the award to you. I love coming here and reading your observations.

    http://restraintunfettered.com/2012/12/05/endearments/

  16. Angela Ryan says:

    You brought me to tears, my dear. God bless you. He is perfect indeed. Much love!

  17. Robbie says:

    beautiful baby! I love this perspective. It can be very frustrating when you are dealing with something huge and ppl are upset about the little things.

  18. You are right. He is so perfect. And adorable!

  19. outlawmama says:

    Tears here too. I will never forget this post. Great writing and beautiful generosity to share with us. Cherry Pepsi rocks.

    • Cherry Pepsi for breakfast is almost as good as coffee. Mmm…
      Thank you so much for your compliment and kind words. And to you for your post this week as well. We will all get through the hard stuff together. πŸ™‚

  20. This was so beautiful. I admire you so much for being able to see through your son’s eyes and how you wanted him to experience the world. You are one awesome mama!

    P.S. I am going to share this with my friend whose daughter has special needs. You remind me so much of her and her attitude in this post.

    • Thank you so much! That’s a very sweet compliment, and I hope it helps your friend. I do the same thing when I find a good post to share. There are some really inspirational people out there!

  21. wcdameron says:

    Excellent reminder about what is important and to cherish what we have. I have often found myself angry when reading status updates about certain things and then I remember how much I do have. Beautiful photo, beautiful post.

  22. Azara says:

    I’m impressed that you’ve reached this point so early in your journey. I know it would take me much longer to get there, if ever.

    • I still have moments of fear and sadness, for sure. But the anger towards others is gone. Our hardships are not their fault, nor are their problems my fault. That’s the way I choose to see it. Everyone copes in their own ways. My husband was annoyingly calm about the whole thing, at least outwardly. He never seemed angry, but then again, he doesn’t have Facebook. πŸ˜‰

  23. dberonilla says:

    This post hit incredibly close to home for me, as I am coming to terms with a severe regression in my son that is most likely autism (among a whole slew of other labels).
    I needed to read this. Especially the last half where you talked about your new perspective. A few months ago I read “It’s happening to HIM, not me” and it was also my turning point for me, even as we wait for formal diagnosis. I spent so many dark months with this child who was now a stranger to me, a shadow of the person I spent 2.5 years raising, and man oh man I was FURIOUS with some of the facebook statuses I read.
    Thank you for sharing your story and offering some perspective. Your son is so very precious!

    (I’m here from Yeah Write! I’m a used-to-be-regular who has had to slow down participation since things changed with Xander. But I still love to read when I can!!)

    • Laura says:

      Thank you so much and for sharing your story. I hope things for you and Xander (cool name!) get better soon. It can’t imagine how difficult and frustrating that must be. It does change our perspective drastically when we think about it from our child’s point of view and not our own, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but it made me feel selfish and very much like the people I was angry with for their complaints, to realize that MY complaints were small and petty compared to what HE is going through. (ie saying “I have to do three treatments a day for him!” when he’s the one whose body is getting “pounded” or with his little face smooshed in a breathing mask. And not even old enough to know why.) Hugs to you and a prayer for strength. I’m glad we’ve connected!


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