I don’t know why people keep trying to “out-tire” each other—especially in what seems like a totally unnecessary competition between parents and childfree people.
It’s not a contest to see who is more exhausted by their daily lives; we should honestly all just try and support each other because life is exhausting both with and without children.
One Redditor with a really demanding job is wondering if she was wrong to tell her friends with children that they don’t have the monopoly on complaining about being tired.
“Basically I (34f) have a really demanding job. I work long hours, never really get to turn off, and have a crap contract which means unemployment is always looming. Sometimes I make it to the end of the week and I can barely keep my eyes open. There are weeks during busy periods where I barely get to see my partner, let alone my friends. Long story short, sometimes I’m just really, really tired,” the OP writes.
“Recently I was hanging out with some friends and mentioned that I was struggling a bit at the moment because it’s a particularly busy time at work. I said I was excited for a day off and a lie in because I was bone tired. About 3 of my friends (all mothers of kids under 6) laughed and said I didn’t ‘understand the meaning of tired’ because I don’t have children. One of them said a week in my life would be like a holiday for them and that I shouldn’t complain because childless people have it so easy. They just went on and on, telling me how hard it is to have kids and that when I ‘grow up’ and have a family I’ll realise how stupid I sound.”
The OP got mad and told them “they didn’t have a monopoly on being tired and that they have no idea what my life is like.”
“I told them if it’s so damn hard to have kids maybe they shouldn’t have kept having them. I also told them it was sh-tty to talk down to people who have made different choices to them.”
The OP’s speech did not go well, and some of her friend left. Later, one mom accused her of being unfair.
But is it really unfair to complain about being tired and expect some sympathy from friends?
“NTA mom here, and while I am tired, as long as people don’t talk down to me, I don’t talk down to them. Parents don’t have a monopoly on exhaustion. It doesn’t sound like you were putting down their experiences at first, but just telling your own. It isn’t a contest, and they didn’t have to play martyr. Yeah, they are tired, probably way more tired than before kids, but they still don’t need to put down your own feelings. Not everything is about them,” said just-peepin-at-u.
“I was a nanny for a family when I was 20, and at that time my insomnia was so terrible, I was getting maybe an hour or two of sleep per night. One day, upon going to their house to work, the parents asked how I was. I said I was tired cause I didn’t get much sleep. The dad laughed and goes ‘You think you’re tired!’ At this time, their kids were MOSTLY sleeping through the night and woke up once in the middle of the night to sleep with them. I was livid. Now, as a parent myself, I would never tell a childless person that I’m more tired than them just because they don’t have a kid,” said CaityCait5626.
“I have a serious chronic illness that is incredibly painful at times. You know what I say when people complain to me about having a cold? I don’t say, ‘You don’t know what feeling bad is. Having a cold would be a vacation compared to what I go through.’ I say, ‘Having a cold sucks. I hope you feel better soon.’ Because it’s not a damn contest,” explained Cleromanticon.
“NTA. Argh, this kind of thing ‘They laughed and said I didn’t “understand the meaning of tired” because I don’t have children” makes me so ragey. Parents do not have a f**king monopoly on being tired. Students are tired. Working people are tired. People with physical or mental ailments are tired. Caregivers are tired. It is not unique to parents, and it’s so incredibly obnoxious of people to act like that. (For what it’s worth, my husband got deployed when I had a full-time job, a 3 year old, and a premature baby, and your friends are patronizing f**kwads and you may quote me to them.) These gatekeepers who always have to have a gold medal in the misery Olympics always conveniently ignore that there are lots of people way more tired/stressed/worried, whatever than they are, too,” said sqibbery.
“NTA – mostly for the comment about ‘growing up and having a family.’ Not everyone wants or can have a family! Telling someone they’re childish or not an adult because they don’t have a kid is dumb and I’m tired of hearing it,” noted TandyAngie.
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