So here's where I'm at with my self-imposed reading assignment: I read Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and am halfway through Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. Not surprisingly, they are easy-breezy reads...composing this post will probably take longer than it did to read one of them. Both are written by the same author, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, and both concern her first child. Sippy Cups covers infancy and Naptime, the toddler years.
In the middle of reading, I decided that my eyeballs were in danger of getting permanently stuck in the rolled-back position, so I took a break and did a little internet research on the author. This brought me to her blog, "babyonbored", where I found out that her "baby" is now going on 6 and that she subsequently had twin girls who are now toddlers. Turns out that one of the twins was only 2 lbs at birth, has chronic feeding issues, and from what I could gather (way too many posts to weed through...I wonder if I will still be blogging five years from now?) is on and off feeding tubes to this day. Also, after defending every new mother's right to get completely drunk off her ass, she eventually admitted that she was an alcoholic, has been sober for a year, and, as luck would have it, is going to be featured on 20/20 this very night in a segment about rummy mummys.
I could keep with my snarky bad attitude (because I reallyreallyreally love my snarky bad attitude) and say that it serves her right after how much she glorifies drinking in her books, which she absolutely does. Or, going back to my original premise, mock and judge her for feeling like her life is that stressful compared to mine. But I just got done watching Oprah, and I realize that that would just be invalidating her truth. Show me the way, your O-liness...
The reality is that there is always someone who has it better than you, and there is always someone who has it worse. It's really not very instructive to look at either the greener or browner side of the fence. Yes, it can provide a momentarily sense of perspective, but you will quickly be snapped back to your own reality. When I'm having a particularly bad day with Audrey, it frankly doesn't make me feel better to hear that someone else has a more severely autistic child. It just makes me more depressed that there are so many autistic children. And I'm sure that on Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's worst day, she really wouldn't care that I have it so much harder with Audrey. And not just because she would have more than likely been hammered. As it turns out, she had her own trials and tribulations with her preemie twins.
I would still like to continue with my book report, and I'll do a post for each stress-inducer discussed in the books that led the author to reach for the corkscrew. But I will strive to keep the judgment to a minimum. Oprah would want it that way.