On Valentines Day in the year 2000 I met my best mate Lachy at Charles Sturt University. He lived in the dorm downstairs from mine (represent Heath Towers).
In 16 years we have supported each other through relationship break ups, moving houses/states/countries, an elopement and two kids. When I say supported each other, I mean Lachy has always been on the receiving end of a mental breakdown or some other catastrophe that he always manages to get me through. He is an incredibly patient man that has endured a slightly unhinged drama queen for a best friend. And I love him so.
The thing about my sexless life partner (a term he coined to correct people who assumed we were together), is that he always validates my feelings, no matter how silly they might be. He is always on my side.
Whenever I am having a shit time, the last thing I want to hear is, “You think that’s bad? When my kids were your age the oldest child didn’t sleep for a whole year, and then the house burnt down, and I was working 6 jobs full time and looking after 45 babies with absolutely no help at all! Oh I wish my life was as simple as yours.”
Really? That’s what you choose to say to someone who is sleep deprived and not having a great time? I’m not so completely deluded that I think no one has it as bad as me. I am incredibly thankful for how good I have it. But I think having a rant and getting things off your chest is a healthy way to deal with stuff.
So I generally resist the urge to hurt that person, remove myself, being as polite as I can, and call Lachy. I will explain to him that my kid had a shit sleep or whatever my kids have done to make me crazy. And Lachy responds the way any good friend should.
“Suz, your kid is an asshole! You need a nap, a wine and a great big hug.”
That’s it. It’s so simple. When shit gets real with my kids, all I ask is to be heard, validated and then be offered a drink. Lachy doesn’t have kids and is the first one to admit he has no clue what to do. I don’t need answers; I don’t need solutions, just for someone to be on my side.
I sure as fuck don’t need to be told to harden up or how much worse someone else has suffered. Truth is, as soon as Lachy refers to my kids as assholes, I’m good. I move on.
And I am extremely lucky that I have a whole army of Lachy’s on my side. All my mates in Sydney who are just a phone call away. The amazing friends I have made here in Brisbane who come round and take the monsters away for a bit.
My tribe of strong women at my Pilates group that let me cry, show me love then do a killer workout!
The crew at my local café all have kids older than mine so they have been there done that. They let me have my rant, reassure me that kids are in fact designed to want to kill you, I have a coffee, we have a laugh and balance is restored to the universe.
It’s ok to refer to your kids as assholes. In fact, I encourage it. Know that you aren’t getting this whole parenting thing wrong. It’s them, not you. Catch up with your Lachy on the phone or over a wine. Let it all out, have a laugh at your child’s expense and then get back to being the kick ass parent you always have been.
That person that loves telling you how much better they are in life than you, maybe lose their number. You don’t need that shit in your life.