Such a common phrase: Just be grateful. And so often aimed at mothers. Especially new mothers who are at their most vulnerable.
It starts during pregnancy.
Complained about all day morning sickness? - Just be grateful you can even get pregnant!
Expressed gender disappointment? You'll have heard it too! - Just be grateful, so many women would love to be happy to have a child of ANY sex.
Had a traumatic birth? Just be grateful you have a healthy baby!
Felt bullied, pressured or assaulted by a care provider? - "Just be grateful you and your baby are alive!!!"
One day I'll have the bed all to myself again.
And then we move into motherhood. Feeling that the expression of anything other than gratitude makes us some sort of "bad mum".
Cranky that you had no sleep last night? - Just be grateful!
Wishing you could eat a meal without someone throwing food? - Just be grateful!
Ticked off that it takes days to write blog posts because you also need to have a conversation with several dinosaurs who are currently driving a skateboard home? Just be grateful you even have kids! Soon they won't ask you to talk to their dinosaurs, and then you'll be sad! (because then who will you talk to?!).
I can be grateful for my children AND complain about the fact that there are no chairs at the table because they are being used to make a cubby house.
BUT...I am noticing a massive, glaring, hypocrisy here.
Why the hell is no-one saying this to fathers?!?!
I hear men complain about parenting ALL. THE. TIME.
They are tired from being woken up by the baby.
They are sick of their house being so messy.
They are "icked out" about having to be in the birth pool to catch the baby (which they didn't even catch...but that's another story!).
Do you EVER hear men say to other men (maybe over a beer):
"Buck up mate. Just be grateful. There are so many men out there who would just love to be in your shoes, but can't have kids."
If a man is upset that his wife's vagina might not be as tight after birth no-one tells him "just be grateful that your wife and baby are alive!"
If a man is upset about the blocks being all over the floor, perhaps he should just be grateful that his wife doesn't throw them at his head when he mentions it...
Patriarchy...Shaming women for saying the same stuff as men. Since forever.
I would love to hear your thoughts - Do you ever see men being silenced with a "just be grateful"? have you ever told your partner to "just be grateful" when he has complained about parenting?