You know what is the most annoying and offending question I get? How are you doing it all? As if I found out the secret to the single parenthood and are keeping it all for myself, starving thousands of other parents of THE key to having a balanced, full-filling and non-exhausting life. The question is right up there on the please-don't-tell-me-that-shit list with You are a supermum.
There is no such thing as a supermum or superdad. We are all just parents doing what needs to be done with the resources we have and within our own constraints. Comparing us with super-heroes stripes us from our humanity: Our fears of failing our kids, not making it through the days, or - again - sending the kids to school without the right material because between work, dinner and sports activities last minute requests to bring in empty kitchen paper rolls just didn't register.
I know, you mean well. I had that chat with a very good friend of mine. You mean it as a compliment. You want to focus on our strengths. But your good intentions unintentionally evaporate. I'm left with a hollow feeling, trying to grasp the compliment.
What to say instead:
- It's amazing what you are doing.
- I really like that you are doing XYZ with your kids.
- I can take your kids to school/sports activity on ... day.
- Do you mind if I cook dinner for you on ... I'm making spagetti bolognese for my kids and could make an extra big portion and bring you some.