It is so absolutely frustrating to discuss relationship issues with someone you feel vulnerable enough to talk to and have their response be some variation of, “Well, think of your kid.” This sounds like good advice, right? It also sounds like something the parent of said child has probably thought of and something that is weighing even harder on these relationship problems. This well intentioned comment can shut things down. If you trust your friend as a parent, you don’t need to ask this.
A mother is still an individual person. Only associating them with their status of mother is a patriarchal notion. Assuming that they have not thought of their child(ren) implies that they are a bad mother. If they are coming to you with something, there’s an assumption that you will understand them. Your opinion matters to them. So, please, ask yourself first if you truly believe this individual has not thought at all about their children.
People are very affected by how they were raised. For people who are not parents, their childhood may be the only way they can relate to those with children. I have experienced terrible parenting, but I am not my father. In fact, I, like other parents, am not the parent of the vast majority of you. Every person, circumstance, and dynamic changes everything. It’s hard for us to separate our experiences from those of others, but it is certainly worth a try.
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