Hi, Carolyn: Is there a good way to communicate stuff that falls under the umbrella of “You’re not a parent; you don’t understand” without using those actual words, which I know people (rightly) find condescending and insulting?
I have a small child. My friend “Trixie” doesn’t have kids. She’s going through a rough time and wants a lot of social support in the form of quality time. Shopping outings, happy hours, and now she’s talking about wanting to go away for a weekend; my husband and kid wouldn’t be invited.
I’m game for some of this, but not all. I work full-time and cherish the three to four hours I have at the end of each day with my son before he goes to bed. Trixie thinks that since my husband is an “involved dad” (barf) and we have relatives in town who can help babysit, I must be thrilled and able to get away as often as she wants me to. I often find myself pushed toward expressing that as a non-parent, she probably doesn’t understand that I am not dying to escape my parenting responsibilities every night (as I imagine it must look to her). — Parent