The other day I was talking to a friend who has a couple of kids, and I told her how busy Grant and I were this past month between graduation, moving, Grant working at his internship and starting his own business, me trying to prepare for my classroom, etc. And her response was "Just wait till you have to do all of that on top of raising a family." As I thought about her response something crossed my mind. Who's to say who is more busy? I feel like that's like me telling a high school student who says that they're busy to "just wait till you get to college." Are college classes harder? Absolutely. But am I doing the 3 extra-curricular activities I was doing during high school? Probably not. I believe that the stresses of life change very often. You go from being a high school kid trying to get into college, to being a college student trying to work and go to school, once graduating, trying to find a job, etc. And in the midst of all of this, you sometimes get married and begin raising a family. Even if this happens after college, who's to say who is more busy? You can't compare apples and oranges. So, in response to those who say "just wait till you have kids" I would say that yes, in the eternal scheme of things, raising a family can be very daunting and quite a challenging task, but that does not diminish the stress of beginning a new job, moving, etc. Grant and I were talking the other night and I told him that I don't know if I could've had kids while we were both going to school. I tip my hat off to those people who have a kid or two but are still both in school. Trying to juggle both schedules around raising a baby would be so hard, and I admire people who can do that. Would having kids make keeping a clean apartment, going to school, having a church calling, etc. be hard? Absolutely! But that doesn't diminish how hard that is without kids either. I know that as the demands on us increase, so does our ability to handle those demands. I know I will have to do all of these things with kids eventually, but with added responsibility comes added ability. I know we're all tempted to one-up others because we also need to feel validated in our responsibilities, but next time the temptation to one-up someone comes, try saying something like "Ya, I remember what that was like." Try sympathy/empathy, and they will sympathize back with you in your situation.
One other thought: I remember talking to a woman who had a few kids and she was telling me how much of a financial burden children are and how taxing it can be to a family's finances. I believe it! I do not discount that at all. But then she pointed out another woman and said "I wish I could be her. She has no idea the types of trials that I'm going through because she doesn't have kids and her and her husband have full-time jobs and have a lot of money." While she might not understand the financial stresses of raising a family, she has trials of her own. That other woman didn't have any kids because she struggled with infertility. Next time temptation to judge someone else's situation arises, maybe pause to think about the blessings you have and how others may not have those blessings.