You knew what you were getting into.

Toddler throwing a fit. Some days are rough for everyone, so let's try to treat the world better than it treated us.

These are some of the least compassionate words a person can say. Recently, I've heard them echoed through our society on a daily basis.

As for me, I decided to have a large family. Nate and I contemplated the pros and cons and chose the path that was right for us. We knew that a steep learning curve would be followed by years of fulfillment and love. It became rapidly apparent, though, that this choice means we're not allowed to acknowledge any genuine difficulty or struggle.

There are some clear-cut guidelines. Using a photo of my tantrum-throwing toddler as a meme is okay. That's funny! It has entertainment value to be cheered and shared. Off-limits, though, is any genuine acknowledgement that I feel isolated and alone. It's not humorous to admit that I'm dizzy from not having fed myself all day amidst a parade of baby food and chicken nuggets. That I sob in the shower because it's the only time the kids can't hear me. That this is frickin hard.

Others are quick to shrug.

You knew what you were getting into.

Nate works graveyard shifts as a first responder. He's also a photographer, and both of these decisions mean that he often spends weekends and holidays away from us. He loves his job, but he also loves his family, and the juggle is a challenge.

You knew what you were getting into.

Toddler looking upset in carseat.

I have friends whose loved ones are deployed, sent halfway across the world for months at a time. Their families are committed to the service. They don't dare publicly acknowledge the strain on their relationships. That would be unpatriotic.

You knew what you were getting into.

People utter these words constantly as they watch those around them choose to pursue their loves, their senses of duty, their logic and their hearts. The fact is that families and individuals who have the courage to live their dreams are well aware of the personal toll they'll face.

Mama snuggling baby

That doesn't make life any easier, though. And it certainly doesn't call for a message of invalidation. It's absolutely sick to look each other in the face and essentially say, “Don't seek out help. Don't let on that something's wrong. Don't be a real person; it's not attractive. That's not what anyone wants to see.”

Grin and bear it, that's the order of the day…to the point that we crack. No wonder our society's mental health is fractured and maligned. Our compassion for each other as human beings has evaporated.

We shouldn't judge people simply based on their decision to live outside our prescribed ideal. The fact is, EVERY life comes with a need to prioritize and sacrifice.

Not a hard life... quote

In a way, we all knew what we were getting into.

And in a way, none of us did.