When you Assume, you’re just an Ass

I had a weird conversation with a woman the other week.  It was about our nurse, and brought out a bunch of things I didn’t realize people made assumptions about.  Her words have been on my heart every since.  What I wish I would have said then:


I’m tired.  A lot.  Think about a time when your grandma or spouse or even pet was sick.  Even when you “slept,” you didn’t really have a restful sleep.  This is pretty much every night around here.  On our good nights, when no one wakes up screaming, I still don’t sleep.  I hate the bags under my eyes.  I hate that I sometimes fall asleep during a cartoon.  I hate that sometimes I just can’t fake it anymore.  But, there is nothing I can do to stop the worry that works it’s way in.  I’m not saying this for pity or sympathy.  Just an explanation.  If you assume that I’m sleeping because I’m lazy – you are wrong.  I’m sleeping because my eyes just won’t stay open any longer.

I’m grateful for our nurse.  She is amazing.  She works hard.  She takes great care of Alexander.  She allows me to be a great mom for all 3 of my kids.  She allows me to rest when the twins rest.  Or eat a meal… Or clean… (well, you get the picture.)  She loves my son.  If I were to hand pick a person to be here, it would seriously be her.  Because she is awesome.

Having said that, it is really difficult to have someone in your house all the time.  Imagine yourself with only a few hours a day when someone is NOT in your home.  There is basically no privacy here.  Between our nurse, our therapists, and all the other people who come and go from here – our door is revolving.  Everyone knows if I haven’t cleaned.  Everyone knows if I haven’t showered yet.  Everyone sees my kids missteps, or my missteps.  It is hard to give up your privacy for any reason.  If you assume our life is suddenly easy because we have a nurse, you are wrong.  There are definite benefits, but people often don’t realize what it would be like to give up their privacy.

This overflows into our personal life.  It is difficult for our family to say “yes” to all the invitations we get.  Please, continue to invite us to do things, but… please understand if we say no.  Sometimes we need to do things just as a family – just together – just us.  If you assume we say no because we don’t want to see you, you are wrong.  Sometimes we need to have dinner with no one around. 

I could go on, but I think the point has been made.  This past week has been so wonderful with Alexander’s birthday – that I almost didn’t even post this.  But the truth is… people make assumptions on others’ lives all the time. 

You know what they say – Assumptions just make you and Ass.

Thanks Shell, as always.



  1. Kristen says:

    When I saw this title link, I knew it had to be you!

    I told you earlier today…I do not know how you do what you do and all through a house with a glass interior and exterior for so many to see. You have so much strength, Kristen. I’m sure Alexander gets a lot of his strength from you. Don’t ever feel the need to explain why you haven’t showered and/or your house isn’t clean. One look at Alexander, Addison and Andrew and they will know you use your time for things that count…like love!

    • Kristen says:

      I’m a little scared the title with the word :ass: triggered you to know it was me. haha! Thanks for the support. Always. I’m so fortunate to have you as a friend. xo

  2. Jessica says:

    People should never assume that they know the whole story just from what they see on the outside-thanks for that reminder. The hardest part of your story was thinking about not having any privacy, while being chronically exhausted. That sounds tough. Here’s a virtual hug for you.

    • Kristen says:

      The no privacy does wear on you. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t actually like her! So that is a plus, but … **sigh** thanks.

  3. Jenn says:

    Amen! I have a love/hate relationship with nursing. Love u!

  4. Chin up, mama! Those that know you and love you … Will get it. Those that don’t, well you said it….they are just an a-hole.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks for reminding me that those who love me… will understand. Sometimes I need a reminder of that.

  5. Jessica says:

    I just dont get how some people can be so ridiculous. Why would you make an assumption on a situation your not having to live in on a day to day basis. You keep your chin up–you are doing wonderfully. You DESERVE to get some rest every now and then.

  6. So true. I don’t have kids, or any responsibilities beside university and hospital duties, but I’m tired all the time. It’s health related, but we haven’t quite figured out what’s causing it. I sleep every second I get, and I’ve lost so many friends because they think I’m just lazy.
    I’m not saying that I can compare with your situation, but know that you are not alone. Don’t let idiots get you down.

    • Kristen says:

      Ah… I totally get where you are coming from. And… everyone’s got things they are dealing with. I hope your health improves.

  7. There are so many assumptions made about special needs situations, and it drives me freakin’ bonkers. I’m all for people asking honest and genuine questions – even if it’s simply because they are curious. But you’re completely right: assumptions just make you an asshole.

    Shame on anyone for making the assumption that you’re not doing everything for your children because you have a nurse in the house for Alexander.

    • Kristen says:

      Yeah – the honest questions? I would answer them all day. Because if people want to understand I want to explain things. It is more when people just make assumptions that it kills me. Thanks for understanding. seriously.

  8. Shell says:

    No one can understand what goes on in another person’s life. Yet assumptions are made all the time. I hope others can understand your situation.

  9. Diana says:

    I couldn’t imagine having people underfoot constantly. I get antsy when family overstays their welcome and treasure having the house to myself sometimes. I wish things could be a little easier on you!

    • Kristen says:

      Things will get easier… although – don’t check in tomorrow. The nurse is off and we may all run wild!

  10. I think most people’s assumptions are wrong.
    Because the truth of our own lives is both more difficult and beautiful than anyone can imagine.

    Others can’t understand our challenges nor can they fully appreciate the moments of loveliness.
    Maybe it’s in human nature to assume someone has things either better or worse than they really do.

    So good for you for using this space to set the record straight.

    We should never envy or pity someone else – because either way, we’re getting it wrong.
    We should instead offer support. Love. And then maybe even more support.

    And now I’m off my soapbox.
    Thank you.

  11. Angela says:

    Rest well – I hear you on that crazy-disturbed sleep that chronic stress brings. Find some time for yourself, even for a few hours (I’ve been know to fake a migraine;) I can’t imagine the constant stress of ‘being on’ while a nurse is in your home – I wish you well.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks Angela- I’ve been reading your blog… even though not much time lately to comment. Great stuff. I’m so glad we found each other.

  12. assumptions are for assholes. And you’re an amazing mother. The end!

  13. Dea says:

    We love you girl! Keep your chin up…I know it’s hard sometimes especially when it feels like everyone expects you to have a clean house, perfect kids, etc…trust me, I KNOW! My mom expects my house to be perfect because her house was always spotless when we were little and she worked 50-60 hours a weeks outside the house. I’ve gotten to where I really don’t worry about it & if she wants it clean, then she needs to come clean it.
    Not that our situation is anywhere as stressful as yours, but I get it & we love you, Kristen!!!

    • Kristen says:

      Dea – your situation is stressful! Is your mom cleaning? Can she come here after? I hope her visit is going well… and – As always – thanks for all the love.

  14. Denise says:

    No one can understand when they don’t walk in your shoes. And assuming you know about someone else’s life is just dumb. I am glad you have someone that can help you.

  15. Cindy says:

    I don’t have a special needs child or twins or both! BUT I have done alot of reading about special needs kids along with their families. What I have read echoes what you have said both about the lack of sleep and the difficulty of having someone in your home helping with the child. You really make so much sense with what you have to say! I can very much understand that although you love and appreciate the invites,sometimes the answer is no. AND if people don’t understand,then I guess they are not really your friend then, are they! :)

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks Cindy… I guess not. That is what I think I need to remember- to let go of those things that seem a little toxic. Hopefully people will understand after reading this post. Thanks for all the support.

  16. Tricia says:

    Everyone needs their space sometimes, without question. I hope people stop making assumptions and start understanding.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks Tricia,
      Today – we had no nurse…only therapists. It wasn’t too bad except for the crazy 3 year olds who have taken over my kid’s bodies. :)

  17. Charlie says:

    Not only do I love reading your posts every week, I love all of the great comments you get. You’ve got a caring community here :)

  18. Adrienne says:

    The truth is Kristen, we just never know what other people are going through and why they make the choices they do. I’m going to be totally honest and tell you that I am often on the flip side of this scenario. The one making assumptions. When I get all PMS-y and needy, I over think things, and make everything about me. They must have not replied to my email b/c I upset them? They must not want to see us because they didn’t even call? Blah, blah, blah. This is something I needed to read. Thanks!

    • Kristen says:

      Adrienne – were you reading my drafts? I am just writing a post about the same thing! Anyway, even I need that reminder sometimes :)

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