Some days, it seems like parenthood is about survival. And not in the “my kids are driving me crazy; please let me get to bedtime” kind of survival. I mean the “this is hard and my heart can’t take any more” kind of survival. And I have a fairly normal parenting life. No major problems — just everyday difficulties.
And yet, there are days when I feel awash in stress. Please tell me it isn’t just me.
Last week, I started watching Parenthood. Have you seen it? It’s a show about a family and the kinds of things that all of us go through as parents. And I swear, ten minutes into the very first episode, and I was blubbering. I identified so strongly with one of the storylines that I was taken aback, overcome by my emotions. It seems silly, writing it out like this. But it was so real in the moment.
We survived the kitchen remodel, we survived the summer. We made wonderful memories along the way, and we have a beautiful kitchen to show for it. We relished the long days together, free from commitments and homework. We enjoyed being together, just us, for as long as we could, and then we sought out the company of others, of the sun, of a different city.
With the school year comes the nerve jangling, the worry. It’s when I start to wonder whether I am doing the right thing by my kids. Is this school the right fit for them? Are they happy? Are they making friends? Am I stepping in too much? Am I stepping in too little? So much doubt.
We made so many changes this school year. My head thinks that it was the right choice, and my heart was right there too, until the changes actually took place. And now the heart whispers to my head, maybe this was wrong, maybe you pushed for too much, maybe you’ve made a huge mistake.
So I wait and I hope and sometimes I cry, just to let a little bit of the worry out. I try to find the lovely, the good in every day. I try to find the patience in my heart to wait it out, to survive this latest rough patch.