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When Parenting is Uphill

There are days (and weeks and months) when it feels like I’m swimming upstream. More money going out than coming in, more adults crying than kids, more kids crying than mathematically possible, and pets that seem to have gotten the idea that anything goes in this house...

On those days, it’s easy to question my parenting, my sanity, and my overall abilities to function. I begin to doubt if I’m any good at taking care of my kids. I feel guilty for not juggling work and childcare better. I feel hopeless that I’m stuck in this rut and things may not change. Have you felt any of this?? Have you tried to “do it all” only to feel like it’s near impossible?

If and when my mind wanders to these dark depths, often it’s a light hearted, cliché meme that snaps me out of it. Of all things!!!! Not my therapist, or my partner, or BFF heart to heart. (Though they are worth their weight in gold, truth be told) Today the meme that spoke to me was “You are the exact parent your children need” PRAISE BE. I’m here to learn the lessons I need. They’re here to teach me. And to learn from me. And together we’ll trip up a million times but we’ll do it together.

Listen, is it true? Perhaps. Is it validating? Definitely. And for the record, I do believe it. I do believe that my family is a puzzle. One of those ridiculously tedious, whacky cut, takes 8 billion years to piece together, puzzles. But we fit together in our way. And we all make lots of mistakes and we’re all constantly trying different combinations of pieces to see if it’s the right fit. It takes patience- and trust- that in time everything will settle in where it needs to.

So on days where I feel massive resistance, endless uphill battles, or boundless uncertainty, I pause to repeat to myself, “I am the exact parent my children need(and ipso facto, they are the exact children their parent needs...) and subsequently I release my tightened jaw and all expectations for the day. Restart. Reboot. Reframe.

This pattern of stress, doubt, anger, pause, release, can happen anytime- pregnancy, postpartum, throughout parenting. We’re all on the ride. Got any good parenthood memes saved in your collection? Send them our way! Hey, maybe it will be the exact thing we need to see in that moment...saving us from our next meltdown. ;)

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