I wake up everyday knowing I have about a 1000 things to do, starting with getting the kids ready for daycare and school. Somewhere in there I get myself ready while trying to chat with my hubby for a few minutes before we leave each other for the day. Sometimes I catch up with friends or family on the ride before starting a day full of work. After work there is no rest with picking up the kids and making dinner, helping with homework, cleaning up, paying bills, and occasionally catching up with the hubby, friends, or watching possibly a half hour of TV before surendering to sleep. I know this type of day is nothing special, many moms and dads have days that mirror mine. And most days it’s ok, filled with happy moments, some frustrating ones, but overall positive.
Then there are the other days. The days when one or more people in my house are in a bad mood, mean mood, and meltdowns take over. Days I still need to be Mama and stay calm before I have my own private meltdown. I know this is also something other parents struggle with and it’s hard for us to not all feel alone in that.
I then reflect and sometimes beat myself up a bit. I should have done something different. Have I checked in with my Mom? Have I reached out to a friend? Did I give my hubby a kiss goodbye? Did I hug my daughter enough this morning ? Did I give my little man enough cuddles and kisses before daycare? Parents are always reminded these days that the kids being little does not last forever and that these days have a lot of magic to them that you do not want to miss. Parents today are more vocal about the struggles that come along with this time in our lives too, but sometimes it’s still isolating when it appears you are the only one without the ideal family. I think we all get lost in that with the sea of beautiful Facebook and Instagram pics. Nobody ever posts a pic of a fight, including me. Perhaps I should.
When I look at my day I wonder, where was I? I don’t remember taking a moment to remember who I am, to do something that’s good for me, to take a minute to take care of myself along with all my other responsibilities. And I remind myself again, I am not alone feeling like this.
Remembering I can’t be everything is hard, I think most people want to be the fixer, especially when thinking about their kids. Watching them struggle and feeling like they are a puzzle you can’t solve is one of the worst situations to face. Physical pain can usually be fixed with a kiss and a Monster High bandaid that is super cool. Mental pain, that one is tricky and as a parent I don’t know how to be there and let go at the same time. I don’t know how to let me little girl figure out her own way when she seems so lost and hurting. I try my best to teach respect and give her calming down techniques. And then I have to leave her to fend for herself at school and hope she isn’t hurting or feeling alone. That she is happy and having fun and learning, and knowing that Mama and Daddy are her anchor. That even on the hard days, we are her safe zone.
I know I can’t be everything to everyone right now or really ever, but I hope I can at least succeed at providing that safe and loved feeling for the two most important little humans in my life.
To all the parents out there, know I think you are doing your best and that’s enough.