We had a very challenging year with one of my kids last year.
And by “challenging” I mean that I spent many parts of last year wanting to quit. And crying. And trying really, really hard to remember that I was the parent and that it wasn’t OK to resort to name calling and locking myself in my room.
It was the kind of year that makes you want to eat your weight in McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes.
The kind of year that makes you want to quit motherhood. Particularly when your kid seems to feel like that would be no great loss and expresses often that they wish they could go join another family.
And you wish the same thing. Often.
I’m guessing you can relate. I’m guessing there was an area of your life that made you want to quit all. the. things. last year. And maybe last Monday. Or yesterday?
We’ve worked so hard. Very hard. All of us. And went backwards a lot. And then started going forwards a bit. And last week I realized that it had been at least a month since anyone – kid or adult – had felt the need for a full on, fall on the floor, rant.
And on that day, on the very day I was starting to feel like maybe I could face another year with this kid, I got a call from the school that there were all these other areas that said kid had fallen behind on. Because, well, in order to survive the very hard things, some of the less hard things had fallen by the wayside.
It was a blow. I felt embarrassed. And I said sorry; admitted that we’d dropped the ball.
And there was a moment I felt like we were back at square one.
But when I walked into church on Sunday and a friend asked how we were doing – I told her.
I told her exactly what the teacher had said and what the voice in my head had added and you know what?
She listened. She could relate. And she gave me both encouragement and perspective.
Five years ago I wouldn’t have told her the truth.
Five years ago I would have told her we were “just fine.”
But I’ve learned since then that “just fine” can sometimes be a self-inflicted wound.
“Just fine” is the end of the conversation and a missed opportunity.
“Just fine” leaves me boxed in with all my doubt and insecurity.
“Just fine” is deeply lonely.
I quit being “just fine” three years ago.