I came home at 7pm tonight & after my entire family emptied out of my car, I remained inside. I told them that it was because my favorite song came on the radio, but really it was because I felt like I had a weight on my chest, an anxiety attack was setting in & my eyes were swelling with tears. You see, even though I had a really good day prior to 3pm, once my kids enter my car after school each day, the weight of raising them hits me like a ton of bricks as they begin to unload their days & unload on each other, the thought of cooking dinner (way too late in the day) enters my brain, homework, after school activities & bathing become suffocating. I don’t know if this is how a lot of moms feels, but I know it’s how this mom feels. Today was one of those days when the weight of every day took on a few trillion more pounds when I learned that my child that has been bullied by the same girl for over a year & has also been struggling with a new bully this year was physically pushed by the bully of the last year after enduring her verbal abuse for weeks now. She was distraught when she got in her Dad’s truck & told him about it. When he told me about it, we were both holding back extreme anger, but you do only what you can do in those situations & regain your composure, tame your temper & limit the F bombs to behind your closed bedroom door while trying to empower your daughter through gritted teeth. You then start playing out every possible scenario on how you handle this in a world that calls kids “snowflakes” & parents “helicopter moms” & you try to find the balance in it all & protect your child while letting them learn how to overcome difficult people & situations. It’s hard, there’s not a minute of these situations that are easy & finding compassion for the other child might be the greatest test of personal growth you may ever have to find within yourself.
I then went to middle school night for our oldest that will be transferring out of her current, 70 person Montessori middle school to the public middle school in August with 900 students. Lets not even go in to how hard, thought out & scary that decision was for my husband, my daughter & I. While walking through the middle school, I see a campaign they are doing to acknowledge & get in front of hurtful words with posters throughout the school that say, “I will not use the word bitch because it implies women are weak & some of the strongest people I know are women.” “I will not use the word slut because it’s derogatory to women.” I love this & I think it’s great & I love that these words were put on the walls in bold letters & this is the movement that my daughters are being raised in, but when did we get to a place that this is necessary? Seriously, WTF? A 7th grader in that same school took her life just a few weeks ago & my heart is shattered for her parents & I wonder also when we got to a place that some 7th graders feel such hurt & pain that they feel death is a better option than ANY aspect of living. Throughout the middle school tour I had one child in a constant state of eye rolls & attitude that could shatter ice, one child so sad & stressed over what tomorrow would bring & another child insisting I play horse with her while walking the halls.
I stayed behind in the car, dropped my forehead to the steering wheel, covered my hand over my mouth & cried loud sobs while tears rolled down my face because:
-Parenting is truly the hardest job anyone will ever have to do.
-I struggle with anxiety like I have since I was child. It took me 36 years to be okay with saying this aloud.
-Even though I have an amazing & supportive spouse, he will never be able to keep up with &/or fix my racing mind, & I’d never expect him to. Sometimes that means I still feel alone & I’m grateful I can see & feel that.
-You have to feel it to heal it, nothing gets fixed or dealt with in your mind or heart if you don’t admit it’s happening & really feel it. You don’t have to dwell on it or even fix it immediately, but not acknowledging it, does more harm than good. Tonight sitting in my car allowed me to feel it & begin to heal it, because tomorrow it will all still be there, but I like to think I’ll be better prepared to deal with it.
People ask me why I’m so vulnerable & post this kind of stuff on Facebook & my blog and I tell them that it’s because owning your truth is brave, but sharing your story with others so that they might feel empowered to own or share their own story is a gift I want to give. I’m not afraid to admit I’m over here doing the best I can, in the most imperfect of ways & if it can help another person or mom rise up, it’s all worth it.