Motherhood

The Emotional Toll Of Always Showing Up

My kids have been in school for one month and this month has been quite the experience to say the least. I thought things would be easy breezy–my husband drops them off so that I have mornings to work and then drop BC off to his program. I planned on having all day to work or go to the doctor or listen to silence. What I didn’t expect was the emotional toll back to school was going to have on me, the kids, and our household.

While transitions will always affect everyone in a household, they typically affect the moms the most. Why? Because everyone emotionally dumps on us and then we have our heavy emotions on top of that. And as parents, we have to show up mentally with homework, physically be there, spiritually nurture, and emotionally support.

Friends. It’s hard.

This isn’t about to be one of those posts that have some amazing resolution that guides you to feeling better. I’m not there yet but I’m writing this because I’m a writer and this is how I deal with things. And because if you’re struggling, I want you to know that you aren’t alone–I’m riding shotgun on the struggle bus.

It’s Not An Emotional Burden, But It Is An Emotional Toll

I love my kids. I love their big personalities that can barely fit into their little bodies. I love their hugs and their kisses and hearing about their days. I don’t love the visceral reaction I have when I hear about bad days, rough times or struggles.

I Can’t Live Their Lives For Them But I Feel Their Pain

Abc is transitioning into school flawlessly. Her school had a summer camp where she was able to meet her new teachers, kids in her class and really have some time to adjust. She wasn’t excited about starting school but she went along with it and now is rocking things out. But she failed a sight word test and the way her entire body slumped over as she walked out of school hurt my entire being. We didn’t do tests for homeschool but we did do focused work on her sight words. As much as she needed to fail (she’s been taking her schoolwork more seriously since), it hurt like hell.

And Mini is a whole other story. She was who I worried about going back to school. Mini is a sensitive child who can get emotionally overwhelmed quickly before exploding. She can’t hold water and has a tendency to share everyone’s business–but her own. But when making friends, this isn’t the best quality to have. Academically, she’s shining and ahead. Socially, whew… It’s been a challenge.

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Since her second week of school, she’s been faced with challenges that I’ve had to take deep breaths and help her navigate through. It’s hard because I know she’s hurt and I want to run-up to the school and handle it for her but I can’t. This is for her to learn and process and take care of.

The greatest lesson in parenting is not unconditional love–it’s in how little control we actually have.

Aaronica Cole

Yesterday I hit a breaking point though. I wouldn’t say that I struggle with being positive but I’ve been really wanting to take better care of myself. Not in the get my nails done ever 2 weeks sense but more like I go to the PCP for the first time in 6 years type of way–save your judgement, I’m working on it.

Showing Up Is Emotionally Tolling

I can’t even express how happy I am that my daughter will come home and share with me the truths of her heart. I’ve done a lot of work on myself so that I can show up for my family and talk through things that may once have set me completely off. But friends, that doesn’t mean that any of this is not draining. Yesterday when my husband came home, I had to check out of everything and cry my eyes out as I finished watching Pose.

Today I feel better but I need to do a better job of putting myself higher up on the care totem pole so that I can continue to show up for my family.

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