If you are anything like me, you read lots of parenting advice—anywhere you can get it—blogs, articles, books. That could be why you find yourself here today! If you are any more like me, you finish, try a few things, and then go right back to oscillating between gratitude and exhaustion trying to develop a strategy to manage daily life.
Why aren’t there any real answers?
Rather, why, is there not that one magic parenting book that answers it all?
Recently a group of friends and I were lamenting our parenting struggles. We were trying to solve this puzzle and exchanging our own advice. This group of friends all have children under the age of five, but that is where the commonalities end. One is a single mom, one is the mother of twins, one has a child with cancer, and one has a military spouse facing deployment. Our challenges were different but so were our resources. These friends have different marital statuses, incomes, levels of education, and access to family support.
Being lifelong friends, we spent some time pointing out the benefit of each of our individual circumstances under the guise of encouragement. Not so secretly, we were feeling a little sorry for ourselves maybe even a little jealous of one another’s perceived advantages. It is easy to feel this way when swept up in the chaos of day-to-day life.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how you are doing it, it is not easy! As a parent, you are always operating from a place of scarcity—of rest, resources, knowledge, emotional or physical resolve. The scarcity moves around but it is always there.
I am who I am today only. I have just arrived in this moment. So has my 5 year old. So has my 12 month old. So has my husband. We are always changing and yet, we have to make this family work…together…one way or another. Parenthood—it is the real “‘til death do us part.”
For this reason, there is only one real answer: pace yourself! That is the only thing you can do. Stay strong with that in mind. No matter what you are facing in this moment, you will adapt and overcome. You have no other choice! You’re a real mother!