Fair warning – I doubt that this is a legitimate and coherent blog post. It’s likely going to be more of a brain dump. But a brain dump that will make my heart feel better. So that’s a good thing. Right?
This parenting thing? I am so not enjoying it right now. I actually kind of hate it. I know I am not “supposed to” say that let alone think it…but it it so, so, so true.
It’s not that I don’t love my kids. I love them so much it hurts. Sometimes I don’t like them very much – that’s just the typical adolescent stuff, the this too shall pass stuff, the someday we’ll laugh about this stuff, the loss of electronics privileges but I still love you stuff. The moments in which I don’t like my kids very much are quickly eclipsed because of how much I love them.
But parenting is not the same thing as loving your kids. And this parenting thing? This parenting middle schooler with level 1 ASD, anxiety disorder, panic disorder and depression – while also parenting an almost middle schooler just trying to live her life? That is HARD STUFF. And lately that hard stuff has me in a place where I am just not enjoying the parenting part of being an actual parent.
I know that the brain chemistry and hormones involved in both puberty and mental illness are working triple time right now in my son. I also know that despite our unwavering love and support, the hours of counseling, arsenal of coping techniques, and ever-changing combination of medications there will be moments, hours, days, weeks, months (please God not years) where his limbic system will bolt into action before the more rational cerebral cortex can process a situation. I know all of that, and I hate all of that. All of that is what makes parenting so damn hard.
Lately we have been deep in the trenches of the hard parts, after some months of things not being so hard. We had a few months where the love and the light and the joy that still lives deep within my boy returned. And while it wasn’t all sunshine and giggles and puppies, it was a much easier season of life and parenting. I want that back. Please?
If only it were that easy. I know it isn’t (I KNOW it isn’t).
I also know we are not alone in walking through a difficult season of parenting. All of you out there fighting your own parental battles, getting up everyday and loving your kids but hating whatever your own specific family challenge might be….I see you. I see you, and I acknowledge you, and I applaud you. I invite you to whisper, or scream, or say silently in your own head and heart how much you truly and deeply HATE this parenting thing. It’s not a magic pill. It won’t change anything, but I promise saying it out loud can totally make you feel better – I know I do 😉
Dearest Dena. You are doing an incredible job. And a heckuva job it is! It is a 24/7, thankless, full-bodied event. You are strong, loving, driven, dignified and brilliant. Your broad shoulders carry so much. Take very good care of you and know that when those shoulders slump a little under the weight of this journey that nothing will make them break. I praise and honor the courage with which you are walking your path. Giant hugs and so much love to you!!!
Right back atcha’ my friend. You are walking your own parenting path with incredible amounts of grace and courage!
It is truly a rollercoaster on parental joy…great post!
A roller coaster indeed! Thanks for reading and for commenting!