Just Keep Swimming

5 years ago

I passed the GRE yesterday. I studied for two days over the weekend. I can't believe I passed.

But I did.

So now I get to go to grad school.

Wait, wait. There's a moral to this story.

So many times, as parents, we feel our entire selves being sucked away by life, adulthood, our responsibilities, the cleaning...dare I say it, the children.

Who are we? What do we stand for? Where do we want to be? We only have so much time on this planet. What are we going to do with it?

And when the answers to those questions don't come, and instead we are faced with five loads of laundry and two squalling children, the weight of it can seem too much.

All of our carefully laid plans fall to the wayside. We get pregnant again, or someone gets laid off, we lose all our money, we never had any money, whatever. It doesn't matter what happens to us, we tend to internalize it and we think, 'this happened because I'm not working hard enough, I didn't plan well enough, I don't think things through, I'm a dick.'

This is such dangerous thinking, and it's almost inevitable. How many times have I felt this myself? I yell at the kids, or I'm too tired to clean the sink, or I'm not making any money even though I'm working my tail off. It's all because I suck, right?

Right.

Only not at all.

Be strong. You don't suck. You are amazing. You are doing things that only you can do. Life is not a day. Life is not two months. If you are suffering, if you can't get out of bed, if you feel you've failed yourself and your family, just hang on. Just another day, another week. Hell, just hang on another year. As long as it takes. And don't do it alone. If you are depressed, if you are sick, if you are just frustrated about everything, anything, reach out. We are here, we are all here. Ready and willing to help, to tell you about how wonderful you really are, and how much you will actually accomplish.

Take a chance. When you can, take a break. Look around yourself. You created this. Sure, it's a mess, and it smells like bad milk (okay, that's just me. My kid spilled her milk on the carpet and never told me. I'm still trying to find the damn spot.), but it's yours.

And it will get better.

You have to keep going. When you don't make it as a huge blogger, when you don't make it as a huge novelist, when you don't make it as a huge producer, when you don't make it as world's best parent ever (fill in your own blanks there). You just have to keep going.

Start now, start today. You don't have to *do* anything. You can just look at your surroundings and understand that they exist because of you. And you've done a really good job getting everyone this far.

As parents, the weight of the world is on our shoulders. There's a lot of pressure. You can do it. Just one more hour, minute, second. Every moment that ticks by is another moment you've won.

You've got to believe in yourself. You've made extraordinary children. And there's so much life left.

** Dedicated to several who are having a very hard time right now. I love you.

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