I heard a writer say to channel all the strong emotions in order to write. Frustration, fear, love, hope, joy… what about the mental exhaustion? It’s not writers’ block. Is lack of coherence.
I never thought I could be this tired. After I put dinner on the table, and the girls relate to me as fresh, and they test their own boundaries, wanting to switch seats, and we do it, once or twice then we put a stop to the nonsense. I don’t care anymore about their digestive fengshui. Or they don’t like the glass I put water for them (too big, too small, too different…) They remember they want sour cream. They want bread. They want juice.
I’m action oriented and I used to jump up and do what was needed, requested… including during play time. But I realize the girls change their minds as fast as time blows. And if I resist the urge to jump up at the first call, they change their mind anyway. Or they forget.
As a parent I learned to weigh my options and not be so quick to answer. Observe calmly. Smile serenely even when they jump up and down on or around me. I put my foot down when their extreme tiredness impedes their function. And within a minute they are in bed falling asleep.
We parent from the seat of our pants. And I feel we got better at certain things, though managing the pain of disconnection is still real, when we correct, when we set boundaries, when we raise our voice because we weren’t heard the first 4 times, when we seem to repeat ourselves in vain… I sense that our kids tend to forget the nagging and their childhood is as normal as it gets. The bags under our eyes are our badge of honor. And the occasional defiance is rooted in their confidence in our love and commitment. They push, we push, they fold, we embrace, we fold they embrace…
I have brilliant topics I want to wrote about as I am ready to fall asleep. But our rule is no technology in the bedroom. So I sleep on it and in the morning I can’t remember a thing … not even the vague idea. Once I wrote with blurry half asleep eyes, and when I read it in the morning, I thought it was brilliantly insightful and well written.
Maybe I’ll sacrifice my sleep on occasions. Meanwhile, we trudge ahead. We are happy and fulfilled and present. But these three are not mutually exclusive with exhaustion and irritation. So there… we try to find pockets of silence and joy in the daily obstacle race.