Saturday, May 20, 2017

Motherhood and the Emotional Roller Coaster

Happy belated Mother's Day all.

Tonight as I listen to the roar of kids laughing in the other room, and the chirp of the peepers beginning their song, and the tinkling of the ice in my glass I am feeling pretty relaxed. Finally. It has been a challenging week. Not anything out of the range of normal challenges, just a week filled with the constant worry of whether or not I am doing the right thing by my children. Am I listening to their needs enough? Have I guiding them well through all of our massive transitions throughout the past two years? Am I managing their anger, anxiety, fears, and social challenges well enough? Will I help them turn into decent happy adults? God I hope so, but, when you're in the thick of it, sometimes it sure is hard to tell.

I have tripled my flock of children in a matter of two years, and I am still learning everyday how to manage the emotions of this huge needy brood. The balance between day to day parenting, step parenting, and every other weekend parenting is like a juggling act, one which I think Jon and I are doing our best at, but which never fails to make me feel inadequate. Ultimately I am pretty sure they will all be just fine, but of course in the day to day it's easy to lose sight of this. The jolly smiling pictures splayed across social media say nothing about what daily life is like with your kids. It's always amazing to me how perfect it can all seem in pictures. We are good. Great even, but we have our major share of screeching, breakdowns, sob-fests, rage, meetings with the principal, fights with siblings and friends, and the everyday "EVERYONE HATES ME!" "NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH!" (storm off, slam door, repeat an hour later). Good times people.

One wonderful achievement this month is that RJ will be graduating in just two weeks. One down! Five more to go! I am immensely proud of RJ and his success this year, this kid has traveled many emotional miles in his short life, and I love the person he is turning out to be. It's funny how you can not be someone's mother, and come into their life when they are already so far into it, but still be able to take them into your cocoon and help them to grow wings. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for RJ, every step he takes towards adulthood makes me immensely proud.

This is what I know about motherhood. You spend your entire life in fear that something bad will happen to your children, and that you can't/won't prevent the bad, or, worse yet, you'll cause the bad or not be able to fix the bad. The truth is that the bad is unavoidable at some point, for some far worse than others, and there is totally nothing we can do to stop it. Some of it comes before we even meet our kids or step kids, some of it is natural consequence for life events, and some of it is just hideously unfortunate. Whatever the bad comes from, or whatever they have been through before us, we can only do our best to love the crap out of them and hope that they know it. My hope is that they carry that love with them to get them through the dark times, and hold onto it for whenever they need a little light to guide them. For now I will continue listening to the peepers and keep hoping for the best.

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