On Adapting

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Hey mamas, I see you over there, hiding in your closet to shed your tears in peace. I've been there. Many times, in fact. It's so damn hard, isn't it?  This parenting thing? You've never felt so empowered and so defeated at the same time. 

You finish the last of the three loads of built-up laundry only to find yourself back in the laundry room the very next day, and that corner of the living room that you cleaned up especially for you, so that you could have one single space in your house that you can sit in and not feel like a failure, is filled with toys once again.

I've been there.

I've been the mama crying silently in the shower as I rush to shave my legs that haven't been touched in over a week. I've been the frazzled mama who shows up at the park with the toddler who would rather grab fists full of dirt than play.

The issue I've been struggling with, and maybe you have as well, is the belief that all of my problems will be solved if only I can find some kind of balance. But the truth is that I will never find balance. Working more will mean less time with son, and more time with my son means less money coming in. I will feel guilt no matter which way the wind blows. The grass is greener on both sides, mama.

I will never find balance, but I will find ways of adapting.

In March 2013 I came home with a 9lb 8oz newborn baby... and adapted. We were sleep deprived and mentally drained and we adapted. We suffered through thirteen months before my son slept through the night, and we adapted. I went back to work in August 2014, briefly, sending my son to daycare, and we adapted. I left the job after two months, and we adapted.

What I'm trying to say to you, mama, as you struggle to get some kind of breakfast prepared for yourself while your child screams at your feet, is to let go of the idea of balance. It doesn't exist. But you can adapt, and you will. You'll find your place. I'm still looking for mine, and that's okay.

I'm here to tell you it will all be okay.

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11 comments

  1. This is wonderful. I've only been a mom for a little over a month and I can't imagine life without my kid now but some days it is so overwhelming. Some days I feel like I'll never have "me" time ever again. "Me" time might never be the same as it once was but I'll adapt! It's refreshing to know I'm not alone

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    1. Notice how you said that, Jamie: ""Me" time might never be the same as it once was..."

      Yes. It's true, and it's really a great thing that you have realized + accepted that so soon. You learn to be a mom while still being "you"

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  2. How true this is. My 18 month old is going through a stage where he doesn't want to let me sit down through the day. He just puts that little hand up and motions for me to come there. Over and over and over. After having two already, I am used to adapting and not having "me" time, but it still gets to me sometimes. As I sit typing this, here he comes...

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    1. I'm always both marveled and terrified by the energy of children.

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  3. This was lovely. I had a very hard time adjusting to being a single mom, and finding time for work (as a teacher) and for him. So many days I felt like he was being raised by daycare workers. I always had a plan to fill weekends, before and after naps. I could NOT head into a weekend without a plan!

    I found your blog through Project Life and I have been quietly following for a few weeks. Loveliness!!

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    1. Well thank you for commenting Karen + letting me hear from you!

      I can't even imagine how you feel as a single mother. My goodness! So much respect for you.

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  4. This is absolutely true! I had my youngest two girls 15 months apart and to top it off I had our youngest in June and we got married in December, so planning a wedding while pregnant/new born/toddler. People would say, how do you do it.... To me it just became my life, you adapt, I never had balance and there were days I was down and out. But a new day was right around the corner.

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  5. I cannot even begin to communicate how much this post resonated with me and how very much I needed to read it today. Thank you for your candor and reassurance; some days all we need it the reminder we're not the only one ...

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    1. I'm so glad that it helped you, Christina.

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  6. Oh man. Your bit about how we all think it will be solved by finding balance really resonated with me. Loved this post!

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