By a Thread

I’ve been a bit of an emotional spaz over the past several weeks. The combination of multiple factors relating to children and other pressing responsibilities layered themselves heavily on my heart and my back and left me frustrated and out of sorts.

It wasn’t the kind of rotten mood where I wanted to curl up and nap away my troubles. It was more of a constant latent-desire-to-scream-things-at-people kind of a frustration. My brain felt jangly. There was no peace.

An innocent conversation with me was a crap shoot. Would I freak out? Would I lay the snark on really, really thick? Would I start ugly crying (let’s not ask my young women about this, okeydoke?) Would I be gentle and sweet as a peach? Honestly, who’s to say.

The upshot of this whacked out state of mind I have been experiencing is that it gave me an uncomfortable space in which to grow. And grow I certainly did, if only to escape the jangly mind-discomfort.

Now that my mental state is less turbid, I can reasonably state that I have been kind of an angry train-wreck for the better part of a month, but that I (thankfully) got it together. For the most part.

One of the issues which was chafing me so much has been the problem of having having too much to do and too little time or energy with which to do it, as well as too many pants-pooping boys stinking up the place in which I am to do it all.

All that “potty training” we have slaved away at so fervently these many years? It’s become an emotional weapon wielded by two young fellows in my house who are playing cruel mind games with the very woman who gave them life and raised them lovingly to this point in time.

Anyhoo, I don’t really want to talk about the poop conundrum which seems to be the fixed point around which all life in my home circumnavigates. I’d rather share a thought I once read in a column by Ann Cannon. In her article, which was a laundry list of things she learned in the various decades of her life, she said, “Everyone in their thirties is barely hanging on.”

This bit of wisdom has been lurking in my mind these recent unstable weeks. It has been a kind of beacon in the fog. Do I feel happy thinking that my thirty-something child-rearing peers are similarly, feverishly slogging through great difficulties?

The answer: yeah, sort of.

The realization that life with small children (and sometimes large children who are acting small) is so painfully grueling at times that you are completely strung out on parenting, is pretty much a universal, I’m gathering.

I somehow feel better thinking that my intense battle with poop and small, obstinate people is not completely strange and isolated, but that it is simply a normal function of being smack in the middle of my thirties with a young, atypical, demanding, unique family.

I’m sorry if this offends you. But I truly do possess a calm thread of hope knowing that in the insanity of parenthood, we are all barely hanging on together.

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