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.

  4 comments for “By a Thread

  1. March 19, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Funny because I had the same struggles. For quite a while I just wanted to shout at anyone who dared to cross me. My husband accused me of not knowing how to talk in a normal voice anymore. It is nice to know other moms out there are with you in a way. I shouldn’t joy in others pain, but the fact that Oliver’s friends are not potty trained either gives me some comfort. And yesterday when one of them threw a fit and cried as his Dad loaded him up to go home I kind of reveled in it since that is usually my son and not theirs. OKay, wait, this was supposed to be uplifting comment. 🙂 But I enjoyed your post and it reminded me to continue to pray for Grace to attack the tasks ahead of me with a little more love and a little less, “stop talking to me or I’ll strangle you.” Here’s to getting to 40.

  2. March 20, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Recently Gabe was talking about how his teacher at school was a “real yeller” and to give me something to compare to he said that she yelled more often than I do but that I was the louder yeller. So yeah, hanging in there is a great way to put it.

  3. LC
    March 20, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Thank. You. Megan. You just put into words what I’ve been feeling today.
    I took a bunch of 5-yr olds to McDonalds for a party and I was the only one that had a tantrum! I’m glad I can chalk it up to mid-thirties parenting insanity.

  4. March 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Holla!!!! You just summed up how I feel about my life to a “T!” I think we have been programmed to think that it’s not acceptable to be completely stressed out, worn out, sleep deprived, cranky, etc. etc. women and that we have to suck it up and pretend that life is so rosey all the time. Whatever people!!! It was refreshing to read your very honest post….and just know that I’ve got your back with this “parenting in our 30s is a super crappy phase of life” idea! 🙂

    Much love to you!

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