Yep you heard that correctly. What in the actual heck?! I love being a mom and as we approach Mother’s Day I am reflecting on how difficult it is to be a parent in 2021.
I’m going to end up sounding a bit like a boomer and say that the world was just different when I was growing up. But as a self professed Gen X’er (despite my millennial birth year) I know that things change. I think the one thing that anyone born before 1992 can attest is that the complete and utterly unrestricted access to everything at the click of a button has a huge influence on the rising generations. In fact “influencer” is now a lucrative profession. Ask a 13 year old what they want to be when they grow up and I’m certain the answer would not be a lawyer or a doctor.
As a parent in the age of “all information,” whether it’s fact or fiction, I can tell that parenting sucks. Yeah yeah children are a blessing blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, they are. I adore my girls but this is the hardest damn job I’ve ever had. It’s harder than nursing school, giving birth, or driving an 18 wheeler on the turnpike. (I wouldn’t know about that last one but it looks nerve wracking) I ask my stepmom who has been a preschool teacher for 25+ years, why it is so different these days and she just tells me it’s a generational thing. Well every generation has a “thing.” But part of me thinks that parents have not evolved as quickly as the influx of knowledge from the internet has evolved our children. We simply can’t keep up with the amount of information our kids are absorbing on a daily basis. Goodness that is even more of a reason to get them disconnected.
Dale and I swore up and down our kids wouldn’t have phones or iPads. Well our youngest received her first iPad as a gift when she was 2 or 3 and our oldest has had a phone for 2 years now at 13. They have had a constant stream of information into their brains from a device for 8 solid years. That’s insane. And as a nurse I can tell you it’s also dangerous. I swear it’s not me being old and crotchety. Our mental health as a species is floundering because of devices. Technology is wonderful especially in the world of medicine. But I often wonder at what cost.
So what do we do from here? I don’t freaking know. I’d love a do-over. If you have any tips drop a comment lol.
Most of the time we are our own worst enemies. Often beating ourselves up for not being the kind of parent we thought we’d be, or not doing that workout that we had planned to do, or just plain old feeling worthless because we were tired today.
Stop it. It’s not necessary. We live in a society of extremes. Everything is taken to the “nth” degree. And it’s absolutely ridiculous. I often find myself in the same cycle of wanting to accomplish so much in such a small amount of time and then feeling worthless for not completing the goal I had in my head. It’s anxiety inducing.
And then I think “what kind of example am I setting for our girls?” To place self worth on how many aprons I sewed today? On whether or not I did that workout?
Each day is a new opportunity to be at peace with yourself. Moving forward I am going to stop placing deadlines on myself. I want to enjoy each day and not worry about what I accomplish and when. I will get there. We will all get there. But we should enjoy the journey and not stress about the end goal.
It has been a chaotic 6 months during a global pandemic.
And many people are looking for the answer to the above question.
I’m not sure there is an answer. But I know the answer for myself and my family is to take it a day at a time. We can’t change the world around us. But we can control how we react. I’m tired of feeling mad or frustrated and I’m even tired of feeling exhausted. Because I work as nurse in a bustling family practice coronavirus is a part of my every day life.
I’m over it like everyone else. But I stay vigilant about guidelines and precautions because that is the right thing to do. I’m finding ways to clear my head and ground myself. My home has become my sanctuary. Gardening has become a passion and sewing helps me clear my head. Simplicity is what makes things feel “normal.” We are all seeing a new normal. In a few short weeks our girls will be going to school in a hybrid format, 2 days a week in person and 3 days at home. They’ll wear masks and face shields and sit 6 feet apart from their friends.
So where DO we go from here???
I say we go forward. One step at a time. Side by side with our loved ones. Finding our peace. Protecting each other.
A close friend once told me “just protect your net” meaning I can’t change the things around me but I can protect my family. (We’re a hockey family if you couldn’t tell)