“Mommy come too?” It’s a phrase I hear many, many times a day. My 2 year old wants me with her constantly. And truthfully I love it. I love that I am her “person”. Nothing in this world makes me happier than being her mother. But sometimes it can be stressful. Especially on days when I’m exhausted and burnt out from..well, life. There are times when motherhood is trying. Sometimes it is a difficult day with the child (wrangling toddlers is not for the faint of heart) but many other times it’s due to outside factors. Life’s trials and tribulations do not stop when a woman becomes a mother. Sometimes it may feel like there is a bubble surrounding parenthood. We tend to lose track of time, current events, and pop culture at times. But eventually life creeps in.
Tragedy, loss, heartache, and disappointment are part of life. When a parent finds themselves in one of these dark times it can feel twice as difficult. Not only are we faced with the trying situation, but we must also consider how to navigate parenting through the darkness.
Unfortunately this is my current reality. The recent, unexpected death of my father has left me broken, angry, and emotionally exhausted. There are mornings when getting out of bed seems too daunting, let alone going to work and functioning as a parent. Grief is heavy and exhausting. While in the thick of the grieving process, there is little energy left for anything else. So what is a parent to do?
Guys, we have to “parent through”. Our lives go through so many different seasons and parenting does not come with a pause button (unless I’m missing something, if so, please clue me in). I have always tried to bring out my fun, energetic side while with my daughter. I want to teach her about love, kindness, and finding joy in everyday life. However, I would be doing her a disservice if I did not teach her about the REAL. So I do my best to function these days. Somedays I feel like myself and other days my sadness gets the best of me. This is what is real right now. My daughter has seen me cry more than I would like to admit over these past 2 months but it becomes a teachable moment. We talk about sadness. We talk about her Pop-pop and how much we miss him. And she has learned a great deal about empathy. When she notices that I am sad she hugs me and rubs my back saying, “I make you feel better Mommy!”.
On the days when I feel like I am failing at everything, I try to remember these inadvertent lessons. My hope is that as my daughter grows older I can show her strength in adversity but at the same time let her know that it is okay to be sad sometimes.
So when you find yourself journeying through the dark side of life, be kind to yourself. Recognize that you are doing your best. And as for your little ones, teach them life. Teach them REAL. Because fortunately and unfortunately, life goes on….and we must parent through.