Over the years I’ve been a mom, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of the Social Media Mom Sins of the #HumbleBrag or #Blessed posts. I try my best to be real on my social media and here in my posts. Parenting is hard work. Sometimes it’s a complete joy and other times your house looks like a bomb went off, your 7-year-old is screaming because your toddler pulled her hair, the toddler is crying because the 12-year-old dog won’t let her “hug you,” and you’re just busy killing all the flies that have somehow infested your house and many others in your neighborhood. Just me? I digress…
The last three months have looked like that second picture. Let’s face it, that second version of life has been what my days have looked like pretty much 24/7. Throw into the mix that I’ve been working on a new fitness and nutrition regimen and just recently either fractured or severely bruised two of my toes on my driving foot…It’s fine. It’s totally fine.
What I’m getting at is that life is a mess recently. COVID is a mess. The fact that we still have to fight institutional racism is a mess. Partisan politicking is a mess. It feels like an elephant has been sitting on my shoulders while I ensure we all have masks and that the toddler doesn’t lick anyone we may encounter on our limited outings, and making sure I’m doing my part to promote the sanctity of Black lives in any small way I can.
Among the mess, I have had days where I honestly and truly felt like every burden of the world was ON ME. I FEEL it. I feel it in my chest and I feel it in my heart. It feels like an overwhelming fatigue. I’ve slacked on my nutrition. I’ve been depressed about having to forego my now-daily long morning walks. I napped when my kids did instead of doing something a bit more productive like I normally would have. I exchanged messages with my nutrition coach and she said something that hit me. She said “What can we do about your diet while you’re not able to be as physically active?” I wanted to say, “Is eating all the chocolate in Chandler an option?”
I actually haven’t written back to her but something really important came to me as a result of her question. She was asking me about my diet goals but really, she was asking me to regain control of things in my power and let go of the rest.
“What can we do about X when Y is busted and broken?”
“What can we do about things you CAN control when the world is OUT of your control?”
The question and its possible answers have been swirling in my mind but I keep coming back to this: look around and realize the blessings in your life. Look around and use those blessings for good.
I am blessed with a degree of intelligence (most days) and an excellent education –> ask the tough questions and be introspective about my role in keeping my community safe and making my community safer for my Black neighbors; take action where I can
I am blessed to have two amazing daughters –> put all the electronics down and soak them in; memorize their freckles, the toddler’s tiny voice; help them see the world as something they can impact and make better for everyone
I am blessed with a supportive and kind husband –> slow down the breakneck pace of our evenings and have real conversations with him about this upside-down world; reengage as a team
I am blessed with a loving and present family –> the big kid is getting a much-needed sleep over at Nana and Papa’s; enjoy the peace of a home without siblings who have been cooped up together for 3 months straight, even if only for 24 hours
I don’t have the answers to the BIG things in our world right now and that’s ok. I need to refocus on the two things that are in my control: do my part to encourage the good in whatever way I can and raise good humans who will do the same. I guess I really am #blessed.