“How are you?”
“Well, I have a ton of work to do. I broke my daughter because consequences are a thing and I’m exhausted.”
“What are you doing to take care of yourself?”
“Um. After I work all day, I’ll probably finish the Harry Potter castle with my husband.” The therapist smiles and I send my daughter into her office.
Some of us were always meant to be in the eye of the storm. We sit, hunkered down while chaos rages. If I close my eyes, I can hear the roar of tornado strength winds. I know that if I let go, I will be caught up and thrown around along with the swirling trash and clanging metal.
I’m lucky, though, because I’m no longer in the eye alone. I have an anchor. Together, we manage to stay in the eye, firmly planted. We move forward slowly and we pull our humans along with us so they don’t get lost.
We are each other’s checks and balances. Yin and yang.
“I’m so tired.” I say.
“I know, but you have to get up,” he says.
“I don’t think I can.”
“That’s ok because I know you can. And I know you will. And we WILL get through this.”
Sometimes, the wind dies down just enough for us to catch our breath. A short reprieve before the next system moves in to stay for a while.
With tears streaming down my face, I get up off the ground. Put clothes on and walk the dog. And I make it through another day. Another storm.
This is the part of living, of parenting, that no one warns you about. New parent exhaustion is one thing. The middle years of parenting are something else entirely.
“How much work do you have left today, mom?”
“Enough.” I say.
The storm rages on and we keep going. Firmly planted in the eye.