I’ve been wanting to pick up my metaphorical pen for some time now and put thoughts onto paper. But I believe I’ve been slowing suffocating under the weight of parenting. You know, that place just under the surface where you can see your personal goals and dreams shining above you in the sunlight, but the weight of a thousand burdens just keeps pulling you back under.
I’m not afraid to tell you this isn’t always my favorite place to be. Yes, I keep having the children. Yes, this is the life that I chose for myself. And yes, maybe there will be more little people in my life for me to take care of. For the love of all things sane, we just got our children a puppy. Which means they spend 15 minutes a day with him and I do every single other possible thing that puppy needs.
When I start feeling like this life is just too much, that maybe I chose poorly, and that it is possible I actually may not survive it, I try to see my life in the context of the yin and yang.
Many think that yin and yang represent good and evil. But that isn’t accurate at all. They aren’t opposing forces, but rather complimentary. And these two forces, they interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts.
Can you hear what I’m saying here? When I close my eyes I can see all that parenting is for me within the yin and yang circle: the light and the darkness, the fall and the spring, the dying and the rebirth, the white and the black, the loneliness and the closeness. And that mental picture, that greater whole, is a complete beauty that makes my heart burst. I can fall to my knees in gratitude for the full yin and yang of parenthood.
Yet the struggle is real, isn’t it? Because we move back and forth, from one side of the circle to the other. From the masculine to the feminine. From the light to the dark.
There are days I just don’t want to do the work necessary to shepherd these loons into full functioning adults. You underestimate my seriousness on this. I literally have days (read weeks) where I could care less what they eat, if they do their homework, if they are kind, if they bathe. I just don’t have it in me anymore.
But I push through. We all do. And that is what makes us amazing. That right there is why I rock at motherhood.
Last week one of my children had a grammar lesson on gerund phrases. Yep. You read that right. Gerund phrases. People, I was a high school English teacher and I need to know that ridiculous nonsense as much as my three year old needs to do trigonometry. I wanted more than anything to advise said child to burn that paper, take an F, and tell the teacher their mom said “This is as important as a fart.” (Actually I did say all that, but my children are turning out better than me so they told me to get serious and help them study)
So I took a deep breath and dove in. And yes, the gerund phrase is a waste of time. But the time spent with my child wasn’t. It’s about putting in the hard to get the easy on another day.
Nostalgia is a funny thing. Makes people believe that there was only one side to the circle. They choose to remember either just the yin or the yang. I don’t want to be like that. I want to recall that it took a full circle of emotions, joys, struggles, and difficult times to create the yin and yang of our family. So that in time like this, when I feel just under the surface, I will be reminded that I’m sure to be in the sunshine again soon.