Professional mom seeking clarity, balance and a well deserved glass of wine.
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I confess: I call bullshit on this quote. While raising your kids (especially teenagers), what doesn’t kill you makes you crazier, or drink too much. Or, am I just doing it wrong?!
As a mom, this saying is that little gift that keeps on giving. Shared by caring girlfriends, helpful mothers-in-law, and your gynecologist when you ask her for a cure for hot flashes and mood swings that accompany menopause. I’m embarrassed to admit that these words have passed over my lips on more than one occasion while trying to console a friend or my sister. (sorry sorry sorry)
I couldn’t remember exactly who it was that I needed to thank for penning this lovely inspiring quote, so I looked it up. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who said it much more eloquently: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Go figure, it was a man.
You Might Have PTG
Studies have shown that some trauma survivors report positive changes and enhanced personal development, called post-traumatic growth (PTG).
PTG refers to any beneficial change resulting from a major life crisis or traumatic event, but people most commonly experience a positive shift by having a renewed appreciation for life; adopting a new world view with new possibilities for themselves; feeling more personal strength; feeling more satisfied spiritually, and/or their relationships improve.
Ok, so I admit feelings of positive change and enhanced personal development following a traumatic event. I get it. What I’m struggling with is the crazy I feel “while it’s happening.” It doesn’t even have to be traumatic, per se. Just everyday life.
Like, juggling the day to day schedules, needs, life crises’ and mood swings of my entire family, not to mention my own. Trying so damned hard to anticipate, be aware, in tune, understanding, prepared, on-time, flexible and enough. If I can just keep my head above the vortex that is sucking me under, I’ll be stronger.
Feeling “lost in translation” much of the time when my kids ask me ‘trick questions’ like, “What are we doing today?” And, I foolishly respond with, “I’m not really sure…nothing planned.” Apparently, what I actually said was, “I’ve got my own agenda and I have no time to spend with you.” (wait, what?)
Volunteering, contributing and showing up to support as many school activities, sports and social events as humanly possible while balancing a full-time job, marriage, and personal enlightenment and having words like NEVER, EVER AND ALWAYS used to describe your kids’ perception of your participation level.
Filling the fridge and cupboards with healthy options and more snacks than I ever had as a kid, only to hear, “There’s nothing to eat!” Spending my time looking up recipes, preparing the meals and finally sitting down to eat after a long day to hear, “Can I just have chicken nuggets?!” (open that bag and you’ll wish you were a chicken nugget, so help me!)
Trying to be an “involved” parent and ask way too many ‘stupid’ questions. ie: How was your day, honey? Did you get the grade you wanted in Chem? Who is that girl that dropped you off? (so dumb! what was I thinking?!)
And, there’s the inability to read minds. Epic fail! How on earth did I not know that the red sweatshirt was buried at the bottom of the hamper and needed to be washed for Tuesday?! WTH
Strength Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Thank God for other moms (and dads) that confirm that 1) my children are currently possessed and will be normal and grateful again in their twenties 2) I am not completely failing as a mother and 3) there is no manual, this is hard for everyone and I’m not alone.
You may be a freak of nature and have zero challenges with your kids. Maybe your challenge is at work or caring for an ailing parent or a battling an illness yourself (to which my first-world neuroses makes you want to punch me in the neck). Maybe what ‘they’ say is true, we most commonly experience a positive shift by having a renewed appreciation for life; adopting a new worldview with new possibilities for ourselves. Let’s get right on that. 😉
Sure, Nietzsche got it right and there are moments when I feel triumphant, balanced, capable and STRONGER because of all the hard stuff. And, for those five seconds each day, I am profoundly grateful. It’s the other 86,395 seconds that may kill me.
What is trying to kill you that, deep down, you know will ultimately make you stronger? Don’t give up. You’re not alone.
Stay sane, my friends.
Love this Allison! In my family, when we get that look or comment from our girls regarding something “we should have known” we end our sentences with “ya dumb fuck!” For instance… “Mom, you were supposed to get me posterboard for my science project… ya dumb fuck!” 🙂