Parenting On A Stick…
Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A.
Sometimes I wonder whether there’s anyone out there who feels as though there’s plenty of time, they’re hitting all their marks, and the kids are all fine. I can’t tell too much of a sob story, my kids are amazing. So given that… really, is there anyone who feels like they have plenty of time and space and perspective and energy on any given day?
My older two kids are straight A students, full time athletes, happy-hearted, kind, generous and loving. They do their homework without fussing, they help around the house, and they are generally a joy to be around. The little one is hitting every developmental milestone with grace and humor and lighting up our lives in the process. But still, even with being blessed by these extraordinary kids, and a husband who knocks-it-out-of-the-park routinely, I still find my eyelids whipping open at 2:13 a.m. remembering that I forgot to send money in for school pictures or order more diapers.
Don’t get me wrong – a 14-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy, and a 5-month-old baby – can all be their own special flavor of handful. Throughout the ins and outs of “normal” (developmentally appropriate) testing, we can find our kitchen calendar littered with too many commitments (or too many sad faces if the ‘testing’ has gotten out of hand in a given week). But generally speaking, the kids earn their points/smiley faces and we race from work – to school events – to the fields, and the weeks clip by at mach pace.
I can’t even imagine how different life would be with different kids… or how much greater a challenge so many people have. And yet, here I am, still feeling like there’s never enough time and the margins are always slim to nonexistent.
The Dalai Lama has been rumored to say that he meditates for an hour a day unless he has much to do, and on those days it’s two hours…
Talk about enlightened.
I help people find perspective and grace in their lives for a living. I practice my own gratitude and prayers. I meditate as often as I can. I read voraciously about my craft and my own practice. I would say, as people go, I’m working pretty hard at this.
And yet still, the eyelids.
I don’t really feel as though I’m a perfectionist… I’m a big believer in ‘good enough’ and every i does not require a dot, nor t a cross… I like things to be ordered and calm and for everyone I love to feel as though their needs are being met and they can be the best versions of themselves. So where does the twine inevitably break?
Probably within myself, if I’m being honest.
I could do a better job of self care. I could work to soften my tone. I could extend my patience. I could schedule lunch time. I could do many things… and should, really.
But instead I’ll say this:
Maybe the journey is supposed to be a little chaotic. Maybe this year’s school pictures won’t even be that great. Maybe the baby can take a nap while we’re waiting for Amazon to deliver diapers. Maybe the hustle and bustle and the unchecked boxes on the to-do list are exactly the sort of life and measure that we’re supposed to be living in order to weave the story of our lives into exactly the tapestry we are meant to.
Maybe we actually are hitting all our marks and the kids are just fine…
Till the next time,
Be Well; Live Meaningfully.
Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and can be reached at www.livemeaningfully.net or 407-796-2959.by