How do you get through times like this?

I’m trying to write this morning, because I have important follow-up work to do charting your booger rules and stuff, but Greg’s home and he keeps making breathing sounds and clickity clackity click clack typing sounds and allergy season sounds, and, unbeknownst to Greg, it’s all been very distracting. Now it’s after noon and he’s in the kitchen making toast buttering sounds like scritch scritch scritch and cupboard closing sounds and foot walking sounds and sandwich eating sounds and, well, you see how far I’ve come on the booger charts.

Living with family is hard, mostly because family is made up of people and people are cobbled together from wishes and dreams and noisy things and silent spaces and hard bits and broken pieces and beauty and dirt and pain. It’s all a terrible mess.

Sometimes I think it’s the most stunning thing in the world that I’m tasked with the care of others when I can barely manage myself. I mean, here I am, inside my body, and I know what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling and all about my own needs. You know, in theory. And yet I find myself still somehow needy. And then there are more people around me. More people with more needs which are not my own, many of which require sussing and masterful sleuthing and decoding and then, eventually, commitment and resources and selfless engagement to properly meet them.

Some days I feel empowered. I can do this. I will do this. And I will rock it hard, baby.

Other days? Oomph.

I was walking out of a room last night after a long, good day at a kid event and my purse strap caught on the door. Just like that, arms overflowing with stuff, trying to get the car to get to the home to get to my bed to get to some sleep — trying to put one foot in front of the other and make rest happen by sheer force of will –I was caught. Pulled back. Stuck fast. And I had to walk backwards for a while because that was the way toward freedom.

Not Evan wrote me last night. Do you remember our friend, Not Evan? From On Accidentally Having 5 Kids and an Open Call for Joy? He’s the guy who, along with his partner, is adopting five foster kids, and he wrote:

I worry that I sometimes feel like we’re running a breakfast-eating, getting-dressed, do-your-homework factory rather than a family. And I don’t want to let the worry consume me to the point where I can’t see the joy.  

We wrote back and said, “word, man” and offered up pieces of joy and honesty and camaraderie like gifts.

Well, folks, good news! Five kiddos have been cleared for adoption from our foster care system, and Not Evan and partner are just paperwork away from becoming a family in the official, on-the-dotted-line sense.

CONGRATULATIONS!

And, HOORAY!

And, WOW!

Right?

Yes, of course, right.

And, since we’re honest here, can we all just hyperventilate a little?? Let’s call it togetherness.

Five kids, you guys, and only two parents. All of whom come with bottomless needs. Which is panic-worthy, just the same as any number of kids and any number of parents. Because, you know, all of us are made from the stuff of humans. Which, to repeat, is a terrible mess. A beautiful, terrible, horrible, glorious mess.

Right?

Yes, of course, right.

Not Evan writes:

Now, I understand how fortunate we are for this journey and hope that you understand we feel truly lucky.  However, with the ‘real’-ness of it all sinking in, we are finding ourselves nervous.

Simply put, after ten months of parenting five kids, We. Are. Exhausted. I feel like the optimism I had and the calm that came when I was parenting (even in the difficult moments) are gone… and that the periodic weekend away, sleeping in, and routines that we fall back on are not enough to ‘refill my tank.’

I worry that I’m not prepared for the long haul.  I worry that my exhaustion and frustration are just the tip of a very large iceberg. In the really bad moments, I worry that we shouldn’t go through with it. And then I look at the kids, their smiling faces and (mostly) good attitudes in the face of all they’ve been through and I think, “how could we not give them a forever place?!”

So I am exposed and hoping no one judges too harshly but maybe you can tell me how you got through a difficult time like this one?

“I worry that I’m not prepared for the long haul.  I worry that my exhaustion and frustration are just the tip of a very large iceberg.” You know what? Me, too, Not Evan. Me, too. In my darkest hours, even still, me, too.

Of course, I have a lot of answers to your question. Answers of how I get through the difficult times. Answers like coffee. And Jesus (who — free advice, Jesus — should market that whole “rest for the weary” thing better). And friends. And medication. And exercise. And time.

But that’s the funny thing about answers. My answers may not be your answers, and I think there’s much to be said for community, which I like to call Come, Unity, like we’re all beckoning unity closer by participating in it.

So, friends, I’m lobbing Not Evan’s question your way, knowing we’ve all wandered in this exhausted space of the unknown.

When uncertainty whispers in your ear, when hard and good times take up equal space in your home, what do you do? How do you get through times like this one?

……….

Next Post
Previous Post

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
21 comments
  1. I received the following in an email from Ashley P, who gave me permission to post it here. Thanks, Ashley! (And sorry the comment button wasn’t working!)

    …..

    omg beth. just read the not-evan posts. catching up a little after being beaten down by work and life the last number of weeks/months. in fact, i am totally supposed to be working right now (HUGE stack of grading, last week of the semester!!), but now i have to write you instead, haha. procrastination at its best. i’m the empress of procrastination, after all.

    seriously though, i was going to comment on the post but wasn’t seeing the normal comment button (except to reply to previously posted comments) – my computer, maybe? if you could forward my comment to Not Evan, that would be great.

    we have “only” two, ages almost-one and just-turned-three. i work as a (semi-employed, temporarily under contract) visiting assistant professor and my husband is a supervisor directly managing almost 40 people at a large company. we are not un-busy people, shall we say. the factory instead of family thing? that whole routine of survive-today-because-it’s-one-day-closer-to-the-weekend-when-we-can-collapse thing? yep, that’s pretty much our lives every day.

    so i just wanted to tell Not Evan ***and partner*** first of all, that you are AWESOME. amazing. wonderful. i think that way about all adoptive parents. not everyone would have taken such a huge leap of faith and accepted such a large group of siblings. you might have people tell them over the years that “they are saints” and crap like that and get really tired of it (we have friends who adopted a daughter from ukraine with down syndrome and autism…talk about hands full…now they have a baby too…anyway, they are awfully tired of hearing comments like that, when they feel like anything but saints). don’t take it too hard. it’s meant well, i think, most of the time.

    remember that you are NOT ALONE – many or all (?) parents feel this way some or a lot of the time. and you are in it TOGETHER. no matter how crazy it gets, how exhausted they are, how insane everything is, there is joy waiting to be (re)discovered between the two of you. you were together as a couple before you were parents, and its each other you will need to cling to in the desperate times, because someday, the kids will grow up and (hopefully) move out. 🙂

    even when there’s not a measly “seven minutes” to be found together (ask beth if you don’t follow that reference haha), there is joy to be remembered – and consciously cultivated – in the small moments in which you can relish each other and your own relationship as a couple. the sweet note left on the table for the second one to get up in the morning. the loving text message when the busy day keeps you physically apart. the hug when the other gets home. the quick caresses and squeezes when the kids aren’t looking…or, when they are.

    and with the kids, one bit of encouragement i would like to send your way is that even with biological offspring, we don’t have a priori knowledge of their personalities, quirks, problems…you have to get to know your kid, and as time goes on, you keep bonding and learning about and from one another.

    when my first son was only a few months old, i felt like i knew him inside and out. and i did! …but then, something funny happened. he got OLDER. dangit! each new stage is like a whole new kid to get to know, and whole new sets of problems to solve that you have no idea how to approach! and just when we thought we had the whole parenting thing down, along comes number 2 and crap, he’s so different from the other one! less verbal but more mobile, incredibly stubborn and throwing temper tantrums over things he wants at an age when the first one was simply content to sit and play with toys set around him and had no idea what a temper tantrum was…what will we do with this one? 🙂 it’s so challenging all the time! never a dull moment, as they say. we don’t always know what to do; in fact, we often don’t know what to do.

    but there are SO MANY joyful, amazing, ridiculous, hilarious, and just seriously awesome things that happen, so often unexpectedly. the first time he said “mami” as plain as day, instead of “mama,” and he was so proud. the first time i put his car seat facing forward and sat in my seat and turned around and looked back and he realized he could see me, and we just giggled and giggled together for about five minutes straight. the stubbornly determined look in his eyes whenever he is working on a new skill. the first time he told me he loved me, on his own. watching him gobble down new sprouts of kale out of the garden/crab-stuffed mushrooms at a restaurant/bites of pickled herring and have not the slightest doubt that they’re tasty (LOL.). the incredible questions that come out of his mouth now that he’s a little bigger. the funny things he thanks God for (different every time) before meals – “thank you for miss eve, thank you for cars, thank you for family amen.” the way my chest would literally ache with love when he started talking in longer sentences and would say the most amazing things. the long, contented hugs that still come my way at age three as i sway with him in my arms, his head on my shoulder. the simple trust in his mind, the absolute confidence in my ability to answer all questions and solve all problems. the hurt on his face as he reminds me not to “yell in the house” when i am too harsh as a result of my own stress and take it out on him…admonishing me as sharply as any words…and then the loving embrace that comes my way anyway, because i am, still, for just a little while longer, the center of his world. do any of us deserve that forgiving embrace? not me. as jesus said, we have to be like little children to enter his kingdom: only little children truly know how to love, to trust, to forgive. we forget as adults, we are stressed and exhausted and so responsible for everyone and everything, and we lose it. and there is shame in those moments you lose it, those moments you sink so low and your child so effortlessly and innocently stays on moral high ground…a pain you feel deep in your soul, a pain that mocks and tortures you, but out of that pain you rise up determined to be more joyful, more patient, more loving, and you CAN and you DO. somehow, through love, you do it. you do it together. and you get better at it every day.

    so. Beth, Not Evan, Not Evan’s Partner: here’s some love, coming your way, for those moments you feel alone and you can’t go on. we get it. your kids get it, even if they don’t tell you. you’re doing a great job, and even when things get hard (every day?!), they will get better again. and again. and again.

  2. I try to remember that it’s never going to look like this again. That it may be hard again, probably in different ways, but it will definitely get easier too. That they go through phases of clingy-ness and independence. That someday I’ll fight with them about sleeping in too late while right now I whine about getting up at 5:45 with the baby.

  3. I have only two children. But when they were 3 and 7, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Four years of surgery, radiation and chemo followed. And then he died when the kids were 7 and 11. And I thought, “I cannot do this. I cannot work full-time and raise two children by myself.” And it has been H-A-R-D. Because not only was I a single parent raising two kids, but a grieving (and often lonely) single parent raising two grieving kids. But I thought recently–“I didn’t think I could do it. But I HAVE. And though I haven’t been a perfect mother, I can say that I have always TRIED to be the best mom that I can.” The kids are now 15 and 18, so I’m not done yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And now I know that I can do it. I don’t have any great advice but a few things that helped me:

    1) Try to focus only on the moment at hand. It is easy to be overwhelmed when you start looking at the long haul. . . and also easy to miss the joy in the small moments. Every hard time will pass. There will be other hard times to come, of course, but, in between there can be joy.
    2) Befriend those in similar situations. My closest friends, and those from whom I have received the most comfort and support, are other widows raising young children because they “get” the challenges of my life. Build your own community.
    3) Give yourself a break. Remind yourself that you are not perfect but neither is anyone else and at least you are TRYING. I heard an author talk recently about how nervous she was when she learned she was pregnant because she knows hundreds of mothers and NONE of them think they are doing a good enough job. We are too critical of ourselves. Remember to pat yourself on the back for the hard job that you are doing–even if, no, especially if, no one else is patting your back!
    4) Accept ALL offers of help–physical and emotional. I have not been good about asking for help. And when I was first widowed, many “friends” kept telling me how I needed to take good care of myself, “fill my emotional tank” first, etc. But very few actually offered to help me do that. I should have not only accepted any offers of help I did receive, but also learned to ask for help when needed. (It’s hard for most of us, I know.)
    5) Don’t feel selfish taking time for yourself. Look for something that is relaxing and energizing for you. I realize now that I would have been a much more relaxed and much less harried mother if I had planned regular weekends away from the kids a few times a year. Instead, I planned their activities, camps, trips, etc separately, so that I got one-on-one time with each of them. And I finally realized that meant NO TIME for myself. And that ended up being self-defeating. (Though I’ll admit I STILL feel guilty when I plan a break from the kids!)

    I hope something in here is helpful to Not Evan, as I really admire him and his partner for fostering five children. Only “good people” would want to do that–and so I’m sure they will do a good job.

  4. I am reading every one of these, and you all are AWESOME. Thank you for these words. Seriously – all of us working together? Amazing.

  5. 1) wine
    2) religious ( or ethical culture) community of your choice
    3) read this blog
    4) deep breaths
    5) family and friends

    * not necessarily in that order

  6. “Living with family is hard, mostly because family is made up of people and people are cobbled together from wishes and dreams and noisy things and silent spaces and hard bits and broken pieces and beauty and dirt and pain. It’s all a terrible mess.” I love that.

    We have 3 kids, myself, my husband, 2 dogs, a cat, and my mother-in-law and brother-in-law (the in-laws came to visit 18 months ago and never left!!!!!!!!!) all in a 1000 sq ft 1 bathroom house. We rarely get silence….. lots of screaming and turning the tv up though.

    Good luck!!

  7. I feel that way too some times. Just overwhelmed by the daily, unending work that taking care of a family entails. We may only have 2 kids (plus 2 cats and a dog) but there are days when that is overwhelming to my husband and I, I can’t imagine how much more overwhelming it would be with 5. Strength to your family and to Not Evan’s.

  8. Wow. Kudos to you and your partner on choosing to dive into life and not sit on the sidelines; that alone takes all kinds of bravery. We only have one so I don’t know how qualified I am to comment at all, but here goes. Network. And then network some more. We found it hard in our conservative city, to be same sex parents, so we worked on that, and it took a couple of years, but now we have an odd little assortment of other queer families who face some of the same issues as us. We’ve also somehow found ourselves connected to other adoptive families (of all types) who get adoption and raising adopted kids. An hour and a coffee with a friend who gets it, is priceless.

    My other big tip (mother of one that I am), is never to eat eggs for breakfast. You know how toward the end of the afternoon, the dinner/bath/bed hour looms and threatens to either squash a beautiful afternoon with “we need to wrap it up so I can make dinner” or it adds one more straw to a crap day with “omg, let me just survive making food while juggling tantrums and hopefully they’ll be sleep before my head pops right off”? Eggs. I give myself a couple of breakfast for dinner passes a week. This means dinner literally takes 10 minutes and sanity is preserved. So, eggs one night, and cereal and fruit another. Prolongs a fun afternoon, or makes a crap one sooo much easier.

  9. I’ve been a parent for almost 10 years. I’ve been a parent of two for almost 8 and a parent of three for almost 6. I’ve been a foster parent for 5 months and a foster parent of two for 2 months. 5 kids is absolutely a LOT of kids, and foster kids are harder than birth kids, even if you only count that here is this kid with this many years of life experience that you have no idea about. What I know in my 10 years of parenting though is that kids always change. What you are experiencing now is not going to be your reality a year from now. You will learn them and they will learn you and it will get better. Look for help – friends you can tell anything to that will never say you asked for this, teenagers to mow the lawn and babysit, therapists for the kids and for you if you need it. Find what feeds you emotionally and absolutely make room for it. You can survive and you can thrive, I know it.

  10. OK, so I have zero kids and therefore zero authority to speak on anything parenting. Also, I deal terribly with sleep deprivation, so perhaps I should just shut up, but I just wanted to say that what matters is not whether you get it right, whether you feel thrilled every moment of the day, or whether you are the best parents on the earth, or whether you just collapse in exhaustion. What matters is that those kids know that they are LOVED. Everything else is window-dressing, I’m truly convinced. If they know you love them, then they will go into the world a little happier, a little stronger, and a lot more aware of their value.

    I know that doesn’t help with the not-sleeping and utter exhaustion…but it’s all I got.

  11. We all have the “oh my God, is this really how life is supposed to be” moments. We have our meltdowns, our guilt, our exhaustion…and I remind myself that it is normal. And anyone who says it isn’t, or tells us they don’t have those moments, is lying – to you, to themselves…and they are just mean to make us feel any less that what we are. How do I get through my moments – sometimes gracefully, mostly not. But at the end of every day, I stay up just a few minutes later than everyone else. I listen to the quiet. To the sounds of my kids sound soothers, and the fish tank bubbling, and the dog snuffling, and the cats purring, and my husband snoring. And I sit. Listening. And then I remind myself that I love all of these quiet little sounds coming from the people and animals that I love. Then I walk around the house and kiss, or snuggle each and every one of them. Then I go to bed. Every night…surrounded in wonderful quiet little sounds.

  12. Mine are 5 and 2 and I still feel like we are adjusting to each other every day! But when my older girl was 14 months, she almost died from a run-of-the-mill stomach virus that her little body couldn’t handle and sent her into dehydration and shock. After 7 terrifying days in the ICU, she began to get slowly get better. After she recovered I was convinced that God was sending me a message that I didn’t love her enough and He could take her at any time. I write this because that’s the way I deal now…when things get tough, the gratitude is not far away…because I have been presented with the alternative to having her little life close to mine and it was devastating.

  13. Excellent words once again, Beth. You hit the nails right on their proverbial heads! Feelings are projected and portrayed and you make us get it…really get it. And I just adore the way you express your relationship with Jesus- real, realistic connections-not holier-than-thou banter, just the real life stuff. You rock!
    …and speaking of God, I thank him for people in our world like Not Evan and is partner. Amazing, just amazing!
    🙂

  14. I’ve been there, Not Evan. I AM there, sometimes anyway. My husband and I took in 3 kids at once, almost 2 years ago now. Due to tribal rules and ICWA laws, we aren’t able to adopt, but we’re their guardians and their forever family. When we made the choice to become, at that time, kinship foster parents, we knew we had a lot to learn, but holy cow what a silly thing to say. What a silly thing to THINK, because how in the world can you possibly KNOW what you don’t KNOW? We never imagined the effects it would have on us, and there were dark times. Times where I didn’t know how I would make it through, or if I even wanted to anymore. We had all of the stress of raising three kids, along with special needs resulting from a traumatic background, but we didn’t feel like a family yet. We didn’t feel like parents, we felt like imposters. We just kept waiting for the day when it would feel “normal” and “natural”, and glanced nervously at the families around us who seemed “real”, hoping they wouldn’t notice that we were totally faking it. It was painful, and I was WORRIED.

    But I’ll tell you what I did then, and what I’ve done every time I’ve found myself faced with a major life decision. I asked myself, “What would be worse? Life with them, or life without them?” The answer to that was easy, and never changed. So, I put one foot in front of the other. I decided that because I WANTED to be the parent they needed, I would be. I put faith in myself that I’d figure it out, and I forgave myself when I made mistakes. And I made a lot of mistakes. But the days went by, I tried to focus on what I could control, I took every opportunity I had to enjoy my children, (except of course when I was tired and grumpy and just didn’t feel like it, and then I didn’t; then, the best I could muster was TRYING not to get in their way while they enjoyed themselves). And somehow, time passed and things changed.

    I think that I was always looking for a golden ticket, for the date that marked us having been together long enough that we would finally feel like a family. Like I thought we would wake up one day, and feel completely different from the night before? Anyway, it didn’t happen that way, but it did happen. Gradually, without us really noticing it, we became a family, and now it feels like that’s how it was all along. I think people deserve time to fall in love with each other.

    I don’t know you, but I believe in you, and I think you’ll be just fine. I think that, for the most part, we choose to be who we want to be, and if you’re kind to yourself, you’ll be the person you want to be. And your kids will love you for it. Try to be patient, try to forgive yourself, try to like your children (hey sometimes that one’s hard!), and try to remind yourself that times WILL change, and try to aim for better.

  15. Like anything in life, you do it one moment at a time, one. single. moment. at. a. time.

    Don’t take it all so seriously, life is funny. And ridiculous. And amazing. Look for the good and the hilarious and focus on that instead of the maddening crap. What you focus on expands so if you look at all the junk, that’s all you will see. As a gramma who watches my daughter be so serious and angry with her kids, I learned long ago that humor is key to living a life you enjoy and I wish that for her. I am always encouraging her to laugh more. Laugh at yourself mostly, and laugh with your kids. Get silly and goofy, dance with them, sing with them, look them in the eye and let them tell you a joke, something that connects you with humor at least once a day, whatever gets your pulse going and your smile happening. Because they grow up and go away and suddenly the kid laughter is not there every day and you miss it!! I have some seriously side aching laughter episodes stored that I still giggle at twenty years later when I pull them out.
    Yeah you gotta have, as Cesar Millan always says, rules, boundaries and limitations, but your foundation of love is most important. Tell them you love them every single day even when they make you crazy and even when they don’t seem to want to hear it. When they seem most unloveable, they need to hear it even more then. I don’t love what you did/chose/said, but I love you always. Remember this important bit, too, something I didn’t know back then….they act out the worst with you because it’s their safe place, the place where they know they can vent and be rotten and still be loved no matter what. Don’t take it personal, it will feel personal (wish I had learned that one during the teen years!), but it’s not. It’s them learning and growing and pushing and pulling, trying to figure out who they are. It’s not personal. Hard, I know.
    That’s it for me. Tell them you love them, laugh with them and at yourself and don’t take any of their stuff personal. Stay present, not regretting the past and not worrying about the future, walk it one step at a time. And please, don’t beat yourself up for your perceived parenting errors, you are learning just as they are. You might have to remind them of that at some point.
    You’ll be fine.
    Hugs!

  16. Single mom of twin boys here. Couldn’t fathom more…..that is, some days I couldn’t. Some days I can’t imagine the 2 I have. Those days are hard. Really, really, excruciatingly hard. I look at them sometimes and wonder how did I get here? I chose to have these children. I specifically went to a doctor and picked out some sperm and bom chicka bow wow, I was a Mom. To multiples. Not the plan. God’s funny that way. They are the best of me. And they better me. So, for that, I try to do and be better for them. On those days where I want to cry and scream and run away, I cry. Ugly, huge, snotty tears. And then I clean myself up and continue. They are almost 3 now and I am almost 44.

    Oh, and I exercise 3 times a week at the Y.

    And drink sometimes.

    And howl at the moon.

    And have massive tickle-fests.

    And say my Bahama mantra “It’s all good sistah”. Cause, you know, in the end? It is. =)

  17. Dude. I have two kids who very considerately came one at a time, but I feel (some of) your pain. About 6 months after my second kiddo was born, I began having heart issues. Like, literal heart issues, where my heart would pound for a minute or so even though I wasn’t doing anything strenuous or thinking about anything stressful. My doctor ran all kinds of tests, but he told me, before I even had results back, that it was probably stress. And it was.

    So my awesome parents and in-laws got together and helped pay for Mother’s Day Out, so I could have lunch with a friend, or grocery shop alone, or take a freaking nap once in awhile. I also began running (Couch25K+music I don’t let the kids listen to) and, eventually, a little therapy. Because nothing brings up your childhood issues like having an actual child.

    I don’t know if any of these specific things will work for you. But I found that when stuff got dark and icky, it helped to know that I had a regularly scheduled “me thing” to look forward to if I could just hang on a little. And when that didn’t quite do it for me, I took a time out or a time in.
    Time out meant turning on television or whatever held the kids’ interest, going to my room, and breathing deeply (also maybe a little iPhone Boggle) for a few minutes. Sometimes some crying.

    Time in meant telling the littles I felt sad and hugging them like crazy for a few minutes, then turning up some guilty-pleasure 80’s pop music and dancing like idiots. It wasn’t magic, but it gets me through. I have been assured by people I trust that it gets better. I don’t listen to people who don’t tell me that. I’m sure they are quacks.

  18. My parents had 5 kids the old fashioned way. One at a time!

    Evan – congratulations on taking the 5 at once plunge. You and your partner are very brave.

    To use a cliche, you handle this one day at a time. It is really all you can do.

    Alice Ann had a good suggestion. Try to get a few mini-breaks for yourself. I know my mom would lock the bathroom door and take a bath – no interruptions allowed. My dad used to putter, in the workshop or the yard, that was his version of taking a break from us.

    If all else fails, close your eyes, take a deep breathe, count to 10 and keep on going. Best wishes to your whole family.

  19. 1. Breathe. Deep dragon-fire breathing breaths. You can’t control much, but taking 30 seconds to intentionally breathe will give you a grasp of control at least of yourself.

    2. Drink a ton of water. Eat healthy. I always feel better physically and emotionally when I make healthy decisions.

    3. Therapize. (my favorite made up word) What do you love to do? What is your outlet? Make time for that/those things. Have a set time of 15 minutes of peace to read alone, or 20 to go for a jog, or and hour to paint. Make that time the exact same time once a week (at least), so that you know you have that set amount of time to count on to wind down.

    4. Put away your phone and computer. Join you kid(s) in their world. Put on a pirate eye-patch, grab a sword, build a tent, or go for a bike ride. Whatever they want. Do it. Enjoy it. Be in the moment. Be a kid with them. It feels great to let the responsibilities go for awhile. (the dishes and laundry will be there later)

    5. I live by the 15 minute rule. I leave 15 minutes earlier than I need to, I get up 15 minutes earlier than I need to, etc. Those extra 15 minutes make the difference of ‘stressful’ or ‘stress-less’ in my life.

    1. Alice Ann, those are some of my best “how to deal” methods too! Eat healthy to feel mentally and physically better and more up to the task. There’s time when I need to take the evening off and shop by myself and then their nights I need to play a board game with the kids or take them to the park. Other times facebook is my sanity, reading things like Beth’s blog or keeping in touch with other mommy friends as a sort of touchstone also help with keeping sane. Make sure you can keep connected to your partner and yourself just as much as your kids. You can’t keep giving from a well that has dried up. Yes we love our little ones, no one knows that more than us, it’s what keeps us from running away, however we can’t bury ourselves so far down at the bottom of things to love that we don’t replenish ourselves too.

  20. I have great respect for anyone that can foster and adopt. And to do it five times over. Wow. Go Not Evan!

    When I’m having a hard time I think of the what ifs.

    Usually I decide that I’m better off with the this is what happeneds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.