Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cheers to the Village!

Hello friends!

A very wise friend reminded me recently that it takes a village to raise a child. Pretty simple. We've all heard it before but I never really thought about what it meant until she said it to me.  I know that's why she said it. ;)  Thanks Phyrne!

It takes a village. Hmm... It takes a village. So why do I feel like I have to do it all myself? Why do I feel like it's all my fault when things aren't perfect? What the heck is that?! No wonder I'm so stressed out!

This is in no way disparaging of my husband Steve. 
He's a great father and he's a great husband. He's by my side and we're in this together!
Except for the blog thing. That's my therapy, not his. ;)

As parents, as adults, we get stressed out. Outside we try to be superheroes - all things to all people all the time AND be really good at it. Inside though, sometimes at least  ;)  it's a bubbling, jumbled-up mix of frustration, guilt, worry, self-doubt, optimism, thankfulness, negativity  ... not to mention those darned hormones. Constantly balancing often conflicting demands with ever-shrinking resources can be exasperating, parent or not.

I forget that I'm part of a village - those people we call friends and family. I am so blessed to have wonderful people in my life. They are always there for me, and I too often forget that I can rely on them just as much as they can count on me. I once heard a speech about a man's revelation that when he needed to but wouldn't lean on his friends, he was actually not letting them be his friends. It was almost as if he didn't really have faith in them. I've thought about that speech a lot lately.

Did you ever play that game where one person stands with their back to a group and then falls backwards into their arms. The purpose is to trust those people to catch you when you fall. You must trust that they won't let you hit the ground and they'll help you back up. I'd trust every one of my friends in that situation and I trust them in every other situation too. So why do I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders?

Maybe the real problem isn't a question of trust. Maybe it's a question of how. Maybe I just don't know how to ask my peeps for help. It's easy with little stuff - "Can I borrow that jacket?". It's also easy with the really big stuff, when you have no choice and need them to take over for a little while. (Let's raise a glass to hoping those times are few and far between, unless they are fun stuff like new babies and romantic get-a-ways.)

Another friend once said that I wouldn't say CARROTS! if my mouth was full of it. (Explicative changed to CARROTS because I hate carrots, and because this is a family-friendly blog.) She's right. I don't want to be a complainer. I hate feeling like I'm whining so I make a conscious choice to try to stay realistically optimistic. Maybe that's part of it. Everyone's dealing with stuff. I don't want anyone to feel like I think my stuff is more important or weighty than theirs. Bottling it up just puts more pressure on the cork though.

How do you ask for help? I'm learning how to navigate the school system but life doesn't have the chains of command or policies and procedures that the school board does. Asking for help with my life doesn't seem as straight-forward. It feels like a defeat somehow. It isn't of course but emotions aren't always logical. I think that's why girls night is such a wonderful forum.

It seems like the more you need it the harder it is to make the time. The ever so wise "They" always says "You have to make the time. You have to make it a priority!" but I don't think "They" is a wife and mother with a career, family and volunteer commitments, school deadlines, carpool, a kid who's a non-stop handful, a teenager, bills to pay, laundry to wash, dinner to cook, groceries to buy, dishes to wash....  because "They" never tells you how to actually do it, just that it's important.

I get that. I know that it's important. I know I need my village. My resolution to myself is to ask them for help when I need it! I'll figure out the "how" as I go along!

Cheers to the village!

Have an inspiring day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Uncorking the whine!

Hello friends and welcome to my new blog!

I am not a writer. I am not a blogger. Please don't get offended if you are one of those. I'm just borrowing a wee bit of your craft to help maintain my sanity.

What I am is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a babysitter, a Scout leader, a Toastmaster and a friend. It can all get a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially when there's something wrong with one of the big four - kids, husband, home or health. Life is ever changing and it's never easy and then, sometimes, it gets harder.

My son has just been diagnosed with ADHD. He's seven and in grade two, so we welcomed the news, because it meant we weren't going to have to keep fumbling in the dark, praying for a miracle. We could finally get answers and could really start helping him effectively. That was Thursday, and four days later it feels like we're at the bottom of a mountain with no compass or climbing gear. The initial sense of relief has been pushed aside by fear, doubt, guilt and anxiety. This is going to be a convoluted journey and I'm going to need all the help I can get.

A friend told me the other day that she thinks I'm the perfect mom. I always thought the same about her. I laughed. Then I cried a little. Why is it that we're all so scared to let our warts show? We all have them. We all struggle with stuff, and very often it's the same stuff. If we weren't so scared or embarrassed to talk about it, maybe we wouldn't feel so lost and alone when things aren't going to plan.

Which brings me to the purpose of this blog. I'm an optimistic person by nature but I need help. I'm not a fan of wallowing in it, but sometimes we all need a little help to switch gears, sort through it all and find solutions. I'm going to think of this blog as my on-line mom's night out. I can't get together with the girls as often as I would like to so hopefully this will give us a chance to pull up a chair, grab a glass of calmness and let the whine out!