Monday, May 16, 2016

"After the Storm"

Some days are easier than others.

•••

I'm a mom.  I run a household full-time - I clean, I cook, I handle the family budget and finances, I go to the grocery, I make sure the pets have food, water and keep up with when they need to go to the vet.  I juggle co-parenting of one of my children with her father.  I juggle several schedules.  I try to accomodate sleepovers.  I volunteer to chaperone field trips.  

•••

I have voluntarily taken on the responsibility of caring for my 19 year old nephew who has lived with us for a year now.  In turn, this has opened my eyes to how everyone in my family has fallen short in regard to his life.  

I have 2 young children -- who have had pretty normal and stable lives.  I wasn't at all prepared to deal with all the issues that come with being a stand-in parent for a child who has had a harder life - emotionally and mentally - than most adults I know - at the mere age of 18.  

In taking him into our home, it's added to the stress I imagine most parents feel  - in the sense that they are influencing and shaping this human into the person they are going to be for the rest of their life.  You hope and pray every single day that you're not messing them up any further.  You try to instill values and personality traits that will help them succeed in life.  You hope that your help will help them to forge a new path that's completely different from the one he's lived for the past 18 years.

With him has come the job of having to act as liaison between him and my mother.  As strained as my relationship with my mother has been, having to turn to her for advice when dealing with my nephew hasn't been a cake walk to say the least.  It's been bittersweet - especially if she feels my parenting style is lacking and isn't "right" per her standards.  

The word "struggle" doesn't even begin to describe the daily internal fight I have with myself.  

•••

I run a business that I started 9 years ago - completely on my own.  I maintain professional relationships.  I try to encourage and positively impact every client of mine.  I try to mentor and help every colleague or coworker to succeed.  I tell everyone to not give up and to never stop chasing their dreams.

•••

I try to maintain and invest in the personal relationships I have.  I pray for my family and friends everyday.  I help plan parties, run errands, move furniture, send care packages and randomly call or text message to let people know I'm here and thinking of them as often as I can.

•••

I say all this not to toot my own horn.

More often than not, I fall short.

I don't handle situations as best as I can.  

My feelings get hurt.  

I get overwhelmed.  

I spread myself too thin and then snap when the load gets too heavy.  

I have days where I feel it's me against the world - where I've tried my hardest to make everyone else happy - and in turn have made myself so, so sad.  

I struggle everyday to find balance. 

•••

The world has morphed into this ridiculously busy place where no one has time to spare.  

I miss the days when I had so many friends that wanted to spend time with each other that we'd have dinner and movie nights almost every other weekend and would always have a house FULL of people who came over just to eat and laugh together.

I miss the days when I tried to do something to make the people closest to me smile -- just because I wanted to hear them laugh.

I miss the days when I didn't beat myself up so much for not being perfect at everything I do or tried to do.

•••

Today wasn't the easiest of days.  I failed to handle my trials with poise and grace.  I feel incredibly sad and overwhelmed.

But I find peace in knowing that tomorrow is a new day and I get to start all over with a prayer and a happy song (probably one by Prince) in my heart. 

Keep on keepin' on, Friends, because all we can do is keep on breathing. 💜