The Highs and Lows

Caryn: How do I put this delicately? Ummm…….Well, today has sucked. Sucked. Sucked. Big time.

My kids are off school. It’s cold and rainy.  My kids have been fighting because they’re bored and cooped up. None of us feel great, but aren’t quite sick. I’m depressed that I can’t just curl up in bed and be left alone so I can read The Bell Jar, which I started to reread yesterday. And, I admit, I’m a little bummed that we don’t have the dough to take a little jog somewhere warm or pretty or fun like so many of my son’s schoolmates seem to be doing over fall break.

This is the kind of day where it takes every last ounce of energy to make it through (see our last post where I smugly admit I was in a better “season”)–where honestly I kinda hate being a mom. Which is so weird because just YESTERDAY was so freaking fantastic. Yesterday was a total “I love being a mom!” day if there ever was one.

The weather was ridiculously perfect (68 degrees, sunny, slight, slight warm breeze, crispy leaves, hello, what’s not to love!), and my kids and I used their half-day to run to the library, play outside, jump in leaves, read together…. Honestly. It was a great day.

So today—as I’ve wondered what’s gone wrong (ugh! rain)—I can’t help but think that it’s these wild life-fluctuations that make being a mom (and I suppose a dad) so totally crazy. It’s why we feel like we are going to lose our minds. Because, honestly, these drastic highs and lows do this to us.

I don’t know what my point is here (please don’t worry. I’m NOT going all Sylvia Plath on anybody)—except to wonder if anybody else senses this same thing. That maybe motherhood would be easier or saner if were just somehow more level, if our lives were less manic and depressive…… I dunno.

Carla: There must be something in the air. One of my friends posted on her FB today that she kind of wants to just pull the covers over her head and wake up to a new life. She wondered if anyone else ever felt that way and there was a resounding, unanimous “Yes!” vote from the Facebook sisterhood.

It is amazing how quickly our lives can go from manageable and even enjoyable to overwhelming and crappy. Sometimes it’s because someone is sick or it’s raining or plans fall through, but often there is no real reason for the depressive part of the bipolar parenting cycle. It just comes along one morning and is in no hurry to go away.

I wonder, though, if it’s not really a cycle at all. It’s a game of whiplash where you can be coasting along just fine and then Wham! you get pulled off your feet by the sheer force of the endless responsibility. Personally, I can have a long stretch of great days and then, out of nowhere, comes a hard one, the kind where I think one more demand is going to send me running for the open road. I know it’s getting bad when I see a TV show that involves prison and I think, That doesn’t look so bad. You get a bed to yourself, there’s nothing to do all day, and someone feeds you.

I suppose the real struggle is accepting that this is just life. It doesn’t matter if the hard part is parenthood or work or marriage or loneliness or school or friendship. Being human means having difficult days where we long to be anywhere else doing anything else than what’s being asked of us.

Helpful, aren’t I?

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