Parenthood: A Wild and Crazy Ride.
Hey, Practice families!
If you haven’t read/listened yet, please check it out!
I recorded this interview in late March. I was in the last weeks of my pregnancy, feeling exhausted and frantically preparing for my impending maternity leave. And mid-morning on the day of this KQED interview, I fielded a call from my older son’s preschool: he had shoved a bead up his nose, was hysterical, and we needed to come get him immediately (and figure out what to do about the bead). So I scrambled off to get him, calling our pediatrician’s advice nurse on the way. I have to say, the advice nurse wasn’t particularly calm. She said that this was a medical emergency– that I could try a trick to get the bead out myself: plugging the nostril that didn’t have the bead inside, sealing my mouth over his mouth, blowing a big breath into his mouth, and (hopefully) puffing the bead out the other nostril– but if that failed (which it well might), then we needed to proceed directly to the emergency room because inhaling a bead into your airway is apparently a really major problem… potentially life-threatening.
I didn’t find this especially reassuring.
I showed up at preschool and found my son sitting on the director’s lap. His face was tear-streaked and he was still sobbing intermittently while the director tried to distract him with a Mickey Mouse video. I sat him down on a chair, closed his nostril, puffed a big puff of air into his mouth, and lo and behold, the bead popped out. I took him back home, passed him off to my husband for the remainder of the day, and raced back into the city to do the KQED interview.
When the interview came out last week, another mom friend texted me: “Your voice is coming out of my car radio! You don’t sound like you just blew a bead out of your son’s nose!”
I’m proud of the content of this interview– but more than anything, the release of this interview makes me remember the chaos and stress of this day and think: parenthood is such a wild and crazy ride. Parenting requires all of our skills and resources, demands that we bring our best selves to the table (or at least try!), and highlights all the places in which we ourselves need to grow. Parenthood means showing up, every day, all day, both in the ways that we might expect and in ways that we never could have dreamed. It means putting out fires, engaging in endless juggling, setting limits. It’s getting comfortable with constantly being behind or falling short. It’s managing drop-offs and pick-ups and packing lunch and figuring out what’s for dinner and scheduling appointments and handling bedtime and managing melt-downs, all with as much grace and calm as we can muster.
It’s doing an exciting interview when you’ve barely caught your breath from emergently blowing a bead out of your kid’s nose.
Parents, we are WARRIORS. That’s true even (and maybe especially!) on the days that it really doesn’t feel that way– the days that we’re stretched too thin, the days on which we fall short. We’re humans, none of us get it right all the time. So tonight, I want to remind you: You are here, reading these words right now, because you care about your kid(s) and because you care about being a good parent. Because you’re doing the best that you can with what you have, here and now in this moment. I see you. And I high five you. And I hope that you can take a moment right now to focus on– and celebrate!– everything you’re doing right, and to high five yourself.
P.S.– if I had more time and energy, I’d probably insert some links here about parenting burnout, and/or parenting self-compassion. But this is my first week back in the office and I am short on time– so stay tuned for more on those topics (and others!) coming in future newsletters, along with links. Thanks for bearing with me (and for being part of our community)!
P.P.S.– if you want an extra hand on this parenting journey, remember, we’re now offering parenting support, both in person and via telehealth! And if you’re working on bringing your best self to the table with your kids, don’t forget about our high value, low investment (only $30!) email series for parents, How to Not Lose Your Sh*t With Your Kids!