The Quicksand Of Parenting


You know those mornings, when you ever so gently stir from your deep slumber of sleep? Those mornings when you slowly open your eyes and breathe into a big stretch that completely invigorates and enlivens your soul? Those mornings when you roll over and sit on the side of your bed to pause and be grateful? Those mornings when you think to yourself, damn, this is going to be a great day!!?

Those mornings when you feel refreshed and levelheaded? When you feel grownup and in control? Heck, when you feel like a fricken super hero, because for one reason or another the stars are aligning and they’re clearly granting YOU a well overdue and well deserved easier day?

You know the ones?

But then, just as you start to daydream about what a great parent you’re going to be in this incredible state of mind, and the level of patience, understanding, and support you’re going to be able to provide, you start to encounter some of the smaller members of your household, who have clearly woken up in very different way.

Their raw and unfiltered emotions start to consume the air like dark storm clouds rolling swiftly across the sky. Their requests and demands begin as a light sprinkling of rain that quickly changes into a full on torrential downpour. And then all of a sudden, with no warning at all, the screaming and fighting begins, hitting like bolts of lightening as voluminous thunder fills the air.

And there you are, in your teeny tiny boat in the middle of the lake, trying desperately to hang on to your serenity as the all-consuming storm starts to surround you.

But this is what you’ve trained for, right? You know you have the skills and ability to weather this storm. You know if you try your best you can remain grounded and outside of it, like an observer who is just simply watching the show – the unrelentingly chaos show. 

But the storm just keeps pushing, because it is mother-fucking fierce. And as the wind picks up and gains speed, your boat capsizes. You swim frantically to the shore, and for a single, blissful moment you think to yourself, I’m safe!! You think you’ve survived, you think you’ve endured, but in fact you are not safe at all, not even close. 

There before you is the last straw. And of course it’s something incredibly silly and small, so that you can feel horribly ashamed and guilty afterwards. And as you search for the filters of “I’m the bigger person” and “I’m the parent” in your pockets, they’re no where to be found. 

In the moment, you know exactly how you should respond, you know the correct course of action, you know what the high road is, but as you open your mouth, different words come out, and you’re almost as shocked as they are. And as you start to wonder about what the heck is going on, you look down and notice that your feet are completely covered in sand – quicksand to be exact. 

You yell. You scream. You’re temper flares. You’re patience and tolerance packs their bags and heads out to who the heck knows where. You’re responses – now childish and immature. 

You’re stuck. You can’t move. You’re IN IT. The quicksand has you. And it is no easy task to get out.

It starts to get so crazy that it’s almost as if you are outside of yourself, watching it all implode. And in a moment of desperation, you ask your other self for help, but they just stand there grimacing as they shrug their shoulders and lift their hands up in complete and utter disbelief. 

And as you logically map out all your points and the bold reasoning as to why these specific series of events have unfolded before your very eyes, you sink even further – the deadly quicksand of parenting. 

But, if you can remember to stay still, even just for a moment, your confidence and your skills will remind you that when you fight the fight, there is only more chaos. 

So you will pause and take a deep breath, and if you’re not too far gone already, you will reach your arms out searching for something – for anything. And if you’re lucky, someone will reach their arms out right back. And as you lean in and tightly embrace one another, you will effortlessly be released from the quicksand, and everything will feel lighter as you are finally rescued from the depths of yourself. 

And you will feel shitty, and horrible – such is the life of a parent – but you will learn from it, and you will survive, and you will endure. 

But trust me my friends, you will most definitely, without a doubt, sink again. 

2 thoughts on “The Quicksand Of Parenting

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