By Guest Blogger Julie Fritz
I don’t like change. I like things the way they are. I like feeling comfortable and knowing what to expect. The funny thing about that is that things are always changing. Especially since I became a parent. In fact, the only consistent thing about parenting is that nothing stays the same. It is as if life is constantly playing a joke on me. As soon as I start to feel comfortable and get used to things, it all goes up in the air. You would think I would start to get used to it at this point, but not so much.
In a weak attempt to protect myself from the inevitable change, my defense mechanism has become predicting what the change will be. Every time we start a new chapter of life, I prepare myself by thinking about what it will be like and trying to focus on what will be good about it. This is not a great choice. Mostly because you can never actually predict what things will be like. Then, when things don’t go the way I hoped for, I am disappointed and frustrated. Again, you would think I would be used to this at this point, but not so much.
As you all know, we have just started a new school year. I know I am not alone in wishing and hoping for the craziness of the first few weeks to calm down so we can all settle into the new routine. But this school year was really different for me, as I have a Kindergartner for the first time. Talk about a change I was unable to predict. And, per usual, I really built up the expectations for this. Everyone told me that it was going to be different. But my child had been in daycare, I mean how different could it be. Well, it is really really different.
We don’t even have to go into all the changes going on with my kid, lets just talk about the changes for me. I have spent the last two weeks trying to put together the puzzle of figuring out what goes on at school. This is nothing like daycare where you get a report everyday on every detail of your child’s life. My life now consists of asking open ended questions to a 5 year old that is not interested in talking about his day. We have a different schedule than we are used to, my sweet baby is acting like an exhausted monster and I have less control over his day than ever. My friends who are seasoned school aged parents just laugh at my concern, knowing this is only the beginning of what will come as my kids get older. But to me, in this moment, I’m overwhelmed.
I have said this before, and will say it again, being a parent is hard. It is the absolute greatest joy of my life, but it is hard! Dealing with all the changes that go with it make it even harder. It is an unpredictable part of life. I am trying really hard to try to go with the flow, and just take each day. I’m not great at it everyday, but I’m trying. And I try to remember that learning to deal with the small changes now will prepare me for the bigger changes later. Thank god we don’t birth 16-year-olds, I would never survive that. Even though the changes keep coming, so do the moments that make parenting worth it. Focusing on those moments help make dealing with all the changes a little bit easier.
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