Some days parenting makes me feel like I'm drowning—like someone has taken me out into the ocean and pushed me in. The water is deep and violent, and I'm trying to keep my head above water.
The house is a disaster, there's laundry to be folded, the dishes are piling up in the sink, the bed sheets need to be changed, the floors need to be swept, the toys need to be cleared. I'm drowning.
And yet, my children are the undercurrent, pulling me deeper and deeper into the ocean. They need to be fed, they need a drink, they want someone to play with, they need me. They need me now.
I look around for help, panicked. The water is overwhelming me, and I go under for a brief moment. I come back up, spluttering and coughing. There's no help. Just me.
I start to swim. Yet, as hard as I try, I'm getting nowhere. I'm right back where I started. Exhausted. Defeated.
The kitchen sink is getting more full, the toy room gets messier, the table is covered in tiny fingerprints. More food, more drinks, potty time, endless demands.
I think I may drown. My body and mind can't take anymore. The undercurrent has won. I accept defeat. I stop fighting.
The undercurrent, as strong and powerful as it was to drag me out into the ocean, now ceases. I no longer feel its pull. It has released me. I feel the water gently carrying me back to shore. My feet can touch. I am alive.
I sit on the beach, drained of energy, and look out at the water. The waves crashing, the salt water foaming, the sun setting. Underneath it all is an undercurrent that will suck you out momentarily. You can't fight it, so it's better just to let it pull you out, because just when you think it's taken everything out of you, it shows mercy and guides you back in.
I leave the house. Let it rot. I find my children, scoop them up in my arms, and I feel their little arms fold around me. I close my eyes and nuzzle my face into their necks, inhaling them, smelling their sweet skin.
I let them suck me in. Nothing else matters.
Nothing else matters.
Do you ever have parenting moments when you feel like you're drowning? How do you cope in those situations?