How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out

I’ve always thought of myself as the mellow one in the family. I’ve never, in a fit of anger, broken up pieces of wood in the basement with my bare hands, and I only backed into my grandfather’s car once when I was seventeen-years-old. I chalk that one up to being young and impetuous. Occasionally, I yell, but I consider that more like “talking loud”, and I only do it because most people around here don’t listen to a word I say.

In my opinion, every family needs a floater – a person who is flexible and who can stay fairly stable (mentally) with the ebbs and flows of life.

How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out | TheFurFiles

Yes, in my situation, that person is me. My husband’s job is one of very high stress. He works long hours, and what he does calls for a great amount of responsibility. It’s been that way for twenty-five years. Don’t ask him to deal with young adult angst. When he gets home, he literally melts into the chair in the living room, his computer on his lap, a stack of papers by his side. His brain goes into “cruise” mode, his eyes close, and his head bobs back and forth from time to time.

I’m the one who has to be ready – sort of like a firefighter, I always say. Things are usually calm, and I can watch “House Hunters” and take my cats for walks on their leashes – fun and (what my husband calls) leisurely and almost counterproductive stuff like that – but every once in a while, the shit hits the fan, and I need to spring into action, like when somebody forgets their dance shoes and it’s minutes before the show, or worse, when someone rips their pants in front of the whole cafeteria, or worse worse, when someone gets cheated on by their girlfriend, or worse worse worse, when somebody crashes the car, or gets really drunk, or fails a major test, etc. etc.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Or Something Like That

I never planned on having kids. It was never a dream of mine as a girl or a teenager. I wasn’t getting married either. But then I met my husband, and it all changed.

I Am Mother - Hear Me Roar, And Sometimes Sputter For Help | TheFurFiles

Since that first little head squeezed his way out of my vagina, I’ve stayed-at-home, worked part-time, and gone back to school twice. Except for the occasional meltdown – OK, frequent meltdown – I’ve been lucky. Everyone has been healthy (knock on wood), they’ve all done well at school, and for the most part, they are caring human beings. We’ve never really experienced too many bumps in the road – not big bumps anyway. That doesn’t mean however, that it’s been easy. I’ll never forget the first time my kids had to go to daycare/the after-school program. Whooosh, they were NOT happy. My daughter especially.

“Remember when you sent me there?” my daughter says every time we drive past the dreaded Children’s Castle Daycare. (We still live in the same neighbourhood.) I’d gone back to school for the first time to study architecture. She was four. I don’t think it was as bad as she makes it sound. It’s just that it was such a huge change for her. “Yeah, I hated that place,” she says. “They made us do the weirdest things, like they told us that we couldn’t have our dessert unless we ate all of our sweet pickles. And then they made us brush our teeth by swishing milk around in our mouths. Doesn’t milk have sugar? It’s probably why I had so many cavities as a kid.”

“OK, I get it,” I always reply. “I feel guilty enough about the whole thing.” And I did feel guilty sending her there. I mean, who wants their babies to be unhappy? It was a struggle between doing something to better myself, and being there for my children every second of every day. Looking back, I’m glad I did what I did. I agree with whoever said that a person has to be happy with themselves in order to be a good parent. Besides, my kids got (and get) more of me than most.

Being a mother is tough, no doubt. It pulls a person in so many different directions. It can make you happy, sad, frustrated, embarrassed, and both angrier and more full of joy than you ever thought possible. And tired. Did I mention just how tired being a mother can make you? Like exhausted. Like completely spent. Like almost unable to function. Like you’ve been hit a truck, and dragged down the road about a hundred miles, and then run over – back and forth, back and forth – a few times, tires marks (gauges really) on your chest, your limbs are all broken, your face is pretty messed up from being scraped against the gravel, like you are pretty much unrecognizable as even a human… OK, OK, you get the picture.

Anyway, yeah. Happy Mother’s Day to all!