Tag Archives: mothersday

Scenes from Saturday + Dirty Dogs & Dance Drama

Two things collided this past week. Cecilia will soon graduate from middle school which led, naturally, to conversations about what she will do this summer and how she might need to start thinking about college prep. This led, naturally, to stress and unhappiness.

Talk of the approaching summer also led to discussions about what we, as a family, are going to do with my sabbatical time. Are we going somewhere? Doing something? Experiencing something? How will we maximize this rare opportunity? This led, naturally, to stress and unhappiness.

I realized later (while not sleeping because I was stressed) that no family is happy all the time. It’s impossible and probably not healthy. Happiness is like a wheel, we cycle through it. It comes and goes, but it doesn’t exist for us in the past or the future. Happiness only exists in the present. So we shouldn’t let the future come at the expense of what is right in front of us.

If we want to be a happy family, we should prioritize just being together. It doesn’t matter where. It’s sort of that simple. And that attainable.

The trick, of course, is holding onto it, because just as you grab it, the wheel keeps turning.

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Scenes from Saturday + Dates & Drama

It was one of those roller coaster weeks the seemed to consist of only parental highs and lows. One hour you are crushing it on Dad cruise control. The next hour you’re in the gutter and feeling guilty that you’re not doing enough.

I’m lucky that neither Michelle nor I fall into the guilt trap together very often. We have each other to pull us out, but God bless single parents. But that guilt. It’s impossible to avoid all the time. You might feel it for what you’ve done as parents. For what you haven’t done as parents. For what you think maybe you could or should or need to have done.

Here’s the thing: the guilt doesn’t help. Easier to see when you’re not in the throes of it, but it doesn’t make you a better parent. It only makes you feel worse. If anything, it takes a toll on you that makes it harder for you to actually get yourself out of that emotional spiral.

This Dad and Mom gig is hard. You have screwed up before and will screw up again. There’s not a lot of room for guilt. We have to focus on what we can do now. What we can change now. What we can tell them now. Hint: I love you, I support you, I’m here to help you.

That’s it. And it’s more than enough to feel good about as a parent.

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