I’ve been absent from blogging for a while now for a multitude of reasons, not having something to say isn’t one of them. I’ve started a mixed dozen posts on a variety of topics from Disneyworld and Disneyland to returning to college after a 7ish year hiatus but haven’t finished any of them.
Tonight, I knew I wanted two put the proverbial pen to paper but my brain is fried after a long day of school, exam prep, working from home, and of course being a wife and mama. Really, I should be exhausted and asleep by now, but I don’t think the 5-hour energy I took after class to keep myself from falling asleep in the empty solitude of our house while A was at work and E was at school has completely left my system.
Side note- prior to returning to school I could count on one hand how many energy drinks/supplements I had ever taken in my life, less than 5 in 31 years on this planet. That number has now more than doubled.
Being a nursing student, part-time editor, mama, wife, friend, daughter, and concerned citizen is exhausting and hard. I returned to school for a plethora of reasons. Primarily for me, it’s something I have wanted to do for a while now and let’s face it, eventually E will be in school full-time, and then what? Sure, we plan on adopting a second child in the near future, but eventually, that child too will be in school. Eventually I have to decide what exactly it is I want to be when I grow up (or at least the general direction I’d like to head).
I know it’s empowering for my girl to see me going back to school. To see me making education a priority in our home not just for her, but for each member of this family. I hope that when she sees me walk across the stage with my nursing degree, it will be symbolic of knowing you truly can do anything if you believe in yourself and put forth the effort. And as motivating as that is to me, I also know that it’s time I start reinvesting in myself, that by doing so, it will make me a better mother to my daughter.
Also, my baby sister just returned to college and I’ll be darned if I’m letting her finish her degree before me (Love you Andie) that’s what siblings are for right? A little sibling rivalry never hurt anyone?
Obviously my new endeavor has impacted the amount of free time I have with my girl. I try very diligently to not allow school to interfere with our time together but homework is homework and exams require studying and I know that our time has been cut from what it was (especially since she now spends two full days a week out of the house at school herself).
On our days together we focus on spending quality time together. Sometimes it’s fun adventures around town, sometimes it’s couch picnics and snuggling up to movies. E’s love language is physical attention, she needs to be hugged, held, snuggled, and touched to connect, and I am happy to provide that to her. But lately, I’ve felt as though I’ve failed more days than I succeeded.
E is three and a half. The term “threenager” did not come about by coincidence – it’s a tough age. We’ve had our share of days full of tantrums, potty training regression, outright disobedience, and tears (from both of us). It’s been very challenging to see our reduced time spent together waisted away in these moments and I’ve not taken it well. I’ve felt defeated, and guilty, and ashamed.
I’ve felt like a failure.
I suppose that’s why last month, on a random Wednesday, my daughter caught me completely by surprise. After weeks of banging my head against the wall over her ongoing potty training regression that lasted longer than actual potty training, the constant tantrums, and the continual disregard for consequences for her behavior, I was certain that she thought I was the absolute meanest and horrible person on the planet (I’m fairly certain she even called me that a few times) who only wanted to give her consequences and take away all the fun and joy out of her life (yep, she’s said that to me too).
So, on that random Wednesday when she spoke words of pure love and understanding (as in she has actually been listening to what I’m saying) it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe we’ll both survive being three. Those words were:
“Mama, I’m adopted and that means you, me, and daddy will always find each other.”
My response came instantly without hesitation, the same word that’s the last word I speak to her each evening before bed, the final word of “our song”, a word that signifies my promise to my daughter:
And in that moment I was reassured and even given a glimmer of hope that maybe her threenager years were subsiding.
Until the next time I had to take away the iPad.