I haven’t been feeling very blogg-y lately. One of my little ones is struggling, and therefore, so am I. I intended to go into this year with momentum, but lately I just…haven’t. As a parent, I’m not sure there is anything harder than watching your child struggle except maybe not knowing how to help. Currently, both of those are happening in our lives, and it hasn’t been easy.
The fact that my entire career was spent in early childhood education further compounds this experience for me. Surely my degrees and more than a decade of experience working with children and families would forever be enough to solve parenting’s toughest challenges. I’ve been fortunate to have received so much information, so much training, so many opportunities to learn. This should apply easily to my own child, right? So, why can’t I figure this one out? Why can’t I fix it?
Parenting is humbling in so many ways, and this current journey is no exception. I’ve had to be brave, and I’ve had to admit that we need help, that I don’t have all the answers, and that we don’t know how to fix it. Despite racking my brain and trying everything I’ve ever known to try, things have remained really difficult. Heartbreakingly difficult. Those have been vulnerable moments for me as a parent and as an educator. However, I’m realizing that right now my job is to be a mother. Not a teacher, not a consultant, not a specialist. Just a mom who loves her child. And to receive the help. Because as hard as it can be to ask for, it’s where the growth begins. Those moments have been difficult, but they have also been quite magical. In fact, some of the hardest moments have led to the after hours texts, the above and beyond offers to help, the recommendations, and the reassurance. All of it has given me strength.
Someone said something kind to me about our family the other day, and I struggled to hold back tears. It felt hard to receive the good when there is so much worry on my heart, and I was struck by how amazing it is that we really never know what is going on with each other. We don’t really know what those around us are shouldering, and if anything this has allowed me to deepen my sense of grace for others and for myself.
Things may seem spotty around here. They are. If it feels like I’m popping in and out, I am. This space is so important to me, and so is being an authentic parent. There are a lot of flowers blooming over here, but there’s work to be done in our garden too. If you need me I’ll be out there with my tools and my face turned towards the sunshine believing in the power of tomorrow.
Find the joy,
Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.