Angst into Thanks

Posted on | October 3, 2011 | 13 Comments

Last night, I sat down and typed out an angst-ridden post about being a working (outside the home) mother.  I poured out my fears about raising a latchkey kid, my worries about not being there as much as my mother was, and my complete hysteria about not being “where I’m supposed to be” when it comes to my child.  I sat down this morning to review and publish and a thought occurred to me.

I’m spending too much time in angst.

It’s easy to wonder if I’m doing this wrong.  It’s easy to sit and stew and think about the bite mark on J’s elbow or the songs he’s learned at school that I still can’t figure out.  It’s easy to obsess over not being there for every minute, not being the one to teach him to use a fork, not being the one to teach him how to use the “big boy potty.”  It’s easy to stress over sick days and Mondays and holidays and visitation days.

It has always been easy for me to worry.

I decided this morning that I spend too much time in angst.  I spend too much time wondering if I’m doing things right, worrying if I’m messing up, and wallowing in the sadness of being a single parent.  The long and short of it is this… I’m not doing everything right because that would make me Jesus, I’m totally messing things up because I’m human, and it IS sad being a single parent.  It’s hard.  Life? Yeah, you know what? It’s H-A-R-D.

So I can spend my days thinking about how hard it all is, which is basically like sitting in a giant puddle of mud and spinning my wheels in neutral, wondering why I’m not going anywhere… or I can throw up my hands, admit defeat, and spend all that time enjoying the messes I make.

Being a single mom is hard.  But I’m a mom, and that rocks.

Working outside the home makes my stomach churn every Monday when I drop J off at daycare.  But I’m able to pay the bills, put a roof over his head, and take him on weekend adventures… and that’s pretty awesome.

Being a lawyer is a stressful job.  But every day, I get to make someone else’s life a little less stressful.

This is my life.  This is the only one I have.  It is totally my choice as to whether I spend it worrying about how I’m living it and wondering if there’s a better way or just, you know, LIVING IT. 

So I trashed the post about how hard Mondays are.  Mondays are hard for everyone.  I trashed the idea that somehow I have a tough time.  Everyone has a tough time here and there.

I’m turning my angst into thanks.

I’m glad I have a bed to climb out of, a son to hug, and a job to go to, even on the mornings I don’t want to go.  I’m glad to have a car that runs, a coffee maker that works, and a coat that keeps me warm on cool fall mornings like today.  I’m glad to have a daycare that I love, full of teachers who love J almost as much as I do.  I’m glad to have an ex-husband who wants to be a part of our son’s life.  I’m glad to have ex-in-laws who cherish my son and who do their best to make divorce easier.  I’m glad to have parents who would lasso the moon for me, a sister and brother who love me in spite of myself, and a wealth of friends both inside and outside my computer who wrap me with kind words and lift my spirits even when I don’t deserve it.

I am blessed.

I am thankful.

Even on the days when getting out of bed feels like the hardest decision I’ll ever make. Even on the days when I want to call in sick, wrap my arms around my little boy, and watch Little Bear on the sofa all day.  Even on the days when both my son and I are in tears before we even make out of the house. 

Even on a day like today.

Comments

13 Responses to “Angst into Thanks”

  1. Heather Kaplin
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I tell myself the same thing sometimes. I don’t have your exact challenges, but I have my own. There are many days I feel so drained and worn-out and I want to just run away. I get upset and frustrated and I cry about it. Then I look back and say “Wait a second”. I have so much to be thankful for. My daughter is healthy and (from what I can tell so far) very bright. My job is going OK. (Hell, in this economy I HAVE a job).

    It’s still OK to get frustrated and yell into a pillow and cry sometimes, but my daughter is friggin’ awesome (even when she drives me nuts and I want a break from her).

  2. Aebarbee
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    Thank you…I needed a swift kick in my pants too this morning. All my sentences started with “why can’t I…..”. It was time for me to look on the bright side. Glad I am in good company.

  3. Taming Insanity
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    Flip angst the bird.

    Let’s do it together even.

    On 3.

    1….

    2….

    3!!!

  4. Anonymous
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Just so you know, I totally just flipped off my computer screen when I read this. 🙂

  5. MaconMom
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    Had very similar feelings this morning when my 18 month old son was crying his eyes out as I walked out the door of the daycare to come to work. My heart just ached. It is my life and I have much for which I am thankful.

    Thank you for the reminder!

  6. Practical Paralegalism
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Awesome post. I was a single mom for most of my oldest child’s life. But even better, I was HER mom, the better choice of adjective. Being a mom period is by far the most wonderful experience I’ve had in my life. Happy Monday!

  7. Amanda
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    I think you have made a great point here. We need to be thankful even the worst of times because with those there are also the best and for that we must be thankful!

    Happy (hopeful) Monday 😉

  8. Lola M.
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Thanks – I needed that! Have a great day!

  9. Heather Griffitts Clark
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    Fantastic post for a Monday when I just want to run to my littles and scoop them up and hug them all day long.

  10. Kristinayellow
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Good reminder–it’s too easy to see the bad and be dragged down. Looking for that ray of sun and happiness is always a better choice, although it’s probably more difficult. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. beachmum
    October 3rd, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    I needed this post today. I. needed. this. thank you. I’ve been thinking along the same lines recently. While I loathe turning off the alarm clock to pour out of bed and wake my kid up (it’s so unfair to him) I take solace in the fact that I’m not alone- that there are so many others out there who feel like I do. Then, once I get past the mini pity party, I start choosing to be thankful. It’s not easy and it’s a choice, but posts like these help me make the right choice. thanks.

  12. Kylie Breeze
    October 4th, 2011 @ 5:31 am

    Getting myself ready to return to work after maternity leave when my second is only 9 months old and I am FULL of all that self same angst. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for what I do have. You are absolutely correct.

  13. Kir
    October 4th, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    it’s like this for me EVERY SINGLE day…I keep reminding myself of the GOOD STUFF and I really try to put the Crappy stuff away. To not get overloaded with it. You are doing such a great job of mothering and living and just being you….celebrate that….I’m here with the streamers and cake cause I celebrate that about you too. 🙂

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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