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First one to tell the truth

First one to tell the truth

May 15, 2021

Hi, hi. How are you? Is anybody willing to tell the truth out there? According to social media everyone else's families are THRIVING. Kids are doing GREAT. 

An acquaintance posted their 17 year old's 2020 accomplishments. It was an endless list of wins. I was incredulous. If they were going to brag, I wanted to know how hard it was to achieve those wins during a gosh darn pandemic.

Here's a social media post I would love to see:

"Suzy has won every award imaginable this year. She is on the verge of finding a cure for cancer and has straight A's. She does extensive charity work and still finds time to be in several sports AND do all the housework. Also, she sleeps in a fetal position at the end of our bed every night. Otherwise, she wouldn't get a wink. We haven't slept alone since March 2020 but little Suzy is thriving. Did we mention she is severely medicated and possibly drunk? Wait no, she's not drunk.... we are. My husband and I have started drinking 5 Moscow Mules every night. We got the recipe from Gwynnie Paltrow who also drinks Moscow Mules every night so it must be a healthy alternative. Our take-out bill is the equivalent of our mortgage. It's fine. We want to support small business...but most of the time it's Little Caesars. We haven't seen our other children in weeks. I think they are upstairs…"

Okay, that's a little too much truth but COME ON. Can anybody admit how hard this year has been? Will anyone acknowledge the emotional and psychological toll? Will anybody admit they are at the end of their rope, hanging on by a thread?

This year in parenting has been the most difficult of my life. I often wonder if I have the proper skills to parent due to my own trauma. See, my survival tools are in conflict with the skills needed for parenting. Following the path of least resistance, detaching and an obsession with true crime are not universally recommended.

Sometimes, I want to run away from home. I actually did three times in the past year. Two times, I fled to my sister's house and stayed away for hours. When your kids have access to you 24/7 for a year a few hours strung together seems like a lifetime.

Recently, I booked a night at The Abbey in Lake Geneva. An. Over. Night. My oldest looked at me with suspicion when I told them, "What, what are you doing?" they asked, "Are you going to come back?"

Our eyes locked. They knew I was thinking, "Maybe not." 

My kids are experiencing the affects of the stress, isolation, fear and anxiety of 2020.

A quick list:

  • I had Covid and almost died

  • George Floyd

  • the election

  • online learning

  • the stress and tension of 4 strong minded people living in a house  

  • an adorable but hyperactive dog

  • their mother is on TikTok

They are wrecked but coping. I am wrecked and barely coping.

Is anyone else willing to be honest? People I know? In public? Share some deets? Please?

Speaking of TikTok, there's a woman who posts videos that "normalize normalcy" by exposing all the mess of her life. Her kids eat Funyuns for breakfast. Her house is a mess. She revels in what she refers to as her "mom bod".

She's gained a ton of followers. She puts it all out there. Of course there are people who write nasty comments or express fake concern. I am not one of them.

I appreciate what she is doing.

I pledge to bare the truth of my life. It is much easier than keeping track of the lies.

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