Living, motherhood, parenting

Phases and Stages

As my three year-old legs trudged after my parents on the last leg of a trail where the promise of the parking lot was just around the next corner, I was the most tired I had ever been in my life.

In the final push of a crazy semester where all-nighters became a necessity, I was the most tired I had ever been in my life.

On the last day of the marking period during my first year of teaching, with too many grades to process and not enough daylight hours to do it in, I was the most tired I had ever been in my life.

When I slept twelve hours a night and still needed a nap during my first pregnancy, I had never been more tired in my life.

Then the baby was born.

Then a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler.

Then a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler and a preschooler.

When a few years into a family of three, I thought I could resume my own interests and still maintain the smooth flow of said family, I was never more tired in my life.

Undertaking a six-day intensive writing institute, prepping a manuscript for publication, tearing through my house for showings, looking for a new home for us, and hosting a birthday party, I have never been more tired in my life.

It’s so easy to get snarky with ingénues of any sort, in any matter, when you know what’s coming down the pike.  But they don’t.  To them, in that instant, it is the hardest thing they’ve dealt with.  As is everything that I think is the penultimate exhaustion-inducing tribulation.  But there’s always something more challenging than the last, isn’t there?  Which is another good reason not to resort to snarkiness – karma will come around and knock you on your ass – or at the very least, laugh heartily at your discomfort.

All the more reason to be present.

If we lament our lot now, when we’ve reached the next, progressively more difficult step, we’ll look back and realize we didn’t know how good we had it.

A wise woman with almost as many children as Mrs. Duggar with whom I’ve become acquainted once said, “You always have one more child than you think you can handle.”  So true.  Adding one more straw of any sort isn’t going to break our back, even if we fear it may.  If we only follow our instincts and trust in ourselves, our bodies, our lives, our mindsets will shift naturally to accommodate the weight.

Great advice.  If I wasn’t so damn tired, maybe I’d be able to follow it.




2 thoughts on “Phases and Stages

  1. I really like the idea that adding one more straw isn’t going to break anyone’s back.

    But if you run out of room in your arms you put down what’s not important


    • Jennifer Butler Basile says:

      Very true. That idea actually niggled at me as I wrote that sentence. The more we have gives us the gift of prioritizing what truly matters.

      Thanks for pointing that out!


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