Fighting the fall into chaos

A young boy plays in the autumn leaves.

This blog post is three weeks late. It got lost in the messiness of a new season.

I thought I had a handle on everything. But my eldest started high school, and it threw our household into disarray. It feels like he turned into a teenager overnight, and then there was so much to do to prepare for school.

At the same time, I’m trying to return to work and find childcare for my youngest, and neither has been easy. Many childcare places are too busy with the autumn rush of children to respond to messages right now.

I am handling it, but everything else is falling through the cracks. That may be the real reason autumn is also called fall – ’tis the season to shop for backpacks while soothing a cranky baby, to sign form after form after too many sleepless nights, and to try to cope with the chaos.

I see it in the mothers around me, as well. They are trying to juggle an overexcited toddler, a stroller and a kindergartner on the way to school, and for the first few days, doing the trip twice in an hour or two.

Everyone looks tired, parents and kids alike. And we’re all doing our best while berating ourselves for not doing enough.

But as the Persian adage goes, this too shall pass. I hold on to that in times of chaos or pain, or when my mental health is not the healthiest.

The flipside, though, is that it is true for the good moments, as well – watching my eldest son carefully clean his room because he’s decided he’s too grown up for a mess, and watching my youngest learn new words and songs. These moments shall also pass.

They pass quite quickly, too, which is why I lost track of a month and am now scrambling to get everything done. The truth is, I don’t want to let go of most of my moments. It’s hard to move on, even during chaotic periods like this one.

It’s even more complicated for those trying to focus on baby’s first smile or first word while carting older siblings off to school. It is all so much work and can be so exhausting, but then there is the urge to yell, “Stop! Stay still!” to the world at large. Because even the hard moments are beautiful.

I hope you get the chance to hold onto the best moments while still moving forward, and that the busyness of September subsides for us all.

And for those parents fighting through postpartum depression and anxiety along with everything else, here’s hoping that passes quickly, as well. And if it does not, you can always turn to the Pacific Post Partum Support Society for help.

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