The basics of what keeps parents going

What Gets Me Through The Challenging Times

By Chanda Alicea

Dear Readers,

I have a confession to make. Parenthood has kicked my ass over the last 2 weeks. And on the one hand, I do have that what else could go wrong question looming in my head, which was quickly answered before I started this blog post by the black screen of what I surely thought meant impending doom on my laptop. But I calmly stared the universe in the face with a silent “bring it on!” and promptly restarted my computer. And thankfully here we are!

These last few weeks have been so rough that I had zero time to write. And being the big-hearted people pleaser that I am, I felt super guilty about it. It also felt weird, but as Meghan reminded me, family comes first and my GGIL family will always be here. I needed that reminder. I needed to lessen the pressure on myself and remember that it’s okay to put things on the backburner sometimes.  

Now that I’ve digressed. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! There’s germs always flowing and strep throat is near! It’s the germiest season of all! Cold and flu comes a calling to jack up your year!” That’s it. I’m done. I had to do it though. ?

I had one week of peace after recovering from a sinus infection I picked up the week of Halloween and my daughter’s birthday. I was so excited for my girl. We were going into Veteran’s Day weekend with her first sleepover planned, we had an early release Friday kicking off the long weekend. But by the time the late afternoon rolled around, a fever had also decided to kick off my daughter’s long weekend and overstayed its welcome. With every passing year, my daughter’s immune system strengthens, but this virus clung on to my kid for dear life for a week…and it was rough.

For starters, I was basically sleeping next to a furnace for the better part of 7 days. Then halfway through the week she started exhibiting stomach cramps and vomiting that I later figured out was caused by a mango fruit bar that I had been giving her. The acid from the lemon juice was too much on her poor tummy. Just insert ALL the mom guilt here! This led to her not wanting to eat anything for fear of throwing up. This was followed by whining, complaints of headaches, and overall hangry kid syndrome. I know all my fellow parents know the good times that comes with this type of stubbornness. The fever finally broke just in time for the weekend, HOWEVER not in time for a friend’s birthday party…again insert the mom guilt for having to disappoint my kid by being the bad news bear.

All of these things have come at a time where a major shift has occurred in our daily schedule. My partner is now working overnights. So, on top of taking care a super sick kid, I’m learning how to navigate through my afternoon and nights differently, and it’s weird. No time is a good time for your kid to be sick but trying to have adjust to a whole new schedule while juggling what you’re hoping doesn’t morph into the stomach flu is definitely terrible timing.

Now if you are thinking to yourself at this point, “man, this woman sure could use a glass of wine.” You are absolutely right! I could have used a glass of wine on more than one occasion last week to help ease the pain of feeling the pressure of a super parent who has had MINIMAL adult interaction. And there was actually wine in my fridge, but alas it had been opened before I got sick and it was no longer any good, so that was that.

It was a long rough week. I barely left my house and I was trying not to go crazy. It was a great reprieve to be able to just get out with my kid and take her out into the fresh air and the grocery store yesterday. To be honest I don’t know who was happier to get out and see the sunshine, I think I was just more grateful and to see her back to her usual peppy self. I think we’re both equally excited for her to get back to school and to both get back to our normal schedules.

Despite all that craziness that ensued and didn’t even end until this today when I made a mad dash to return a movie to Redbox a whole 10 minutes before it ended up being late, I am grateful. I am grateful that while her dad is working a new job and between benefits, we have places that make paying for the medical bills the least stressful thing about having to take your kid to urgent care with ZERO insurance.

I’m thankful that I have my mom here to help lighten the load. I love watching the bond she and my daughter have. It takes a village. We can’t do it all alone. I am even grateful for the moments like this where parenthood gave me a run for my money. It’s a humbling lesson that teaches me that though things are rough, I can get through it even when I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, here’s all us parents who get kicked in the teeth from time to time. Remember that you’re going to get through it even though it looks bleak. Even though you find yourself doubting how in the world you’re going to manage it all. It’s all going to be alright. Just breathe. The holidays may leave you feeling like this but grab a glass of wine or dinner with some friends and take some time for self-care to re-center yourself so you can keep going on like the bad ass you are!