We’re adults, right? We’ve got responsibilities. But what do we do when adulting gets too hard? Life as Mom contributor Deanna has some great insight.
Lately, I have been drowning in the responsibilities of adulting.
Long story short, we have decided to sell our house and relocate because of our daughter with Down syndrome. She is a bolter, and we live by a very busy street. She has absolutely no sense of what danger is and yet her ability to navigate herself out of the house and into, or quite near, danger is growing. We were outgrowing our house anyway, so this decision makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.
Before we can sell our house, we have to gut and redo the kitchen. (The “why” of this is an extremely long story).
Before we can do the kitchen, we have to switch vehicles to a larger car that will hold our soon-to-be-coming 4th child.
Oh wait, did I not mention the soon-to-be-coming baby?
On top of all of this, I have to manage the drop-off/pick-up IEP schedule of my kindergartener, the intricate preschool schedule for my son, my pregnancy doctor appointments, and the escapades of my 2 year old jackrabbit…I mean son.
The adulting involved in all of these things has been leaving me a bit breathless. The baby squashing important organs could probably take some of that credit as well.
We have set up a timeline of how and when all of these specific dominos should fall, allowing us to hopefully be in our new house by next fall. (The baby is due in February). But I admit, the anxiety over all of these things happening within the right time in order to allow the next domino to fall- has been a bit crippling.
We all know how these things go- the flexibility required of big life changes- the necessary adjustments that you make along the way as you dodge life’s curveballs.
Turns out I’m not scoring very high on this right now. But then last week something miraculous happened.
Our old car sold at the perfect price…only a few weeks after we purchased a really lovely minivan on Craigslist at the perfect price. First item on the list- CHECK. The entire car experience was such a God thing, that it has reminded me of a couple of very important life lessons.
What to Do When Adulting Feels Too Hard
1. I am not in control
We can make plans out to wazoo for the “good of our family”, but ultimately a much higher power holds the good of our family in His hands. If our plans are meant to happen, he will work all of the miracles in-between to see that they do. If they aren’t meant to happen and frustration abounds because our dominos get stalled?
It’s because God has a different, better plan. I can trust Him instead of worrying a solution TO HAPPEN NOW.
2. I need to take one day at a time. Some days- just one hour at a time.
It’s easy for me to skip ahead to next summer’s goals and get so very overwhelmed instead of focusing on today’s tasks.
Today’s tasks were designed for me to be able to handle. The next eight months ALL AT ONCE? Um…well hello, Anxiety. Not a good plan.
3. I need to stay thankful for the now.
Planning for these huge future projects has allowed seeds of discontentment to creep in as I think to months in the future when my small children will be that much older, hopefully we will be in a more efficient space for 4 children, and all of this craziness will behind us. I have a hard time appreciating the significance of today.
These seeds of discontent have a way of swelling to a monstrous size pretty quickly. I find myself at least once (ok a dozen times) a day stopping, looking around at all of the goodness that God has so graciously provided our family, and deliberately saying, “thank you” instead of wishing these moments away.
4. My strength comes from above.
Last week I was in the heat of stress from the car switchover when my son came down with impetigo. I ended up having to drag all three kids to the pediatrician’s office right in the worst part of the day- before dinner. They were exhausted from school, STARVING, and we had to wait 50 minutes in a tiny room and I hadn’t thought to bring any toys.
By the time we made it through the appointment, 2 different pharmacies to get all of the right medications, and home to feed the children- I wasn’t sure I was going to have the strength to actually get them all in bed. I was praying for strength to just take the next step, clothe the next child in pajamas. I was putting fresh sheets on all of their beds (I had loaded up the dryer right before we left for the appointment) when I knelt down on my daughter’s bed and almost just collapsed right onto her pillow. I didn’t think I could move.
Just then my husband arrived home early. He is wrapping up a VERY busy season and he NEVER comes home early. Swooping in like my knight on a white horse, he took over and helped me get them all into bed. He even ordered Chinese food for the two of us after the kids were down. It was another one of those moments where I realized- I am not in this alone.
Yes, I had my husband’s help, but more than that — the Giver of all Strength is always here for me.
So to sum up — adulting…not something I am ready to give impassioned, inspiring speeches about right now. But learning, growing, and trusting in a big God to get us through?
I find myself turning my “drowning in adulting” moments into “bathing in opportunities to trust more” moments. Just one moment at a time.
How are YOU trusting God with your adulting?
Deanna is passionate about special needs advocacy and new motherhood- two things that go hand in hand for her right now. Three kids four and under, the oldest of which has Down syndrome- keeps her quite busy. But there’s always enough time left at the end of the day to write all about the insanity at her blog Everything and Nothing from Essex. And to laugh- always, always there is time to laugh.
Technically labeled a “special” mother, Deanna really finds nothing special about herself. Truly, special needs parenting is just about taking it one day at a time- enjoying the highs, sloughing through the lows, and stumbling through the mundane while drinking too much coffee. Read all of Deanna’s posts here.