Parenting has always been difficult. And it was made more difficult by the pandemic and school lockdowns and all of that. But two years in, we’re at the end of our ropes. Everyone is, but parents especially.
How can you tell? A group of parents in Massachusetts have been organizing small outdoor get-togethers just to scream—just to shout all their frustrations out into the void. Who can blame them?
Which is why it’s a perfect time to remember a piece of advice that the writer and parent, Julia Baird writes about in her beautiful book Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark. At rock bottom, her therapist passed along something he had been told at his own lowest point. “It is now that everything that you have been given in your life matters,” he explained, “this is what you draw on. Your parents, your friends, your work, your books, everything you have ever been told, everything you have ever learned, this is when you use that.”
Who knows how much longer this insanity will go on. Who knows what the future holds. All we know is that everything we’ve ever experienced in our life has led up to right now. Every book, every lesson, every difficulty we’ve been subjected to—it was all training us. It was preparing us.
And now, for the sake of our kids and ourselves, it is the time to draw on it. Now is the time to use it. To be there for them, to keep them safe, to guide them, to help them understand that the adversity they themselves are experiencing will be something they can draw on in the future…just as you are yourself right now.
Now is the time. Use it.
You can pick up a copy of Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark at Ryan’s bookshop The Painted Porch and support indie retail by picking it up online too!