Before I had kids, I remember saying to my then husband that having kids would not change anything. We would still go out for romantic dinners, have active, adventurous vacations, take the kids everywhere, …
Then we had kids, and the whole world spun upside down! Sleepless nights, breastfeeding, a body I didn’t recognize (didn’t like or couldn’t get used to), trying to do it all perfectly right, going back to work and having the impression that half of my braincells had died off. Someone had planted a kid-chip in me which made me focus my entire attention on the offspring as soon as it gave a peep (which was about every 30 seconds) – while my other half slept for 7 hours straight and greeted me in the morning mumbling ‘slept through the night this time, didn’t he?’.
Needless to say that romantic dinners and adventurous vacations were nowhere to be found.
When we planned to build an extension to our house, we had it all figured out: the budget, the way we were going to handle things. Piece of cake.
Not! We went over budget, lots of things went wrong, we had to adapt our way of handling things many times.
The first time I went scuba diving, I thought I could handle my slight claustrophobia. And the first day ended in total panic.
How often have you said any of the following?
- I know how you feel
- I wouldn’t do that if I were you
- I could never do this
- I would ________ if this happened to me
- Come on, it can’t be that bad
- I can imagine what it’s like
The thing is: YOU DON’T KNOW!
You don’t know what you’d do if you were told you had cancer.
You don’t know how you would react if your husband cheated on you.
You don’t know for sure that you could never cheat yourself.
You don’t know how it feels when your parent dies.
You don’t know how bad it really is for the other person.
You don’t know what it’s like to loose your job.
You don’t know how it feels to have a miscarriage.
You have absolutely no frickin idea whatsoever!
Until you get there. Until you’re in it. Until it hits you.
And when it does, you are surprised.
By your strength.
By finding yourself doing the exact opposite from what you thought you’d do.
By your patience.
By your fury and anger.
By your total ignorance of what this would feel like.
And you know what? That is so totally okay!
Because this is your life, your body, your situation, your marriage, your job, your family.
And you decide what you do. You decide what happens. You decide how you react.
And sometimes you don’t really decide anything at all, but it all just happens. It’s beyond you.
And that’s okay too.
You know what?
You don’t have to find excuses. You don’t have to have it all figured out.
You don’t have to be brave and strong all the time.
There will always be people who don’t understand. Who say ‘I could never do what you do’.
Well, bless their ignorance. For they don’t know!
And whatever it is that you do, it is what it is. And it is okay.