The Intensity of Kids

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It’s the third time in an hour that I’ve gotten Beckett new underwear because of various reasons, but I don’t let myself get upset, because who has the time? Instead I feel the stress settling nicely into my teeth and my shoulders and my soon to be perma-frown and I turn to make sure Fen has her lunch and violin. She yells that her friends are here to walk with her and I find her retainer in the bathroom and rush it out to her. That’s when I hear a blood-curdling scream from the deck and run to see Farmer gobbling up the rest of Beckett’s frozen waffle that he dropped, as he stands and watches her and WAILS.

These morning moments echo the rest of the day and every other day. They aren’t even an anomaly; this is what happens always. It’s all intense and it’s never ending. Oh my God, parenting is hard.

It’s all intense and it’s never ending. All of it. It’s either so up or so down and it’s exhausting. In fact, sleep is my haven and the only time I really shut down. I fucking love naps.

This past winter was terrifically difficult as it was winter non-stop and we were inside so much and I was ready to start gnawing on my dog’s hind legs. Not for lack of food, but simply because I was ready to snap. I felt like the only people I ever saw and talked to were my kids, and they are both relentlessly chatty.

Fen is interminably excited about nearly everything in the whole world, and Beckett is at the point where he can chatter on about what is happening in the world of his action hero toys ALL DAY LONG.

So many times I find myself wondering if I would have gone through with having kids if I knew about all of… this. I don’t know. I honestly don’t. (Of course I would.)

It’s never not intense. The stress, the love, the worry, the excitement, all the feelings. All the feelings are there, are major, and seem to simply rotate. I feel desperately overwhelmed one minute and then completely in love and bubbling over with pride the next minute; this doesn’t seem natural, does it? Shouldn’t we get some sort of reprieve occasionally from our emotions?

But I did mention the love. And the pride. Of course all the good feelings, as intense as they are, are a part of the equation. As drained as I get, I know I can sneak downstairs for 15 minutes to write a blog post and Fen is fine with acting as babysitter. I don’t believe she realizes that I could dissolve into tears I am so grateful.

And then there are the tiny (intense) moments when Beckett does a naked booty dance down the hallway. And Fen makes a crack that hints at her witty sense of humor. And they have sleepovers with each other and I can spy their cute little sleepy noggins butted up together.

Without trying to sound like a pansy, I know a lot of my overwhelm comes from my introverted, sensitive personality and so I also know I need to put on my big girl knickers and just deal with it all, and recharge when I can. Another little thing I’m trying to do lately is be aware of how grateful I feel for little things in my life.

I downloaded an app called Gratitude 365, and it lets you type in 3 things per day that you are grateful for. It offers a lovely moment of being present and reflecting on good stuff. Interestingly, I find myself more often than not typing in bits about how much I love my children.




  1. 05/10/2014 / 7:07 pm

    I loved this article. It spoke to me… because I feel the same way too (and my kid is only 2… eek.) 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • 05/11/2014 / 6:41 pm

      You’re right in the thick of it with a 2 year old! Sometimes it just feels good to vent about kids, y’know?

  2. 05/16/2014 / 7:42 am

    Sometimes I feel like my kids are E.T. and I am Eliot and we share emotions, it’s that intense. But I am 40 and my nerves can’t take it anymore. I need a crew of doctors in hazmat suits to sever the bond. Or wine.

    • 05/16/2014 / 3:37 pm

      Oh, goodness. I am speechless over the E.T. analogy. That’s just so cool- I’ll be right over with a big jug of wine.

  3. Beth
    05/18/2014 / 1:46 pm

    I love this post, it’s so honest. Parenting is SO hard, and you just have no idea at all until you become one! And I too feel like I’m going to pull my hair out one second and then they do something amazing and all I feel is love the very next second. Thank you for letting me know I’m. Not the only one who experiences this!!

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