A Collection of Essays

Dear Parents…we are ok.

Dear Reader,

What a strange time we live in. Who would have thought going into 2020 that our worlds would become so foreign? This is certainly uncharted territory with many emotions to shift through. I know it has been hard for me.

It has taken me a few weeks to get my bearings honestly.

 And I resorted back to some of my old ways – isn’t that what happens to us sometimes when chaos strikes? The old ways bring comfort and we forget the progress we have made over time.

I drank again – more than I wanted to. I am just being real with you. And I was so ashamed. I felt like I let you down. I mean how I can create a WHOLE post around NOT drinking and then freaking drink when life got strange and hard?

I felt hypocritical. AND I share this with you because I want you to know you are not alone – this season is strange. It has probably brought things to the surface that you thought you had dealt with. OR perhaps you resorted to some old coping mechanisms.

Let me be the first to say – me too. And it’s ok. We are in uncharted territory and sometimes quick and comfortable feel safe and easy. I know it did for me. But today is a new day. With new hope. I do not need to beat myself up because I took a few steps back. I can just dust myself off – get up and try again.

I do not need to get stuck here and neither do you.

I also think it is important when we see ourselves falling into old patterns to assess the “why”. WHY does all this feel so hard? What is going on inside of me?

So, I thought I would share some of why with you today in an effort to get it out – deal with it and inspire you to do the same. We are all in this thing called life together – we might as well start being open and honest with one another.

At this juncture in my life what has become front and center is being a MOM.

Before COVID19, I could hide behind my work. I could hide behind my schooling and writing. I had these beautiful delineated lines around each area of my life and very rarely did they intersect.  

Here is working Kara.  

Here is mom Kara.

Here is the Kara getting her bachelor’s degree in bible studies.  

Here is writer Kara.

AND yes, I am wife but that somehow that just always seemed to weave itself into every area of my life.

NOW – post COVID – every freaking role I ever play is bleeding on top of one another. They are blending together in this endless game and I have zero clue what day it is.

AND somehow in that process I came face to face with the reality that each of these roles really do not have a beginning and an end.

I am real estate agent all the time.

I am a writer all the time.

I am college student all the time. (well, at least until I am done)

AND most of all I am a mom ALL the time.

And the last one – that gets me. I know that sounds strange, but it just does. AND when I dig deep, I realize that this is the hardest role I play. IT is where I feel the most insecure. IT is where most of my fears rest and my inadequacies run rampant.

I constantly think I am going to screw these kids up. I will be the reason they need counseling one day with their very personhood resting on my ability as a mother.

I know that all sounds irrational BUT listen, it is just the undercurrent of my thoughts. And in all my busyness – in all my neat little lines around the roles I play – I kept lying to myself about this. I kept trying to convince myself that these are not my thoughts.

And the longer I lie to myself about my thoughts and  fears – the longer this damn thing is just going to rest below the surface waiting for the opportunity to rear its ugly head. The irony: it DOES rear its ugly head.

Just this last Monday, my daughter walked into my office while I was trying to reply to work emails and write two papers for school and asked me to play with her. I told her I had some work to finish up and I can later. She then, began to tell me that her friend’s grandmother is taking her on a walk and asked why I could not DO the same thing. AND I lost it – I yelled. I told her to get out of my office and did not even reply to the why. The comparison (in my head) between the retired grandmother and the working mom got to me.

It was ugly and I beat myself up over it. How could I lose my temper on her like that when all she wanted to do was play?

BUT underneath it all I realized this has zero to do with what she asked and SO much more to do with how I feel as a mom.

I decided to reflect on that – to dig deep about where this all roots from and how I can move past it.

One of things that became readily apparent is that our society places A LOT of pressure on parents.

Do this thing.

Say that thing.

Teach them this.

Don’t expose them to that.

Make sure you are ALWAYS…

AND the list goes on and on of do’s, don’t and musts.

Then, we read studies about all the damage we can do.

WE are flooded with data.

We are inundated with facts.

AND it is killing us.

Now, please do not get my wrong this role we play as parents is important BUT what we must realize is that we cannot parent from a place of fear. We cannot read the statistic and have that be our driving force because at the end of the day, our kids really only need two things.

To be loved and to be accepted. Period. END of story.

They really are not that more complicated.

Love.

Acceptance.

I can do that. I can be that for my kids. I may not be a Pinterest kind of mom. I certainly won’t be taking endless amounts of pictures and making cute little scrap books for them (and if you do AMAZING – keep it up just don’t ask me to join you because I hate that crap) BUT I can love them. I can accept them.

So, the next time you are feeling like a shit mom – remember, they just need your love.

PERIOD.

You got this.

You can do that – you already love them more than ANY person in the entire world can so that one is easy.

AND the other thing I am going to say before I leave you today is this – STOP judging other moms (or dads). PUT your pitch forks down. We are all trying here. We all deserve compassion. We all love our kids – we all parent from different places and we all have our crap. The last thing we need from one another is judgement. The more we can be compassionate toward each other the better mothers (or fathers)  we will all be.

You got this, mom. You got this, dad. Let’s rest in being enough.

Kara Jess

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: