I think I'll name my book that.
The book about raising a family after you start to let them go.
I think I've entered one of the hardest times of my life.
Which is both ironic, and not lost on me, that now that we have less actual hardships (financial, etc)
I feel left with a life that is hard to adjust to, or live through, or maybe to be fulfilled by.
Maybe it is just my midlife reckoning.
Which considering I may very well live into my 100s, feels exhausting to think about, as it may continue on for a good 20 years or so...
Maybe it is the 16 years of co-habitating with someone whose ADD meds have worn off by the time he gets home that is wearing me down...
Or my perimenopausal metabolism and exhaustion (which not enough people talk about!!!!) that leave me in a shame spiral of depression and disappointment.
Or maybe it is the spike in my chronic migraines (see perimenopause, above) which are worse then ever and truthfully leave me wrecked and feeling suicidal for 3 days every other week.... only to wake up on day 4 completely normal like nothing ever happened... relieved that I'm not actually losing my mind. And, frustratingly, there is no end in sight. (which IS making me lose my mind)
Or that my girls are older, and I love who they are, but miss the time we had... which is getting less and less...
Or the calendar striped with 100 shades of highlighter which direct me, to the minute, from one location to the next, mostly unfulfilling, but necessary, and leave me feeling stressed and over-scheduled and like I am squandering all of my personal time and energy promoting opportunities for everyone but myself.
This is real.
And I know there are countless others living it.
And we all smile and say "I'm fine. How are you? Sure, I'll be room parent next year. Yes, I can bring in two pies tomorrow. You need a ride home, absolutely. Help making costumes, yes, I can sew..."
I have chosen a path because it is important for me to be available. It is important for me, to be able to do what I can for the community that supports my kids. But the reality of older kids and those needs is very, very, different than with little kids. You are more in service to their needs and less in service with them. It is a different commitment and sacrifice, and the rewards are not felt immediately... or maybe at all.
And it is a loss.
And so, yes, this is a period of grieving for me. And a period of struggle to determine what is important to me and my family. To assess and prioritize our needs and our desires, and discover which path will accommodate as much of those as possible.... without me feeling wasted in their pursuits (mentally, physically, and emotionally).
Because this path is clearly no longer working.
And that is the truth.