Again so soon? Yep, I've been thinking about this particular point quite a bit lately. It relates to a couple of things I've already discussed, namely that life is largely what you make of it and we can do hard things. Adding to these two, today I'm saying that everyone needs a pair of big girl/big boy pants.
My mother has a couple of sayings that she quotes to us on a really regular basis and one of them is, "It is what it is..." I get that. Sometimes we make choices that have less-than-desirable consequences and we're stuck with those consequences. Sometimes we end up in situations we have no control over. I have never felt so overwhelmed and out of control as when I was trying to deal with a premature infant and 4 other energetic boys. I remember talking to my mom on the phone and telling her of my many woes and hearing her say, "Well, it is what it is, and you're going to have to deal with it...."
In all honesty, that's not what I wanted to hear. Something about my basic personality that doesn't change...I can be something of a whiner. My mother says that I lived my childhood like a Greek tragedy. I don't think I was quite that bad, but there you go. It's part of my make-up. Over the years, though, I have tried to keep most of my venting/whining confined to my long-suffering husband. I always know he's had enough when he says, "Will complaining about it change anything?" And the answer is always no, it won't. At that point I have to find my big girl pants, put them on one leg at a time and deal with whatever it is that I'm finding so frustrating.
I'm also not a big fan of change, and yet I am in a phase of life that is almost nothing but change. My children have left home one by one and headed out into the big world to find their way. I see changes in my mother as well. There's part of me that really hates all of it. It's like the Joni Mitchell song, "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..." Man, is that ever true, but I'm trying to put on my big girl pants and look at it from the other direction.
I think it would be much worse if all my kids were sitting around my basement playing video games and eating frozen burritos. This was something Marc would say to me occasionally. "Yeah Mom, when I grow up, I'm going to live with you...in the basement and draw comic books and eat frozen burritos." When I look at it that way, I'm really, really glad he and my other children have made other choices with better consequences.
So the thing I am trying to tell my kids is something they have mostly learned through their own experience already. They will find themselves in difficult situations that may or may not be of their own making. They can either cry about it (and this was a taunt that I heard regularly thrown from one adolescent child to another at my house, always said in the most drippingly sarcastic voice...."CRY about it!") or find those big boy/big girl pants, put them on, and deal with it, because honestly, what is the alternative?? I suppose you can curl up in a fetal position and live in denial, or you can insist that your spouse take time away from something they are trying to do that will ultimately benefit your family, so they can deal with whatever Greek tragedy I apparently can come up with, OR you can find the pair of big person pants that fit you just right, and wear them until they fall apart. For me, it's a work in progress. Maybe you'll learn better and faster than I have.