Yesterday, a girl on my team looked at me and said "Sam- you are one of the least stressed people I've ever known." "Really?" I said, feeling very surprised and also flattered...and then she said "Yeah. I mean you have this job. You have two kids. You're new to Minnesota. Davis travels a ton..."
And I thought about that for a while...and realized that it's kind of true...and kind of false. I laugh a ton at work, and while it's crazy and demanding and fast-paced, I like it more than I feel stressed about it. I think I have a very high tolerance for work and thinking. I like feeling challenged. And I hate feeling bored. So, yes, I am one of the silliest people here and I don't think that my job is like stressful or HARD.
But I also realized that my work persona can be quite different than my at home persona. For example- I'm super stressed right now. I'm super sad right now. Davis is having such a hard time being successful at school, and it is just breaking me down. I worry about him each day, I think about how many friends he might be alienating, or how many teachers are just ready to lose it with him, and I feel heartbroken because he is ALSO the best kid ever. And I worry about 5, 10 years from now...as I know the more he gets down on himself, the more he destroys relationships, the worse it could become.
And frankly, I personally feel exhausted by the situation too. I get a call or email 2-3 times a week from Davis' school. And they know he is not just a naughty kid, trying to cause problems, but let me be real honest, the feedback is still usually not positive. Now granted, they are coming from a caring place and they are sincerely doing EVERYTHING they can to support him, but it's still the same. You get the email or the call and you just feel hopeless. And you feel like you owe everyone an apology. And you also feel like pleading with them "Don't give up on him. Please don't give up on him." And you also feel bad because at times YOU lose your cool with him and you feel like giving up. And you think things like "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? Why do you have so little control over yourself? Why are you so mean to your sister? Why are you so hard on ME? I am your biggest advocate."
And you feel so tired and worn down by it that often- you put the kids to bed and you just lie down and cry. Or sleep. Until you work again...which very often feels like a respite. I guess in many ways- my work is the easy thing. I almost always feel successful at work. I very often feel like a giant failure at home. And while I say that, I do have a healthy understanding that I'm doing a good job. Sure, I could do better, but holy buckets I try. And I know that. So it's not like I am just beating myself up all the time. It's more like when I get the call from school, or I see the list of rude things Davis has said or done from our nanny, I want to throw the phone or the notepad and scream "I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW. AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO!"
We are trying medication, we are trying counseling, and the school has four different specialists working with him on top of an incredible teacher. And holy shit that feels like a lot and many times I look at him and spend time with him and think "Are we over analyzing this? He seems like a pretty normal kid to me..." But I also know it has to do with how he handles the busy-ness of school, the crazy amount of stimuli, the routine and requirements of everyone. And I know that while some of the time- he is a totally normal kid at home- those moments when I am about to pull my hair out over things- that is probably more of how he is at school and with the nanny.
Speaking of the nanny- she's not a good fit. I'm looking for a new one. I don't need a 21 year old that actually texts me all day to ask where things are and how she should handle every day situations in life, or that actually ARGUES with my six year old when he says something rude, which just feeds his fire more. What I need is a damn Mary Poppins.
Anyway- I don't really want any feedback on this. I don't want to talk about it, or cry anymore about it, so I'm not looking for anything like that. And I don't usually share it because, well, I have perspective. My son is not fighting cancer, we have the means to get him all the help, and the best help that he needs, I have tons of friends, and a great family, and I wasn't born in Syria. I do not sit around and think Poor Me. Except maybe every once in a while. Because sometimes I just don't know what else to do to fix a problem with the thing that is the MOST important to me. And maybe I am not as carefree as I appear after all.