I’ve been treading water well lately. I can go for about 90 seconds. Knowing that I have two young sons and a pool in the backyard, my instructor wants me to be able to get to the point where I can tread, while managing the weight of a child. I’m fine when I have my two hands free to scull the water. But, as soon as she hands me a five-pound weight, I start to panic and all technique is forgotten. I struggle to keep my head from going under.


Read more about my swimming lessons in an earlier post
40-year-old woman starts swimming lessons…
You won’t believe what she finds)


Sounds kind of like the way I parent when I’m under stress. Whenever I think I’ve “got it,” something else pops up to challenge my patience and mental strength.

©markstout 123RF.com

I think parents of young children, who are also dealing with work, family issues, sickness and life, in general, can relate to similar feelings of panic, fatigue, the feeling of being overwhelmed and the inability to simply “get ahead…”

…like when I was trying to figure out the whole breastfeeding and pumping thing. “They” say you should pump to keep your milk supply up…but how are you supposed to pump if your baby is feeding every hour or two?

…like when I wake up in the morning and start to panic because I have no idea what I’m going to pack for my son’s school lunch.

…like when I find my perfect, go-to, one-pot meal that is both easy to make and healthy for the family and my husband starts to say, “Honey…although I love chili, SERIOUSLY – we can’t be eating it so often.”

…like when you spend your Sunday making extra meals for “emergency” nights…and the next week ends up being your “emergency” week.

Fortunately, (and this is to especially comfort the new moms out there) you do “figure it out.” The constant feeding sessions will end and you’ll realize, albeit in hindsight, what you should have done while breastfeeding. You will also acknowledge that you did your best…which was the best!

You will figure out that leftovers from last night’s dinner are a great thing for your child’s lunch. Forget the cute cut-out sandwiches. Quick and tasty is the way to go.

And, you’ll eventually develop your cooking skills. You’ll find new and clever ideas for easy and quick dinners…Hey! Anyone ever hear about rotisserie chicken from the store! My new “discovery!” It’s great for a variety of different meals – chicken salad sandwiches, fried rice…

3 chickens in 3 weeks…he’s not complaining yet!