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I didn’t know if I should title this post “The Struggle Is Real” or “Just Breathe”. I think this is why it has taken me so long to come up with a blog entry on this. I am trying to breathe, but the struggle is real. We have a joke in our house about the phrase “the struggle is real”. My son often uses it to refer to the crazy amount of work that seems to consume his time after school and on weekends, basically his life, and in turn my life.

Between both my kids, this is my 5th year in high school (not counting my own years), and no, I am not smarter than a 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grader. I try to be supportive and helpful in the daily struggles as we prepare for mile 26 of the year long marathon. I try to keep my thoughts honest to the differences with my kids. They are 2 totally different people with very different interests and ways of doing things. With this in mind, I try to help accordingly without adding stress. This hasn’t proven successful this year, I get a big fat F on the parent portal of life in this category. As much as I try to be the supportive and encouraging coach, I get emotionally involved in the struggle of the workload and time management and I feel like something needs to give.

I just want to make it better!

The amount of overwhelming stress that not only our children have but that we take on because we see them stressed is mind-boggling. There just seems to be a rising culture of piling on the work and expectation that I feel is unrealistic. After all, 9th graders are 14 and 15 years old, they are still kids. I thought they were supposed to grow from making mistakes and learn from those. If they are not given any flexibility or support on this journey, how are they supposed to be happy? I can’t even imagine what it feels like to be in the head of my 9th grader. I hear about the amount of work, testing, and expectations and wonder how much more demanding the next year will be? I have never been one to rush to the end of the school year, but I have to say that this year I have my own countdown to the last day.

15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, you get the idea…

It has been a year of growth, frustration and evaluation about what is important. I would have to say that balance is the answer, but the challenge is finding just that and being able to sleep and stay healthy. I am trying to add balance to my running metaphors towards yoga. I have never been successful with this, but I am going to try to balance the pacing, staying strong, and the “no pain, no gain” mentality, with taking the time to just breathe and try to be in the moment. I need to do this more than my son. I don’t know which is harder, trying to be level headed for your child or keeping yourself emotionally intact. I do believe that this feeling of bombardment is real. It isn’t just that I have 2 different kids with varying interests and approaches to success, it seems to be the way of the future. My concern and frustration is how we are going to keep it in balance despite the external forces that are against them.