Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kids Are Resilient My Ass

Kids Are Resilient.

I used to believe that. I truly did. They bounce back from injuries like that. All three of my kids have had their tonsils out and the very next day they were eating meatloaf or chicken nuggets as if they hadn’t just gone under the knife. Kids break bones and come away from painful mishaps as if it were no big deal. They’re like rubber bands that snap back into place.

When we moved to Scottsdale seven months ago, everyone assured me that my kids would be fine.

“They’ll make new friends.”

“They’ll love their new school.”

“Everything will be fine.”

Yeah, some of it has been great.

But some, not so great.

They really miss their friends back home. Terribly.

They actually miss the snow. A lot.

They miss Chicago. I don’t know if they miss the city of Chicago or the idea of Chicago, but they miss it. A ton.

All of this, as a mother really, really sucks. Because this is something I can’t put a band-aid over. I can’t make this one better for them.

The other night, my Tukey came into my bed at 11 o’clock telling me he couldn’t turn his mind off. I brought him into bed with me. You know why he couldn’t turn his mind off? Because he is NOT resilient. I let him sleep with Mr. Manic and me. I will let him sleep with me all the days of his life that he needs to because I am his mom and that is my job. He’s my baby. That’s what I’m here for. To take care of him, and if he needs me at 11 at night, that’s what I’ll do for him.

Last night, when I was tucking Diva into bed, she began to cry. She said to me, “I know home is where the heart is, but I think I left my heart in Chicago.” No lie, this is exactly what she said. Does THAT sound like resiliency to you? Nope. That sounds like a kid with a broken heart who is missing all the things she was used to back home. That broke MY heart. I can’t put a band-aid over that injury. When will THAT pain go away?

Someone reminded me of the quote the other day, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” This is the truest statement I’ve ever heard. Moms can only be as happy as their least happy child. And sadly, mine are still finding their way here, and they’re not resilient, and they’re going through hard times, and it makes me mad that adults brush off kids by saying they’re resilient, just because they are kids. They’re little people, with big, huge feelings that should never, ever be discounted, and I love my kids to pieces and I want them to know how much I never take them for granted and how I want them to be so happy in their lives.

And they’re not right now. Some days yes, they are, but on the days they’re not, they are really, really sucky. And that’s what’s been on my mind lately. So that’s why I’m telling it here. On my blog. Because it feels good to share it here. Because it feels like there’s nowhere else to say it.

If you could stomach this, you might also like, What's Your Joy of Motherhood?


Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Oh, MM, that just breaks my heart. Nothing is harder than when your children are hurting-- the helplessness is horrible and infuriating. They are so blessed to have a mom like you that is so in tune. The fact that they're expressing those hurts is a tribute to how you've loved them and how much they trust you. Prayers for peace and calm spirits for all of you. xoxo

morninglight mama said...

Moving totally sucks. I did it as a kid a few times when I was very young, and again in 2nd grade, in 4th grade, and in 6th grade. It was the worst on that last move, because I was old enough to understand that I was probably going to lose all those friendships that I had. There were days when I thought I'd rather be dead than go to the new school again, and the thought of my old friends still living their lives (the life I used to be a part of) back HOME was just awful.

But, it slowly got better. Slowly. I'm still averse to the idea of moving, and I probably always will be, but I know that I got through it, even as a kid. It just took time. Lots of time.

Good luck to you and your fabulous children!!

sweet southern inspiration said...

Oh Steph, I am so sorry. I know how hard this is. I know how difficult it is to see your kids hurt and try to suck it up. It is awful. I am here for you. We can commisserate (sp?). Take care of yourself. xoxo

jennyonthespot said...

Oh friend... {hugs}... My mama's heart breaks with yours... Not that it helps, but it does. {more hugs}

aliasmom said...

Steph, I have two comments. . . well, maybe three.

1. I totally agree with adults not taking kids' emotions seriously. Teaching middle school, I see it all the time. Adults (parents mostly, frankly) roll their eyes at their kids' dramas-- break-ups, friend fights, etc. They forget that to the kids, those feelings are very real and very huge.

2. Morninglight Mama is right-- it is very very very hard to move, but it DOES get better. I swear it does. I was the new kid in 2nd grade, in 9th grade, and 11th grade, and it is much harder than most parents realize. But what Heidiopia said is true-- your kids are one step ahead because they have a mama who gets that what they are going through is hard. Just keep being there for them. In the long run, that will matter more than anything else. Also, talk to their teachers. The right teacher can make a big difference in helping kids adjust to a new school, and sometimes we don't realize it's even an issue unless a parent tips us off.

3. I hate to admit it, because I hated moving with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, but I do believe I am a stronger person now, partly due to having to learn to adjust to new situations.

You are an awesome mom-- just keep doing what you're doing, loving those babies. That's the best bandaid no matter what the boo-boo is.

Kate said...

I'm so sorry. Moving is so hard. Kids do adjust, but it takes time. One thing that I took away from all of the moves growing up was my siblings were my always-friends. It sounds like your kids have that, too. It doesn't fix everything, but it is a gift--even now that we're older. Anyway, my heart breaks with you. xo

krisi said...

It's going to get better for them. My parents moved me 6hrs from every friend I had when I was 11. It took me a few years to stop wanting to go back, even after making new friends. I was adjusted and happy, but I missed the life I had before. BUT I was still okay. They are going to miss Chicago for a long time, and they will cry and be sad sometimes, but it will get better for them and one day they will be saying they wish they could go back to their time in Arizona.

Unknown said...

I'm not a mom, so I can't give you advice; although I wish I could help you make it better.

It is awesome to hear someone say this = so many times, we tell each other these little lies to make it seem easier. Then everyone is chickensh!t to admit that their kid isn't adjusting or isn't so resilient. And the lie is perpetuated.

Bless you for speaking the truth & caring & respecting their feelings. Just listening and not brushing away their fears and sadness will go far.

Unknown said...

I just found your blog. Love your quote about being as happy as your least happy child. So much truth in that. Look forward to reading more. Hope you'll visit my blog at

Anonymous said...

Just keep being the awesome mom you are! Look on the bright side they can talk to you about it and that really helps them. Now and in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Awww, sorry they are having such a tough time adjusting. Hugs! Tanya

Stephanie said...

Thank you guys for understanding and for the kind, kind words! Things are getting better. We told our oldest last night that this is our HOME and he needs to know that, that this is where we live now. It might not be his HOME TOWN, but this is where our family LIVES. And Tanya, is that YOU? Tanya for PResident Tanya?!?!?

Anonymous said...

My kids are all grown up, but have grandkids who need a shoulder to time and an adult to talk to. I am always available for them and treasure their little hugs and conversations..janetjeanh@yahoo.com