One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives.
So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one of the many questions I have been asking myself for the past four months, and I am searching for the perfect solution. I’m a millennial, I’ve been taught that any time there’s a problem you have a cup of tea and get on with it, and I don’t even like tea! But, I’m also a millennial who is raising Gen Alpha, and I don’t want the people who are most precious to me in this world to just take their problems on the chin and carry on with their business.
Honestly, I am struggling to keep it together for them, but I know I need them to live in a world where they are able to express their emotions in a healthy way and not hold on to the anger and try to forgive, whatever that forgiveness looks like. How do you accommodate for something so big and teach the next generation that it’s okay to scream and shout when you have a problem, that it’s okay to be angry with someone when they wrong you, and how do you learn to forgive? So let’s dig deep and be aware of everything you might be going through right now. Don’t keep calm and carry on.
Give yourself grace. You can’t be perfect all day every day no matter how hard you try. So give yourself grace. You can be angry, you can be sad, and it’s okay for your loved ones to see you go through these emotions. If you can talk your kids through their big emotions, then you’re already halfway there to being able to process your own big feelings.
Lean on family and friends. If, like me, you’re a proud person and don’t want people to know your struggles, then this one is hard. But I’ve had no choice but to find solace in my loved ones, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to get through these past few months without them. So find the ones you trust the most and cry, tell them everything, ask for their advice. Because you can’t go through whatever life-changing event you’re going through without support. You’re not meant to do the hard things alone. Show the next generation that they don’t need to be proud and don’t need to do whatever it is they are finding hard by themselves.
Learn to forgive. This is one I’m still working on. Even though we are finding solutions to the problems that were caused, I’m still holding on to so much anger. I know in order to heal, I need to forgive. Maybe when I can forgive, I will be able to focus on co-parenting or even trying to repair the damage that has been caused. Right now that seems impossible, but for the kids’ sake I will try my hardest to find a way to forgive and to find peace with the situation and our new normal.
It’s okay to not be okay. This one is simple. You’re allowed to feel all the emotions with whatever situation you are dealing with right now. Don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay because that will just snowball into even more anger and make it even harder to forgive. Tell yourself that it’s okay to not be okay. Because when your kids look at you and see you being okay with not being okay then they will learn to express their emotions in healthy ways.
We are raising capable adults, not compliant children. Let’s show them how to want the best for themselves and how to navigate anything life may throw at them because one day their perfect might explode too, and if it does, you will have given them the tools to handle whatever life may have thrown at them, and they will get through it, just like you have.