When does it stop being overwhelming?

Each morning I jot down some thoughts first thing. I try to write some joke ideas, ideas for youtube videos, for an episode in my fantasy TV show, a scene for my movie script, and I'll write something to blog about. I never give it a second thought, I just write it down and move on.

This morning for my blog idea I wrote down: Kids are overwhelming. As I began to write this I started thinking about life and how I was overwhelmed for most of mine. It didn't start with kids, although kids definitely give you a new perspective on the meaning of overwhelmed.

I was a latch key kid. I didn't have any adult supervision when I was young and when I think about it I'm pretty glad I didn't. I think having adults around when you are young is extremely important but in my case the kind of adults that would have shaped my perspective, had they been around, did me far more good by not being there. The little influence that I did get from them fucked me up enough.

No one cared if I did homework when I was a kid. I might have been made to feel bad about myself for a few days after the report cards came out but other than that there was no day to day logistical concern of how I was applying myself in school. I had no organization or priority control whatsoever. If I was given a book report due in 3 months I would wait until the last minute and take two straight days to read the book and then stay up all night the night before the due date writing the report.

If there was homework due I showed up empty handed. The teacher yelled at me and I felt bad but the motivation never came. I was overwhelmed.

I was always overwhelmed with school work all the way through college. I was also overwhelmed with my mothers expectations of me. Nothing was good enough, I was too dumb, too young, unreliable, all ways the irresponsible child (even in my thirties), and didn't possess good values in her eyes.

Maybe being overwhelmed has to do with perspective.

When you are young you find ways to cope with growing up and your situation and you eventually come up with a way to deal with life.

My way was the "check out". I learned early on how to check out. I checked out mostly through TV. I could watch TV all day long. Morning to night and not take my eyes off of it. If there wasn't TV I checked out into my head. I learned early not to say what you were thinking so I just became quiet. When people I didn't like (certain adults) talked to me I would always tell them to fuck off in my head. They would just go on talking as I would talk to them silently in my head, "I don't care what you're saying right now, I'm not listening. I don't like you"

So I don't know what that has to do with kids being overwhelming except for the fact that I have an escape mechanism when I get stressed out. Now that I have kids I want to be present for them. When I'm trying to check out and they are trying to get my attention is when the strain enters the situation. I can't get them to do what I want.

Recently my house and life were a mess. The kids room was out of control. I told the kids that we need to find all the best toys and get rid of the ones we don't like. When we are left with the best toys we need to find a place for each toy. A permanent home for each item. We did just that and we took out my label maker and put a label with the toys name right in the place the toy was supposed to go. The kids now know where their toys go. Life for them is organized and structured.

We know what we are supposed to be doing. They feel secure and I feel calmer.

Organize and be less overwhelmed.

The End