The Chaos Coordinator

January 16, 2024

The Plight of Every Parent

I received this tumbler as a Secret Santa gift this past Christmas. Once the box was open, I just laughed. What an appropriate gift for someone who has raised four children through school, extracurricular activities, homework, classmate drama, and under- and post-graduate education. Honestly, Chaos Coordinator is the most accurate title I could have thought of as a mom.

Parenting is often juggling more plates than hands, dropping what you’re doing right now to attend to the emergency that’s occurring. The Vaseline all over the child and walls that required seven shampoos to get out, a fall on the sliding glass door tracks causing a head injury with gushing blood that required an ER visit, getting an ankle stuck in between the bike pedal and the bike that required the fire department to unscrew the pedal, or a dislocated knee at a birthday party that needed ambulance transport.

Yes, these are all true stories of my children’s mishaps, and thankfully no one was seriously injured, and all recovered fully.

But that is part of the chaos. Part of parenting. Part of life during their younger years. That is part of the incredible task we’ve been given to raise these young people. It’s not always easy nor fun, but it’s our responsibility.

For the longest time, I was waiting for the chaos to die down, subside, take a breather. Ha! What I learned is that the most beautiful part of the chaos is that it continues into their adulthood (although the stakes are higher and so are the expenses 😊). They call when they need guidance or just want to chat about their lives and ask you about yours. It’s the greatest feeling to know they care as much about you as you do them.

As I reflect on what the underlying theme was during my children’s formative years amongst the chaos, it was conversation. While juggling the day-to-day activities, we would discuss all types of topics ranging from “What’s the difference between a pond and a lake?” to “What ingredients are needed in making chicken curry?” Speaking with them, connecting with them, discussing their interests was an opportunity to validate them as a person and build their self-confidence. And that confidence is the key to their motivation, curiosity, and innovation.

Parenting is about managing chaos in a way that works uniquely for your family. Some days are easier than others, and not all days will be successful. Do yourself a favor, though, and give yourself grace. Tomorrow is another day to wear your title of Chaos Coordinator proudly, because you’re doing an awesome job!

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