Friday, February 15, 2013

Bipolar Parenting

Months ago I thought of a term to describe this wild experience of parenting/family building. 

"Bipolar"is the word I came up with. 

Up down Up down. 

And I'm not referring to my mood or state alone but to those of the family collective- to those of my 4 children and bearded spouse. I imagine if I were bipolar I could seek medical help....this is something entirely different. It's the baffling dynamic that occurs when all these complex personalities try to... 

(I don't know. What are we trying to do? I was going to write co-exist but it's more than exist. It's thrive I guess. We're all attempting to thrive. Yes.) 

It's the baffling dynamic that occurs when all these complex personalities are attempting to thrive. There are these transcendent moments of heart bursting love and equally intense moments of mind numbing retardation. (Can I say that?) The amazing thing is the rapidity with which it switches from one to the other and back. Wow. (Is it life with young children or does this persist through the ages?)

It just feels like a bipolar experience.

And I guess I want to talk about that.

I looked for some back-up on this whole idea and found these guys. I find it inspiring when people stop talking about surface stuff and get to "the goods".

 My favourite bits from this:
"Candor and brutal honesty [are] critical to us collectively being great parents."

 "You’re not allowed to chart love. The reason … is because we think of love as a binary thing: You’re either in love, or you’re not in love. You love, or you don’t love. I think the reality is that love is a process.” (Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman)

I also love what this blogger has to say about the "inherent risks my simple life asks me to take."

Sign me up.


Jane said...

Awesome. Jody and I watched the TED talk together yesterday morning, they are a dynamic couple. I wonder if we are more open than they think though. I don't know if all of those topics are "taboo" in our society. Maybe our family just talks about reality more than others.... I love the word bipolar to describe living with kids, I feel the same. I liked the high and low chart they showed in their talk - extreme highs & lows during the kid phase. Gotta love the highs, but the crash is rather abrupt.

Megan said...

Such an important topic to be "real" about.
I don't think any of us truly understand how difficult the hard days will be; and at the same time, how much joy these little ones will bring, until we are in it.
For the sake of those who don't have large, vocal families to educate them, it's a useful TED talk!