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Aug 9 2013

It’s OK to be Overwhelmed by Happy Events

By at 11:59 am

boxes movingWe moved into a house recently. It’s kind of a big deal, I know. It’s a mazel to find a house you like, in a neighborhood you like, for a price you can afford. But moving is kind of like having a baby. It’s a wonderful thing, and everyone tells you mazel tov, and you’re happy and all, but OH MY GOSH it’s overwhelming, and even if you’ve done it before, you forget just how much of a pain it can be.

Since it’s such a happy event, I feel totally guilty for not being deliriously ecstatic about it. Right now, I kind of want to curl into a ball, but I can’t, because first I have to make sure that the Macguyverish gate is in place so the baby doesn’t climb up the staircase. Again.

The concept of First World Problems is a cute way of keeping perspective, but sometimes we just need someone to tell us, “It’s okay to be overwhelmed by your blessings. You’re not a bad person for feeling this way.”

Because it’s totally true. 

A friend of mine once asked how it is that other mothers who have many children are able to do so much when she can barely get out of the house with one kid. One kid is no small thing! The transition from life without kids to being responsible for an adorable yet very needy little person is huge.

But since most of us know someone, or are related to someone, who may still be waiting for that transition to happen, it’s normal to feel guilty about feeling overwhelmed. Even more so if we were the someone waiting for a while. Life transitions come with challenges, and adjusting is a process.

Some people adapt more readily and some people don’t. Some babies are chill and some are decidedly not. I remember the sheer amount of gear I would pack up when trying to get out of the house with my first baby. My diaper bag was the size of a microwave and it was still bursting. These days, it’s surprising if I remember to bring wipes.

I am inexpressibly grateful that my immediate challenges are dealing with a washing machine that broke before we ever used it and not being able to find anything useful (though I have found three dreidels, if anyone needs them). Objectively, these are not big challenges. They are not. But woe to the person who tries to point this out to me right now, because currently, these challenges feel ginormous.

Instead of just turning into (more of) a frazzled mess, I’m going to try to find at least one good thing each day and write it down. On the fridge. Or maybe my forehead. I’m also going to regularly touch base with one of my friends who’s been down this road before and can commiserate, and provide the much-needed perspective without the risk of my inadvertently hurting her feelings.

Even though it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by my blessings sometimes, it’s still important to remember that it’s not okay to complain about it to just anyone (although, since this is on the internet, I guess that’s exactly what I just did, but you know what I mean).

So whatever your happy transition may be, mazel tov! It’ll be okay, eventually. Someday you will take a shower/find the soup ladle/regain your equilibrium. Meanwhile, here’s some ice cream. You’re welcome.

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