I realise I say Hell a lot – I’m sorry, but sometimes things really are in a bad state. I think of Hell as a miserable state, not in the religious sense of punishment for something you did wrong. Sometimes it’s a place you pass through, other times it’s a place you’re stuck in for a while. Think of the acute anguish of dealing with your child’s serious medical problem, and then over to the chronic stress, anxiety, depression and burn out while trying to deal with that problem. Welcome to Hell – in all it’s forms.
To my religious friends if this offends you, I apologise, that is not my intent. If my apology seems weak-willed and makes you think less of me, I’m sorry about that too. Sorry about all the apologies – I am Canadian.
Hell as a state was explored by Flemish Renaissance artists Pieter Bruegel (1525 - 1569) and Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516). Countless other artists have depicted Hell as well. In Bosch and Bruegel’s work they explore Hell in the Christian sense, and most of the folks are in a hell of their own making. Sometimes we are in that state too; but there are usually options to make things better.
When we go through “Too Many Appointments Hell” we need to tell the scheduling department that we’re on holiday for the next three weeks. We can also stop for ice cream, drop into our local art gallery, or hang out at a park for an hour before or after our appointments. 20 minutes of sidewalk chalk or blowing bubbles on a bicycle path goes a long way to making everyone feel human again.
When hubby and I go through “We Have No Childcare and No Couple-time Hell” we can grab a coffee to go, pack up the kids in the van and drive through the countryside with kiddie tunes cranked until the kids fall asleep. Then we might get an hour of being able to drive sans-kiddie tunes and having adult conversation. We also try to chat before the kids wake up or after they fall asleep (although most nights I fall asleep before the kids). That said, if someone offered me a night in a hotel with a Jacuzzi tub and free childcare I’d jump at it – and maybe invite Hubby along;)
“Kindergarten Hell” is helped by talking to other moms in the community, realising I’m not alone, and laughing when some other kid’s clothing/lunch/lunch money arrives home with Mr. Sensitive. It’s also helped by realising that all parties involved are only human – we all have good days and bad days.
All states of Hell are offset by realising what I can change in a situation. Sometimes, all I can change is my mind. Sometimes that’s enough.