Chaos into Order. Stress in Relationships. I’m not really sure how I landed here. This is the place in life where I doubt why I took all the risks leading up until this huge. Moment. Of. Stress. STRESS. I remember having a conversation with a family member about stress when I was newly married and had one child. I remember saying to her: “The goal of life is not to avoid stress.” In Christianese this is usually interpreted as “trials” “obstacles” “the stuff to mold our character…so that we persevere.” I get it. Christ underwent more stress than we can fathom as humans. If you are not a Christian, and you are reading this, go look up “The Life of Christ.” Whatever your world view, you would probably agree that a mark of Christ’s life was sacrifice. By sacrifice I mean continuing a mission in the face of followers’ betrayal, disbelief, disloyalty, injustice, poverty on every level…the list goes on. So, this post is about stress. Most parents can relate to this thing we call “feeling overwhelmed.” I mean, most parents married or single can identify a place in his/her life when all things taking-care-of- other-humans who, by the way are completely self-centered (this is not meant to stoke the fire of our philosophical view on whether or not children are “innocents” it is meant to arrive at the agreement that children mostly think about themselves most all of the time) I mean let’s get real…as a woman, who has given birth, experienced incredible changes in hormone levels, left her newborn children to return to work understand what “overwhelmed” feels like. Even as I’m writing this I feel like I’m experiencing a hot flash. I wonder sometimes if it’s all worth it? I mean, is it worth sacrificing my “now” position as a parent so that “later” many of life’s situations are taken care of? I guess I’m referring to working parents. Someone has to work and bring home the bacon, right? But this post is not about working moms or parents, this post is about stress in relationships. Today, the trifecta of motherhood envelops me. Marriage, family, and motherhood. My situation is unique because our whole family lives together. When I say whole, I mean WHOLE. Both sides of grandparents, and my immediate family. Sure, lots of families live life this way…but let’s address the benefits, shall we? Multi-generational relationships with children. Check. Built-in babysitting. Check. Financial burdens lifted for elderly care. Check. Family bonding. Check. Today bonding feels more like bondage. As you can imagine, having so many adults in the house, opinions do get-to-flying. Not to mention, our families come from different countries. Not really sure how much that matters, but suffices to mention, that today, I AM LIVID. Like boiling hot, dropping the f-bomb in my mind and with a few trusted confidants. I feel judged by my multi-generational co-parts. *It feels more like a “Twilight” movie with Jacob trying to leave his imprint on Bella. From where I sit, this metaphor sufficiently describes how my multi-generational co-part advocates for my son and disregards the boundaries I have in place. (we’re talking child-rearing here people.) Yeah, yeah I know this song has been sung many-a-time. The age-old “grandparents vs. parents on child rearing.” *But, you guys, seriously, today I feel like Jacob has run me clear off the road, panting forward to leave his imprint on Bella. Dude! Get your paws away from my son! So, here I am. A prime example of stress in relationships, right? Not only stress, but the place where I doubt why I took all the risks I took leading up until this huge. Moment. Of. Stress. So, this is the post where I find out if I’m made of the stuff that sticks this out. Or the stuff that bails when it’s time. *All I know is, mama bear, is ready to maul herself a Jacob-wolf. *This metaphor alludes to the “Twilight stories”…no I have not read the books, but I have seen the movies, and if you haven’t, look it up.