[00:00:02] Parenting is hard enough on a good day — but when you're facing a huge change like divorce, moving, a health crisis, or even a pandemic, it can be downright overwhelming. My name is Sara Olsher and I'm the founder of Mighty + Bright, where I help your family cope with the uncertainty that comes from life's major upheavals. Together we can help your kids take this hard time and turn it into resilience that they'll be able to use for the rest of their lives. Join me for quick and easy 5 to 10 minute episodes that will leave you feeling 100% positive that you got this
[00:00:40] This morning, I had a conversation with a grandmother who was ordering a few extra buttons for her grandchild's co parenting calendar, and she was telling me that her grandchild was having a hard time adjusting to the "new normal" of having parents who don't live together anymore. And I told her, "you know, it might not feel like it right now, but everything is going to be okay."
[00:01:06] And she responded and that basically, things were not how she hoped they would be and that her daughter and her husband had been divorced for three years and her grandchild still wasn't adjusting very well.
I shared with her that from my experience, everything is going to be okay. But sometimes we have to adjust our expectations of what okay looks like. Every major change in your life is the same, whether it's a pandemic or a divorce or major health diagnosis.
We get attached to this future in our minds that is beautiful and looks a certain way. And, you know, in the case of divorce, you had a picture that your children were going to grow up in a traditional household where the parents are married and everybody is happy. You have to let go of the idea that that is what your future is going to look like, and you have to re-examine what your idea of okay looks like.
When I separated from my ex-husband and my daughter was a toddler, I realized — after probably three years — that things would be "okay" in my mind if my daughter grows up to be resilient. That she is able to speak her own mind, have strong values, and grow up to be resilient. That's "okay."
[00:03:14] So when I think "everything is going to be okay," that translates to "I am a parent who is raising a resilient child because I'm resilient. And when my daughter grows up, she's going to be a resilient adult." And that's okay. Everything is going to be okay. It's not going to be perfect, but it's going to be okay.
So okay, that's good for divorce. But when you're diagnosed with cancer, you think, is everything going to be okay? Because in my mind, okay means I live a long, healthy life and I walk my child down the aisle. So it can be terrifying when something life-threatening happens.
For me it took a lot to feel that it's going to be okay. "Okay" no matter what, even if I died, that my daughter would be okay. She would not be happy for a long while. She would face some really, really hard, awful times, but she would come out the other end resilient. Truly. That is easier said than done — being able to be okay with the idea that I die. That's really . . . that took me a long time to get to.
[00:04:19] I had to readjust my expectations of what okay would be. And it means really working with acceptance of whatever the outcome will be. Because even if I died, which is the absolute worst case scenario, I do believe that my daughter is strong enough to be okay eventually. To work through it . . . because we are all put on this earth and face incredible challenges, whether we face them in childhood or whether we face them as adults. All of us go through something that is incredibly difficult, and the idea is to get out the other side of it, not scarred for life. Do you have faith in your own ability to work through stuff and come out the other side stronger?
[00:05:11] I have faith in my ability to do that. I have faith in your ability to do that. I have faith in my daughter's ability to do that. And that is how I know everything is going to be okay, even if it's not the way I imagined.