Week 23: Syllabus Shock

Syllabus shock.

Syllabus shock–I first heard the term from my cousin Sara when I was a freshman in college. She warned me to never read the whole syllabus on the first day of a new class in a new semester or else I’d go into shock. Did I listen to her?


Every semester, I’d freak out about my ability to get everything done for a class. I’ve come to know this about myself, and even point it out in my sister Molly, who responds the same way as me: “I will never ever get this done! It’s too hard! I can’t do it! Oh my gosh I’m going to die!…..” [three weeks later…] “Oh that? Yeah–I got an ‘A’.”

So why am I talking about syllabus shock you ask? I’ve been out of school since I finished my Masters in 2008.

Well, I think I’m hitting the syllabus shock of motherhood.

It has been building for a while, but the other morning, I just broke down. I haven’t sobbed like that in a long, long time. My poor husband. He thought it was just another normal morning, he’s sitting with his laptop on the couch, and his wife comes over to give him a hug … and starts to bawl. I mean, choking, gasping, coughing, running nose, lots and lots of tears–the whole nine yards.

“I don’t want to work … I mean I want to work but I need a schedule … I mean there’s so much in my head to get done and I just can’t get it done … If I can’t handle life now, how am I going to do it with a baby? … the nursery’s a disaster … the bathrooms all need cleaning … I have big projects for work that I haven’t even started … the microwave is so dirty and I just can’t get myself to clean it … I feel like such an unsuccessful loser! Dramatic sob followed by *Snort* *Sniff* *Wipe* and so on and so forth.

It’s syllabus shock. I just don’t deal with the unknown well. At all. In any way, shape or form. And there’s just no way to know until this little one makes his way into the world; until then, all I can do is attempt to prepare, attempt to put structure in place with work, attempt to ready myself … heck, this is even worse than syllabus shock! But the results will be oh so much more rewarding that those papers and projects I used to stress over. THIS is worth my dramatic early morning sobbing and my intense mental and emotional preparation.

I figured I’d conquered my syllabus shock back in grad school … and I did, in the educational setting. But in life? I’m still frozen stiff at the thought of the unknown, but I know I’ll get through it just fine.

About kristinlindeen

I am Kristin. I am Erik's wife. I am Joshua, Rebecca, and Andrew's mom. I am known nationally as the "QBQ! Daughter" and keynote on Personal Accountability and the QBQ. I am certified in Myers Briggs and am passionate about helping people understand themselves and others better. I am John and Karen's daughter. I am sister to many, mentor to some, friend to others. Most defining, I am Christ's daughter, adopted by God--rescued and saved by grace. And almost every single day, I need to be reminded of that truth. Come say "hi" at www.QBQ.com and of course, browse the blog! I'd love to hear from you, so comment away!
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3 Responses to Week 23: Syllabus Shock

  1. Jen says:

    Yup! I get the syllabus shock too–just last week in fact! You will be a great mom–deep breaths and one thing at a time–and little bubba won't mind if his nursery isn't total finished before he's born or the bathroom was left uncleaned for a week! The best mother advice I have is to do what you feel is right for your child and take all your worries and concerns to the Lord in prayer since your little one is really His little one too!

  2. Grammie says:

    YOU…are going to be an amazing Mommy! You already love your Lord, your husband, your son and your home…in that order. You use your God-given gifts and talents in your work and your ministry. And that's why you will thrive in this new life change coming! Isn't it wonderful to just have our husbands hold us when we fall apart and tell us, "it will be okay…today…it will be okay!" Love you~

  3. Hey Girl, I can totally relate to the whole wanting the list, so I can get prepared and take control of my life, but the list is really overwhelming, but if I didn't have a list I would feel even more overwhelmed….Don't worry, you will get everything taken care of perfectly, and the things that don't get done well, must not be that important anyway (like the microwave oven). The good news is parenthood is a life change, not something you fit into your existing life. Priorities with shift and rearrange and all for the better! Just try not to read too many parenting books and trust yourself 😉

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