May Your Smiles Outweigh Your Sighs
No one likes to feel like they are alone. It’s one of the main reasons why I started this blog, so that I could share my parenting experiences with other parents, and to hear about theirs in return. It’s good to talk, vent, ask questions, hell, even brag! It’s good talk so that we don’t keep it all bottled up inside. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve been so touched that various friends and family have reached out to me, letting me know that if I need to talk to someone that they are there. So I want to let you all know that I really am good, and very happy. Yes, I will probably spend a solid portion of my day juggling a mug of coffee, while wiping a runny nose and simultaneously nursing a baby, but it’s fine. It can be hard, but I love it. Truly and wholeheartedly. And to me, parenting is like marriage. It has it’s ups and downs. And I promised that my blog would be honest, so that is what I’m constantly aiming to do: be honest about the ups and downs of parenting. Otherwise, we set ourselves up for failure if we think our day will solely be filled with sunshine and rainbows. Again, parenting is hard! Lovely, rewarding, beautiful at times. But also hard. And these times are fleeting.
I was talking to one of my old coworkers (turned very good friend) about how it’s ironic that my toddler now (mostly) sleeps through the night, right when my baby is starting to hit the dreaded four month sleep regression and is waking up every two hours to nurse back to sleep. Every. Two. Hours. I seriously think someone should invent an IV coffee drip for sleep deprived moms. It would just save much needed time. Anyway, I was surprised to hear that her son didn’t really and truly sleep through the whole night until he was in kindergarten. So this was an eye opener for me. It also gave me more of an understanding into how young children sleep. It reminded me that not all children are the same. And it also reminded me that things change and she could be sleeping this well now, but this might change again. And that’s good! I’m glad, because it’s hard to think to yourself “somehow I messed up as a parent, why isn’t my child sleeping through the night? This is a BASIC part of life. My friends’ kids sleep through the night, why can’t mine?” Well 1) as mentioned before, every child is different. 2) maybe they don’t sleep through the night. Ask! And even if they do, it’s not going to be like this forever. Eventually they will learn to fall asleep and stay asleep. I’m almost sure of it…
Because really, people aren’t going to announce their deep and true worries in their Christmas newsletters. Ya know? No one’s going to be like “Luke is excelling in preschool and has learned his abc’s. He loves eating chicken and his swim lessons. He also won’t stop pooping in in the bathtub during bath time, even though we have told him that his bath toys will forever be tainted.” Come on. Which goes back to my first post (here) about how parents can be stressed and blessed at the same time, and how social media gives us a distorted view of how people’s lives really are.
My mom always tells me to write my worries down today, and in a week or a few months or a year I will look back at them and marvel at what I was worried about then. And it’s true. I started doing this for about a year and a half now in a One A Day Journal (found on Amazon) that my mother in law gave me. The beauty of this type of journal, at least for me is that there are only a few lines per day. Always got overwhelmed whenever I started a journal with an infinite amount of pages. And not just my worries, but the good parts of my day, things the kids have done or something funny my husband and I couldn’t stop laughing about. It’s great because it provides me such perspective.
So I encourage you to keep a journal, and maybe not every day, but on the days that are truly awesome or truly atrocious. Jot it down. Date it. And in the future sometimes, whether it’s a few weeks, months or years, hopefully you can look back and see that you not only survived this time of parenting, but thrived! And as that same friend wisely told me: Hopefully your smiles and giggles outweigh your sighs and biting of your tongue today. Haha!