I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – parenting is hard work!
Then again, life-ing is hard work. When you think you’ve got something down, a curve ball gets thrown in your direction, and you have to adjust your swing.
Some people adjust to change seamlessly. Others, like myself, need a little extra time to adjust to the curve balls thrown in our paths. Because I know it takes me a little time to warm up to new places and adventures, I typically try to find something that makes me happy to focus on during my day.
The past month, I forgot to find something that makes me happy every day. And, I noticed my outlook was slipping from positive to less than stellar. My family noticed it, too – my patience level wore thin, and I was quicker to raise my voice (do I dare admit I was quicker to yell?).
As August came to a close, I began trying to figure out what was wrong. Trying to lessen my stress wasn’t helping – I was just having difficulty seeing any positivity. Last night, I realized what was impacting my mood so severely.
I lost sight of the happy moments in my day!
They don’t have to be big moments. They don’t have to involve money. They don’t even have to involve other people! They just have to be moments – ones where I stop and smell the roses, and remember that everything is going to be okay.
Two nights ago, continuing our ongoing sleep saga with the baby, I took pictures of the sleeping princess. As I reflected on the pictures, I reminded myself of how she looks like a little doll. I thought about how peaceful she was sleeping, and chuckled about nobody else aside from my husband and I hearing the soft snoring while she held on to her mama. I thought about how blessed I am to have her clinging to me – as stifling as it may be, I know she loves me.
Yesterday, my son spent the better part of the morning sans clothing, in more effort to get him to potty train (if he is naked from the waist down, he will successfully use the toilet). He was angry because he wanted his diaper on, wanted to be Marshall the Fire Pup, and wanted to go somewhere as a fire pup. After a while of listening to his complaining, I tuned him out and played on my phone. When he had successfully used the toilet a handful of times, I finally gave in, provided him with his diaper, allowed him to dress in his costume, and went through a drive thru, so he could, “go somewhere.”
As I got him dressed, and watched him, “wag his tail,” and warn everyone the, “couch is on fire! We must put the fire out,” I realized I want to be like him. He is so carefree, so animated, and has such an amazing imagination! As frustrating as it can be to have to try to keep him entertained and using his energy for good purposes, I am so proud of the almost-4 year old he is becoming.
A couple nights ago, I was washing dishes in our kitchen. At the end of adding dish soap to the water, one small task I love is squeezing the excess air out of the container, creating bubbles. I smiled at the memory of my son, running around us in the kitchen, trying to pop the bubbles, the baby girl in her piano stand, clapping to her favorite song, and my husband helping me dry dishes.
Thinking about those little moments made me realize what I missed all of August:
~ How the joy is in creating the little moments.
~ How patience is taking time to see the world through the lens of a small child.
~ How stress melts away when I realize the ones that matter are those to whom I am closest.
So, for September, I am going to try to steal those little moments my days have to offer. I am going to try to focus more on my family. I am going to try to remember to take time with my little ones, to meet them where they are at, instead of where I think they should be.
And, I will enjoy life-ing, and parenting!