I’m currently dealing with a sick 2.5 yr old and an 18 mo old in the midst of a sleep regression. Yesterday, I was parenting from 415am-1115pm. And then I was up again at 445 this morning.
I’m proud of myself for mostly staying patient. These are the trying times of parenting when it feels like I’m barely surviving. When I ignore the dishes and the pile of laundry. When I take naps if given the chance. When we eat leftovers and snacks. When the floor stays littered with toys.
I used to try to do it all… but I always fell short, because no one can do it all, all the time. Especially with very little sleep. I’ve come to realize that those things don’t matter. What matters is patience, compassion, understanding, comfort. What matters is the piles of books I read to them, the hugs and kisses I give them, the songs I sing to them.
Chances are, they won’t look back at pictures like this and think “I wish mom had picked up toys more often”. Chances are, they’ll think “look how happy we were!”
Facebook is full of perfectly-posed pictures. I could have taken this picture up close, just showing their smiling faces. I chose to show the whole room because this is reality. Reality is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. All we can control is our response to it. If I don’t like how I respond to something, I can learn from that and try again next time. It is absolutely possible to change those responses. Yes, it takes time. It takes practice. It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do, because it’s literally rewiring your brain! But it can be done. I’m living proof of that. Believe in yourself. Show yourself compassion. You can do this =)