Sometimes, all that needs changing is your perspective. That’s where I’m at now – the land of little sleep and frustrated cries that only need me to look at it differently!
Yes, ultimately these will still be days of little sleep and perhaps it won’t solve all of the cries of frustration we’re getting at the moment, but… I’ll be so much happier about it!
I’ve changed gears last week, after what was a tough day of parenting, and things have been so much better. I feel calmer and whilst there are still cries of frustration, we just see them through very peacefully. It’s been surprisingly low energy and high gain for me.
I thought I’d need to muster all my energy to be so still, but actually it hasn’t been that way at all. I just talk very quietly through the screaming or crying, I hold, I let go when requested to do so, I hold again. And then we’re on the other side of it.
When I think about what I was doing before, I wasn’t actually doing anything differently and yet the approaches were a million miles quilometers apart. I was seething, sweating, stressing. I wasn’t shouting at the baby or screaming by myself in the bathroom (yet!), but I was most certainly fighting it all. I would be asking myself “Why me? Why now? Why you?”. And then the killer “all the other kids at the park are playing happily in the park, not bloody making a move out of the park trying to get to the main road.AT.ALL.TIMES!”
Fortunately, these thoughts were just in my head and I wasn’t asking these questions of my perfectly adorable spirited little boy. But things had to change and fast, before I did start saying these dreadful things out loud. These were no thoughts to be having about a kid who’s exploring a new world. So what if it’s unconventional? So what if he thinks going on the swing or the slide or the sand pit is a bit boring when you have such a marvellous wider world to venture into?
I needed reminding that this is what I signed up for – guiding another little human into adulthood, hopefully with lots of fun and kindness. That’s it. The memo I got as a parent to be did not include “your child shall enjoy countless numbing hours at the park, whether they want to or not”. It did not say “your child will enjoy every nappy change because of course it’s fun to lie down at random times to have one’s private parts wiped as others see fit”. No, it did not.
My memo said none of those things. Wisely, it only focused on enjoying whatever journey was ours and deliver a good person to the world. And you know what? I think we’re en route to do just that!
I’m glad I’m back on track with enjoying it all. Of working out different things we can do to satisfy his curiosity. Of letting him do nothing to do it all. Of watching him work through boredom. Of enjoying our life together, rather than focus on the memory making.
I’m sure there will be days when the lack of sleep will get the better of me, of course. But as long as they don’t get the better of our precious time together, I’m cool. I can cope with that!