Raising kids is so hard. As moms, we are constantly bombarded with what it takes to be a “good mom” and with what perfect kids should act like. The truth is: kids are kids. No matter how awesome you are at parenting, kids will throw fits and act out. Their brains are still forming, and sometimes those brains are just filled to the max with stimulation and learning and having to behave. Let’s be honest, sometimes my brain is filled to the max with those things too, and I wish I could throw a fit.
OK, sometimes I do.
A friend of mine recently posted this little tidbit on facebook: “When you are raising small children, there is no such thing as a good day, only good moments. The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.”
The day I read this, both Hazel and Clara were in fine form – one minute playing together wonderfully, the next both crying, and the next chasing each other giggling. They were being typical kids and siblings. But as a parent, I was at the end of my rope. When I announced it was time to rest, both girls fell apart. After muscling them both to bed, I sat down and the mom guilt started to creep in, as it always does. I needed someone to tell me I wasn’t a bad mom and that expecting a “good day” with 2 small children was unrealistic. The idea to focus on the “good moments” really struck a chord with me. Our day had been full of good moments:
- Spending time snuggling both girls on the couch watching their favorite cartoon
- Clara actually eating what I had served for lunch
- Hazel helping collect eggs even though she fears the chickens
- Having a dance party in the kitchen to the Frozen soundtrack, complete with tutus
- Clara saying, “I love you” and Hazel blowing kisses spontaneously
As I really started thinking about it, the “good moments” with my girls each day far outweighed the tantrums and fighting, but yet those negative things were what I focused on. It was time to change my thinking. What could I do to help foster those good moments? How could I practice more patience and understanding? How could I reinforce the positive behaviors?
On days when my girls are fighting and nothing I do seems to be right, all I really want is a glass of wine. It’s easy to look at those days as “bad days” and feel like I failed. Now I know that there was at least one good moment in every one of those days. (And I’ve yet to have a day that I couldn’t come up with a few more good moments to add to the list).
Would I call it a good day as a whole? Probably not.
Were there enough good moments to make it all O.K.? Definitely.
What were your good moments today?