These are the best days of your life!
I know you’ve heard this before. If you have a child, and have met up with some well meaning person who is not currently struggling with toddlers, tears and terror, you have heard this phrase.
I promise you it’s not true. And it is true. These days are remarkable, no doubt. There’s some pretty freaking special stuff happening, don’t get me wrong. They are also hard, exasperating, frightening, tiring, wearing, stressful, long, boring days.
Finding out I was pregnant with each of my kids were some of the 8 best days of my life. Giving birth to my 7 kids were some of the best days of my life.
Miscarrying was one of the worst. Finding out Tim had brain damage was one of the worst. Getting a call from the police? Awful. Seeing Tim walk? Spectacular. Alex’s mission call? Pretty darn great. First words? Amazing. First “I hate you”? Sucks.
I could go on and on. Some of my worst days turned into greats, and some of my greats went downhill in a race car.
I’ve been reading all these articles online that give advice to new moms, and advice to moms of teens, and advice to empty nesters. I thought I’d weigh in with my two cents. I have had babies, toddlers, kids, teens, and adult kids. I have 2 kids with special needs. I have 3 girls and 4 boys. I have had kids who struggle in school, and kids who never miss being on the honor roll. I think I know what I’m talking about. I’m soo not perfect, but I’m pretty happy. The happiness of my kids? Depends on the kid, the day, and a million other random things.
So here it is. My advice to all of you.
You know what happens if you get behind on laundry? Nothing. And when you just can’t work up the energy to do that 3rd load of dishes before you go to bed? Nothing. Guess what happens if you don’t vacuum today? Nothing.
It all turns out ok. You catch up on laundry when you feel better. You do the dishes in the morning when your outlook is a little better. You vacuum when you see the baby eating cheerios off the carpet.
What about the biting? What about the ‘F’s? The tantrums? The tears, yours and theirs? My advice still applies. You know what happens to kids who bite? They stop. Kids who get an F? They graduate. They grow up. Kids who cry? They dry up.
Here’s a few more things:
1. Make sure your kids know you love them. Everyday. Tell them. Hug them.
2. Do your best. And as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.”
3. Be great to yourself. You are SO GREAT! You are a child of God. You are beautiful! You totally rock!
Some of these days are pretty awesome, like God smiling on your life. Some moments are so wonderful you feel like you may be experiencing what heaven is like.
Some days suck so bad you could seriously get in a car and never look back. Some moments are so awful you may feel real, actual pain.
So. Here you are. Wherever that is, the beginnings of your family, with diapers and sleepless nights, the middle days of homework and mood swings, or the wrapping up of the kids at home days, where weddings and grandkids start to enter the picture. Maybe your kids are all grown up, physically, anyway. Maybe you have several of these going on at once.
All of these are the best. All.
All of these are the worst. All.
All of these are worth it. All.
NO clue. I just know that some days, when I see those people actually acting appropriately, possibly smiling, and maybe even being grateful….?
So Worth It.