Let me start this post about quitting to complain with some good old fashion complaining.
For so many of us reading blogs and scrolling through Facebook and other social media sites leads us down the road of gawking at other people's beautiful self portraits, beautiful children, beautiful vacations, beautiful homes, etc... It makes it so easy for us to feel anything but "less than". When I blog I post pictures of my crafts, my projects, my ideas, etc so others can be inspired as I have been from other bloggers. What I don't post are the tantrums, the messes, the fighting, the crying (mine and the childrens') that occurs during or between these events. I have thought about taking pictures of our craziness and sharing it with you all, but it doesn't feel right to expose my family at our most vulnerable times to the mass public.
But in case anyone who reads my blog has been disillusioned about our life, here is a little glimpse into what really goes on "behind the scenes".
This morning, I was awakened by the sounds of children giggling and playing so beautifully in their bedroom. This sounded so wonderful, I thought "Yes! I can lie in bed a few more minutes". Their giggling soon turned into screaming and crying when my 2 year old dropped a chair on her sister who was lying on the ground and gave her a busted lip and bleeding gums. Said child then refused ice or any form of help and just continued to scream.
On to morning bath time (because I was too tired to bathe them the night before)- one child gets out of bath first causing other child to cry for 15 minutes that she wanted to get out of bath first.
All the while, I am trying to get them dressed, fed, and put in one of the many loads of laundry because "someone" crawled into my bed in the middle of night and peed all over my sheets.
Now it's time to leave for first day of camp, child runs around house like a wild turkey refusing to use the potty and put on shoes.
Flash forward to after camp when one child bites another child because "she pushed a button on my iPAD" or when little sister decided she wanted to throw all the blueberries on the floor and when mommy said NO, she had a hysterical tantrum yelling that she REALLY NEEDS to throw all the blueberries on the floor and STEP ON THEM!
I imagine many of you have had similar crazy in your homes as well. If not, please write a book and I will read it!!!
Ok, so now the question is how do we manage to stay sane and the parents we always imagined we would be amidst all this crazy. So I don't have THE answer, but I do have a suggestion:
This cheesy quote above pretty much sums up what I have been thinking about lately and has helped me get through alot of these tough moments.
I can have the same amount of crazy happen on two different days and come out of one day feeling like a total failure as a parent and on the other day feeling so proud for how I handled things. When I analyze what factors affected my reactions to each day, it all came down to perspective.
The thought process on the miserable days would go something like this:
- My house is a mess!!
- I can't get any quiet time!!
- Why are there so many dishes in the sink?!
- My children are nuts!!
Contrast to the thought process on my better days:
- I am lucky to even have a home full of stuff and can afford to own all these luxuries!!
- My children can be loud because they are healthy!!
- There are dishes because we have the means to eat 3+ meals a day!!
- I have children!!
I still have more miserable days than I would like to admit, but re-framing has been really helpful in decreasing the frequency and intensity of the bad days.
If we can re-frame some of the negative thoughts that run through our minds and make us so angry, maybe we can see that many of the things we complain about are actually privileges.