Monday, April 15, 2013

Lessons of Parenting: This Too Shall Pass…

     I started writing this post last week, then had a REALLY cranky baby on Thursday and got hit with a cold on the weekend so I haven’t had time to finish it yet. I should be napping because I’m exhausted, but of course, today is one of those days when Tessa decides not to nap for more than half an hour at a time, so I thought it would be a good time to finish this. It’s funny, when I started writing this post, I had no idea how perfect the timing would end up being. I’ve needed to hear this phrase over and over these past few days.

     “This too shall pass….” My mom often uses this line, and the first time I talked to my brother and sister-in-law (parents of a 2 ½-year-old) after Tessa was born and asked what advice they might have for us newbies, this was what my sister-in-law said. And at just 3 months into my parenting journey, I’ve already seen how true this is, and I’m finding it helpful for keeping things in perspective.

     Tessa started out life as a terrible napper. Most days I could not get her to nap for more than 20-40 minutes at a time, and then, of course, by 3pm she would be completely exhausted and CRANKY! On those days, I often felt like a bad mother, and that it was my fault that she was so tired and grumpy (not true, I know, but I couldn’t help but feel that way). This is slowly working itself out and over the past 3 weeks, she’s (most days) been going down for her naps without a fight and I can usually count on 1 long and 2 shorter naps each day. And I didn’t do anything but wait it out.

     So, now that I’m in the middle of another rough patch (having a cold and a baby is a lovely combination!), I’m reminding myself that, like our naptime struggles, it won’t last forever. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, I feel like I got hit by a bus. And no, I’m not particularly “enjoying every moment” right now. And even if I can’t get a nap in today, I know we’ll be ok, that this temporary exhaustion and frustration is part of the parenting package, and it, too, will pass. And at the end of the day, this beautiful little girl...

...makes it all worthwhile.

Now, if you'll excuse me, we're going to go try and sleep!

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