My son turned 3 recently. But not before throwing some entertaining drama our way.
As it turns out, kids have a knack of falling sick before any event.
What we thought to be a regular fever and throat infection developed into something way worse. On his birthday evening, we checked into the hospital and spent 3 nights there.
I want to write down my experience, so let’s get to that.
Take each day as it comes
No two days are the same. It is not only a great parenting tip but as I discovered recently, makes for a good life tip as well. It helps not to be hard set on how your day or life has to move on. So when things go south, you can always shrug and be agile. This doesn’t mean you should not have a basic list of things to start with— S-M-A-R-T goals are the way to go!
Find your non-mom groove
I’m not the mom who cannot stop talking about her child. It’s something I do a little consciously, but I’m not very rigid about it. That said, I do have mom friends who are my first point of contact for anything child-related. I also have other friends to keep my sanity in check when I’m tired of mom things. I watch sitcoms (The Office, again!) after my son’s bedtime and it makes a huge difference, especially with a FT job.
Children are resilient
It is us with our constant worrying that we undermine the true strength of children. My son was burning at 103 on his birthday, but still indulged us and cut his cake. Allow me to gloat- my child is the most understanding 3 year old ever. Last month, I was away to take care of my unwell mother-in-law. My husband was away on a business trip, and the child was with my parents. I’m sure he missed us, but he was a champ the whole time.
I draw strength from him from time to time.
Parenting is trying as it is, so why would you walk around with the grumps? It might be difficult at first, but being mindful about seeing the lighter vein of things can change your day. If there’s nothing to laugh about, I have giggle matches with my son. I guess our neighbours are used to all kinds of noises now. Also, a bad hour does not mean a bad day. If all else fails, then ice cream for days.
One of the biggest learnings of my adult life is (no, not taxes, still figuring that out) that showing up is half the problem solved. It could be a workout session, work, your duties as a daughter/wife/parent— just about whatever you’ve signed up for.
Give yourself grace, but show up and be consistent.
The last three years have been fulfilling. I wouldn’t say my child has helped me find my purpose, but he is my hope. He makes me want to be a better person than I was yesterday. In some moment of threenager despair, I cannot wait for him to be 10 years old already and in another moment of intense love, I want to bottle his tiny self up.
His father might be my child’s ‘besteam’ (his version of bestie), wife (yeah, don’t ask me about this), baby sister (!!) and I am relegated to the mere position of a friend, but I’ll take it. (do I have a choice now?)
Not before reminding him how I went under the knife to get him out into this world 5599 times.
If you’re a frazzled mother reading this (also a note to myself), none of what is worrying you right now will matter next week or next month. Big picture, girl. You got this.