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Challenge: Get Happy!

Making the Most of the Good & Hard Days with a Child

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I was at the park a few weeks ago and I noticed this one mother was looking at her phone while her daughter and son were playing in the splash area. There could be any number of reasons she was looking at her phone, good reasons or bad reasons. I am not going to judge her or talk about those reasons... just that seeing her got me thinking.

Here I was playing in the water with my one year old, and watching her excitement, taking pictures of her every move, chasing her around the area to make sure she didn't eat the leaves, pieces of mulch or the left over food crumbles left by other children lying on the ground. In between watching my little one, I noticed this mom sitting on the bench staring mindlessly at her phone. She looked exhausted, she looked overwhelmed... as one child pulled on her shirt, and the other threw his toys all over the ground. That momma could've brought her children to the park just so that she could have a few minutes to herself while they played. I have been there, even with just one child. I have been to the point where I was overwhelmed and annoyed.

I'm writing this article weeks later, because the last few days we have been going through some sort of nap rebellion. I've been really struggling with this because there are all of these fears that constantly creep in when my daughter runs into issues with sleeping. I worry about the future, I worry about her sleep, and I worry about her health. If I would just trust God and know that this too shall pass... I wouldn't set myself into a tizzy. But I do. I worry.

However, every time a problem happens, I am reminded of a decision I made when my daughter was a few weeks old. That decision was that I was going to try to make the most of every moment with her (even the tough moments). I was knee deep in postpartum anxiety at the time, and I was not enjoying her. I was tired and stressed, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, my emotions were all over the place and even though I tried my best to enjoy her... I didn't know how.

What helped me then, and what helps me now is that I think about how much I love my daughter. I focus on that love and know that this sweet time with her is not going to last forever. One day I know I'll look at her and she will be all grown up. She won't want to snuggle with me, she won't look at me the same (with that adoring look in her eyes). Her world won't be centered around her Daddy and Mommy any longer. It might be centered around her boyfriend, her husband, her children. Sure I know she will always love me and need my husband and I. But a child's love is different than adult kid's love.

So I'm going to enjoy today. I'm going to enjoy her loving gaze, her sweet cuddles and kisses. I'm even going to enjoy the extra time I get with her when she decides to throw a tantrum and wants to be held instead of nap. Sure I have to take a deeper steadying breath in those hard moments. But I'm going to try to enjoy both the good and the hard moments with my daughter, because in a blink of an eye I know things will be different.

Taken from my blog, Picturesque Familiarity:

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