It appears that the Green Eyed Monster is ever present these days, lurking under the bed as I read parenting books, staring at me while I stalk people on the various social media outlets, and haunting my interrupted dreams at night. There are so many things out there that plague new moms (and dads): poor sleeping habits, food allergies & sensitivities, teething, weight/height issues, adjusting to changes in your own body, lack of sleep, and overall stress…
Remember back in elementary school when you would swap food at lunchtime? There was a girl in my grade that always had PB&J made on perfectly white bread with super creamy peanut butter. Meanwhile, I had lame wheat bread with natural peanut butter that spread as well as caramel does on tissue paper. On a few occasions, my classmate with the Coveted PB&J Sandwich didn’t want hers, so she just gave it to me. I didn’t even have to trade! It was the most sublime lunch that fourth-grader-Maggie could have ever wished to find in her own lunchbox. (A quick note to my parents: As an adult, I love whole grain breads and have lost my desire for white bread, though I still am not a fan of natural peanut butter; creamy PB for the H-G’s all the way!)
I’ve caught myself, on several occasions, wanting to trade things in life. As a new mom that’s been in the field for a little over five months, I’ve had a hankering for other people’s situations. Oh, to have a full night of sleep – what a glorious feeling that would be! Or to feel a bit more comfortable in my own body. Or to have perfectly cooked meals, a spotless house, date nights three times a week… the list goes on.
|This is what a baby and five loads of laundry looks like,
in case you were curious…
I imagine sitting around a vast card table, with all these troublesome cards in my hand, looking at the other players to see what they would swap for my cards. I’ll take a full night’s sleep if you trade me your fussy eater… or, I’ll give you a baby who can sit through a church service and be perfectly content, if you give me a baby that can go to sleep easily at night without their parents present… In the end, as parents, there is always going to be something that you work on with your child. No child is born perfect, nor are their parents. If caring for a child were easy, it wouldn’t be as rewarding to see them grow, mature, and learn.
Instead of focusing on what I lack and wish to trade, I need to remember the great things I do have. I should embrace the battle scars that are etched on my body because they are proof and a reminder that I carried my son for nearly ten months and made it through a natural birth. I should be proud that nursing my son in the middle of the night is helping him grow big and strong. I should be content that not every scrap of laundry is done, or the dishes perfectly cleaned and stacked away, because I read books with my son, or played games, or made him laugh.
|Smiles Amidst the Chaos|
I think we’ve all played the “trade ya” game in life – someone at work or school that is better at something than you, or there is a bigger house in a better neighborhood compared to yours, or seeing someone who seems to have it all together and nothing goes wrong in their life. Playing this comparison game will only make you think you have nothing, where in reality you are greatly blessed in other ways in which others may not be as fortunate.
There is one thing I know for sure: I wouldn’t trade this sweet little boy for the whole world, and that is why I will fold my hand of cards, embrace what I have, and enjoy every moment.
Share a laugh with me, will you?
Remember your blessings, okay? No matter what your situation, remember that you are blessed.