I remember the first piece of parenting advice I received: “and this too shall pass”. That thought crossed my mind many a sleepless night, through plenty of diaper changes and the first time a sickness came upon us. If fact its what kept me going when I just couldn’t anymore. The thought that someday I would sleep, not have to change a diaper or worry about my little guys being sick.
As my little ones grew this thought transformed into surrender. Surrendering as a parent to me means surrendering my wants, needs, and expectations of what the day should be and enjoying what is happening at this moment. This does not entail giving up your needs just putting them on hold and breathing in the moment. I’ve had many a friend call my house and hear what they believe to be complete chaos going on in the background. The question that always follows is “How are you so calm about this?” My answer is surrender. They are children and they need to run, make noise and make a mess. I feel that when I respect that part of them, they respect the part of me that asks them to settle down when I need them too. Does this always work? NO- that’s just life people, there are no sure fire techniques that will work every single time.
My latest example: My washing machine broke and by the time I had it repaired I had accumulated about 5 baskets full of laundry. After much washing all I wanted to do was fold all of these clothes, now piled on my bedroom floor, I began folding and putting things away. My 3 year old came in with his blanket asking me to lie down with him. I said no I have to do laundry, go play in your room. He can back, and back again. I became angry and yelled at him asking him to go away. ( yes, not a proud moment) He went to his room and began to cry. I became more angry. Before making another move I took a breath and remembered my own advice – surrender. I scooped him up and spent the rest of the day lying on the couch watching movies and eating crackers. He was happy. I was happy enjoying my sweet surrender. It could have so easily went the other way where we both would have been angry or upset.
So, I held him close to my heart and smelled his hair. Then a tear came to my eye when I remembered that ” this too shall pass” and I almost let it get away over a bunch laundry.