Last week I had one of my best days of my life. Yes, the morning was littered with tantrums from everyone, but I didn’t mind. I welcomed the learning opportunity for all of us. My oldest was angry that life isn’t fair and that he doesn’t get to do what he wants all the time (totally feel you, buddy). My middle was angry that I couldn’t spend the morning with her alone in her room (yup). My tot was angry because people didn’t like him biting them.
But, truly, the day was peaceful because I was peaceful. The other night my husband described what’s been going on for him with his case files lately (response briefs! motions for summary judgment! The stuff that only another lawyer could love) and I recoiled inside. Oh My Gosh my day is so easy. My kids crying? Fine. My kids not listening? To be expected. I don’t get dressed or clean the house? No one cares. I don’t have deadlines and clients and billable hours to worry about. I have playdates, nature hikes, and baking muffins.
The only thing expected of me is to be kind. And that’s what I’m expecting of myself. That’s my standard from now on.
Kitchen not cleaned up? I’m not going to let it rattle my slightly semi type-A personality.
Toy room trashed? So what. I’ll tidy up later.
My hair looks like a bad ombre. That’s fine. I really don’t care and will get it colored in a few weeks. (Cue the sirens and bells because I’m going very very blonde–speaking of blondes, did you see who is back in the blog biz???)
But am I going to let myself be an ogre because I got four hours of interrupted sleep and everyone is crying? HELL NO! I get to sit here wrapped in two of my favorite cashmere sweaters (yes, it’s cold here still), sipping berry La Croix, watching my kids read, color, play, build, throw food on the floor, and mercifully all nap at the same time.
We played lots of Mastermind this afternoon and even had a little “lesson” time with the two bigs kinda amicably sharing crayons and workbook space. Waffles + bacon for dinner. So winning.
I wanted to complain to anyone who would listen this morning, I’m so tired–the tot is teething badly and I didn’t finish all my editing for Blessed is She late last night because he kept getting up and I’m not going to get a shower in today and I never swept the floor yesterday and the kitchen is g.r.o.s.s.
But my cure-all for the bad start to what could have been a bad day?
Looking at my five year old’s eyes and listening to him splutter through his frustration. And realizing I could help him figure it out. And that me being kind and patient and firm was so much more than my kitchen being clean or my emails being answered or my glasses not having oily spots all over them.
Hey, no joke, being an at-home parent is really really hard and I’ve said more than lots about that many times. But today I had this break through in my attitude about it. And I’m humbled. I have to be kind. That’s about it. And maybe watch this a ton.