There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so
~ William Shakespeare
|On occasion, I want to |
tear my hair out, too
Whatever the reason, some days I am not having fun. A friend sent me a really interesting Huffington Post article the other day, titled "The Myth of Joyful Parenthood" in which the author says:
Study after study has shown that parents, compared to adults without kids, experience lower emotional well-being -- fewer positive feelings and more negative ones -- and have unhappier marriages and suffer more from depression. Yet many of these same parents continue to insist that their children are an essential source of happiness -- indeed that a life without children is a life unfulfilled.
How do we square this jarring contradiction? Two psychological scientists at the University of Waterloo think they have the answer. They suspect that the belief in parental happiness is a psychological defense -- a fiction we imagine to make all the hard stuff acceptable. In other words, we parents have collectively created the myth of parental joy because otherwise we would have a hard time justifying the huge investment that kids require.
|My beautiful daughter has really,|
REALLY big feelings sometimes
So while I sat, contemplating these thoughts, another friend sends me a link to a blog called "Live With Flair" (I have such nice friends) in which the author had written a brilliant post entitled These Aren't Interruptions:
Many times over the years of being a mother, I've felt like I'm just trying to get through something. I'd think to myself: I just have to get through this night waking, this potty training, this noise at the dinner table, this driving everywhere, this laundry, this cleaning, this bedtime routine. I need to get through these interruptions in order to arrive at what I really want to be doing.
I believed some clever lie that kept me from embracing motherhood fully. Motherhood was something to endure, and this made me so deeply troubled and ashamed that the dark days of depression stole half a decade of my life.
My doctor told me one afternoon that "my children are not interruptions" to the life I want to have. They are my life. Exactly how God designed it.This thought stopped me in my tracks. Was I considering my children to be "interruptions"? I felt the guilt rising because I knew that sometimes the answer was "yes". I knew that it was true because when other parents talk about how they can't wait to spend their weekends with their children I think to myself how I often dread those long, unbroken hours. Please don't take this the wrong way, I do adore my children and they bring me boundless joy. AND being a mom can be exhaustingly hard work. I hope that for you it is always easy and wonderful, but for me I have days when I am so glad they're at school or that the nanny has taken them out. I just want some time to be alone, or to go to the bathroom uninterrupted, or to write without having my concentration broken, or to not think 50 times a day, "I am doing this mommy thing badly"! So I went back to Life With Flair and read the rest of the post. And there it was, like a brick hitting my head:
Our days are not something to get through as we endure interruptions to our real life.
This is our life: wonderful, beautiful, and just right for us.
|How can I say no to a snuggle?|
So I am going to be mindful of my thought process and the way I label my interactions with my kids. As Shakespeare so wisely said, it is thinking that makes things either good or bad. Without the label, things just are what they are.
Thanks for reading!
The Twin Coach
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