How would I stack up? How would you stack up? A winning record? Losing? Would it change week to week?
I think most parents rate their days subconsciously by comparing their daily wins versus losses. Was it mostly a good day if we had more wins? (Got the kids to eat their veggies and fruits, was on time for school drop off, found the missing Barbie shoe, you know.) I don’t keep an exact running score, but I definitely know when a losing day happened – when there weren’t enough wins to overshadow the really shit moments.
But what if we find those wins even in the midst of a loss? Is there really a silver lining to everything?
It’s all a matter of perspective and consciously turning your “ugh” moments into “aww” moments. It’s not easy – because, honestly, nothing in parenting feels easy (except spilling milk … that is just way too easy) – but if we train our brain and our heart, we have the power to change even the biggest loss day into a not-too-terrible or even an okay or pretty good day.
(At the very least, we kept the kids alive … there’s always that.)
Before I share my lists of Losses and Wins, I want to give a shout out to Eric at All In a Dad’s Work. His enlightening post elucidating things he hates and loves about parenting inspired this post. Thank you for letting me ramble on here in the same vein – and for sharing your positivity!
So, here’s my latest scorecard. I challenge you to share a highlight from your day – or even write a post of your own. Link back to mine so I can read your list – thanks!
Loss: Squish wants me to come into the bathroom with her so we can chat. Usually I have better things to do than sit on the edge of a frigid porcelain tub … like do dishes or laundry. Hmm, what’s the better choice again?
Win: My little girl actually wants me with her and wants to talk with me, even if it is just to ramble about nonsense.
Loss: Grocery shopping with two kids feels like a marathon, but one in which you forget at least three things on your list due to distraction.
Win: All the cashiers always think my girls are beyond adorable – and always give them stickers, so I guess the trip is a success after all. They even got free Munchkins when I bought coffee at the Dunkin’ window there last time – just ’cause they’re cute!
Loss: My 4yo, Squish, has wanted one of us to lay down in her bed with her for the last year and half; previously she went to sleep at night so easily by us laying her down in her bed and then just walking out the room as she drifted into Dreamland. I wish she depended on us less at bedtime at the moment!
Win: Honestly, we get an extra snuggle time at bedtime now. This is also one of the few times she’ll initiate “I love you.” Hmm. Guess I’ll enjoy these extra cuddles while she’s willingly giving them out. Those People say they “grow up so fast” and all….
Loss: Puff is going through a phase where she plays Category 5 hurricane while “reading” through two year’s worth of High Five magazines in the holder; really, they practically cover the living room rug when she’s through with them.
Win: My little girl is taking after her big sister in becoming a voracious reader. Even if she makes a mess of the magazines (and books), thank goodness she loves reading them – with and without us.
Loss: Sometimes I think I live in Disney World itself because everything is princess.
Win: Thank goodness Squish has found a subject that engrosses her imagination and helps her get excited to both play and learn; if Cinderella helps her learn that 13 goes between 12 and 14, then bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!
Loss: Puff wants me to hold her while I’m cooking dinner exactly when I need to chop onions or do some other two-handed task.
Win: She’s interested in what I’m doing, wants to learn, and also loves it when I hold her. She’s puffy and cute to hold, so that’s great for me! The onions can wait.
Loss: My girls love music, but their request list is about four items long at the moment: the Snow White record and a rotation of three Frozen songs on my computer. One guess if they’re all stuck in my head….
Win: My kids are learning the words to songs. They’re learning pitch, rhythm, and beat. They’re also getting super skilled at doing continuous pirouettes for half an hour. Wow.
Loss: Puff isn’t even 21m yet, but she loves to climb on the toilet and “pee,” then take toilet paper (i.e. waste paper) by “wiping.” And then wash her hands in the sink. Usually (always) this is at the most inconvenient time possible, such as when we’re getting Squish to preschool.
Win: Puff is always learning from her big sister … and heaven knows we can use all the help we can get concerning potty training when the time to start comes, including initiative and excitement.
Loss: I don’t think I’ll ever find Barbie Cinderella’s other shoe, Puff ripped pages on two library books again, Squish refused to drink even half a cup of milk, we missed a playdate because I just couldn’t get my shit together, and there is no f***ing chocolate in the house.
Win: The kids are alive – and happy. Big win….