What peeing with a sleeping baby taught me about parenting
Every parent knows the dilemma. You’ve got a sleeping child in your arms and you really need to pee. You’ve tried laying down that baby, but all they did was stir and threaten to wake up and that is not ok and you really need them to sleep for a few more minutes—hopefully longer.
In this situation, what’s a parent to do? The only thing you can. You gather up that sleeping baby and go to the bathroom to do your business.
Now going to the bathroom with a sleeping baby sounds simple. But have you ever peed with a sleeping baby? Let me tell you it’s a lot harder to do than you’d expected. Wiping alone almost did me in and the baby in. But, eventually I finished my business and didn’t wake the baby. Hallelujah! At which point I wanted to shout for job which would have undone all that hard work. Instead I silently basked in my triumph and gave myself high fives and wondered where my parenting medal was because golly I earned that one.
What does going to bathroom have to do with parenting (besides the fact you never get to pee alone?) Let me tell you.
As I was sitting there with that sleeping baby I realized we do a lot of parenting one-hand. Not always physically, though we do our face share of that, rather, that we’re working one-handed because we don’t know our full parenting potential and limit ourselves.
Have you ever looked at a situation with a child and thought, why am I sure a failure? Why won’t my kids ever listen to me? What am I doing wrong? Why am I such a bad parent? When will this get easier? How can I make them stop? Why won’t they change?
Stop it!!! If you can pee with a sleeping child you can do a lot more than you think you can. Don’t limit yourself to parenting one-handed.
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF BY COMPARING
Nothing good ever comes from comparing ourselves to others. No really it doesn’t. Genes, personalities, family support, health, finances, etc. make every situation different. Just because the mom down the street has two kids just like you does not make you guys equal. Her-oh-so-picture-perfect-life that you covet isn’t quite as perfect as you think. She goes all out for holidays and events because their father is never home and when he is, he is emotionally distance. She’d give up those perfect shots for a family more like yours where the whole family spends the evening playing together.
Every time you compare all you’re doing is lessening what you are doing. You overlooking all those small triumphs.
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF BY STRETCHING YOURSELF TOO THIN
As mom’s we’re being pulled in so many directions: work, kids, job responsibilities, relationship, etc. We think we will be a bad mom if we don’t bring the perfect cupcakes to the school bake sale. Oh, we make those perfect cupcakes, but, it means that our kitchen is a mess, we’re trying to function on no sleep, our whole entire routine was thrown off. And to top it off, we’re super cranky and we’ve already yelled at our kids for no apparent reason.
When we stretching ourselves too thin we do so at the expense of the things that matter the most. Story time with our children, Making sure we’re taking care of our healthy and sanity. Date night with our partner. All those things are 100x more important than those homemade cupcakes.
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF BY NOT ASKING FOR HELP
We think that asking for help means that we’re not a good parent. Nope! It’s just the opposite. Asking for help actually means you’re a great parent. You’ve realized that something you’re doing is not working and you’re wanting to fix it. Go you! No seriously, go you! The whole purpose of Smarter Parenting is to help parents improve their relationships with their children. We know that as parents we want to be better. We want to have a great relationship with our children. And sometimes, the only way to accomplish this is to ask others who have been there before.
Go out and earn that parenting badge! You deserve it!