“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hour’s toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”
— Henry David Thoreau, American poet, philosopher, and author of Walden
The above could totally be used in a mom's everyday life in regard to any type of "challenge". We all "run marathons", some of us more literally than others. When I saw that this week I needed to write on "challenging" I immediately went to my upcoming "challenge" to run Chicago Marathon, but "challenging" seems to be the theme song for my parenting life recently- the training for the Marathon hasn't been as "challenging" as that.
You see- I'm a "challenged being" when it comes to being a mom, or so I think so. I feel "challenged" by my two kids in a way I feel like I am failing as a mom. I only have two, not 3, 4, or six- or that "crazy Duggar (sp?) mom" with like what is it 20?
Nope- just my two. My theme song lately has been to introduce my kids as my son who is a second grader and my 4 year old daughter who is "4 going on 21". She has been a "challenge" of late. Many of you have already heard these stories if you know me via real life/not computer/blog life, so skip this part, but here is a brief recap of her antics.
1. 2 weeks of crying everyday at school and requiring her to be pulled from my body for preschool drop off. Yes her life has changed some, new daycare room due to moving up in age and also starting 5 days of week preschoool (2 1/2 hours mon-fri mornings). However, all of these changes occurred at the same daycare center she has been at for her WHOLE LIFE- I was amazed that moving across the hall to a different room and going to preschool 5 mornings a week turned her into such an emotional basket case. I know the teachers well, oldest had them as teachers, and they are all great so don't think it was that. Well the crying has stopped at school, but continued at home.
2. She has never been a kid to tantrum, but wow- can she use her vocal cords to let us know when she is mad these days. She's been so loud that my husband's grandparents who are both hard of hearing, could hear our "princess" cry/screaming through air conditioned shut windows Labor Day weekend. My son has started helping me shut windows when she starts her screaming/crying because he is likely embarrassed like I am in regard to "what are the neighbors thinking". I'm seriously waiting for the cops to show up due to someone "disturbing the peace".
- Side note- dealing with a tantrum kid makes one understand fully what the word "challenging" really means! Sometimes no matter what you do the tantrums have a life of their own and they just have to fizzle out on their own no matter what you do to make the insanity stop.
3. So besides crying/tantrums/screaming she is a smart cookie and knows how to push her mom and dad's buttons. Case in point- last weekend I spent Saturday morning reorganizing her closet- taking out all those 3T pants that look like high-waters on her and all those shirts that fit her, but the sleeves end at her forearm due to being just too small. So later on that afternoon when she decided to have one of her tantrums and I took her up to her room to help her cool off, she preceded to do a little of her own "reorganizing of the closet". She pulled any piece of clothing she could reach out of her closet, including removing the hanger, and clothes were piled/thrown all over the room. I so wished I had taken a picture of this- picture what not to wear meets a four year old's closet.
She is a smarty- she totally thought I would go berserk, which inwardly I was, but outwardly I just started having her help me clean and reorganize the closet.
4. Taking kids to church on Sunday morning is sometimes a true "miracle" because it is so "challenging" getting my oldest out of bed and out the door for church and my four year old can handle only so much theology in her life. The oldest is not a morning person so getting up to go to early service is not the fun highlight of his week. His pouting/moodiness at church lately has not been enjoyable. These two kids who of late have done more picking on each other, arguing, and as my husband says "I feel like we are holding a daycare in our pew" on a weekly basis it is adding to the "challenge" of parenting.
I feel like a broken record so enough- parenting is the most "challenging" job I've ever done in my life. However, if I can see past these "challenges" I enjoy my kids much more. So I will "fight to the finish" as Thoreau said above to "face the future as finishers".
One of my favorite parenting quotes-
"The days are long but the years are short."- Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project
So back on this "challenging" marathon course called parenting!