Reveling in the Small Things

All righty folks, it’s official: symphonies are amazing. Those of you who’ve already realized this, kudos to you, and I’m glad to join your elite club. I’ve known in theory for a while that they’re pretty neat, but seeing one in real life (which I did for the first time a few weeks ago) was absolutely mind-blowing.

It took all my energy and effort to put all thoughts of kids, work and life out of my mind, to be present and just listen to the music. And there was just so much to take in!

But the thing I found most interesting (and hang in there, we’re going to get to how this relates to you and your kiddo in a second!) was that, while the string and wind instruments seemed to dominate, suddenly, about halfway through a song, there was a small sound ringing out that completely changed the mood and cadence of the song. It was a triangle.

I’ll be honest. I’ve always considered triangles to be a “fake” instrument. Come on, how much talent does it take to play it? Hit the stick against the triangle. Whoopdedoo. Right? And if you were the one to get a triangle when we were learning about and experimenting with musical instruments, boy did I feel bad for you!

But I learned something about triangles that night; and I learned something about parenting too.

How many times has someone told you to “enjoy it” or “cherish every moment” or something along the lines of, “Oh I didn’t appreciate my kids enough when they were young!”? Don’t know about you, but for me – way too many times for me to count.

And I try to, I really do. I love being a mom, and I work really hard to stay in the moment and shove the rest of my life and worries out the back door so I can enjoy them. But fact of the matter is, there’s a lot going on in life. Even if you’re a SAHM with only one kiddo, you’re not going to be able to be totally present and cherish every single moment. Sorry folks. Fact. I love Amy Morrison’s blog post on this one 🙂

But you know those moments that aren’t just moments, but Moments? Like when your nearly-toddler is just learning to walk and she takes two steps and then throws herself into you into the most delicious hug ever? Or when your baby develops stranger anxiety and dives into you when he sees someone he doesn’t know? Or when your little one starts to develop a personality and does the funniest little thing ever?

And it’s not just the melt-your-heart times that can be Moments. It can also be those naughty times. Like when your toddler learns to raid the pantry and pulls out a box of raisins, opens the lid and goes running across the house with it hoping you don’t see her. Or when you leave a package of open wipes just within baby’s reach and come back a couple moments later to find it nearly (or completely!) emptied of its contents. Or when your baby sticks a hand into a dirty diaper as you’re changing it, just to “explore.”

It’s not possible to live in the moment every single minute – life is like a symphony, and there’s a whole lot going on at once; and life is also like cake, and if you’re getting a lot of it all the time, it’s just not going to be as yummy anymore. But when that triangle rings out, grab it! Whether it’s a melt-your-heart moment or a naughty moment, it can totally be a moment you cherish and hold on to and reminisce or laugh about for years and years to come.

But the thing about the naughty times is this: they can be hair-tearing, frustrating, or just cry moments, or they can be laugh (behind your hand) and tell your mother Moments. And you know what I’ve found that the difference often (usually) is?

How much sleep you got the night before.

Because lets be real – parenting is not always easy. And fact of the matter is that when we don’t get the sleep we need, we’re living with a shorter fuse. Less patience, less tolerance, less ability to make sound judgement. And that means that those moments that you could LOVE and laugh over and enjoy turn into something really really tough.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. Being a mom doesn’t have to mean that you’re going to be sleep deprived for years and years because “that’s just the way it is.” Uh-uh. No way. Not in my books.

Are you DONE struggling and battling and trying to figure out what to do with this kid?

Then let’s get you a good night of sleep.

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