Toddler Diet Analogy
Have you ever heard the general wisdom to not look at what a toddler eats in one day, but rather what they eat over a longer stretch, like a week? This is to reassure parents who feel like all their children want is one particular food or eat sweets nonstop. Usually you will be reassured when you see that they are getting a variety of foods and nutrients through their diet after tracking what they eat for a few days in a row, rather than focusing on one particular day.
This is how I feel about my life as a parent. It is so easy to fluctuate between the extremes of "Super-mommy!" and "super-TERRIBLE-mommy". For example, last weekend we threw Marisol a pretty awesome party for her 6th Birthday. In preparation we (and by we, I mostly mean *I*) painted two life-sized (well Marisol-sized) mermaids and an Atlantis-castle-under-the-sea mural. This took a few weeks. The party was a hit - we played pin the starfish on the mermaid's hair (everyone got a prize) and had mermaid trivia (that Marisol made up herself). So that was a pretty "Super-mommy" moment.
A neighborhood friend recently commented that I always seem to have a lot of energy. I laughed and said that's because that's when you see me - which is very true - the neighbors don't see me when I'm home curled up on the couch! This week I'm tired. Life has just been pretty hectic lately. Oh yeah, and I got my period again. So yesterday I just felt like a LUMP. It is so easy to let my mind go to thoughts of what a horrible mom I am - all Gerry does is eat candy, and Marisol is bored from sitting home and watching lots of TV. But instead I gave myself permission to rest without feeling guilty. I recognized that I am human too, with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs and remembered all of the amazing opportunities and experiences that I regularly facilitate for my children. Then I lay down on the couch.
Later we made it to the pool and Marisol played with a friend for an hour, splashing around and practicing her new swimming skills. Today was slightly better - we managed to play, clean, have a playdate and get outside this evening.
A week from Tuesday we are flying up to NY to visit with family. I know it is going to be a jam-packed, fun-filled couple of weeks. So I'm trying to remember that life's balance is kind of like looking at a toddler's diet - sometimes we have to step back to see that every moment has its place and feeds our life in different ways - the busy times and the quiet times, the tired times and the super-inspired energetic times. Instead of fighting how you feel in any given moment relax into it. Embrace everything and love yourself. Meet your needs and those around you the best you can. Know that when you do, you and your life will naturally flow on to its next state, whatever that may be.
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Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.