If you read my blog, you’ll note that 2018 was a somewhat challenging year for yours truly. It was rife with parenting challenges, sleep deprivation and mental health moments (all of which are still happening).
If you’re a parent, you know that the demand is unrelenting, leaving little room for rejuvenation and reconnection to friends, your spouse, and self. In fact, you spend a lot of time fighting the current moment, well, I do. I fight the fact that I can’t go to the washroom alone or write an email. I fight being woken up, again, in the middle of the night to deal with teething or a nightmare. I fight the constant interruptions at dinner time, preventing me from eating a meal in peace. Perhaps you don’t spend as much time resisting the reality of your existence, but I do.
Over the break my husband and I had the chance to spend a day together (thank you, grandparents for offering babysitting services) and we discussed the innumerable challenges associated with parenting, but also my unique aversion to melting into the moment; my inability to surrender to being a parent.
Surrender is defined as “ceasing resistance to an opponent and submitting to their authority”. Perhaps this is what my children want, no, it is what they want, but let me be clear, this is not how we are interpreting surrender, no siree. Surrender does not mean to accept defeat and capitulate to the enemy forces that are often my children’s actions. No.
To us, and to me, surrender is more about accepting the realities of being a parent to two small people. It’s about surrendering to being a married person; about surrendering to my partner in peace and kindness (reminder, it’s not about giving in or admitting defeat). It is about shifting my mindset of frustration and resentment to all of life’s irritants to one of acceptance and okay-ness (yes, it’s a word…).
I cannot change the fact that my children need me desperately to survive and thrive in this world. And this means constant interruptions, demands, tears, tantrums, etc. I cannot change night-wakings. I cannot change the fact that being married to another human being can, at times, make you want to scream (enough with the socks on the floor, the couch, the dining room chairs…). I cannot control the day and who will sleep when and where. I cannot control…everything…
Over the course of 2019, I will chant the word surrender in the difficult moments. I won’t always melt into it. In fact, I predict many epic mommy meltdowns in 2019, but I will aim to shift my mindset with this easy one-word mantra. I will not accept defeat and become apathetic to the parent life. I will strive and try and work hard to find and support myself, but I do need to employ new strategies to make this time healthier and happier for my family and self.
So, what’s your word?
Picture is taken by the amazing Jenn and Dave Stark at my wedding. While I loved these lanterns, they gave my poor Dad a heart failure.