PARENTING IS A FUNNY THING
Parenting is a funny thing. Scientifically speaking, it doesn’t seem to bring us much happiness. According to my happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, a study examining women’s emotions during a typical day showed that ‘child-care’ ranked only slightly higher than commuting! Studies also show that marital happiness drops dramatically after having kids. And yet most people, including myself, claim that their children are the biggest sources of happiness in their lives.
I can only conclude on thing from this - it really is the best of times and the worst of times. The other night, I gave Avi a pair of adorable owl pajamas. He loves animals and has been particularly into owls for some reason. I was excited to give them to him and nervous that he wouldn’t really care. But as soon as he saw them, his eyes lit up. He spent the rest of the night saying, ‘Owl!’ with complete delight, while pointing to his pajamas. I struggle to think of the last time that giving such a simple present brought me such joy. (Of course, I didn’t get a picture).
And then there are the other times. You may have noticed that my blogging has been a little sporadic in the last month or so. That’s in part because I’ve been busy launching my business, but it’s mostly because I’ve spent the better part of the last 6 weeks sick as a dog. Avi has been kind enough to bring home such lovely germs as pink eye, double ear infections, and vomiting which have manifested in me as two sinus infections, laryngitis, and a cough so violent that I had to pull the car over to throw up and also bruised a few ribs. Taking care of a sick toddler when you are sick as well would fall under the ‘worst of times’ category. Like the absolute worst of times. I’m praying that these bouts of sickness are strengthening our immune systems because I’m not sure I can take much more of this. Besides the fact that we’ve both been miserable, I’ve missed a ton of work and life isn’t exciting to blog about when you’re just lying in bed.
But parenting is a funny thing. While Avi and I were both sick, we spent close to two weeks together, quarantined at home. Jared was, of course, incredibly helpful but these were some of the longest days in my recent memory. I desperately wanted to sleep; to wallow in front of the tv in my misery. Avi; however, didn’t really care about my need to wallow. He needed attention, he needed distraction, and he needed to be kept busy, fed, and happy. By the time January 2nd rolled around I couldn’t wait to get him back to daycare. The vacation days were done, everyone was healthy, and I needed a break like never before. I dropped him off that first morning, sat in the silence of my car, and took a deep cleansing breath.
I bet you can guess what happened next. It’s halfway through my first day of freedom and I find myself scrolling through my pictures, looking at Avi. I missed him. I really and seriously missed my little friend. After just a little while without him, I was counting down the hours until I could pick him up again. Our brains play these tricks on us. It allowed me to forget just how fiercely miserable I was a mere 2-3 days before - sick and delirious while trying to get my kid to stop climbing on the coffee table and hiding the remote controls. We forget and we move forward because the love we have for our babies is simply that powerful.
I know not everyone likes resolutions; I don’t always make them myself. But I’m trying one this year. In 2019, whenever I’m deep in the middle of the worst, I’m going to try to remember that I’m also right in the middle of the best. For every hit, there’s also a kiss. For every cry, there’s also a laugh. For every climb on the coffee table, there’s a jump into my arms.
I’m excited to learn what this new year will bring. I’m excited to see how this blog evolves alongside my business. I’m excited to experience Avi’s next set of milestones as he becomes a legit toddler. I’m excited to see how our relationships with friends and family and our community develops.
Happy New Year, everyone.