Reasons to be *****ful
I have reasons to be stressful, but I’m trying to overcome them. Or, at least, my response to them. Some things are beyond my control, but I’m also screwing up things that are within my control, which is counter-productive, to say the least.
For instance, my toddler’s insane screaming refusal to go to bed — which has become traditional over the past few weeks, after years of him being a relatively unproblematic sleeper. My wife talked to a friend about coping strategies for this behavior (since our strategy of threats, bribery, bargaining, exhausted begging, etc. wasn’t really working), and we decided to try an incredibly calm approach. When he gets up, we just silently take his hand and lead him back to bed, put a blanket over him, and walk away. Don’t engage, don’t give him the feedback he’s looking for — which is any feedback at all.
He got up seven times, but after the seventh time, he stayed in bed, and it took much less time than usual to go from “It’s bedtime!” to actual sleep.
So I’m trying to be more relaxed about kid stuff in general. In the grand scheme of things, potty accidents are no big deal. Dirty hands can get washed. Usually when he does crazy break-the-world stuff, he’s just feeling lonely and needy, and giving him a little attention will calm him down. And when he’s truly crazy tantruming… well, there’s no rule that says I have to stand there and watch him bang his tiny fists on the carpet. I can wander off until he gets over it.
I’m also trying to eat better, since that’ll improve my energy levels. And I’m generally going to try and roll with the punches instead of allowing myself to be battered and shattered quite so easily. Life is long, and most of my current and seemingly insurmountable problems will fade into irrelevance in weeks or months. So, yeah. Trying to live in the moment AND take the long view. Should be easy!
At the very least, I can remember that I also have reasons to be thankful and cheerful, as well as full of stress.