I wish my baby would fall asleep at night easily like their baby.
I wish my baby would sleep in later like theirs.
Why won't my baby latch?
Why will my baby only drink out of a bottle?
Why won't my baby take a bottle?
Why can't my toddler sleep through the night?
Why won't my toddler behave in Target?
Whey doesn't my kid play well with other kids?
And why isn't my kid independent?
Why? Why? Why?
I feel like motherhood is so full of "whys" and not enough loving what we have in front of us and the beautiful characteristics our kids do have. Striving for better and working toward improvement is a constant mission but at some point, we've got to stop all of the whys.
The grass is always greener, huh?
It sure seems like it. But why don't we focus on our own lawns and cultivate the seeds we do have, instead of just looking at others in jealously? If you look back up at the "Why" questions I mentioned above, I'm sure you've thought or said at least once of them...at least. I'm not gonna lie, I've said so many of them and you know what's funny? So many of the questions I've asked myself contradict each other. And I fail to look at the alternative.
Ava's got some major FOMO (fear of missing out) when she goes to bed at night. For the first year of her life, it took a good 2-3 hours to get her to bed every single night. Sounds rough, huh? I bet you wouldn't want to be in my shoes, would you? But what if I told you that after that 2-3 hour struggle, Ava has ALWAYS slept through the night, in her own crib, in her own room from day one home from the hospital.
Are you jealous now? Probably. Because that's not common. It's not common to find a child who sleeps so well through the entire night, a child who can sleep through the night with the TV on full blast and Baxter barking, at restaurants and when we're out and about. This girl is a fantastic sleeper. But you know what? There's give and there's take and I'll take that sleep any night of the week, even with a 3 hour struggle before it.
And that's just motherhood! There are so many nights when I say to myself, "Why can't she just go to sleep easily like all of the other two years olds I know?" and then I realize that those two year olds are still waking up 2-3 times at night. Those parents have never gotten a full night of sleep in two years and here I am, having gotten a full night of sleep for two whole years, every single night of Ava's life and I'm still complaining? I'm still wanting my kids to be just like her kid?
Which one would you take?
You don't get to choose.
But what you can choose is to look at the green grass on the other side, or look at your own green grass. Because I promise you've got green spots on your own lawn and yes, you've got brown spots too. But that other family over there has got their fair share of struggles, maybe not the same struggles as you but they've got them whether you see them or not. [Remember, social media is only a glimpse of real life.]
Parenthood is a give and a take kind of world and we've got to focus on what we've got, cultivate the wonderful strengths our children do have (because every single one of them has many strengths) and slowly but surely work on the areas we want to improve while focusing solely inward and at no one else. No child is the same and I promise there's another mom looking at you thinking, "Why can't my child do that like your kid?"
Focus inward, focus on positive parenting and I promise, you'll soon see that your grass is very green.
Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography