Thursday, April 9, 2015

Taking the Bad with the Good

I’m pretty sure this saying – the title of this post – is usually said the other way around.  You’ve got to take the good with the bad.  I prefer saying bad first, then good, because at least it implies that “good” is the norm and “bad” comes along now and then.  This phrase has been on the forefront of my mind recently as I navigate through being a stay at home mom.  It’s a life lesson we all need to learn and is one of those “yeah, I know” sayings that causes teenagers to roll their eyes and children to look confused.  As an adult, it means something totally different than when your mom says this to you when you don’t get the toy you wanted for your birthday.  It’s a bit more serious and more of a constant reminder, instead of a random occasion.

Today is actually a perfect example of why I say this phrase to myself over and over.  This morning went so well.  I made it to the gym with both kids, Aiden did not puke outside of childcare, I had a good workout and we had a good time playing and having lunch at the mall.  Aiden fell asleep on the way home, which usually means a good nap.  But, as soon as we walked in the door, he started screaming, as did Audrey.  Audrey then puked all over herself and me, while Aiden told me he had a dirty diaper.  Bad with the good.  So, no nap for Aiden (bad), but the three of us had fun playing together (good).  Audrey went down easily for her nap (good), but Aiden has been very needy as I try to be productive this afternoon – and try, might I add, to not rely on the TV (another post, another day).  These are obviously minor ups and downs, but that is how our days seem to go. 

Every once in awhile, you may have a day where everything goes well.  The weather is perfect, everything seems fun and easy and you feel well rested and truly lucky.  This is rare, of course, as most of our days are filled with good and some bad and we have to learn to handle what needs handling and move on and focus on that lucky part. 

Somewhat related, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we are raising our kids, as Aiden is definitely old enough now to notice EVERYTHING.  One of his favorite movies is Finding Nemo and it has, what I think, is a very good quote.  You can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.”  Read that over a few times.  The fish saying this is talking to Nemo’s dad and referring to how he is trying to never let anything happen to Nemo.  It’s a major theme, if not THE theme of the movie.  As we raise our children, my biggest fear is that bad things will happen to them.  But the scary thing is, bad things WILL happen to them.  They will get hurt, they will feel sad, they may lose a loved one and one day have a broken heart.  They will have to learn to take the bad with the good.  As a parent, I’m still learning how to teach them about this and I have a feeling it will involve being their comfort and unconditional supporter as they navigate through the good and bad.  I know that’s how my parents, family and friends have taught me.  We cannot keep them from this bad, or else how will they learn to be strong?  Just as I cannot give in to crazy, stressful parenting moments or how will I ever grow as their mom? 

As I wade through this, my kids can learn right along with me.  They see how I react when I get cut off or something breaks in the house.  I hope they will learn from me that there are times when things get overwhelming – feel sad, angry, mad, whatever you are feeling and then move on.  There will be times when this can happen right away and other times, when things truly are trying, that it may take a lifetime of moving on over and over.  The key is to not let the bad guide your life; take it, then get back to the good.

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