I’ve found myself thinking this phrase a lot the past few weeks. If only my kids would sleep better. If only they could be more independent. If only they would get along better. Then I might get more sleep, I might have more time to myself and less stress. If only Aiden liked to do something other than play in the dirt. If only Audrey could walk. Then we may have more options of ways to spend our days.
These thoughts may seem harmless enough but today I started to really think about where they may lead. Aiden and Audrey may not pick up on these vibes now but they absolutely will, as they get older. I started to worry. What if one day I think…if only my kids got better grades? Or if only my kids liked sports. If only my kids were social. I have no idea what they are going to like to do as they grow up or who exactly they’re going to be. But I do know that I have to stop these “if only” thoughts immediately.
I do not ever want my babies to think that I’m not proud of them or I want them to be any different than they are. We are bound to have different interests and varying personalities and that is perfectly fine. I never want to force them into something that they don’t enjoy (except maybe eating vegetables), and I want to give them the confidence they need to make their own choices.
So instead of wishing Aiden would enjoy running around a waterpark or Audrey would just sleep through the night, it’s time for a new approach. One of the many parenting lessons I’ve learned so far. Aiden LOVES playing in the dirt and he loves it even more when I play with him. Audrey actually loves it too and they are (slowly) learning to play together. Audrey says mommy in the middle of the night and it’s the only time we get to snuggle. If these things change, that’s much more difficult than a million “if only’s.”