Mar 5, 2014

Joy Among the Tedium

This week I happened to stumble upon this interesting article All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting. It got me thinking about why it might be that I can love my children so very much and yet not always love the job of parenting. This was particularly applicable for this week which has included far too much sickness, laundry and tedium. It's kind of liberating to know that research shows these feelings are normal and typical of the parenting experience. While expecting continuous happy moments may not be realistic I think a change in perspective and expectations can make space for more happy moments to emerge from the tedium.

There was a morning recently that Ainsley stayed home from school and required a lot of extra time and help to eat her breakfast. The light was beautiful as I sat with her at the table drinking my morning coffee. I could easily have been frustrated and rushed off to clean, answer e-mail or start a load of laundry since I was trying to make the most of my day, knowing I wouldn't be able to get out. Instead, this morning, I pulled out my camera. This was just one of the countless moments of parenthood and daily life that would otherwise disappear from memory had I not captured it with my camera. 

I think we are presented with choices more often than we realize. Yesterday Evie stayed home sick from school so I wasn't able to go to my Tuesday scrapbook gathering (my book is still unfinished). Despite being somewhat sick myself I was able to start some laundry and get some things done while she slept which was good. When she woke up she asked to watch TV in my bedroom. I was on the computer so I knew she didn't want to disturb me. Rather than send her off on her own, I made us smoothies and we sat together and watched High School Musical. It was an wonderful bonding experience that I could have easily let pass but instead will be a treasured memory.

Some day the kids will be grown and I will barely remember what made us so busy all the time. These ordinary days will seem full of magic when I look back at our photos. You hear of people reflecting back on their lives raising kids and they tend to view those times through rose colored glasses and as the best years of their lives. Yet I'd guess while in the thick of it few parents would want to believe that these crazy busy days are the best we will have in our lives....because they are hard. It must be that sometimes the hard stuff is the good stuff.

Ordinary days around our house this week.

Ainsley's Calliou and Rosie dolls spying on Evie's guitar lesson. So cute!

Homework blues.

Steve assembling the damaged table so we can donate it to charity, while I fixed dinner, and then hopefully we can get the table saga behind us and move on with actually getting a table. Funny how on any given night all 5 of us are doing random different things.  

Ainsley immediately curled up on the couch with a book all by herself to take advantage of our new lamp (We are still trying to finish decorating our space. I'd love to know what you think of the antler lamp below. Stay or go?). I thought that was awfully clever of her to hear me talking about how we can use it as a reading lamp in addition to a grow-light for the terrarium and then decide she was going to be the first person to try it out. I love it when she surprises me like that.

Family life. It's pretty awesome even if it doesn't have the power to make us happy all the time!

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet post. Makes me want to clear my plate and stop doing and just enjoy my kids more. As soon as I get through the next few events, that's it. I'm doing less and enjoying more!

    Thanks Susan!
    Miss you!
    Christy xoxo