Parenting can be in a word… HARD sometimes.
The past three or so days was just that… HARD.
I ran yesterday, and I thought, “This is hard!” But then I remembered that I was a mother of a teething, breastfeeding-like-a-newborn, toddler and realized, “Wow! This run is a piece of cake!” I immediately ran faster.
You see, when times get tough in our parenting lives, everything becomes relative. And me running, out of breath, with a slight stomach ache because I drank too much water right before I started running, became extremely easy when I thought about the night before.
My “hard” run was also my saving grace. It was my healthy outlet for all the frustration that came with my baby not wanting to sleep AT ALL while her canine teeth were popping through (at least that’s what I think was happening, because who the hell really knows anyway). It gave me the ability to have a poker face and not show her how frustrated I really was in that moment when I was sitting in her crib with her after she nursed for an hour and STILL didn’t want me to leave, screaming at the very thought of it.
You know what else was my saving grace?
In times like these, not only do you get to see what you are made of, but you also get to see what your relationship with your partner is made of.
This is when it gets REAL people.
It’s not always rainbows and butterflies but when it turns into to storms and goblins is when you get to see your true self and the true self of your spouse.
He did not flinch. He stayed calm when I was stressed beyond my ability to function, almost shaking from the exhaustion and frustration. He took over and tried to soothe her, giving me the break I desperately needed. He didn’t get frustrated, himself, when she refused him and screamed even louder for me. He was my rock as my wave of emotion broke against him. After the storm had passed he touched me. Even though he knew I was touched out and after I had told him I needed space, he knew that what I actually needed was that hand on my shoulder and that kiss on my cheek as I laid there, all my muscles completely tense from the experience. He knew that my body would immediately relax with that touch and that truly genuine, truly empathetic whisper,
“I’m sorry, Babe. I love you.”
Last night, we got our baby back.
The teething, screaming from pain, baby was no more.
She was her happy, little adorable, SO talkative, self as we had dinner and did our bedtime routine. She went to sleep peacefully as we nursed and snuggled for an appropriate amount of time, and life was good.
My husband and I sighed a breath of relief knowing it was over… for now.
I looked at him with a sense of pride, confident in our ability to weather the next storm.
That next storm will come without fail, but I know that when it does,
We got this!