Just give up!

That's not exactly what I mean, but sort of. Not long after Olivia was born and I was constantly obsessing about when she ought to be doing this or that...or trying to get her to do that when she is doing this, I had the "no duh" moment to to just quit. Not quit being a parent or quit caring or quit trying to figure things out. But, just quit and start over. There is no shame is starting over - especially if what you are doing ISN'T WORKING!

I'm not sure what of this is personality for me or what is the message out there that you can figure everything out or be perfect or whatever. I don't like giving up, especially if I think what I am doing is right. But is the battle worth it? If she doesn't want to go to sleep, is it worth it to spend 2 hours forcing her to? "Trust me, you need to go to sleep." Maybe she does, but if she can't or won't... "But the book says you are supposed to sleep now." Did God write that book?

I had afternoons when I worked myself into an absolute tizzy trying to make something happen. And I had afternoons that I actually enjoyed because I just said, "What the heck. Why make us both miserable. Just try something else."

This dynamic still takes place in our home. Just this morning, it was too early for lunch but they were begging to eat. I kept sending them away to play together (because I had things to do), but they kept coming back fussing (despite the sign). I could feel myself getting angrier. At one point I sent them both to their room for something and as I am standing in the kitchen with my blood pressure raising because they are both back there crying I said to myself, "Self, who cares!? Feed the durn kids their lunch! Change the plan. It will not kill you to change the plan. And it doesn't matter, really, if you don't get your stuff done."

This does not mean my life revolves around the felt needs of my children. It means I am becoming smart enough to realize that my way is not alway necessary or even best. That it is no big deal, most of the time, to just give up and start over.

This applies, in my life, to so much more than parenting. Sunday morning Mike and I got in a fight because I unloaded on him about something. So we go into this back and forth thing that was getting no where because really I was just wanting to fight and he was just trying to figure out what the heck had just happened. Now, about three years ago that fight would have lasted all day - me trying to prove my point and him doing the same because I would have pushed him to it. But, in God's mercy, it ended quickly because I realized I just needed to give up. It wasn't worth the battle. If I had a point I thought was worth proving, start over. It will save us all a lot of headache.

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