This morning I awoke at 5am (I blame that last mug of tea just before bed!). Both children were still sleeping soundly. The night had been unbroken. I’d even managed to be in bed before 11pm. But then my brain started whirring and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Panic set in. My plan for a better night’s sleep was being ruined. Precious minutes of rest were ebbing away. Today would be unbearable. I may as well give up before I even start, I thought.
But I didn’t give up. Today I fought back against my lately negative mindset. And despite a bit less sleep – actually not that much less given the earlier night – today has been a success. And before I forget this and slip back into bad habits, I want to make sure I remember this day.
So here’s a reminder…
When you assume, before the sun’s even risen, that the day ahead will be a disaster, remember this day.
When you think you’re going to be far too tired to face the day ahead, remember this day.
When you’re laying awake in bed worrying that you won’t be good enough for them, remember this day.
When you fear you won’t be able to stay smiling and cope with the seemingly endless cycle of dirty nappies (a ridiculous five poos today!) and toddler toilet trips. And those little accidents (baby boy gave himself a good soaking mid-change today!), remember this day.
When your timings fly out of the window because of the above but yet everyone survived things running a bit late, remember this day.
Remember how you just got on with it, trying not to over analyse things or panic when they didn’t go entirely to plan. Remember how much easier life felt in this mindset.
When you convince yourself it would be easier to just stay at home rather than face the stress and hassle of getting two little ones out, remember this day.
Remember how good it felt to walk out in the crisp, clear sunshine. Remember how much better the fresh air made you feel and how much healthier it was for all three of you to be outside. And you knew then that, despite the struggles, you were doing your very best for your little family. Remember how calming it was to get out of the house, away from the clutter and chores.
When you choose to prioritise non-essential household admin over having fun with your toddler, remember this day. Remember getting her little pink scooter out for the first time in months and enjoying playing outside with her on it while her baby brother slept. Remember your first-born basking in the unbroken attention of her mummy, who she now has to share with a sibling.Remember her happy little face and gleeful shouts. Remember how laughing and being a bit silly made you feel re-energised and upbeat.
When you next dread that said toddler is getting ever closer to dropping her afternoon nap and you fear you won’t cope when she does, remember this day. Remember how not making her have a nap today did not cause a nervous breakdown. Remember how you trusted your true instincts on this and how everyone had a nicer afternoon as a result.
When you tell yourself that you can’t possibly juggle meeting the needs and demands of a toddler and baby at the same time as preparing an evening meal, remember this day.
And, most importantly, when you’ve forgotten to take a step back and look on in pride at the two little people you have created and nurtured, remember this day. Remember how special and brilliant they are. Take a good helping of credit for this. Stop beating yourself up and enjoy life. Enjoy them, always.
Remember that things are very rarely – if ever – as bad as you think they might be. Remember this day. You are doing fine. And tomorrow you can do it all over again.
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