I read an article. My first reaction was “It (parenting) really doesn’t get better, is it?” Well, from MY experience, it doesn’t. I emphasize the word “my” because I’m a mother of one preschooler, thus my so called experience isn’t that much. The first month after my son born was the toughest, or so I thought. Yes I get much more sleep now compared to then, but often I feel like ready to explode anytime. And I did explode at times. Did it make me a bad mother? I don’t think so. Parenting is mentally exhausted. You can try arguing with a preschooler, do it like a hundred times a day, every single day. Yes I read a lot of parenting article, story, tips, you name it. But it easier said than done.
For example, Rafa (my child) always take off his crayons outer layer, then put it back again, like 10 times before he actually do some drawings (read: make a few strokes-take off outer layer-put back on-repeat). I told him that attitude can break the layer and eventually the crayon. Really? Why would I struggle over crayons? Yes, why? It IS silly. Maybe it’s because the obsessive-compulsive side of me that want perfect order in everything. Maybe it’s just me stressing over my life (I do have my own problems), when will I get to my next to do list if he didn’t finish his drawings/homework. Then, I watch him closely. He looked curious, wait, he IS curious. He is fascinated by how the outer layer changed shape the more he repeating take off-put back on. It looks easy for me, but it is some kind of soft motoric skill practice for him.
Seeing things from my child point of view made me less grumpy about his actions. He is just curious. He is just being a child. I sometimes “forget” it, that demand him to do everything perfectly. But even adults, including me, isn’t perfect.
There’s another example. Lately, Rafa ALWAYS crying and whining whenever my husband go to work. It happens at 5 am until 6 am. My husband doesn’t mad at all, he patiently hugs Rafa and talk to him nicely. What a great husband. Me? I’m not that patient. I always wake up earlier than any of them. Cooking and everything I can do in the morning. That’s not how I want to start my day. See? My goals of perfection slowly killing me. I need to remind myself again and again that it’s okay if it’s not perfect.
Then one day, Rafa wasn’t crying and whining anymore. He almost do “his routine”, but I try to talk to him nicely, calmly, humorously. Yes he’s still whining a bit, but it is tolerable. He’s just missing his very gentle kind humorous dad. His dad is very busy so that he only have limited time at night, when Rafa already prepares to sleep. Rafa’s moody thingy is so much alike me. The one who can calm me is my husband. I need someone who is calm. But I need to be that someone for Rafa when my husband isn’t at home. So I try to be less moody and more calm, it works wonderfully. Footnote: I MUST get minimum 7 hours of night sleep in order to do that. Lol.
So, parenting surely doesn’t get easier. But there’s always a lesson somewhere. Being a better person that my child can look up to. So that Rafa will be pious. Also, when the time is come (in akhira), we’ll be together again in Jannah/heaven. Amiinn ya rabbal alamiin.