There is something liberating about accepting that we simply do not have control over the majority of things though isn't there?
No matter how carefully we plan our days, no matter how much thought goes in to each activity or excursion, we simply have to expect the unexpected. Children have a natural ability to shake things up at the very moment that we might be relying on things to go as they usually do. We are kept on our toes to say the least.
There is something liberating about accepting that we simply do not have control over the majority of things though isn't there? The moment we decide to accept that we cannot have it all or be it all – it's as though we can breathe a little easier again. It breaks the pattern of conflict. Conflict between you and the task at hand. The on-going battle between you and time, sleep, food, tantrums. Conflict between you and the things that make up your day to day life.
Let's talk sleep for example. My son is not a sleeper. He's just turned three and I have found that acceptance has been key for us. We've had to make peace with the fact that this is simply the way he is. We do all we can to help the situation. We carefully time the naps. We watch what he eats in the hours leading up to his bed-time and we create a soothing routine and environment. We'll never stop doing those things. On the other hand though, we have accepted that this is the reality. We try not to let it burden us greatly. Instead we take it as it comes, accept the limitations that come with it and as a result live a lot more peacefully. The fight is gone. We celebrate the great nights and we deal with the very bad ones as they come. But we're no longer fighting with the issue.
In the same way we have recently discovered that our son is a nightmare in supermarkets. It's another phase no doubt. He cries if he catches a glimpse of anything Kinder related and he's a bit handsy in the freshly baked goods section. Getting him to sit in the trolley is another battle and the whole thing is just quite stressful. It's another thing we've decided we have to accept. Where possible I shop alone these days. While he's at play-school or while my husband takes him to the park. If I'm running in for milk and eggs I make plans to visit a smaller shop. Less for him to see, destroy and cry for.
So there you are now – acceptance is making me significantly happier these days and it might just do the same for you.