As I write this post, I am sitting beside my younger children who are watching Paddington Bear. My husband and oldest child are at a New Year’s Eve party. On Facebook my cousin mentioned he is also home with the kids, one of whom is ill.
Parents often end up celebrating events in ways that would be unacceptable or at best, unexpected, to those with no children. As a parent I missed most of my nephew’s wedding reception because one of my sons soiled his pants and the nearest clean clothes were a half hour away. Last New Year’s Eve I spent a very quiet evening by myself because one of my sons needed to go to bed early. This New Year’s Eve I’m at home because several of my children are tired out after a week of fun with cousins who were visiting.
I tell my children that often we cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond. I choose to be thankful for opportunities to spend time with my young children, building memories that may never be able to be built in any other way. I choose to remember that my children are only young once. I choose to laugh and take pictures of my daughter with a pile of cat food on the living room floor (she was having a “snow ball fight with her brother”) before I help her clean up. I choose to put my hobbies and aspirations on the back burner, or at least delay them until my kids are in bed! Parenting is definitely a challenge, but the rewards are worth it!