Labor of Love

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Jonah is such a happy baby...sometimes. 

I’ve definitely learned to read his signals which has decreased a lot of his fussiness. Still he has his days and particularly his evenings. 

Especially when he hasn’t napped well, he can completely lose it at night - full body shrieking with actual tears coming out of his eyes. It’s so incredibly hard to stay steady in these moments. 

Yesterday was really hard. I tried all day to calm him and when that didn’t work, to calm myself. I used all my normal feel-better tricks but I couldn’t get a foothold out. 

Overwhelmed, I remembered some sage advice for the spiritual path (can’t remember from whom) - “when you’re down, just stay down.” 

Instead of always working to feel great and feeling bad when I can’t, could I just work with the hardness? Could I laugh within it? Could I take care of myself there? Could I use the humility to actually become softer and kinder? 

Regardless if we are parents, I think these are important self-care skills to practice in our dominant culture that glorifies success. We use our perfectionism to pretend we shouldn’t have bad days and then use it as an excuse for self-destructive behavior. We need to punish ourselves for failure, right?

The truth is that we are all struggling in our own ways. It’s healthy and a normal part of growth. The more we can keep this in mind, the more we can flow with the ups and downs and support each other along the way. Perhaps we can even enjoy the miracle of being alive within it all.