The motto I have heard the most throughout motherhood is “Pick your battles.”
I know much of my blog to date has been about Mental Health. The past year has been a lot of therapy trying to work through a lot of dark times. I plan to spend this next year continuing to work on my mental health but I want to include more sides of my balancing act in my blog. So, onto picking your battles.
Being a mom of two, most days are what I call, pure chaos. No matter what you have planned, they have other plans. In the beginning, it wasn’t that hard having two. But now, being 4 and 2 they both have their own opinions about everything. The simple thing of what to eat for dinner is always a debate. Not wanting to sleep alone is another battle. I have learned that the key to sanity in parenthood is picking your battles. Hint: these are 2 battles I have found not worth fighting.
My husband works long hours so it is just the 3 of us in the evenings. I try to let them decide what they want to eat based on a list of what I have to offer. Many times, it ends up with them eating different things and me eating a little bit of each of their picks. Many people would say not to give them an option and just make what I want and offer it and they either eat or they don’t. While I agree with that method, it just isn’t pratical for my sanity. If I cooked mac and cheese with hotdogs, I would hear screaming and crying about how they wanted something else and then at bedtime how they are so hungry. So, for me, to avoid all the crying, I let them choose dinner. That is one battle I have chose to avoid at this point in my life.
More recently, the fact that the girls sleep in bed with us has started to be a battle that we are fighting. In the past, we have co-slept because it allowed all of us to sleep the best. Jordyn didn’t sleep in our bed until she was 1 and daycare moved her from a crib to a toddler cot and I wasn’t able to get her to fall asleep in her crib anymore. Kamryn on the other hand has always slept in our bed. I couldn’t sleep without her next to me after she was born so she hasn’t known anything different. For the last 3 nights, I have laid with them to fall asleep and ended up sleeping on the floor next to them. Last night, Kamryn couldn’t fall asleep because Jordyn was crying, imagine that, so she ended up going to sleep in our bed by herself. However, Jordyn slept all night in her bed. This battle is not for the faint of heart. So many times I wanted to just go lay in my bed with both of them so they would fall right to sleep and we would all sleep all night.
I have realized that them falling asleep in their own room is important not just for me and my husband’s sleep but also for their sleep. Many times we have to move them throughout the night so that we don’t fall off the bed, this leads to them waking up so you can imagine the cycle. And they both are growing so the space they take up in the bed grows with that, and the fact that they both like to sleep horizontally….. Like c’mon kids! Sleep like a normal person!! If you co-sleep, I know that you can relate.
At the end of the day, it is so important to pick your battles because if we don’t choose wisely, or at all, we could be fighting our children all day everyday. Be mindful, remember that they are looking to you for guidance, they don’t always know what is best for them, so pick your battles and make sure that they are worth your energy and frustration. If we fought every battle, we wouldn’t have enough energy to fight the war. Remember, a battle not fought is not a battle lost, it is just a battle not worth fighting.