The strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference…
I have recently come to the conclusion that many aspects of parenthood fall squarely into the realm of having the strength to accept the things I can’t change, and having the wisdom to know what they are.
The following are examples:
1. No matter how much catsup I place on a plate, there will never be enough to cover all the chicken also placed on the plate. It does not matter if there is more catsup by volume than there is chicken. She will always ask for more.
2. I will always have to cajole, remind, and threaten to get her to brush her teeth.
3. Chores and work requests will never be greeted with a cheerful “Sure Mom!”. There will always be whining, and likely a long face.
4. If I am on the phone, there will be an immediate need for conversation, whenever I am on the phone, regardless of how hard I have worked to insure all needs are met prior to getting on the phone.
5. Apply statement number 4 to any time I am in the bathroom.
6. Listening will only occur immediately if the context of my statement is pleasant, such as, “Who would like ice cream?”. All non pleasant or mundane statements will need to be repeated at least once.
7. If Oliver is asleep or entertained, and Marlena is asleep or entertained, and I think I may have a few moments to myself, the dogs or the cats will need:
b. to go outside or have the litterbox changed
Once all the pets needs have been met, either Marlena or Oliver will no longer be asleep or entertained. (There will be a few hours in the evening when this is not true, but I will somehow squander these hours on nothing important.)
I am sure I will discover more examples of things that cannot be changed as my children grow, and I am sure these things will change as they do. I think I need to have the wisdom to recognize these things as they come along, let go of my need to change them, and breathe. If I can do that, maybe there will be more smiles and less frustration.