I was an absolute wreck the first few weeks after my oldest was born.
There just isn't a thing that can prepare you for that reality. That monumental shift from a life that is completely yours to giving up so much of yourself in the blink of an eye you feel like you are in a deep, dark tunnel. The part where you can't see the beginning or the end. There is no light.
Constant neediness. Constant feedings. No sleep. So much confusion and worry and panic. This is my life. Forever.
The truth is, you are in a tunnel. That's exactly what it is. And tunnels are temporary.
I would give anything to go back in time and tell that new-mom version of myself that it was all so temporary. But I just couldn't see it. Then I had our second child and it was so different. I was able to soak up those maddening first few weeks because now I knew that it wasn't going to be forever. I was going to get through it. And oh now I wish I could go back in time and realize that with my first.
Around the time our youngest was about six months old, we put an offer on a giant farmhouse that I wanted to turn into a mindfulness center for children and families. I met with realtors, I called about zoning laws and met with leaders in and around the neighborhood to make sure it would all be well-accepted.
I met with a few people that I wanted to work alongside me, one of which was a woman, a writer, who once owned the farmhouse. Her kids were much older than mine and I told her I just didn't know if I can pull this idea off while not creating an insane amount of stress in our lives. I had a baby and a toddler and I was already completely exhausted. How was I going to add a business that had to succeed or else we couldn't pay the mortgage?
And sure enough, she looked at me and said, "Oh, this season you are in is so temporary."
We didn't buy the farmhouse. Not now. But maybe some day.
I now find myself using this mantra, "This is temporary." in every-day moments. I now have a 2-year-old that is learning how to speak her mind, push boundaries and release her anger. There are moments where her reactions, to my adult brain, are so outrageous and poorly-timed that I find myself back in that tunnel again.
I tell myself it's temporary and we sit and we breathe and we wait for the light together.
The reality is nothing is permanent. Experiences, feelings, life, the Earth. None of it. We are temporary beings and each experience is only around for a little while.
What you are experiencing right now is temporary.
Your child's thumb-sucking, the 2 a.m. awakenings, the defiance, naps (Heaven, help me.) - all temporary.
The little baby feet, the debilitating grief, winter, your too-small-house, the in-between-jobs - also, temporary.
That next tantrum, caterpillars, your headache, that favorite outfit that your daughter has almost outgrown - temporary.
So whether you need to soak this up or you need a reminder that there is light at the end, do yourself a favor and know this is all temporary.
I invite you to check out the free journaling guide, Lead and Follow; Learning to Dance with the Art and Science of Raising Humans, designed to help you uncover the root of your child's behavior challenges.