Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Choosing to have a good day

The other day my husband told me I've been grumpy all the time lately. Ouch. I didn't think I'd been *that* grumpy, but maybe from his perspective I have. Five days a week he comes home when I'm at my most tired, and probably most likely to be grumpy, even if I've been cheery all day. It got me thinking.

I am tired a lot. Being pregnant with my two boys isn't easy. G is such a handful, there are days when I wonder if I'm going to survive that kid. Trying to get through everything in a day is exhausting and it makes me more than a little nervous to think about going through each day not pregnant, but with an infant. If I think I'm tired now, we ain't seen nothing yet.

I realized that part of the problem is that I let my attitude go downhill, especially on days when I haven't had a good night's sleep. Goodness knows there are a million reasons a pregnant mother of two might not get enough sleep, so this seems to be happening a lot lately. But I find myself dwelling all day on the things I don't feel energetic enough to get done, or how I can't sit down for five seconds without D needing something or G getting into something he shouldn't. My life as it is right now is going to wear me out physically, there's no getting around that. Having a 31lb toddler that I can't help but lift numerous times a day will do that to you, pregnant or not. But mentally, that's another story. I have some choice in the matter of my attitude and how I approach life with two, soon to be three, young children.

I'm making a conscious effort to be happy. I firmly believe happiness is largely a choice, and how I deal with the day to day messes of life is something entirely within my control. If G once again empties the contents of the craft drawer onto the floor during the 90 seconds I'm in the bathroom or D pitches a fit because G won't stop knocking over his block tower, I am faced with a choice: let myself be exasperated, mentally remind myself how tired and annoyed I am, yell at my kids and carry the tension around with me until the next incident occurs and builds on the previous until I feel like I'm going to snap. Or.... take a deep breath and deal with each thing as it comes with an attitude that is lighter, more cheerful and rooted in the reality that I want to like my life each day and have the ability to make that happen.

Yes, my boys are going to do things that make me crazy. But over the last few days I've tried really hard to remain cheerful and happy even when those things happen, and you know what... it works. No, I'm not suddenly a Stepford Wife, walking around in a 50's era house dress, perfectly curled hair and a creepy smile plastered on my face. But taking that breath and reminding myself that I want to have a good day, even in the face of yet another roll of toilet paper mired in the toilet, or another morning of maddening indecision about the perfect show and tell item, has really made a difference in how I feel.

I'm conscious of this because I know that in a few short months, life IS actually going to get crazier. I was unhappy a lot of the time after G was born, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and like I couldn't possibly meet the needs of these two little people simultaneously. I don't want to go through that again, at least not to that degree. I know I'm going to be tired, I know I'm going to be overwhelmed. I also hope that if I practice now, when things are just crazy times two, when things get crazy times three I might have a shot at having more good days than bad.

I just have to remember to choose to have a good day.

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