A tiny, simple habit for happier days
I finally laid my crying baby down in her bed. I’d fed her, changed her diaper, done everything I could think of and yet she still cried and cried. Even as I held her close and rocked her in my arms, she cried. Still recovering from surgery, I physically was too tired to hold her any more. Not to mention, I felt discouraged and frustrated. (Of course, once I laid her down she cried for less than two minutes in her room before falling asleep. Oh brother!)
So I walked downstairs and with the tiny bit of energy I had left, I did one of the things that I do best… sat down and sobbed. Yeah, not my strongest mommy moment! But tears have always been an outlet for me. A way to cope; a way of releasing and starting fresh. I’d barely gotten all my tears out before more crying came from my baby’s room. So much for a good nap, I thought.
But with renewed patience I picked up my little bundle and kissed her forehead. Then I sat down with her on my lap and started talking to her. Not because it was a good mom thing to do, if I’m being perfectly honest, but because I was so exhausted it was all I could do! My sweet baby girl looked at me with her big, bright eyes, listening to me talk. And then she smiled. And as if our smile muscles were somehow connected, I couldn’t resist smiling too. A chain reaction followed, like it usually does when you smile. Tension eased, I took a deep breath, and everything looked a little more hopeful.
My eyes were still puffy and my back still ached, but I felt lighter. I’ve felt the power of a smile before but this time it came with a realization: I’m not doing this often enough. With all the health issues and craziness of trying to learn how to be a mom of two, it’s a habit that I’ve let slip away. I still smile. Just not enough.
So starting today, I’m going to change that. I guess you know you’ve got some figuring out to do when you have to schedule smiling into your day! Nonetheless, my goal this week is to smile more, especially when I usually struggle to, like:
-when the morning is over and it’s almost naptime. By then I’m exhausted and my patience is almost gone. This week I’m going to do my best to enjoy this sweet one-on-one time with my little guy before naptime. Reading books, talking (or rather listening), cuddling, singing, then giving him a big smile before I close the door.
-when my little guy is in his room and it’s my ”me” time. I certainly don’t get the big window of time to myself every afternoon that I’m used to, and it’s been easy to feel depressed about that. Seriously, I’m lucky if I can take two minutes to go to the bathroom by myself, let alone read a book, write, or lay down and rest. This week I’m trying to be grateful for the fact that I get to be home with my two kids, regardless of the time I get (or don’t get) to myself. Being able to experience all the everyday moments with my little ones is totally something to smile about.
-when my husband comes home from work. By the time he gets home we’ve both had a long day, and I’m usually more than ready for help with dinner or the kids. In fact, he should have been home an hour ago! But this week, I want the man who goes to work and provides for us without complaint to see a smile when he first walks through the door. Because I’m pretty sure my knight in shining armor would so much rather come home to a princess rather than a dragon! Smiling is a little thing but I'm thinking this habit is one that really can change everything! :)