Hannah Holt is a mother of two boys with twins on the way. She is a talented children’s author, a former civil engineer, and my childhood best friend.
Happiness or Perfection: Choose One
Shortly before the birth of Child #1, I tried negotiating with my doctor…
Me: If I go more than five days past my due date, will you please induce me? I don’t want to have a child’s birthday on my wedding anniversary.
My doctor: Children are inconvenient. Get used to it.
This was my first rude awakening to the world of raising young children. It’s a world where crystal vases magically disappear…
and white carpet is the stuff of fables.
At first, I mourned the loss of each delicate dish and fretted over carpet stains. However, at this point, I’ve embraced the chaos. Someday… someday… I will own beautiful and breakable things again. Maybe.
In the mean time, my ‘inconvenient’ life rolls along happily with help from the following guidelines:
- Plan for things to take twice as long as seems reasonable. Because a) the baby will need a diaper change, b) the toddler will hide your keys, and/or c) the preschooler will lose his shoes.
- Don’t get too attached to any object not under lock and key. Tonight my preschooler used my Prada bag as a trampoline and ripped the base. Yeah…
- Make it a game. “Let’s see who can clean up their toys the fastest.” This trick doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot.
- Give choices. Getting from point A to B happens much more quickly if you limit children’s options. “Do you want to wear the fire truck pajamas or the choo-choo train pajamas?”
- Give up. Some battles aren’t worth the casualties. Decide what you can and can’t live without. The things you can live without? Don’t do them. Don’t fight them. Don’t feel guilty about them. It’s impossible to have it all and please everyone. So pick what makes you and your little family happy and ignore the rest.
My husband and I are currently expecting twins. After hearing this news, a lady from church offered me the following compliment:
“You will be a great mother for twins because you don’t get upset when your house isn’t perfect.”
“Thank you,” I replied. She’s right. My house isn’t perfect. My life isn’t perfect. But I wouldn’t trade perfection for this.
Check out Hannah’s work (and read with your kids!) at www.lightbulbbooks.com.