I’m going to nerd out on you for a moment. Hang with me. It’s worth it. I hope so, anyway.
So I’m a Harry Potter fan. And in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a really interesting scene happens that I think applies to parenting specifically and to life in general. There’s this whole time traveling element in which Harry Potter future is able to save Harry Potter past by using a really powerful bit of magic. When Hermione asks him how he did it he says something to the effect of, “I’d already seen myself do it (in the past, even though at the time he didn’t know it was himself), so I knew I could do it again (in the future).” So that’s probably a pretty rough description if you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, but the idea is interesting, isn’t it?
When we go through really hard things, the next time you have to go through something hard you have that past experience to help get you through. I think that’s why third time parenting has been easy for me. Birth? Been there. It’s no fun but I know I can do it because I’ve done it before. Post-partum body trauma and sleep deprivation and hormone surges? It’s going to be ok. It gets better. I’ve done this. I’ve seen myself make it through so I know I can do it again.
Been doing a lot of resting this week through our illnesses.
This thought has been on replay in my mind this week. Christmas of 2012 was a rough health time for our family. It was two weeks straight of us all trading illnesses and I literally didn’t leave the house the entire time. Then last summer we had similar stretches of health problem after health problem. And these past three weeks we’ve been there again. All of us have had the stomach flu, some multiple times. I’ve had gallbladder problems. Nolan and Parker have had fevers and colds. Even sweet Avery has been fussier with something or other. And now I’m on day four since I last left the house and feeling kinda crazy.
Sick day #4 in a row, after being up most the night with all three kids.
But you know what? I’ve done this. I survived. We eventually all got healthy again. There was a reprieve from middle of the night bed changes and a break from all the vomit and sickly children. We eventually didn’t have to cancel plans and got back into our routine. We all lived. And I atleast am stronger for it. Because now that I’ve seen that I can do it, I know that I can do it again. And hopefully, I can do it with a touch more grace and less complaining than last time.
Poor sick Parker on the day he had a ridiculous fever and actually asked to stay home from the zoo.
I’ve never seen him this lethargic!
So, the next time you find yourself in a tough stretch in parenting or just in your personal life, think back on all the other times you made it. Maybe not with flying colors or with the best attitude — but you made it. And because you did it then, you can certainly do it again. I know you can. After all, Harry Potter told me so.