There are the days when everything couldn't feel anymore right if it tried - when everything seems to work and to fit. When getting to be a parent is the best feeling in the world. And then there are the days that can you leave you feeling quite a bit suffocated, there are the days where it feels like it totally makes sense to scream in to a pillow or to want to hide in the toilet behind a locked door. Where a reset button for the day would come in handier than anything else ever possibly could.
As a Mum, I naturally try my hardest to influence the first of these sorts of days. I change up my approaches to things when I feel things aren't working. I can spend entire evenings chatting with my Husband Adam about things that we think we could or should change - going over and over until we think we've cracked it. But of course we never have.
Naturally I hope to keep the number of hard days as low as possible. Life sucks as a parent when the number of days that you feel like you're at the bottom of a really tall mountain that you HAVE to climb but you don't really know where to start, start to rise.
And for me, there's been a few of them lately.
My youngest Son is one and he's just started walking. He can't communicate with us yet and you could say he's hit those terrible two's early. He's in to everything and I do mean everything - far more than his older three year old brother Ethan ever was at his age, and Ethan wasn't easy or chilled in any respect of the words. The amount of things Logan has broken - well I've now lost count and will he listen to the word 'No!', by heck will he. But that's OK - he's mischievous - he's one, he's a blank canvas in terms of what he knows about the big wide world. He needs to explore, test boundaries, find out how the Earth works. He's a toddler and I totally get it.
But that isn't to say that it's always easy. It's a mixed bag of emotions raising a child, particularly raising a baby in to a toddler. There's all of his own, 'I know the world' determined/frustrated emotions (which with Logan seem amplified far more than we ever experienced at any point with his older brother) and then there's our own as his parents. Because lets be real here, as much as we adore and love our babies more than anything else in the entire world, we aren't super humans.
Bless him, I know it must be so frustrating to not be able to tell us things or communicate in any other way, but the scream he uses instead hits a pitch that really hits your head and he uses it for most things throughout the day. If he's tired. If we try to put him to bed when he's tired. If he wants something. For nappy changes, which he HATES. For having his teeth brushed, which he also hates. For when we take the toothbrush back to the bathroom. For when he wants something. For when he doesn't. He's even looked at the wall once, hit it and screamed about it (Perhaps he didn't like the colour?). He might scream when he's a bit hungry. He might scream when dinner is being made. He might scream when dinner is served. He might scream when we get him down from the table because he doesn't want dinner. He might scream to go out. He might scream when we get his coat and shoes on to take him out. He might scream in his pram. He might scream when we are out. He might scream when we get back in the car to bring him home. He might scream for a drink/for his milk. He might scream when he's told off for throwing it on the floor and making it spill out two seconds later.
And then in starting to see a pattern of screaming and difficulty form, we end the day in bed thinking, "OK so this is what life is like now - a scream for everything we could possibly do in the day, an inability to settle, to sleep through the night or to not break something every time we enter a room'. We wonder how best to get through the next day to keep everyone semi-sort of happy and to keep some sort of routine in place. But then we wake in the morning and he's slept through the night, he's smiling and he's happy. He doesn't scream the entire day, he suddenly likes the pram and doesn't thrash about and hurt himself because it's time for a nappy change. Dinner isn't a problem and the drink he threw yesterday? That's been placed nicely on the table - upright!
The day is a good day and we wonder why we spent so long going over things in our heads and with each other the night before. We wonder why we let good old parent-guilt eat us up, why we turned on ourselves, despite knowing that we'd done all that we could and more to be the best sort of parents we could be.
It takes so much time, but we slowly begin to realise to take the bad with the good. We begin to see that to have the days that make you feel like everything is exactly as you could ever have imagined it to be and more you must also have the days that feel so hard that you might almost break. We learn to never compare because we start to see that part of human nature is wanting to put your best foot forward - to share the good days, the smiles, the happiness, the tidy house, the organised planners and the ticked off to-do lists. We realise that we sometimes forget to think about the behind the scenes and that we sometimes forget to remember that just like us, every other parent is also just human and is also just taking the bad with the good.
Bad days generally always build better days.