Thursday, August 17, 2017

Special Day Sickness: Do You Have It?

The last couple of weeks my news feed has been packed with "Back to School" photos and parents scrambling to make the appropriate preparations.  The new normal of cute pictures and mountains of school supplies is regularly being discussed and rehashed.  What struck me most recently was the anguish many parents (moms) feel about making the last days of summer special.  Full disclosure, I, like my mother before me, feel compelled to make anything from presents to field trips extra special just because.  Things like holidays, milestones and anything iconic, it is not only fun to document, but it almost feels like you're a bad parent if you don't.  It is a bizarre reality we have with social media giving us constant information about how others are living, but even that is filtered usually to show only the best.  Honestly, no wonder mental illness is such a burden in this country.

As I was thinking about the moms who feel like a failure or a 'bad mom' if they didn't have time to go above and beyond this time around, I couldn't stop this thought:

Your mundane is so much more important than the special.

Like the characterized parent who is gone 90% of the time, but comes around once in a blue moon with an over the top present or something.  That present might be cool in the moment, but that special thing is pretty insignificant to that child when they think about all the days that parent is absent.

Mundane: A baby sleeping, a little girl coloring on the floor, a boy playing with a ball and glove, and my cluttered work space.  It's probably not going to be a memorable day, but the safety, security and love that (I hope) is present here will mean much more.


Or the 80/20 rule.  Whatever you do/eat/think about 80% of the time is far more important than the less than perfect 20%.  Life isn't those extra special moments 80% of the time.  It's full of grocery store trips, clean towels, struggling with self-control and learning what to do with those hurt feelings.  A good parent is built in these mundane activities that will happen over and over again.  Of course, we all remember that one birthday or 3rd grade program that was extra special because of something  someone did for us, but without all of those mundane building blocks, the special thing might be pretty empty.

So, frenzied mom, are you meeting the physical needs of your children, teaching them to obey God and showering them with hugs, kisses and encouragement? Then know you are a good parent and let the special moments come and go as they wish.  I love social media for many reasons, but to live a mentally healthy life with it, we need safe guards and that includes not believing lies.  Goodness is not determined in the extra special (that's just icing most of the time).


Your mundane is so much more important than the special.
  
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