What did I learn with day one of no complaining? That it’s hard to accomplish on a Monday when the world isn’t feeling as chipper as you’d hoped.
Children make it difficult to see the blessings in the moments of screaming and crying. We had a rough day and I was tested…repeatedly. Prayers were said and tears were shed.
I have found that I have triggers. One of the triggers happens when my son refuses to help clean up his mess after playtime. The other is a dirty kitchen! I’m learning that with my anxiety I also have some obsessive tendencies surrounding cleanliness. I get agitated when the house is a mess (which is daily) and by afternoon/evening I just want to whine about it. Or wine about it, if I was currently drinking wine. You know, throw a pity party.
Why do I care so much about cleanliness? At first thought, I’d say it’s because it makes me more calm and focused, which makes me happy. I feel like I can focus my mind properly when I don’t’ have clutter in my vision. That is not realistic with a two year old and two month old. It’s just not going to be clean in this house like I want it to be.
Really I think the issue with cleanliness may stem from anxiety that someone will come over unannounced and *gasp* see toys everywhere, laundry baskets unattended to, and dishes in the sink; and think I’m a complete slob. Why I care what someone thinks of me to this degree is beyond me. I don’t care what people think of my opinions, or my likes and dislikes, so perhaps I need to shift that careless attitude towards caring less what people think about my entire life as a whole; including my appearance and the appearance of my home.
It’s eye opening to sit and contemplate these things because arguing with a two year old over picking up toys is a serious waste of time, so why do I keep this cycle up? Complaining that he never listens, or doesn’t pick up his toys doesn’t make the room any cleaner and it doesn’t make him clean it. I may argue that complaining is done for my sanity, but that’s a lie. I’m putting out negativity (complaining to my son that he’s not cleaning up his mess properly) and getting it back day after day (my son repeatedly saying no when asked to clean). I need a new approach. My happiness and sanity need me to find a new approach.
It is undoubtedly difficult to deal with these issues while also caring for an infant. That is a major source of my frustration. My baby is a blessing! I know this. His crying, his neediness, his wants are all a blessing that some people are never granted. I told myself that a lot today because it was a vey fussy morning for us all. When I wanted to call my mom and “vent,” (that’s another word for complain!) I thought to myself… No, I’m not going to give energy to these thoughts. What I told myself amidst the shrill of a screaming baby in the back seat, was that this WONT LAST FOREVER. The crying will end and we will go about our day. It’s but a moment that I can endure and press through; I’ve been through childbirth twice I can handle a little crying.
Not only will the tears not last forever, but my babies riding everywhere with my in the back seat with me for every errand and appointment will not last forever. Soon they’ll be off to school and I’ll have empty seats throughout the day. I wonder if I’ll miss the little cries that I find so stressful now. I know I will. Right now they’re my world and I’m trying to find a way to turn my frustration into joy. Cherishing the sucky moments as beautifully messy as they are, because they’ll fly by and I’ll wish I would’ve taken it all in just a little bit more.
For now I will press on through tomorrow to see what may enlighten me through this process of not complaining.