Friday, 19 July 2013

Perspective {how motherhood changes your outlook}

{warning - this post contains details about bodily functions...wooses, walk away *winks*}

Can you remember life before children?

I can barely remember such a thing. I have now been a mother for around a third of my life.

Marriage brings the first changes of adult life.  You go from "me" to "us".  Instead of thinking about only yourself, you are thinking alongside a partner, as one, new unit.

Then comes the children.

You go from "us" to "everyone".  You lose the ability to think more than one straight thought in a line.  In fact, you do well to think one straight thought AT ALL.  With children, who jump from one thing to another, it's hard to remember where you are and what you were actually DOING, before they made an enquiry.

That aside, (see, I can't even think straight in anything - motherhood, plus pregnancy, kind of has that effect....) I was also contemplating about what makes me excited in life.

Before marriage, I was excited about trips out with friends, or holidays.

After marriage, I was excited about days off work with Robert, meals out, easily planned and implemented trips to visit family, and quiet evenings playing board games and impromptu suppers with friends.

I realised how much life had changed, for the umpteenth time, this morning.

You see, I am attempting to toilet train Elijah.... AGAIN.  I tried, with no success whatsoever, last year.  Now that I am a) allowed to lift heavy things again (ie, ELijah), b) not feeling nauseous any more, c) experiencing warm weather with more outside play time, and d) aware of my increasingly large middle, and impending struggle to walk, never mind think about toilet-training, I decided that it was time to try again.  Plus, this whole "another-child-crawling-around-getting-in-the-way-whilst-trying-to-change-his-brother's-dirty-nappy" thing, was not amusing me much.

So, the forecast said "more good weather", my diary said "not going out this week", and I said "let's give it a whirl".

Monday dawned.  Conveniently, Elijah obliged with a dirty nappy, before we got as far as pants.  (Readers from the USA - from now on, read "pants" as an underwear item, ok??) *Phew*.  One less pair of dirty pants to clean THAT day.  Initially, how shall I say this?.... he was NOT keen to put on pants. (read "screamed, yelled, and made a huge fuss about it, despite them having Lightning McQueen on them"....)  Having "got over" that problem (read, "with application....") he was then keen to be a "big boy".  He squeezed very hard, and a reasonable dribble came out, on first attempt.  We went out in the afternoon, and he didn't want to take pants off, so we put a nappy over the top.  He even slept on the way home.  He was DRY when we returned.  However, he then (conveniently) did a wee outside when we got home.  Very little in the toilet all day - several accidents - but a very keen little boy, who kept coming voluntarily to TRY and do something.  Not MANY accidents, really.  I have concluded his bladder holds its contents quite well! (Or, I am not having him drink enough, or both...)

Day 2, something similar.  Day 3, same again.  Very little done in the toilet.  2 poo accidents a day.  (At least THAT is a blessing.... twice a day, I can cope with.)

Wednesday night, I was talking to Robert.  I was wondering if Elijah had an issue with knowing how to make his brain understand how to allow the wee to pass. Like he couldn't make the connection as to what to do.  I asked some friends for prayer on the issue, as I want to be a wise Mum, to know how to help and encourage him, in this vital, but hateful task.  (I really do NOT enjoy this part of child-training).

Imagine my surprise, then, this morning.  Elijah finished breakfast, and asked to go to the toilet.  His nappy was DRY!!! He had stayed dry ALL NIGHT!! Now, this alone was exciting, as my boys have not got a good track history of night-time dryness. I praised him, and told him he was a good boy.  He sat for a moment, but told me he couldn't do a wee.  I went off to put some things in the bin, and put him back on the toilet (because, of course, he had followed me, half-naked, whilst I went to the bin...).  I told him to try again.  And, would you believe it?.... he did a massive wee in the toilet!!!! I was SO excited!!! I jumped up and down, screaming in a rather high-pitched voice"you CLEVER boy", , whilst clapping !!! Yes, I looked slightly insane.  But, I was excited!!! I had only just asked for prayer, HOURS before, and here I was having it answered!  He got FIVE little sweets for his achievement, and he was SO chuffed.

I came away chuckling.  How excited can one mother get about a child WEEING, in the toilet?!?? Pretty excited, I tell you.  It made me chuckle, because to so many, it would mean NOTHING.  Why get so excited about urinary output?  It was so much more than that, though.  It was an answer to prayer.  It was a little boy mastering something.  It was me not having to clean up a mess.  SO many things.

OK, so based on the rest of my day, MASTERING, may be slightly extreme.  Doing something ONCE, may be more accurate.  Do it, he did, though! The small step forward - the positivity - my excitement over something quite weird - has kept me feeling positive for the rest of the day.

It made me think that I need to look more to the positives in life, instead of dwelling on the not-so-good stuff.  You know, the kind of stuff that happens all day, as a mother?  Bickering children.  Hurts and accidents.  Children not doing as they are told.  Disasters of all grades and descriptions.  If I can use a positive toilet-training experience to keep me joyful, I must surely be able to find something good in EVERY day??

The Lord tells us, "in everything give thanks". There is something to be thankful for, no matter the situation you are in.  Sometimes I can find it quite easily - like Elijah's major achievement.  Other days, I *MAY* have to look a bit harder.  But, the lesson I have learnt, is that it is up to me to make my day positive, by having the right attitude.  A stick-in-the-mud, who is very matter of fact about things, may not have allowed themselves to be propelled through the day, with joy, by something so mundane.  I CHOSE to have the right attitude.  Many days, sadly, I don't.  I don't stop for long enough to find those "joy in the mundane" moments, and so my day is shaped accordingly.  I get more easily frazzled, and I don't have the same positive outlook.

So, I carry on with the toilet training. I have Elijah's enthusiasm, and the joy of the Lord as my strength.   It may not work out as fast as I would like, as mess-free as I would like, or the way I would like, but we will get there in the end.

No matter how much life has changed from how it used to be, I can still choose to have the right attitude, and make my days run along smoother.

1 comment :

  1. Me too. I dispise toilet training! I was so thankful to have Ezra done well before new baby was even concieved...I have always had 2 in nappies at any one given time, but this time we'll just have the new baby and well, I guess 2 over night nappies. Will have to work on that! My boys always wake up wet...always!