Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is a new show on PBS. It's a spin-off of the old Mister Roger's Neighborhood and I love it. So do my kids. Since I have a pretty strict TV policy in our house, I was excited to include this as part of my children's programming repertoire.
I think I have learned as much from this show as my kids have. I have learned that waiting is hard, getting mad is okay, and playing with people is more important than playing with toys. Okay, so I might have known those things before, but Daniel Tiger reminded me of their importance.
This last month I found myself in a tough spot. I was feeling very tired. Tired of not having any time to myself, or time to work out, or time to just think/eat/sleep. (Not to mention that silly depression came out again.) So I thought, "Hey! You can make time!" And I did. I used my nap times, bed times, and any time I could think of to work out/read/eat. Soon I was so exhausted that I was crying every night.
In the midst of this, I remembered a goal I made before Andrew was born to not worry about things like working out or having any "alone" time until my baby was at least 6 months. By then, s/he would have a more regular schedule and hopefully sleep for longer than 2-3 hour spurts.
Sound advice, right?
But, doggone it! Waiting for that is hard. I want to work out. I want time when I'm not surrounded by my 3 and 4 year-old or holding my baby. However, Ben works a lot and we live too far away from friends. Rather than banging my head on the door from frustration, I am learning to be patient. It's like when Amelia was really colicky. Though it was hard, I could rely on my previous knowledge of that period ending. Guess what? It did. Sooner than I expected.
I hear often that moms need time to themselves so they can recharge. It's true. However, when circumstances prevail and it just doesn't happen or is impossible to realize, is it really helpful to dwell on it?* To cry, scream, or thrown oneself on the ground in absolute frustration?** I don't think so. This is where Daniel Tiger's infinite wisdom comes in: while waiting is hard, that period won't last forever.
Thanks Daniel Tiger for reminding me of this valuable lesson.
*I am certainly not advocating to do way with alone time, because it is important for a parent's health. I just think that sometimes it doesn't work out that way and a parent doesn't need to carry around extra guilt for not putting one more thing on their check-list.
**Though I certainly reserve the right to cry, scream, and throw myself on the ground in frustration occasionally. Sometimes it just feels good.