Why is it easier to share the struggles rather than the easy wins?
I was always taught that boasting about your successes is a faux-pas. Instead one should be humble and if you’re going to accept any praise, accept graciously but quickly move on. While I agree that one should remain humble and not get hung up on your successes, at what point is it ok just to accept the wins in life and not feel guilty about them?
As a mom I really struggle with this especially when other moms are open enough to share their struggles with sleep training, feeding, difficult pregnancies, developmental roadblocks, etc. At times, I am struck with guilt when I haven’t shared in the same struggles as my peers, or that in comparison, my journey so far has been relatively easy.
If I am being honest it’s this guilt that has really stopped me from wanting to share my own parenting experiences. Instead I feel like I need to hide the fact that my daughter has slept through the night since infancy, or that I had a pretty smooth and easy pregnancy, or that her illnesses so far have been relatively mild and haven’t resulted in any trips to the ER or even the doctor’s office.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t experienced my own struggles or that everything has always been smooth sailing. Toddler tantrums are something I experience almost daily, meal times are a constant battle (and can last HOURS), and patience is tested daily. But why is it so much easier to commiserate in your struggles and when it comes to the wins, sharing often leads to feelings of guilt instead? Especially when these wins aren’t a result of a long period of struggle or persistence, I am left feeling like I should hide my experiences, instead of acknowledging and appreciating them.
Learning to take the wins
What I’ve learned is that I need to learn to let go of this guilt, and to just take the wins of having an easy-going kid. It’s just as important to celebrate the kid that you have and to accept that you get what you get (the good AND the bad). Ultimately, it isn’t necessarily about you as a parent and what you’ve done right or wrong - sometimes it’s just the kid that you have.
So yes I have a kid who loves sleep, who is happy to sit and play quietly, doesn’t operate at a mile-a-minute, who can easily go with the flow and is CHILL. This is just who she is, not because of any parenting strategy, hacks or tricks. Spending time comparing yourself to others usually ends in frustration and is generally unfruitful. For me, parenting has been about embracing the ebbs and flows of the high and lows.
While my experience so far has been relatively manageable and smooth, I know it’s just a matter of time before I devolve into complaining and commiserating with my peers (let’s face it - those teenage years are going to have us all running for the hills), so for now I’m going to take the win and enjoy it.