The “Terrible Twos” hit in full force literally the day that Hunter turned 2. He had been working on them since he was about 18 months, but the day he turned 2, he pitched one of his worst fits to date. Twos have a bad reputation, and I get it. They’re not called the “terrible twos” for no reason. One day mac n cheese is their favorite food, and the next, they announce, “I no like mac n cheese.” No joke, Hunter got mad at me the other day because I buckled him in his car seat. I know. I’m an awful parent. Ha!
But the other day, I was watching Hunter play in his room, and I got to thinking, the twos aren’t ALL terrible. There are some things that make the twos terrific as well. For example, the way that Hunter talks is my absolute favorite. I wish that I could record everything that he says, like when he says, “Hold Mommy!” when he wants me to hold him. Or there’s the way that he swings his arms when he runs. Or how he actually wants me to come play with him. Or how he will say, “Thank you, Mommy,” or “I love you, Mommy” out of nowhere. I know that, sadly, he will eventually grow out of these things that make the two terrific.
One thing I’m learning about parenting is that the terrible things don’t last forever, but neither do the terrific things. Each season comes with its easy and with its hard. The newborn season is easy because they don’t make dinner a battle, but it’s hard because you’re functioning on little sleep and wonder if you’ll ever feel normal again. Isn’t it SO easy to get wrapped up in the hard of whatever season you’re in? I know that I’m so guilty of it. I see families with older kids in restaurants, and they’re eating peacefully and having conversations like normal people, and I long for meals like that. But then I’m reminded that no season is going to be perfect. Those families with older kids are probably dealing with their child being defiant over more than eating their green beans, and yes, while families with teenagers don’t have to tell their teens to sit on their bottoms at the dinner table, they are having to deal with much heavier problems like heart breaks and college choices (and their bill is probably more expensive!).
So, yes, the Lord is teaching me that each season of parenting will have its terrific moments and its terrible moments. It’s so easy to focus on the terrible and neglect to enjoy the terrific. I urge you to focus on the terrific today. Find the good in whatever phase of parenting/life you’re in; even on the hardest days, there is still good. Practically, one way that I do this is by writing one thing that I’m thankful for as I’m doing my quiet time. I try to make it specific to the day (i.e., Hunter and Isaac were both good in the grocery store). It’s a simple thing that takes just a few seconds, and some days are harder than others to think of something, but it does help me remember that not everyday is all bad. And when the terrible happens, seek the Lord for wisdom and encouragement. And then sometimes, the terrible is your 2 year old getting mad at you because he’s not 4, and you just have to laugh.
Parents, what are some terrific things about the season of parenting that you’re in? What wisdom do you have for us mamas who are a little behind you in this wild adventure called parenting?