Parenting is hard. Our children throw things at us that we don’t know how to handle. Moms with multiple children seem to handle difficulties with more calmness and grace than first time moms. Why is that?
I have been pondering lately why a second, third, fourth, etc. child seems to often be easier to the parent even if in reality the child is not easier. Of course a the reason we all go to is “experience.” The parent is more experienced and knows better what to do. There is some truth to that, however, when I think of my children, they have all been very different. I can only think of a handful of things in the lives of Kaitlyn and McKenna that were made easier because I had already done that with Brayden.
No, I think what it is is my changed perspective. I have talked about perspective in this post: It’s All About Perspective. I have shared in the past about a tantrum from one of my girls not phasing me like it did Brayden. With Brayden, I thought my sweet child was gone forever. I literally once sat down and cried when he was 18 months old because I was so worried about a fit he had. It is so amusing to me to look back on now with my gained life experience, but at the time it seemed like he was gone forever! With my girls, I understood tantrums were a normal part of life and didn’t let it phase me.
So my experiences have taught me to have the proper perspective, and with the proper perspective, I can have a positive attitude about life. A positive attitude is really a powerful thing. Psychologist and philosopher William James wrote, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspect of their minds” (A Toolbox for Humanity page 127–quoted in Living the Abundant Life).
We get to choose our attitude each day. Yes, circumstances can make that harder or to do, but despite what is going on around us, we can choose to look on the positive side and have a positive outlook in our situations.
Perspective helps us understand that certain difficulties in life are fully normal. We don’t stress and worry when things go wrong, because we know a surety in life is that it will go wrong. We also know that things have a way of working out and that we will be okay in the end.
We can’t control the wind, but we can adjust our sails. How true it is. All the grumbling in the world about the direction, force, or temperature of the wind won’t get us anywhere, but adjusting our sails to work with the wind will get us to where we want to go.
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