Here’s a little game that I like to play with myself. During those tough parenting moments — the 2am strolls up and down our hallway, the entirely inconvenient and loud tantrums, the discovery of a glorious mess – I reach deep into my own heart and I find the love I feel for my daughter. Now if that sounds dreadfully serious and puritan, let me reassure you that it’s not. I keep it light and gentle without any pressure on myself to actually succeed, without any expectation that I won’t be, that I can’t be, exhausted, stressed and angry, too. I make a game of it and it is fun. I let myself notice how good it feels to carry her in my arms, how nice her hair smells, how cute she is yelling like a banshee, how clever and creative she is to paint our kitchen with milk. I love this game and after playing it for two years I must confess to a shocking discovery — most of the time, it isn’t even that difficult. In fact, some of those tough parenting moments have become some of the greatest moments of my life, for I’ve discovered a bitter-sweet joy. I have carefully placed my at-last sleeping baby into bed, after yet another midnight hallway pace, and in that very moment, recognised that, although I’m exhausted, stressed and relieved to be returning to bed myself, there’s also a part of me that wants to go right on holding her just because it feels so damn good. How wonderful is that?
Apply it to your life: Try the game yourself. Just remember— it is a game. Keep it light and fun without any pressure on yourself to succeed and with full acceptance that you may very well continue to feel exhausted, stressed and angry at the same time as feeling love for your child!