If you're like me and you're in the trenches of raising young children you've probably at least thought or said the words, "Help! I'm in survival mode!" This has been true for my husband and I for the last several years. Our four children are a blessing to us – a gift from God whom we love and cherish with all our hearts – but we still have our share of challenges, trials, and conflict on a daily basis.
Just a couple hours ago, my 1.5 year old took a nice big bite into my 4 year olds cheek. She was screaming with tears running down her face simultaneously with my cranky 3 year old who has a runny nose and fever. Meanwhile, my 6 year old is in the bathroom having a hard time, and well, let's just say there was a mess to clean up.
While I'm helping him, he randomly tells me that he doesn't like his name and wants it to be changed. So on and so on. So I make everyone a frozen pizza for lunch and everything is better at least for a little while until my cheek bitten 4-year-old falls and hurts her leg on the scooter. Hence, more tears and more screaming.
And all I can think is, Can I have a nap, please? A vacation? Uninterrupted silence? Chocolate?
Well, I don't know all the secrets to surviving the little years. I do know they are incredibly HARD. However, I have found a few practices that have helped me navigate through them a little more smoothly, making an actual difference in daily life:
Share Your Struggles with Those Who Understand
I can't stress the importance and value in having a trusted friend in your life that you can pour your soul out to. That person who you can be completely honest with and not be judged. That person who has either been there or is walking the same path and will understand your hardships with compassion and genuine concern.