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The Struggle for the Bright Side

Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m a happy enough person. Do I appreciate what I have? Try to see the positive side? Probably not enough. You work all week, and commute, by the time you eat and bathe your kid it’s shower time and bedtime for you as well. You yearn for the weekend but when it finally arrives, so do a new set of obligations: swimming lessons, groceries, and oh yeah, your house needs cleaning too.

I feel like I should always be spending more time with my daughter while simultaneously thinking I should be cleaning the house or doing 50 other things on my to do list that I’ve been ignoring for weeks. Maybe it’s a delicate balance, where sometimes you shirk your house responsibilities for a trip to the zoo or the park, and maybe sometimes you let Daddy/Daughter time reign and pull out the vacuum cleaner? It just feel like no matter what, one side of the equation is left neglected. Obviously the clear answer would be to hire a cleaning lady and absolve myself from all cleaning related stress and guilt, but alas, it’s just not financially feasible for us.

I try to remind myself that I have a house to clean, a child to spend time with and a partner who is a loving and supportive parent. Not everyone has those things. Then I feel guilty that I don’t appreciate what I have enough, and so the cycle goes.

But truth be told, when you’re child is screaming and crying so hard she can barely breathe because I asked her to put her toy bunny back in her toy bin, it’s hard to focus on the positive. The terrible two’s are real. Make no mistake. We’ve entered into a frustrating and tiring phase of whining and full out tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. I try to treat each situation with patience, but it can be wearing. I guess that’s parenting all over.

But when I check on her at night and see her little face, I’m reminded of all the good things. She is learning her days of the week, she’s potty trained, when she tells me I look pretty as I’m getting dressed in the morning.

It’s hard sometimes not to get caught up in the complaints – go train delays, financial woes, toddler tantrums and a constant yearning for a vacation. I’m sure I’ll lose the battle to see the bright side sometimes, but I’m going to try.

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