Some recent examples in this house:
~My child gets into the pantry and dumps a box of dried spaghetti all over the kitchen floor. He wants to help clean up, which is great, but he keeps slipping on the crunchy noodles and falling down and then has to be told about thirty times to stop sticking his hands down into the garbage can as I try to clean it up. All the while, my pot of water is boiling dangerously over on the stove.
~I try to move a pot full of hot, soapy water in which I am soaking a pile of sticky silverware, and the whole thing goes cascading onto the floor with a crash. I sternly warn my child, who is naked besides a diaper, to stay put right where he is and begin picking up sharp knives and sopping up the spreading liquid mess. The child seems to decide I need even more to clean and horrific gurgling noises begin emanating from his diaper. Just as I begin feeling the stress of that, I turn to face the most hideous, giant insect I could have imagined, and my panic and phobia over creepy-crawlies goes into overdrive, stretching my mind into three directions of panic at once.
~The child begins gleefully throwing his breakfast on the floor, which is a sure yet frustrating indicator that he is finished eating. I try to lift him from the high chair carefully, for he is covered head to toe in sticky goop, when he arches his back, lets out a pterodactyl screech, and food flies everywhere. He begins to dangle dangerously and awkwardly from my grip. We leave a trail of breakfast from the high chair to the changing table, and I question why on earth I decided to carry him all the way there for a wipedown.
~When the child is onto his fourth poopy diaper before I have even had my morning coffee.
~When there are too many appointments falling on the same day.
~When the cat starts to vomit and my baby starts to cry at the same time.
~When the dishes are stacked into tall, teetering piles.
~When the child goes on nap strike, and is in a foul mood as a result.
~When cheerios are spilled all over the floor for the third time in a row.
In moments like these I could easily scream, cry, or lose sight of the joy of parenting. Instead, just as soon as I am able, I close me eyes, take a long, deep, yoga-style breath (or two…or ten) and remind myself of how trivial these day-to-day situations really are. All parents deal with times like this, where everything seems to go haywire all at once. You just have to clean up the mess, wipe up the child, take a moment for yourself, and then get back to your rhythm. There is definitely a learning curve to this, but I have made great strides.
Scooping the child up for a great big squeeze always helps too.