My Life Is Like Groundhog Day
Life with young children can feel like your days are on repeat
Do you ever feel like your days are repeating themselves? Or that you can predict how the day will go based on how your little one pops their head up out of bed?
The early years of parenting are very much like the movie, “Groundhog Day“ where Phil, a weatherman, relives the same day over and over again. I think this is why I can’t believe three years have gone by since my daughter was born.
Days with my little ones often blur together, especially during the winter. We are cooped up more and our daily activities are more or less the same. Sure, there’s dance class and gymnastics, dinners out, visiting with friends and family, but the bulk of our days are similar. Some days I feel like all I’ve done is dress/undress, diaper and feed my kids. They’re important tasks, but they can give you the feeling that everyday is exactly the same. And it totally skews my sense of time. (What day is it today?) The worst was during the newborn era. There may have been a few days when I never left the couch because of round-the-clock nursing sessions. Plus, it’s hard to remember what day it is when you don’t sleep or change out of your pajamas.
Then for the next few years of their lives you feel like a broken record with repeat conversations. No, you can’t climb that. Leave the cats alone. Stop jumping on the couch. Don’t sit on your brother. Please don’t lick the mirror. Didn’t I just tell you this yesterday/this morning/5 minutes ago?
I try to use these repetitive days to my advantage to learn what works best with my kids. Some days I really nail this parenting thing, while other days I totally miss the mark. It’s amazing how differently things can go day-to-day with toddlers, even when the days are practically the same. I can cut my daughter’s peanut butter sandwich in squares every day for a week, then suddenly one day it triggers a meltdown because she wanted triangles. Thankfully, I get to try again the next day.
Time feels fast and slow all at once. It’s practically standing still for me, but unlike Phil’s looping day, my babies are growing up with each go-round. And I don’t get endless do-overs to get it right.
Much like waiting to see if the groundhog sees his shadow, I try to make predictions about our day based on how my kids wake up. I rarely have to wake them, but it’s not all sunshine and smiles even when they awaken on their own. Whining first thing in the morning usually fades by lunchtime, giving us an enjoyable afternoon and evening. Smiles in the morning may be deceiving with a chance for scattered meltdowns. What time they wake up is usually a good indicator if they’ll nap or not and when they’ll be tired for bedtime.
Though if there’s one thing the groundhog has taught me, time still passes the same whether he sees his shadow or not. And living in Wisconsin, the length of winter is relative. Good days and bad days happen, often on the same day. One day we’ll wake up and realize our days are no longer looping… and we’ll wonder where the time went.
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