Faith, Family, lifestyle, Parenting, Personal Goals

Walk a Mile in their Shoes

Lately, Jackson has been struggling with naps. And when I say struggling, I mean full on tantrums when it comes to having to take a nap. Blood curdling screaming, topped off with kicking and hitting. He isn’t even one!! It has been this way for the last week or so. At one point, he was awake for twelve hours straight! 

While we have been struggling with this, I had the thought in the back of my mind that “he is being naughty.” We get so frustrated that we just let him cry (which is NOT bad, by the way.) The other day, it took TWO HOURS to get him down for a nap! I was seriously so mad at him. Yep, I said it, I was mad at my eleven month old. I texted my sweet mom, who pointed out that he may have a head ache, or may not be feeling well. I gave him some tylenol, and he calmed right down! Magic!! 

Once he went down for a nap, I had the opportunity to take a nap myself, and have a little alone time. During my alone time, I did what most people do now days: I surfed social media! While I was on Instagram, I found this photo:

This really hit me. Jon and I had been mad at Jackson, thinking he was being naughty and refusing his naps. The other day, it turns out he just wasn’t feeling well and needed some Tylenol. Now I am not saying every time he refuses to nap, something is wrong as in an illness, but he might be going through something else altogether. I definitely need a little bit more parenting experience to figure out what he is going through, but I can still help soothe him the best I can. 

Jon and I looked at Jackson, automatically assumed that he was misbehaving, and of course that led to being angry and anoyed. All we need to do, is try to look at it from this sweet little boy’s perspective, and help him deal with his little struggles. Just because he is a baby, doesn’t mean he doesn’t deal with hard things too. 

How often do we do that same thing with other people in our lives? How often do we get angry and anoyed at someone, and yell at them and think they need “punished” without first trying to understand what they are experiencing? I know I do it a lot more often than I would like to admit. I don’t know how often I get anoyed with a co-worker due to their performance at work, and what do I do? I automatically complain! I complain about them to Jon, and to my friend, and I never give them the benefit of the doubt. How big of a difference do you think it would make, if we stopped, took a second, and tried to understand what another individual is going through, before making assumptions about them? 

So, before you go and make assumptions about someone, or before you assume that your child needs punished, or that your child is misbehaving, take a minute and try to look at things from their perspective.  I bet that when nap time comes around, Jackson is tired, but wants to play. He doesn’t understand why he has to go to sleep. Or maybe there are times when he is having growing pains, or (finally) teething. Whatever the reason is, as his mom, and Jon being his dad, we owe it to him to try to understand him. Not just for this issue, but for every issue. I hope in the future Jon and I can learn, not make assumptions, and try to be understanding. Besides, doesn’t everyone know what assuming does? If you don’t, ask your mom 😉. 

It is crazy to me how this small challenge in life, and that one picture can be such a huge life lessons to me as a mom. I look forward to all of the challenges that come with parenting, as well as the lessons. It’s funny, because in church a friend who has a seven week old baby said that before she was a mom, she always assumed that her mom took care of her because it was her job. And when she became a parent, she learned that is not the case, as I pointed out in a previous post. I parent because I love it. And while I don’t always love learning the lessons, I love the fact that those lessons make me a better parent, and in some cases, a better person. 

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