Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This Too Will Pass

Everything with children comes and goes in phases. This is true of behavior, interests, dislikes, sayings, and the like. When my daughter was first born she went through phases that were foreign to me. Heck, she was my first born; I didn't know what to expect. I thought when she screamed every night for three hours straight, just in order to calm herself, that this would never pass. But it did. I thought her unwillingness to share her toys with others might mean she'd grow up to be selfish. It too passed and she shares willingly and graciously now. I thought the horrible tantrums that lasted over a year and that would go on for hours meant she surely must have some behavioral disorder. I thought she would never overcome the incredible shyness she possessed early on. However, like all that had come before it too passed. The thing is that people told me it was a phase. They told me it would pass. My parents, my friends with children, my pediatrician, well-meaning acquaintances all assured me that nothing was wrong and all children behaved this way. Every child goes through a wide-range of phases. But I worried and fretted.

Then I had my son ( two years ago now) and while he hasn't gone through the same phases my daughter did he has gone through phases of his own, that eventually passed as well. I'm much more prepared this time around. I'm more relaxed and not convinced that every phase is an indication that I have somehow failed as a mother or that every tantrum is indicative of some type of behavioral issue that will guarantee my child a spot in the federal or state penal system down the road.

I wish I would have listened to everyone sooner. I wish I would have just chilled out a bit and not worried so much. I realize now how pointless all that worry was. My daughter has her days like any other child, but she's happy, healthy, caring, empathetic, sweet, intelligent, and the list goes on. She doesn't scream herself to sleep at night, she doesn't refuse to share her toys, she doesn't have tantrums that go on for hours. She's a normal, well-adjusted almost 4 year old.

Everything is a phase and everything will pass. As a parent it is hard for me to trust that sometimes. But I have to. I have living proof that this is true as I'd venture to say most parents do too.

So, what are/were some of the phases your children went through that you were convinced would never pass?


Nancy said...

Maybe so much time as passed since my son was a baby or toddler but he was never unbearable for stretches of time!
He was and still is very easy going. He'll argue for his rights but is very willing to look at my side also. He's a real combination of my husband and I.
Now watch, this weekend he'll do something so off the wall that it will negate what I just said!

Joanne said...

What this makes me think of is not so much a phase, as childhood in general. I remember feeling my two would be children forever, that that time would linger and linger. It's amazing how quickly the entire childhood phase passes, and the next thing you know they're young adults! But I also feel that with each passing phase, we all know eachother deeper, and our relationship is richer for it. Enjoy all those phases!

Robyn said...

The most frustrating phases (so far) have been when our normally good sleeper started waking up EVERY SINGLE NIGHT crying at around 3:00am and it taking a while to get him back to sleep. He still does it, but it's not every night.

Also, he has the typical "terrible two" behavior. Great one minute, losing his mind the next. I keep reminding myself that this is NOT his personality, it's the age and where he's at developmentally.

Moxymama said...

Nancy, a healthy blend is always nice!
Joanne, well said...each phase is such a blessing.
Robyn, yes the waking up at night is awful. Hopefully he will outgrow that phase soon....or at least before the baby comes. :)