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The Good, Hard Days

Sporting jammies and wet hair from bath time, my kids were piled up on big brother’s bed. I was holding my new son while he tickled my daughter. They were both giggling at the same time and I melted into a puddle on the floor. It had been an extremely hard day but I had a thought that very moment: “This is worth it.”

The details of the hard day aren’t important, but I’m going to tell them to you anyway. In list form: woke up late, kids had a few fits of rage, no one napped at the same time as the other, food thrown on me, had spit up on my shirt that I never change out of, my face was still unwashed face at 5 pm when my husband got home, and the like.

For the sake of being more anecdotal, I’ll share with you that at one point, during the most, er, impactful fit of rage from 3-4 pm, I felt completely empty. It was rough. I was texting friends “SOS” and crying while holding both of my crying children. WHEW. Now that’s a picture.

Even given all that, that night I still sat holding my new son and felt an overwhelming sense of “This is a good day.” Not a good ending to this day. Not a “lipstick on a pig” situation. The day was just good, even for all the things I listed above.

When we were done singing our goodnight songs and I was cuddled in bed with our little guy, I started to think about that concept. I realized I tend to polarize these things. A day is either good, or it’s hard. You must choose one. But it just isn’t like that.

The truth is, in this season of life, most of the days are good and hard. They’re good hard days. 

It’s like my new research/ counselor crush, Brené Brown says:

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

I can tell you one thing about today, as tired as I was, I was present. That’s a new focus of mine, (NOT a New Years Resolution- I never keep those) being present in the moment and feeling exactly what I feel without trying to escape or numb it. Today I did that and this new perspective emerged. If I’d numbed the hard parts of today I likely wouldn’t have fully embraced and appreciated the good in it that came after. And oh, was it good.

I ultimately ended the day snuggling with my new son, feeling him reach for me the first few times I tried to get up from his bed, thinking he was asleep. I felt like I was his and he was mine in a way I hadn’t yet. These moments are fleeting and they are few. I’ll miss them if I’m not present. God forbid I accidentally numb such a moment.