Parenting is hard. And I’ve only just started. Right now the naptime struggle is REAL. The number of times she has fallen asleep without a near or full-on melt down would fit on two hands. While the struggle to get her to fall asleep has been a source of great frustration, my biggest disappointment has been my reaction when she puts up such a fight before going to sleep. I get angry and agitated and right in the midst of her meltdowns I join her and silently have one of my own. Tears flow and I find myself getting angry with her (as if she has any awareness or intention behind this behavior.)
It seems silly that something as small as a nap not happening can throw me into a spiral. Whenever I respond this way I feel ashamed, forgetting that I everyone gets angry or frustrated when their child doesn’t do what they want when they want. Sometimes I have to leave her in the crib and have a moment — as in a sitting in the bathroom with my head in my hands weeping in frustration moment — pleading with Heavenly Father to take these feelings away from me. The feelings didn’t disappear right away, but I managed to get her to sleep with the help of my sweet hubby. Later that night I asked Heavenly Father to give me patience with her.
That night my hubby mentioned to me, “We need to remember that a lot of her behavior is learned from our behavior.” and I realized that if I can’t put her down for a nap without getting frustrated, what makes me think that she would go down for a nap without getting frustrated? Throughout the night and into the next morning his words ran around and around in my mind,
When naptime came the next day we had the usual song and dance, up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down and . . .
It hit me that I am learning a pattern for us both right now
. . . something was different. There was laughter. Suddenly the situation became humorous. There was no huffing and puffing in frustration. In fact, the overriding feeling was peace throughout the whole naptime tango and I knew exactly where that peace was coming from. It hit me that I may need to fervently pray for peace with every nap, but I will have His help every time I do. The spirit helped me to remember that I am learning a pattern for us both right now, that whenever things happen that are out of my hands or shatter the scope of my expectations — which happens on the daily right now — He will be there to help me rebuild and show me the way.
He cares about us so much that He wants us to come to Him with every concern so that He can teach us how to overcome.
We can — no we must — rely on God’s help if we are seeking true peace and joy in this life. He is omnipotent. He knows the purpose and outcome of all things and He will be there for all of us in our very personal, private, unseen trials; even and especially those where we might think to ourselves, “Why would I waste His time with this?” I mean, it would be easy to wonder why God would care how I feel about my child’s naps. But I know He does because I know He loves me. Because I have felt the spirit encouraging and guiding me to seek His help during the times where I felt I was about to implode. And He cares about all of your seemingly-insurmountable-yet-still-small-enough-to-think-you-shouldn’t-bother-God troubles too. He cares about you so much that He wants you to come to Him with every concern so that He can teach you how to overcome.
He doesn’t expect you to do it alone. You were never meant to be alone and in fact you never are alone. Even in your darkest moments, He is right there anxiously waiting for you to seek after him. He is always there and you can rely on His help whenever you need it. All you have to do is reach up and He will be there. You are His child. He loves you. Just as a parent takes a child’s hand He wants to hold yours and guide you through.
So pray to Him about all the little things, and the big things. Pray to Him about everything and watch His hand come lift you through them all.