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November 08, 2010

I hate the things I cannot change

When an agnostic like myself - I'd say athiest, but I don't want to burn any bridges. You know, just in case - goes in search of religious advice you know it's been a very long week.

A's sleeping pattern - or lack thereof - is really starting to get to me. I have struck up a precarious post-ppd balance here and sleep - my sleep, which is of course dependent on her sleep - is really the glue that holds it all together. Without it this little house of cards starts to topple pretty quick.

As I was brushing my teeth last night, mentally bracing myself for another night of crying and rocking, crying and rocking, the Serenity Prayer popped into my head.

Accept the things I cannot change. It sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But I can't quite get there. Okay, in truth I'm light years away. Sleep is just the issue du jour, it joins a not-very-exclusive club. Why won't she eat? Why won't she pee? Why does she screech like that? Why did I pick the slowest-moving checkout line? Why hasn't The View been cancelled yet?

I rail against the things I cannot change. Every issue is a problem to be solved. The fact that it exists simply means that I haven't been able to figure it out yet. All of the tiny miracles and random happenings of the universe be damned, in the end it all comes down to me. What can I say, I'm vain like that. But the weight of it can be overwhelming.

And people who are much calmer than I, people who have been blessed with acceptance and serenity, say things like, "This too shall pass" and "Just give it time" and "My son only slept if I was holding him and jumping on a trampoline and singing the soundtrack from Evita but I didn't mind because they're only little for so long," and I nod and say, "I know, you're right." But all the while I'm thinking, Maybe if I get a darker black-out shade and push bedtime back another 7.5 minutes that'll do it...

For those who are interested, here's the prayer its entirety (my favourite version). I don't know if it's actually achievable, but wouldn't it be nice if it were?

God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

November 8, 2010 | Permalink


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I hear you. I do. And know that you're not alone.

I kind of needed to see that prayer again. Dealing with junk over here and feeling very overwhelmed that I can't fix it all right this very freaking second.

Posted by: FireMom | Nov 8, 2010 5:04:27 PM

Wow, so true. We're at 15 months and counting with our shockingly bad sleeper, and I spend as much time trying to figure out how to get him to sleep better as I do fretting about how little sleep my husband and I are getting and the havoc that wreaks on my post-PPD mental state. At the end of the day (night?), though, the reality is that he'll sleep better when he's good and ready to sleep better. I'd do myself a favor if I were a bit more zen about that. Anyway, wishing us both acceptance and serenity for this issue and issues du jour to come. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: Bird | Jan 12, 2011 6:43:47 PM

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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