As I mentioned yesterday, I was in a bit of a funk recently. I pulled out of it not because any of the fundamentals changed- I'm still tired, occasionally nauseous, with itchy legs (although that's a lot better thanks to the magic cream). My perspective changed, because several things reminded me just how lucky I am.
I have had a lot of time to think about things lately. This time occurs primarily at Pumpkin's bedtime, when she insists that Mommy come lay down next to her so that she can fall asleep with my hair held firmly in her little hands. I've been reflecting on some posts I have read recently and remembering that I'm actually very happy to be an exhausted pregnant woman with an overly energetic toddler. (Said toddler, by the way, is outside doing yard work with Hubby. On her way out, she shook her finger at me and told me to "go rest, Mommy". How sweet is that?)
For one thing, as a recent post on A Little Bit Pregnant reminded me, there are many women in this world who desperately want to be pregnant and can't be, for a variety of reasons. There are also many pregnant women who have complications far worse than itchy legs. I have had the good fortune to have an easy time getting pregnant and to have healthy pregnancies (at least so far), and I am very grateful for that good fortune.
I am also lucky to be able to enjoy Pumpkin, with all her two year old behaviors, both exasperating and endearing. A recent post on Moxie's site reminded me that some parents have to function under a cloud of suspicion. And some parents lose the plot altogether and descend into abuse. Abuse is not something I can really understand, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about how we as a society might do a better job of preventing it and also about what I personally might do to reduce the number of children who experience abuse. I don't have any good answers to those questions. I think few abusers really intend to become abusive, and that isolation, difficult circumstances, unrealistic expectations of children, and a lack of back up or support often contribute to abuse. I don't know how to fix any of those problems, though. I donate to a local organization called Home Start that works with "at risk" families. I'd like to do more- I'm just not sure what.
I also recognize that I'm lucky that my parenting skills haven't been tested by any of the problems I listed above. I have a wonderfully supportive network of family and friends, a fully involved partner with a similar parenting philosophy, and pretty easy living circumstances*, really.
All told, I am feeling pretty lucky. But I still wish Pumpkin would fall asleep a little easier.
* Which is not to say that I think our society does a good job supporting parents in general or working parents in particular. But this is a happy, upbeat post. Maybe some other time I'll post a rant about the difficulties with being a parent in our society, and how wrong it is that so much of a parent's experience comes down to luck.