The funny thing with the Olympics is that it sometimes gets you thinking funny. All of a sudden you find yourself thinking, maybe, just maybe if I practiced really hard, I could do that too. I, little old me, could be in the Olympics. Sure, maybe I'd end up doing a sport no one has ever heard of, but I think, yes, just maybe, in 4 years time, I could be up here on this screen doing all kinds of amazing stuff.
Then you come back to your senses. Or at least I do (perhaps I am the only one who has these thoughts--I probably should have asked around before writing this post huh?). Not only do I crack under pressure and the site of a camera, but my lungs aren't great, my joints are horrific and my body type is all wrong for most sports. And I'm, well, I'm pretty dang scared of a ball hitting my face too.
The fact is, even if I started when I was three years old, I would likely not be in the Olympics in any event. For sure not in 90% of them. I was made a certain way and all the training in the world will only do so much.
You are probably wondering what I'm getting at. I will get to that!
Every special little child born into this world is unique. She is as unique as the snowflakes that fall from the sky. Not just in looks, but in temperament/personality too. We can try to change these little people, but in the end, they can only be molded so much. Nature and nurture coexist.
So, your parenting will only go so far. Your children will always have the last word with what they do, even if they don't mean to.
Can this make things hard? Oh yes it can!
Sometimes it means you'll end up with a child who struggles with sleep even when you do everything you can possible think of and sometimes it means you'll have a perfect sleeper when you break every rule in the book. I know it's not fair, but that's how it is. And despite what some people say, all children cannot be made to sleep wonderfully (although I think almost all can end up sleeping pretty well) and all children cannot be made to sleep great using the exact same method. There a too many variables at stake to have this work out.
The trick with this frustrating truth is to learn to work with your child and their personality. Try to understand it, try to be happy with it and try to work with, not against, it.
Also, realize when you've done the best you can do and be OK with that. Give yourself a pat on the back. I know this is hard to do with everyone else around to compare to. Doesn't it often seem like others are doing so much better than you or your children are doing? Guess what, maybe they do happen to be gifted at teaching their child something (and I'm sure you are gifted in some areas too!), but maybe their child happens to have some traits that make learning one thing or another a breeze.
Repeat after me. My child is unique. My child is special. My child has his own strengths and weakness. My child cannot possibly be the best at everything there is out there. Now, say the same thing again but instead of "my child" put a "I" :)
On a side note, if you happen to be one of those parents with perfectly sleeping, eating and behaved children, congrats. You have likely worked hard to be the best parent you can be. BUT, that doesn't mean you are doing better than other parent or deserve more credit. It can be easy to get prideful when things are going well. It can be easy to think that if others did this or that they'd have kids like yours. Maybe, but maybe not. I figure it is best to think the best of others and avoid judging whenever possible. You haven't walked in their shoes. Plus, things have a way of bringing us back down to earth when we start to get a little too high up on ourselves, am I right?