I have been on nonstop Killi duty since we left for France at the end of May. No breaks, I mean nothing. I am writing this not to complain but instead that I have had a revelation about a couple of different things as a parent.
1. Appreciate your support group. I never really fully appreciated the support group of friends and family back home that would help with our son whenever we needed a break. I mean I appreciated that they would help us but I guess I just knew they would always be there for us and now that I am on the other side of the world, I realize how good I had it. I miss being able to drop the kid for a weekend at grandmas or a night out because Aunt Brett and Uncle Louie want some practice (wink wink) or Aunt JuJu or Lindsey just wanted to cuddle a little baby! I had no idea how well this support group preserves a parents sanity.
2. You really do need a domestic helper here in Bangkok. When I first arrived, I said I didn’t need any help but now I totally get why everyone has the help. It is for the simple fact that you do not have your support group from home with you. This new helper has become the support group to preserve your sanity (if you have a good one that doesn’t cause problems). This individual improves the quality of life on so many levels and really makes for a happier family unit. Again, I didn’t realize that until things went horribly wrong with my nanny situation but I do know when it was good for the helper it was good for everyone.
3. Just breathe. This too shall pass. I have been reminded of this on a daily basis when having Killi all on my own. My situation is a little different than most in that I really believe Killian is still adjusting to his new life here in Bangkok. On top of going through toddler meltdowns, I have a son that can’t communicate with me at all in addition he has the attention span of a nat. We are trying to work on his speech progress with some exercises that the speech therapist gave us but they are not working at all. Instead of even trying to use words as he was doing before we moved he has completely regressed into screaming or throwing a tantrum until I can figure out what he wants (then I try to implement the exercises the therapist suggested but nope it just makes him more frustrated). Some days a better than others but the past few days have been full of his crying because he is so upset because he can’t really explain what he wants.
4. Listen & Learn. Sometimes advice isn’t really helpful but sometimes it is when it comes to your children. When getting unsolicited or solicited advice just “shut up and listen”, they might know something you don’t. I made a new friend this week and she was really helpful in her advice of making the transition from a crib to a big boy bed, solicited advice that was well received. Even though every kid is different, remember if you are a first time parent don’t kid yourself, you don’t really know what to do about 99.9% of the time because you are basically winging it anyway.
5. You will never have anyone love or need you as much as your toddler does right now. After an awful day yesterday or nap time battles and Killian screaming because he can’t get his point across, my beautiful boy looks at me, smiles a huge smile, takes his little hands grabs both of my cheeks and plants a big kiss on my lips. It hits me that it doesn’t matter how frustrated we get, at the end of the day we still love each other no matter what and that is what helps this parent to make it through another day in toddler paradise.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”