Celebrate the Wins of Surviving Another Week


A woman celebrating life with her children.As I progress in my second decade of parenting, I want to tell everyone trailing behind me that you are doing a fantastic job! Please know that you do not need to be perfect, and sometimes you need to lower your standards for yourself and your family.

We all have those weeks where the convergence of events and work or personal obligations pile up, and it is all you can do to collapse on the couch when you get home on Friday. Every moment you do not yell at your kids is a victory. Where in the rush and chaos, glasses are dropped and broken. Dinner is from a drive-through, maybe multiple times a week, rather than being healthy and homemade. Or because the kids are screaming in the car, you accidentally back up out of the garage and rip off that piece of trim that holds the seal around the garage door (that is not based on a real example).

Sometimes it is all we can do to survive.

So when you are having one of these weeks, or maybe a streak of 6-10 in a row (also not based on a real example), sometimes you have to reframe how you are looking at everything and find the wins hidden amongst the losses.

Did you have any positive interactions with your kiddo? You are still in the communication zone when your children are engaging with you about an idea, asking you ANY questions, or articulating their desires to you regardless of volume level or amount of decorum. These count as positive interactions even when they don’t feel like it at the moment because engaging, even loudly, is so much better than if they are giving you the silent treatment.

Did you have moments where you got a hug, a thank you, or a moment of calm for yourself, perhaps to pee without anyone trying to talk to you for 90 seconds? These are all significant wins that though fleeting, need to count.

Did you remember at least once to walk away and give yourself a time out rather than having a conflict with your spouse or your kid? I’m sure that every time you do this, you earn an entry for some parenting prize. I’m unsure who gives it or what it is, but I know it is awesome.

Did you manage to get your kids to all of their events and yourself to your work meetings? Did you meet many deadlines and keep all the balls in the air? Rumor has it that if you drop the ball, you can sometimes “catch it on the bounce,” No one will even notice that it ever fell, not that I would personally know.

Look back through your day or your week, and make sure to notice all of the wins. I know you are doing great! Please give yourself credit for all you are doing right so that you can feel good about yourself, your parenting, and your partnering.

You got this, mama! And next week, when you survive it all, you get another entry for that awesome prize from the universe.

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Erika is a professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies and mom to two kids (2010 and 2013) plus two cats (2005 and 2019). A Midwestern transplant who has lived in 32 places, she has happily called Fairfield her home for the past 12 years. At work, she directs a program to support first-generation and underrepresented student success in science. In town, she can often be found driving her kids back and forth to their respective sporting events and teams or sitting in a coffee shop using the wifi to get a little work done before pick up. Erika loves spending time enjoying the water, cooking, theater, reading, and hanging out with her husband.


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