Monday, January 25, 2010

Lt. Mom, Navy SEAL

Once I received my final college degree, I believed I'd experienced my last all nighter. Then came my newborns and I got to pull successive all nighters. Now that my newborns are toddlers and beyond, I've again felt confident all nighters are a thing of the past. That is until last night. Here's why:

A sick one year old + night in a hotel shared by the entire family = no sleep

At first I was a little angry about the situation. Then I remembered: he's one, he's sick, and he's pretty darn cute. Chris and I switched shifts, trying to help other members of the family squeeze in a little sleep without hearing the wails of their little brother. The on call parent would spend his/her shift making laps in the car, attempting to soothe and induce slumber for our infirmed toddler. On my 5 a.m. shift, I took Collin into McDonalds for an early breakfast. I was hoping a McD's yogurt parfait would do the trick. No luck, more crying and lots of enraged senior citizens annoyed that we were disrupting their usually peaceful breakfast hour.

Once morning finally arrived, the two sleep deprived adults were a little bleary eyed and loopy. I turned on the Today show to unwind. A story came on about the Navy SEALs training. The reporter made an interesting statement at the end of her piece. She said a need for greater physical endurance is not the reason most Navy SEALs drop out of training. Rather, most drop out of training because of the need for greater mental toughness.

I thought about this statement in relation to parenting. Motherhood can be completely physically exhausting between sleep deprivation and additional physical demands placed upon a body. However, the thing that is most crucial to surviving and succeeding in motherhood, despite its physical demands, is mental toughness. I decided to have the Navy SEALs mentaility for the day. We were tired, we were physically exhausted, but we aspired for mental toughness (at least until bedtime!).

No comments:

Post a Comment