word of the day: assume\ə-ˈsüm\ to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true; to begin a role or a duty
Lately I have enjoyed reading blogs directed to new moms. You know, “Things I wish my friends would have told me” or “Things you can do for your friend with a new baby” or “Things you should make sure to pack in your hospital bag.”
I don’t read them for advice though. I read them because now, as a seasoned mom of two who has it all figured out, I like to see if anyone else has it as put together as I do.
In other news, does anyone else wish there was an eye rolling emoji? Who can I talk to about that?
Truthfully, I do read those blogs from time to time, and they always cause me to wonder what my advice is. What’s my list of things that get me through the dark days of parenting? My tidbit of wisdom that I'd pass on to the person about to embrace it all?
I realized the other day that I don’t have a list. I just have one thing.
Assume the best. (and, for the record, I hardly ever do this well.)
I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, but it crystallized into a fully formed thought after Jake and I had this conversation while he was eating his dinner on Sunday night:
Me: So, you’re not going to save any of your food for Lily to eat?
Jake: You know, you could assume the best of me. You could just say, “Hey, will you save
some of that for Lily?” Because, obviously I would.
I have been thinking about it a lot since and a lot prior (shocker, I know), and I have decided that 99% of parenting and marriage and relational struggles can be diffused by assuming the best.
Your kid is screaming her head off for no apparent reason? Assume the best. It’s doubtful that she’s actively trying to destroy you (although it may feel otherwise).Your husband forgot to vacuum? Assume the best. He’s not doing it to spite you. He just forgot. Or decided playing with your kids was more important. Which IS the best.
Your toddler decides to throw a tantrum in the middle of the mall? Assume the best. She’s still learning how to be a person. You haven’t even fully figured it out yet. It’s hard work sometimes.
Your husband is sleeping on a Saturday morning instead of waking up to spend time with you? Assume the best because you know you would still be sleeping too if you could be.
I say you when I really mean me because I’m not writing this for you; I’m writing this for me. There are so many moments when I feel anger or frustration or self-pity rising up inside of me, and when I am able to take a deep breath and remind myself to assume the best of people, those feelings are much more manageable. They talk me down from the edge of the pit of despair.
(I’ve tend to be a little over-dramatic sometimes. Ask Jake. He’ll tell you.)
It doesn’t apply in all cases. Take Lily for instance. If I always assumed the best, Norah would have a lot more bite marks on her fingers and head butts to the head. Lily's a loose cannon, you know?
It has, though, become my new quest to assume the best of the people who love me and really want the best for me--I think it's sometimes easiest to assume the worst from the best people in our lives. Another tricky lie if you ask me.
So, there you have it. The last blog post you’ll ever need to read. Assume the best and all your problems in life will be solved.
Darn that absent eye-rolling emoji.