Today has been a disaster. 

It's the school holidays and it's hard. My eldest (5) seemed to be panicky over every little thing. His drawing wasn't perfect. One of the fingers he drew, on one of the hands, on one of the people in his drawing wasn’t right so his pencil got thrown across the room and a loud growl was omitted. Thankfully I was right next to him already so we managed to calm down before the picture was scrunched up and disposed of. That, however, seemed to sum up most of my day with him.

On our walk this afternoon, he reached into the road to try to poke a passing post van with a stick, despite me telling him not to. He would not leave his little sister alone, splashed us all with muddy puddles that he jumped in with his shoes rather than the wellies he hadn’t wanted to wear, and sat down in the middle of the road a few times. There were also the attempts to bite me, the hitting and pulling as he loudly objected to having his hand held as a means of stopping him from pushing his sister.

My youngest (3) was obviously not impressed that she no longer had my undivided attention all day. She was loud. I'd forgotten how loud she could be. Every time I tried to have a conversation with anyone else, she either spoke over the top of me, shouted about something, spoke to herself at volume or just made noise. I'm not usually a shouter. It’s just not really me. I have plenty of other flaws, but shouting doesn’t usually come naturally. Today I definitely raised my voice a lot. I grumbled at the kids. I complained at them, I ate cake when they weren't looking! And I even did that thing, the thing that as soon as I did it I rolled my eyes at myself for doing. I shouted, 'would you please just stop shouting all the time!' to my littlest. Well that was top notch modelling on my part! 

But do you know what? As I was sitting in the dark in my son's room, stroking his hair to help him fall asleep, I began to think. Today has not been all bad. It's just that I have focussed on the bad things. Bad things seem to be so much easier to remember, somehow. So, I made a conscious choice. I chose to review the day in my head, looking for the positives. 

It was a difficult day. My eldest struggled. My youngest struggled. I struggled. We all made some bad choices, but we made some good choices too. Today, we practiced apologising and forgiving one another. We read stories together, we made a list of fun things we would like to do together during the remainder of the holidays. With some encouragement, the kids shared their toys with each other. My eldest learnt how to do turns on his bike during our walk. He went onto the grass verge independently when he spotted a car coming. The kids were fed, they were exercised, they were read to, they were cuddled, they were listened to. I took my littlest to a music class and my eldest played with his beloved Grandad. Now, they are both tucked up, warm, cosy and safe in their beds, with full tummies, knowing that they are loved. 

Today was hard, but today also had blessings and little wins for my family. I just had to change my perspective and look for them. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the hard stuff with our kids, especially during the holidays, but I have found it improves my mental health immensely to actively look for all the good in each day too. There is always some good there to be found if I look hard enough! 

Adoption UK Parent Partner