What if You Don’t Want Things To Be “Okay”

Oct 15, 2020

You did it!

You’ve officially completed the yom tov marathon.

You traveled or cooked and baked (or both!), you cleaned up from messes, decorated the sukkah, got to shul for shofar and maybe for some davening, too.

You did chol hamoed trips, tashlich, kapparos.

For some families, this week they’ve settled back into routine - school, playgroup, work.

But for many other families, this week is recovery week: trying to figure out how to get everyone back on schedule -- or simply “on schedule” to begin with! (Whatever that’s supposed to mean!)

And as you’re thrust back into the overhaul of “regular life again” while trying to juggle yet another change, you have a choice:

Do you want to be “okay”?

Now is when you choose: do you want to get yourself back to just “okay”, or do you want to take advantage of this transition time to make the change to move to “great!”

It doesn’t take much for things to be “okay”; a tight smile with a clipped response is all it takes to “be fine”.

“Okay” sounds like what Avigayil had:

This baby was just like all of my other babies: I needed to hold her all day every day in order for her to be calm. Of course, that made things complicated when my other kids needed my attention or wanted to sit on my lap, it made car rides a nightmare, and it made supper prep messy, to say the least.

It was okay. I knew that, eventually we’d get through this one way or another… but I wished that, much as I loved holding and cuddling with her, that I could also put her down sometimes to give my other kids attention, do housework, or take care of the other areas of my life. 

I wished that I could hold her because I wanted to and not because I had to if I didn’t want her to cry.

It was okay - Avigayil was making it work. She was managing.

But, when we dug deeper we realized that… it wasn’t actually okay.

Your baby is naturally happy - no matter how kvetchy he is

See here’s the truth: babies can’t lie.

And, as the most transparent human beings that exist, babies will let you know exactly what is going on. If something’s wrong, they’ll let you know. 

And if NOTHING is wrong they’ll also let you know. By being content.

Babies are created naturally happy. Naturally content. Naturally (once they’re old enough to) coo-ing and gurgling and laughing.

Any baby, of any age, can lay on the floor calmly.

Unless, of course, something is wrong.

Which means that Avigayil’s baby - as well as many other babies - who couldn’t lay calmly and “just needed to be held” was, actually, uncomfortable. Even though it was “okay”.

Avigayil’s baby, as with most babies I work with, had a simple case of sleep deprivation that was causing her to be so uncomfortable.

Making the transition from “okay” to “great!” was simply a matter of:

  1. Figuring out what this little cutie needed.
  2. Deciding how we were going to help her get what she needed.
  3. And doing it!

So now - I ask you: do you want it to be “okay”?

Do you choose “okay” or “great”?

So as you’re getting back into the swing of things as Tishrei 5781 comes to a close, do you choose for your baby’s temperament to be “okay” or “great”?

Do you choose for your baby’s sleep to be “okay” or “great”?

Do you choose for your baby to feel “okay” or “great”?

You do get to choose.

Tell me what you choose below!

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