I was reminded of this lesson once again this week. The ironic part is that I gave the advice and then realized I wasn’t following it. My babysitter was asking me how to deal with my son on certain things. He is drawing closer to the age of two and expressing more opinions and independence. (My babysitter hasn’t been around a toddler in a while, so she is getting the cram course). She told me that she struggles with small things, like him refusing to wear his shoes. He takes them off and refuses to put them back on. When she tries to put them on him, he takes them back off.
This actually made me laugh. I asked, “why is it so important to have his shoes on?” She had no good reason. I told her to pick her battles. Save for the big ones, but don’t sweat the small stuff. So many times we are trying to fit things into our way of thinking without always understanding why we’re even doing it. I tend to be labeled “Laid Back” on occasions just because I tend to not see the point of fighting silly battles. I’ll save my energy for the ones that are important.
Then, the exact same day, I found myself struggling with my kids art classes. I spent the majority of the class trying to get them to be quiet, to listen, to sit still, and to do things the way I wanted them to be done. After completely exhausting and near tears I felt like I had gotten in over my head. I started to question whether I’m cut out for teaching kids. Then finally I heard myself giving the advice, “choose your battles”. I had an AH HA moment. What is my end goal? Is it the project, or is it to make them sit quietly in their seats? Once I quit fighting the small battles and work on what I really am trying to accomplish, my life suddenly got much easier.
Maybe it’s time to reevaluate what small battles I am trying to fight, breathe deep, and let them go.