I grew up in the South where it didn’t matter whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not. There was no way we were going to have six more weeks of winter, but for some reason I always thought Groundhog Day was magical.
A friend pointed out to me the other day how parenting sometimes feels like the movie, Groundhog Day. So I watched the movie again for the first time in fifteen years and couldn’t agree more. In lieu of cute crafts and snacks to celebrate the ever so famous Groundhog Day, I am going to write about when parenting feels like Bill Murray’s experience in Groundhog Day.
Every weekday morning my alarm sounds at 5:30, and I get up to do the same exact routine week after week. I joke that the only reason that I would need a planner is to keep track of meal prep for each day. Everything else I can remember because it’s pretty much the same every day. This was the reality that Bill Murray woke up to. At first he resented this new lifestyle that made him repeat Groundhog day. Sometimes, as a stay at home mom, I wish there was more excitement to my life than the occasional switching up our routine to add something like a gymnastics class to the mix. I think to myself that maybe the grass is greener on the other side, that maybe things would be more glamorous in a high paced job somewhere else. Murray woke up every morning hoping it would be any day besides the one he repeated over and over again.
Then, there was a transformation over the course of the movie. Murray started taking every opportunity he could to live the day like he would never get another one. He started caring about people and making a difference in the short 24 hour period. This made me think, what if each day was practice to try to perfect the next? What if I could learn to avoid the 5 p.m. meltdown from my twins by changing up our routine? What if I could learn the ins and outs of my kids and what makes them tick, to better love and care for them?So whether you live in the frozen tundra of the Northeast or the mild climate of the South, may you be encouraged by what the groundhog sees, or doesn’t see, this year. In the movie, it was six more weeks of winter, which seemed bleak to many of the people because of how long the cold would remain, but to Murray he saw the beauty in the monotony of a long winter. The same can be said of parenting and seeing the beauty in reminding your six-year-old every day to be kind to her younger brothers. Murray wrapped up his last report before moving on to the next day with the best quote of the movie, “when Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.” There is beauty in every season of parenting.