Moms (and Dads) we need to cut ourselves some slack. Seriously, this epidemic of helicoptering, sheltering, ever-present guilt – it just needs to stop. We could probably all use a little minimalist parenting. We need to pare down, purge, excise the excess.
This is going to be a short post because frankly – I’m tired. But, as I sit here in the middle of the afternoon feeling the caffeine wear off and my eye lids grow heavier, I have to wonder how this constant state of exhaustion came to be.
Now, this immediate exhaustion is caused by the fact that I downloaded a new book and couldn’t put it down and was up stupid-late and still can’t put it down and now my eyes hurt *deep breath*
But that aside, I’m just busy. The hubs and I divide and conquer in order to get everything done. Between juggling several clients (I love you all), it’s construction season so the hubs is working bunches of overtime, trying to keep the health department away from my house, keep track of who is going where when and with whom and when they’ll be back — and how do we get them all there and back again… Between trying to chase my dream and get this novel written and be a good mom and not neglect my marriage and damn – the lawn needed trimming five days ago.
It Just Gets Busier
Suck it up, right. Everyone is busy.
I think back to when my kids were little and I pleaded with God to just make this child sleep through the night, go on the potty reliably, stop peeing in the yard…
Now I plead with God to keep them safe because I can’t be with them all the time, cause I’m not sure I trust that boy (and probably won’t trust the next one either) and that’s not the decision I would have made, My mama-bear instincts flare up when hard work isn’t rewarded. Are they prepared for what’s next — and what about date nights — and have I lost myself in the whole mess…
There’s this trend to downsize, purge, keep only what you need. Don’t let your stuff own you. Maybe there’s room to be a minimalist parent. I don’t struggle so much with wanting to give my kids everything I didn’t have – I didn’t want for very much as a kid. There were lots of things I wanted to do and couldn’t, but we always had food, new clothes in September, school materials, freedom, attention, etc. I didn’t have a perfect childhood but no one does. Providing stuff doesn’t haunt me as a parent, but how I spend my time does.
Maybe it’s OK to just be the best mom I can be. I don’t have to set aside my own dreams just so they can play another instrument, join another team, tour France on March Break. Maybe it’s more important to model good priorities, balance, and sound judgement than carve out more time to buy/spend/travel/own more. Maybe I need to model what taking care of yourself and others looks like. I’d rather play a board game or go for a walk in the bush near our house than spend hours in traffic driving to competitions. I’d rather sit on a swing and talk current events with my husband than divvy up who is driving who where.
What Owns You?
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things, but the doing has come to own me. I am planting seeds of busyness and I’m not sure I’ll like what I harvest. I’d rather carve out time for relationship than things. I’d rather stay up late talking about boys or dating or feminine hygiene stashes than taking on that extra project. Maybe I’m busy without purpose, and maybe the focus should be more on being together than doing together.
I don’t really have any answers, and to be honest I’m not sure we need answers. There’s value in stumbling, searching, backtracking, apologizing, pulling out the map – again, and laughing til tears stream down your cheeks because teenagers are funny.
There’s definitely a better balance to be found in my life and I’ll be spending the summer months wrestling with what that looks like for our family. Are you happy with the balance between work/family/obligations in your life?