I am now 19 weeks pregnant, finished with the first trimester (YES!!!) and feeling like an actual human being again. For the first few months I felt nauseous, sick, and generally depressed the majority of the time. I’d felt like I had nothing to write, not a lot to say. And on my worst days my posts probably would’ve sounded more like angry rants than inspiring and encouraging posts, so better we just let those ones die.
But now, as the nausea and tiredness begin to dwindle, the sun begins to shine and I feel myself being revitalized, I’ve been contemplating how often as a mom we learn to just roll with it. If you had told me ten years ago that a little pee in the bathroom, jam on the counter, crumbs forever around my table, and fingerprints everywhere wouldn’t bother me, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.
But today, I can honestly say that for the most part, they don’t.
Take, for instance, this pregnancy. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t unplanned. My husband and I knew we’d like more children and just waited to see what would happen…that was four years ago. So in April when I realized that I may be pregnant I was surprised and excited, while also wondering if this was the right time for it to happen. And I realize (like many things) that I don’t have a lot of control and better to just trust that God does and let it be. Because really, before getting married and starting my family, I was a pretty rigid person. It’s part of my personality. It helped me be successful and disciplined in many areas of my life, but has wreaked havoc in my ability to be a good mom. Not that I am bashing structure. Not at all. My house is still pretty structured, to the point of being “boring” and “predictable” to my children. No, I’m talking more about my attitude and need to be in control that has changed.
For example, here are some of the ways I have learned to just roll with it now that I’m a mom:
My kids pick out their own clothes. This is not a fight worth having. At least, not anymore in my house. I’ve given up on my beautiful matching Gymboree outfits and accessories. I have bigger fish to fry. They can wear what they want. “Oh you’re going to wear your Tiger football shirt to school, the one that you have three versions of that you got for free after the season last year while all the new cute collared shirts I bought are buried in your closet? Whatever. Just please, if anybody asks, tell them your mother has bought you plenty of other clothes that now just sit in your closet.”
Dirt is not the enemy. Seriously. My kids play in it and wear it with honor. And, on occasion, eat it. I’m okay with this. Especially since they usually wear their grubby clothes that they picked out anyway.
We do not get involved in every activity on the planet. Oh, my kids play sports. Jasmine is going to theater camp this summer. But we do not spend the majority of our time in organized activities. I doubt I’m raising the next Broadway star or professional ball player. We’re in what my kids enjoy and we’ll skip the rest. I don’t need to keep up with anybody.
My house and now yard are definitely below par, especially when compared to our neighbors. A few years ago, allowing weeds to grow in my flowerbeds would’ve been horrific to me. Today I just went and looked in my backyard at my beds that have yet to be weeded or even cleaned out from this past winter. Wow. I think I have flowers but they’re hiding behind the tall grass that has decided to grow. If anyone needs crab grass this year, we have a plethora available. I’ll try to get them cleared out this week, maybe.
Yes, being a mom has definitely made me loosen my control on how others perceive me and my children, and I guess that’s not all bad. Because I’d much rather be honest about who I am and how I’m doing than constantly feel like I’ve got to put up some sort of front. So, kids, for that I guess I should say thank you for all the silly things you do, say, and wear that can be embarrassing and humbling and freeing all at the same time.
Ok, now I want to know: What things in life have taught you the value of just being able to “roll with it?”