If babies could talk, I believe they would tell us, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
Those of us who are parents know what it feels like to hold that first new baby in our arms. The feeling is so overwhelming it cannot be put into words. It has to be experienced! I remember rocking my first baby and crying. I was so overwhelmed with love for this new life I was holding and also overwhelmed with taking care of her! Raising kids can be stressful especially when we feel the need to put them in a big bubble or hover over them constantly to PROTECT them. Eventually, I had another child, then another and now 4. Surviving motherhood with 4 kids is a whole different ball game than it was with 1. Eventually I had to learn to just LET SOME THINGS GO! I could hover over them 24/7 to keep them “safe” but not only would I never get anything else done, my kids wouldn’t learn to grow on their own either. So…I’ve learned to Let it go….so my kids can grow!
If you are a first time parent, have no fear! Eventually life does get back to normal again. Well, a NEW normal. Isn’t it amazing how we learn to adapt? Anyhow, here are 5 things I have learned to let go of, and I guarantee you, my kids could care less or even notice!
1. Matching clothes and socks. Hey! Have you noticed that mismatched socks are the latest fad? I don’t know who thought of it but I bet it was a MOM! If your child is wearing mismatched socks or clothes, just let it go! If they don’t care, why should you? If you think you will be the worst mom on the block if your child’s outfit isn’t color coordinated, then stock their drawers with neutral colored pants and shorts that will match ANY top. Otherwise, just let them be.
2. Perfectly Clean Bedrooms. This was so hard for me! I just wanted them to organize their rooms…like mine. Problem is, they are not me! I finally just said they needed to keep things off the floor and let them decorate and organize the way they see fit. Every kid needs some space to call their own!
3. Playing outside WITHOUT adult supervision. I’ll probably get roasted for this one. I’m NOT saying your should send your baby and toddler outside, wave good-bye and go about your business…obviously! Most parents just know when their kids can be left alone for longer than a minute…by themselves. But, eventually children are old enough to know NOT to run into the road, NOT to talk to strangers, and NOT to run off! My kids LONG to be outside! If I hovered over them 24/7, 1 of 2 things would happen. Either they would turn into vegetables because they would never get to go outside because of my ever growing to-do list OR I would never get anything done and would sit outside with them all day! So, 3 out of 4 of my kids are old enough to play outside in the cul-de-sac without me. The youngest I keep a close eye on inside or set aside time fragments to take him on walks or watch him play outside. Ignore the dirty looks from your neighbors and just let ’em play!
4. Grades. By no means do I encourage my kids to be lazy or not do their very best. Seriously though, is it really vital that your child get straight A’s in every subject? It’s grade school! As long as they are doing their very best, who cares! My mom would only get upset at me for lower grades at school if she knew I got them from being lazy. If I had done my best, she only had praises to send my way.
5. Allow them to FAIL! Life’s greatest lessons can be learned from our greatest failures. Don’t be afraid to let your kids fail….and fail miserably! If you always step in to save them, what will they do when you’re not around? There will be many messes, fights with friends, missed assignments, missed rides to school, missing shoes, and tears from hurt feelings. Allow them to see YOU fail too! My kids KNOW I’m far from perfect (and remind me constantly) but I hope they remember it when they become parents themselves so they can realize it’s OK!
I recently read an awesome post on Perfection Pending called, “If First Time Mom Me and Current Me Met.” I thought it was AWESOME! It shows (in a very humorous way) how each of us grow into parenthood. Read it if you have a minute! Of course, now you’ll have that extra minute right?
Still feeling overwhelmed? You might try reading this post.