I’m Not Going There

I’m pulling this post out the archives because I needed this reminder. Thought I would share in case you did too…

I got up this morning with a mission to help my daughter.  For homework, she was asked to gather pictures of herself which capture her favorite things.  As I began skimming through files of photos on my computer, you would have thought I was spending most of my time smiling and reminiscing about the past.  To my surprise, recalling those days caused me to feel like I was failing as a MOM.

You see, after I had my first daughter, seven years ago, I did a great job taking lots of pictures and getting them into a scrapbook in a timely matter.  As life got more hectic and our family grew, I didn’t capture the same moments by photograph with my other two kids—probably because I usually had one kid on my hip and a basket of laundry in the other.

The reality is, life will always be hectic and I CaN’t Do iT ALL.  As soon as I had those sunken feelings this morning I could see how this day was going to pan out—feeling guilty ALL day about the numerous things I should be doing better.  Like how I should plan meals ahead of time instead of pulling meat from the freezer at 4:59 every afternoon…or logging our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet every month instead of staring at a pile of receipts from the last 11 months. The list is never-ending, isn’t it?

SOURCE
SOURCE

Instead, as soon as my daughter left for school, I shut those feelings down by thinking to myself, “I’m not going there”.  I’m not going to spend the entire day beating myself up about my areas of weakness as a mother (or the other roles I play).  To help, I tried to imagine what our seven-month-old would say to me when he becomes an adult.  If he knew how terrible I felt for not taking pictures of his sweet feet when he was only a few days old, he would say, “Mom….really?  That’s what you’re worried about?  It’s not a big deal. Really.”  And then he would go on to remind me how I would play tractors with him on the living room floor and  spontaneously make him a farmyard out of old oatmeal containers and cereal boxes.  Ahh…thank you, my sweet kiddos, for loving me for my imperfect self.  And Leanne, make sure you remember this if you become a Mom some day. Don’t be so hard on yourself 🙂

So if this is you today, pick yourself up and start focusing on the things you do well.  You simply can’t do it all.  Don’t let special moments (like scanning through years of pictures and reflecting on the past with your kids) pass you by because you are beating yourself up, wishing you’d done better.

From one parent to another, I think you are doing just fine 😉

Your Lara

All-or-Nothing: Can you relate to my story?

Some days I wonder what happened to me. You know, the girl who grew up believing when she was a Mom there would never be a pile of mail at the end of the dinner table. The girl who would always be able to see the bottom of the laundry basket because “it’s not that hard to quickly throw in a load of dirty laundry to stay caught up.” Yeah. Right.

I was the girl classified as the typical Type A personality: a far cry from a procrastinator, driven by a to-do list, punctual, organized, passionate. Yes, I was all of those things, and to some degree I still am. But to sum it up, more than anything, I was this:

All-or-Nothing

That’s right. I had an idea in my mind of how things should go and if it didn’t happen a certain way then I might as well forget it. If I couldn’t stay caught up on my mail and laundry then I might as well clear my entire schedule, ignore the kids for an entire day, and put all my focus on getting caught up until I could officially mark it off my to-do list.  After about five years of living this way I learned this mindset was a never-ending battle. I was always beating myself up and missing out on precious moments of life because I was so fixated on the way things should go. I thought if I did everything by the book, then things should fall perfectly into place. Boy was I wrong.Mail

Fast forward a bit and I’m still the same girl, but I think I have found the new me. I still have type A tendencies, but God has sanded my rough edges and taught me to relax a little. To pitch the all-or-nothing mindset. I’m now the girl (and Mom) that realizes at 4:00 in the afternoon she hasn’t brushed her teeth yet. And instead of feeling guilty about having to admit her failures at her upcoming dentist appointment, she is happy that at least she remembered *wink*. I’m the girl that catches herself turning to food in a stressful moment and 600 calories later stops and realizes that food won’t make her stress go away so she hits “reset” and doesn’t beat herself up over what just happened. I’m the girl that will take what I can get even if it isn’t perfect. I’m able to let go on those early mornings I get up to work, but have a little kid pitter-patter down the hall starting my day 2 hours early because he can’t sleep. I adjust. I savor. I now live for those moments because I understand that PEACE happens when you stop trying to control everything.

Letting go of the all-or-nothing mindset will take your #Peace to a whole new level. It has for me anyway. Although I wonder what happened to the old me I am actually grateful I never found her…because the new me has more peace in her life than she ever thought possible.

Your Lara

Take Home Message:  Peace happens when you stop trying to control everything and pitch the all-or-nothing mindset.