How to Simplify Your Parenting
Anyone who is reading this has probably gone through a time in their life when they are completely overwhelmed with all the tasks they have to fill and roles they play as a mom/wife/friend/sister/daughter or any number of other hats they wear. One concept that I have learned to embrace and that we at The Baby Cubby try to embody is that parents are all superheroes. I can honestly say that I believe that! I also believe that we all (mothers and every human) have super powers. But, you have to stop comparing other's super powers to yours - we do not all have the same gifts and talents for a reason! If you're struggling with this concept and you feel like you aren't able to thrive and enjoy life then take my advice: focus on your priorities and what you are good at! The rest of life is just a bonus. I often look around at friends and neighbors and try to reenact what they are doing, so to speak. One thing in particular are those gosh darn adorable birthday parties moms throw. I figured by throwing an extravagant birthday party I would be happier and so would my kids! So of course thats what I did. Every time I planned and executed these adorable parties I got a lot of satisfaction, but with that I also felt even more frustration, stress, and disappointment. Throwing adorable birthday parties is not a talent of mine nor is it a priority! When I finally realized that and accepted it I started celebrating birthdays in a more mellow way. My kids are no less happy and I can enjoy the festivities that much more because I can focus on what is important to me - like living in the moment with my kids.
I want to help every mom who feels they are struggling with this never-ending and completely complicated job that we call motherhood! I encourage anyone who is struggling to evaluate what your priorities are. Here, I even have some priority examples to help get your thoughts going: time with my kids, house being clean, God, time with my spouse, healthy dinners, how my kids look, making money, play dates, serving others, vacations, sporting events, and celebrations. After deciding what is and is not a priority for you I suggest you evaluate how much time you dedicate to each of these priorities since that time adds up quicker than you think! If you are investing time in activities that are not important to you then you may want to reconsider how you spend you time in order to live a more authentic life.
When I got divorced I quickly learned that I could not do all the things I used to do because I had to go to work (which I am very happy about since that means I am able to reach out to you now). This forced me to evaluate exactly what was important to me and essentially "trim the fat." One experience that stuck out to me was when I was feeling overwhelmed with folding laundry (which I'm sure none of you have experienced, right?). I always had a pile of laundry on my couch and it seemed to consume all of my free time...just looming in the corner nagging me, basically. One day when talking to a friend about my dilemma she said "what if you didn't fold your laundry? What if you just had the boys separate it and put it away in their drawers unfolded?" GASP!!! Anyone who knows me and my perfectionism knows that this concept was about as absurd as they come, I literally could not fathom this. I thought about this concept more, "how would not folding my laundry serve me better?" First, it would free up time for me to spend with my kids. Second, I would not feel this constant nagging in the back of my mind of something I needed to do that would never get done. And third, it would give me an opportunity to involve the boys in doing housework. I was starting to warm up to the idea, but letting go of my perfect looking drawers was extremely difficult (I know this sounds silly, but you truly don't understand the awesomeness of a perfect drawer to a perfectionist). In the end I did give up on folding my kid's clothes and have not regretted it once! What I love about this is that as I have given up the expectation of doing this chore I no longer feel guilty while staring at a huge pile of laundry in my living room; but instead, when I have time I can actually fold laundry with no pressure and even enjoy it! A little anyway. ;) This small practice has helped me remember to invest more time in my priorities (spending time with my boys) and not stress over the less important roles I play (like keeping my house tidy and neat).
No clothes were unfolded for the taking of this photo ;-) My boys are wearing adorable Tea Collection Pajamas and a Rags to Raches Romper. As you can see we love snuggling up in our Saranoni Blanket. One of our favorite toys to play with together are Tegu Blocks.
What expectations are you holding onto that are getting in the way of living your life how you really want to and investing time in your priorities? I would really love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments. This can also help other moms out there who may be experiencing some of the same things you are!
I am happily living my authentic life, and I hope you will join me,