Maybe it’s being in summer mode – the warm weather, (the thoughts of) the ocean, the kiddies off from school – that has me feeling a bit more chill. I admit, if you ask fellow rebels, Nikita and Aleksandra, they’ll tell you I am rarely, and I mean barely ever on pause. I’m always moving, doing, driving – somewhere, to something. So, to be on cruise control for me can still look like speeding for some. And yet here I am, in July, with thoughts about how to make my life more calm.
By extension I have been doing more reading. After all, reading helps to slow everything down – for me, at least. I’d love to say I’ve been reading something profound. My pile of novels is sky high, and yet I’ve been cruising through social media. I’m not even going to hide in embarrassment. I love it. Most of it. Truthfully, much of it is profound, and eye-opening, and in many instances, hard to believe it’s reality.
Now, there are legitimately things in the world currently requiring our attention, our action, our thoughts, and our collective consciousness. I am not denying any of this. In fact, much of my time is spent searching for ways in which I can to make even the slightest difference in these instances. These are the things we should be focusing on.
Then there’s the rest. The minutia. The stuff that’s really occupying our time, our conversations, and effectively deflecting us from the big things. We worry a lot about opinions. Opinions people have about our kids. Opinions we have of theirs.
There is a lot of “you should do this”, “you should do that”, “I would never use this”, “I would never do that”, “my kid could never” … And it’s coming from our fellow moms. It’s exhausting, judgey, and not at all the calm I’ve been searching for.
So, I thought to myself, maybe, just maybe, if we could all chill the hell out about the little things, surely we’d be better off. Trust me when I say my intentions are not to be judgey in return by telling you to do something – I see the irony in the fact that I’m even writing this. All I’m doing is reflecting on past observations, and suggesting some changes we could make in order to be happier and more supportive of one another.
After all, as moms, we are always worrying. Always stressing. Always trying to be the best. And guess what? There is no best. There is no perfect. There is just you, hustling, trying to love your kids the best you know how.
With that said, here is a recommendation of 5 things you may want to consider letting go of this summer:
Stop trying to find the perfect time to do something.
Just stop. There is no such thing. What seems like the perfect time for someone else, is never your reality. If you want something to happen, start steering yourself in that direction. There is never the perfect time to have a kid, start potty training, start sleep training, start solids, take a trip, start a new job. Do it already. Chances are if you are already feeling it, it’s probably the right time.
Stop worrying about what your kids are playing – as long as they’re playing something.
Who cares? Really. Your son wants to play with dolls? Let him. Your daughter wants to play with trucks?
Are we still talking about this, nonsense?
Picking activities to live vicariously through your kids? Not worth it. It’s amazing how much time we spend curating the things we feel they need, without even asking them. Besides, as long as they’re not running around with scissors, don’t sweat it. Your kids will be adults one day and they’ll have a lifetime filled with different boxes people will try to stuff them in. It’s not that important. They just need to be happy.
Forget about the opinions others have about how you manage your family.
This not something you should ever be worried about. Lots of people, including strangers, can have a lot to say about things they aren’t involved in. Many can have high moral certainty about things they know nothing about. Stop thinking about “what other people will say”, and do what you know is good for your family.
If you really need help, go to the people you love and who love you and ask for sound advice. The rest is noise.
Stop letting your opinion of other people’s families and kids stress you out.
Do you really care what so-and-so’s kid is wearing? Does it really bother you that your kid’s classmate is vegan? Does it really matter to you? WHY? Does caring about whether your neighbour’s kid is a better student than yours do anything to improve your child’s success? Nope. Move on.
Stop thinking there is an answer for everything.
There isn’t. In fact, there are probably many possible outcomes in any given situation. Maybe instead of Googling everything, experiment. Try something out. Go with your gut. See if it works for you. If not, move on.
There isn’t going to be an answer that will suit every child, mom, family. And while this may seem like a bit of deflection, it’s rather an attempt to get us to not be so critical of our decisions, and more open to possibilities.
So, if you are feeling really stressed about keeping up and staying ahead, let the summer calm inspire you to be a bit less consumed with the noise, and more present in the family that you have – your imperfectly perfect brood that is going to be nothing but perfectly fine.