Week 27 | She Let Go


 … it's the hardest of any we've done so far.  Letting go isn't always easy.  But, first you have homework!  Go to this post and read it.  Then, visually think about what you will let go of this week.  Or maybe forever?  Do the prompts.  Write about it. 

--Shawn @AA/P52 

Shawn was right when she said this one is hard.  It is one of my Mommy Mantras that I come back to often, and one that, when used, benefits everyone involved.

When the girls were younger, I used to cringe to let the girls play in the garage with Daddy.  The dust and dead bugs on the floor, the tools they could impale themselves with, the chemicals of (contained) bug spray and paint.  They loved their garage-time with Daddy, and when I decided to let him handle the girls, at his urging I'm sure, and let go, I found that they did just fine.  Now when they want to be out there, I take it as my time to do what I need to do inside.  And when I take out snacks, I see that they are happy: they are hammering nails into cardboard boxes with their pink hammer; using their pink tape measure to measure just about everything; putting sponsor stickers on chairs or anything else Dad gives the nod to.  Letting go gave me less stress, it hushed the imaginary worst-case scenarios in my head, it gave the girls more freedom, it gave them time with their Dad, it gave Dad the reins.  I just prepare to clean their dirty feet when they get in, and ask them to wash their hands … no big deal.  

Even recently, I was feeling stressed about getting myself ready while knowing the girls needed to brush their teeth.  So I let go, and asked them to do it themselves.  I knew it meant that May would have to put the toothpaste on 2 toothbrushes.  I knew it would probably make a mess.  They might even fight over it.  But I could either be stressed thinking about it needing to get done, or I could be stressed trying to help May do it mess-free, or I could let May do it and choose not to watch, and just pick up the mess later.  There was no catastrophe.  There was no trail of toothpaste on the carpet from their bathroom to mine.  They got it done.  Sure I picked up a small glob on the bathroom floor, but because I let go, they gained some independence, I didn't stress as much, and I didn't hover over her trying to make sure she did it "right".  

I let go of the working mom vs. stay at home mom battle in my head a long time ago.  Though I am a working mom, I let myself believe that maybe stay at home moms are better moms, that maybe I would be a better one if I stayed home, that kids of moms who stay at home are better off.  UNTIL ... I kept working, and my kids kept surviving, and … well, thriving in fact.  Bottom line, all of us Moms do our best and all of us Moms have our struggles.  We make decisions that are right for our family…some of them by our own will, others by the will of circumstance, but we all are trying our best to be the best parent for our kids.  And as it turns out, we are already the best parents for our kids to begin with.  The adjective used before the word "Mom" doesn't change the fact that we are "Mom", and it most certainly shouldn't lessen or strengthen the "Mom" that we are.  "Mom" is the common denominator, lets share in our commonality rather than differentiate based on adjectives.  Letting go of that one changed me as a Mom.  The negative self-talk stopped.  The negative lens with which I filtered stranger's comments about my working, disappeared.  If you are holding onto that one, on either side of the spectrum, you owe it to yourself, to your family, to let it go.

Probably one of the harder ones for me to let go is of my own expectations of my girls' behavior.  I have held onto this one so tightly that I have ruined my day which most definitely meant I ruined my families' day as well.  I had a turning point when my youngest, sleep deprived and hungry, yelled "NO!" to me when I asked her to sit in her own chair (not my lap) at the restaurant.  I, embarrassed, walked her to the bathroom where she stood arms crossed in defiance and screamed "NO!" even louder.  I took her outside in the cold winter air, thinking, "this will get her to change her attitude", and she looked me straight in the eye after 5 minutes and said, "I want to go home."  I could not let go of the "How dare she" of the "Other people are watching" of the "I'm the boss here, not you"…all while my tired 2 year old was simply telling me her truth.  I asked Hubbs to switch with me as my blood boiled, and within 1 minute she walked in, skipping, holding her father's hand.  She sat in her seat, happy as a clam and ate her dinner.  I, then, could not let go of the "What the ____?" and the "What did he say to her?" and the "Why didn't she listen to me?" etc, etc.  I pouted and fumed through my dinner, through the car ride home, through baths and straight through to bed.  I ruined my own dinner because I could not let go, even when the situation resolved.  THAT is when { Let It Go }became a Mantra of mine.  That is when some big time self-introspection began to take place.  I still struggle with this one every now and then, but I am at least aware now -- when the situation has passed, when the discussion has ended, when the sorries have been said -- that it is time for me to let it go.   

So, what will I let go of this week?

Monetarily : I think we are letting go of Cable, as soon as I can bribe Hubbs to call Verizon (because I refuse, long story, that maybe I should let go of).  

Spiritually : I will let go of my expectations of others…they are who they are no matter what my expectation are, so I may as well drop the expectation.

Mom-ally : I will let go of the routine, at least once this week and surprise them with change….and I'll add the picture below once I've done it.  

Wife-ally : I will let go of the blame, that lands on Hubb's shoulders, when I've had a tough day.  It's so true it makes me cringe…did I really want to type that? Do I really want to admit that? Why do we create enemies when we really just need an ally? 

I better stop before I have to hold myself too accountable ;)

What do you think you can let go of??


It was 8PM, already bed-time.  We decided to go on a walk…but not an ordinary walk!  The girls each had a flashlight, and as the sun set, they gasped at just about everything their flashlights found.   Before long, the walk took on a life of it's own…imaginations took over as we found clues in sidewalk imperfections, determined there were trolls living in the water drains, and tried to break the number code on electrical boxes…it was fun!  

Disclaimer: I can be fun but it doesn't always come naturally for me.  So, while I show this picture, I do not share as if to brag about this perfectly fun life we lead.  It was the product of intentional brainstorming, and a little spontaneity and a little of hubby's more natural tendency toward being playful.   I will say, however, it was all totally worth it.  

 © Houseman 2013