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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: Letting Go...

There are lots of motherhood milestones we look forward to reaching.  Getting back in our pre-baby jeans (and it does count even if you can’t sit and breath in them, it’s all about being able to zip them up!), finally getting your baby to sleep all night, adding more kids to the mix.  The list goes on and on and I am happy to share with you my latest milestone, letting go!  Now this is a broad statement and I have not achieved it in every area of parenting but I have most certainly learned a lot about choosing my battles and learning that there are lots of things I need to just let go! 

Example #1 Organization and Neatness

For those of you who know me well are probably laughing your heads off right now as I am known for my intense desire for order and organization.  I haven’t let go of it completely but I have come a long way and truly I have just gotten better at a façade of neatness, LOL!  How long did I exhaust myself with perfectly folded shirts and pants categorized by pattern and fabric??  Really?!  Now it is all about putting it where the kids can access it and I do less getting out and putting away.  Obviously, as seen here, my children cannot fold or categorize (horror!) but they can get it in a drawer and off the floor and out of sight…mission accomplished!  Is it really worth it in the end?  I am less stressed at having to fold constantly, they can reach the clothes, therefore they get dressed without me and it’s one less thing on my daily to do list!

Example #2: How do they look?

Based on this photo the obvious answer would seem to be, “Like their mom doesn’t care,” and this answer would be correct!  The fights over clothing that I had with my oldest are still seared in my memory.  Every single morning, knock down drag outs over what she would wear…again, really?!  I had to confess to Scott the other night that he had been right all those mornings…it was a stupid waste of time! (Don’t you hate when they are right…ugh!!).  I wore myself out and probably scarred Molly Scott for life trying to get her in the perfect put together outfit. Nice, beautiful on the outside but inside she was plotting my death!  These days, as we learned in example #1 above, the clothes are accessible and dressing is totally up to you.  As long as you are not walking out looking like a hooker or wearing a tank top in thirty degree weather it is all good with me.  Hmmm, have I learned to let go or am I just lazy?  Could be either, they have worn me down over the years.  Regardless, our home is happier and I actually get a good laugh out of some of the outfits they come up with.

Example #3: My home, the showplace

I am really airing some dirty laundry today (might as well b/c I have learned to let laundry go as well….wear it twice if it’s not stained and I am only doing it once a week and I do not guarantee you won’t have to locate your clothes in the basket versus neatly folded in your drawer).  How I tried to make the perfect bedrooms…matching spreads, perfectly stitched and monogrammed pillows, a beautiful rug.  Now? Well after stripping all bedding to remove head lice (that is another entry in itself) I found myself thinking, “Who really needs a bed skirt or duvet covers anyway?  (Again, I will admit laziness here but give me a break, I had disinfected a 7000 square foot house and done 50 loads of laundry!!)  At the end of the day they ruined the rug, threw up on the pillows and peed on the spreads.  What did they really want? Well they wanted this red neck sized bed (3 twins pushed together) and a bed they could jump on without worrying about wrinkling the pretty made up spreads.  Easy enough, they are happy and I have a few minutes longer to sleep in the morning b/c I just don’t make the bed!

I have always struggled thinking that letting these things go would be a sign of laziness and weakness. I need to show them who’s boss right? And I need to keep the house in perfect pretty order right?  NOT!  Yes, I did this for a while, and did it well I might add, but really it didn’t win me any awards and I was pretty much wearing myself out and berating my kids….not exactly the reward I was hoping for!  So I have learned that it’s a much more pleasant morning if they are in mismatching shoes and socks and I am eating breakfast with them instead of making the bed and straightening the drawers.  Every now and again when I have some time alone I allow myself to go and organize the drawers and color code their shoes (sick I know that this might be how I would spend my alone time) and I stand back and admire my work then they come blowing in like a tornado and I go take a nap…in the end it really is all good!

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