Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parenting - An Exercise in Letting Go

I never thought I’d be the parent that, at 5pm on my son’s birthday, would be driving to the store to pick out a cake. Not a cake that I ordered and was picking up…just going in hopes that they would have one that worked. BUT…sometimes you have a little baby, family coming from out of town, and a birthday and a baptism happening all in the same weekend and you didn’t get it done earlier.

I never thought my kid would be the one at church with crazy, uncombed looking hair. BUT…turns out that when you wet and comb hair and then get in the car seat, 9 times out of 10 it gets all messed up by the time you get where you were going.

I never thought my kid would go around in clothes that looked worn out or the wrong size. BUT…sometimes, by the time you actually get the clothes on and realize that, even though they fit last week and are now too small, there is neither enough time or energy left to change them again.

I never thought that I would be nearly overjoyed at being ONLY 3 minutes late to Sunday School – or some other appointment – rather than 10 or 15. BUT…it turns out it is pretty difficult to get two kids fed, dressed, ready, and out the door along with a reasonably decent looking me without getting up 2+ hours early in the morning. And sometimes, 2 hours early doesn’t work on 4 or 5 hours of sleep!

I never thought I’d have a list of 500 projects and lessons that I wanted to plan and do yet struggle to make even one of them happen each week. BUT…sometimes we just have more fun playing with all the things already easily at hand.

I didn’t know I’d be able to deal with crumbs and shredded cheese on the floor nearly every second of every day. BUT…it’s hard to clean them up after every single meal and sometimes you just have to deal with a little mess.

I didn’t know I’d have so much trouble allowing colors to get all mixed up during painting projects and play-do play time. BUT…freedom of creativity for a 3 year old is much more important than my OCD color separation tendencies.

Through these, and hundreds of more little lessons that happen every day, I realize that, for the good of my kids, there are several UNimportant things that I just have to let go of. Sometimes they are my expectations, sometimes they are my vision of “perfection.”

In the end, a messy floor, crazy hair, or ruined play-do are very insignificant things in life.

If I have children who are loving and respectful who know and love God…

If we are able to have fun together as a family…

If my children are learning and growing…

If my children know that their daddy and I love them unconditionally…

Then my time and my focus have been well-spent.

Letting go of those other details are worth the end result.

May God’s grace enable me to let go – and teach HIS love to my little ones!


  1. SO TRUE!!! That is my life everyday. I think since March of last year I have been on-time to work only 5 times!! And my house only gets cleaned once every month or so. But we try to have fun every evening and time is so short, so enjoy it while you can!

  2. well said, chica! it's amazing how different everything looks, once you're a parent. it's the whole, walk-in-someone-else's-shoes thing. I never thought i'd do or allow the same things you just described, and yet i find myself doing them everyday...and i wouldn't change it. i love my chaotic, messy, never-quite-as-i-want-it-life.