Mama, You Have to Let it Go - Life as Mrs. Wilson

18 May, 2017

Mama, You Have to Let it Go

I want things to be perfect. I want to have a perfectly clean home with a perfectly clean baby who wears perfect outfits and plays with perfect toys. But that isn't my reality. And that bothered me for a long time.

The thought of letting my son wear a mismatched outfit bothered me. The thought of his hair not being done bothered me. And the thought of my baby putting a toy in his mouth BOTHERED ME. That is, until I had a conversation with my mom. We both have a similar drive for perfection, but the lesson she taught me about motherhood really put things into perspective for me.

My mom told me that one of her regrets after my brother died was that she didn't let him chew on his books. She went on to talk about wishing that she would have just let the little things go and enjoy each stage of childhood as it came. Her words hit me especially hard because I had spent that entire afternoon grabbing Conrad's books from him the second they got near his mouth because I wanted the books to stay perfect.

But why? Mama, you have to let it go.

It's just a book. It's just a thing.

How often do we let ourselves become distracted by the things of this world? Things that really don't matter when it all comes down to it.

It's just a shirt. It's just a toy. It's just a thing. Mama, you have to let it go.

I've spent a lot of time these past few days trying to recenter and refocus. Seeking out balance in myself and in my life. And it's been so beneficial for me to take a step back and think about what really matters.

Of all the things that matter in life, however, a chewed up book is not one of them - and as silly as it sounds, I didn't fully understand that even a week ago. What matters is connection. What matters is joy. Because we only have this short amount of time here in this life, so if we aren't happy, then what are we even doing? What is the point in wasting our days worrying about things that just. don't. matter. 

Today, instead of picking up each toy the second my baby finished playing with it, I sat on the floor with him. And we played in the mess, and he chewed on his books, and it was the happiest I've felt in quite some time.

So let them chew on their books. Let them play in the mud. Let them explore, let them be messy, let them be little. Mama, you can let it go.
  
If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again
"If I had my child to raise over again:
I'd build self-esteem first and the house later
I'd finger paint more and point the finger less
I would do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I'd model less about the love of power
And more about the power of love."
-Diane Loomans