Wednesday, April 13, 2016

You Should See It In Color

A few weeks ago I was at my parents' house helping them go through some things. One project I tackled was organizing all the family photos that had never been put into an album. There were hundreds of loose photos to divide amongst my parents and their five children, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I've always loved looking through pictures, so getting to see some pretty hilarious (and embarrassing) pictures from our earlier years was a true treat for me.

I was flying through them, often literally LOL (did I just say that!?) when this picture stopped me dead in my tracks. This picture "said" several different things to me, and my mind started running in multiple tangents. Most of those thoughts had me reflecting on how I am as a mother.

 For those of you that don't know my family, I have an older sister and brother. I am the third (and middle) child, and then I have a younger brother and sister which are both pictured with me here. I can honestly say even after seeing this picture I don't recall this happening. But, by the obvious looks on our faces we were having a great time...we were in pure kid heaven. Who wouldn't love to make a huge mess like that!?!? I'm 39 and that still looks kinda fun to me.

The initial reaction of mine was something along the lines of, "That looks so fun....we were having a blast....wonder who started it, etc." Yet not even a second later my mind quickly went to some different thoughts like....

"Oh my word, I wonder if Mom and Dad were really upset."
"We really made a mess."

I quickly realized those thoughts weren't reflecting on my parents, but rather on me and how I am as a parent. I realized it wasn't necessarily a good thing. Allow me to explain.

I'm too uptight.
There...I said it. I would not consider myself to be an uptight person usually, but this was a slap in my face that when it comes to situations like this, I am. I quickly reverted from my 5th grade (?) self having a blast with my siblings in the picture to picturing myself today. What if that was a picture of my girls in our house making a mess everywhere? I found it sad to say that I think I would have been upset with them. And why? I hate to say but it would be for some pretty selfish reasons.

Of all the things in my life, parenting and being a wife are probably what I have been most critical of myself about. It is hard in a day and age where people are quick to compare and judge each other. I have incredibly supportive friends that don't judge, but the sinful world has me comparing things and makes me feel like I have fallen short. I have no idea where that came from because I never once would describe my mom in that way. Granted she probably felt a million things over the years that she never told us or portrayed to us.

That being said, here is where it all comes full circle, leaving me with the choice to not let my girls play with white packaging popcorn in my kitchen...

I work full time. I have a direct sales business that I'm working hard at as well. Due to my schedule, and the want to have quality family time, my house is not always clean. It isn't picked up at all. It currently would rate more on "disaster" level. My life feels chaotic much of the time. So, when a situation like my girls playing with packaging popcorn comes into play, I inwardly go slightly berserk. Why would I want to add a mess to a mess!?!? Makes sense, right? Quite possibly, but look what never got to happen....

...My girls having a moment of INEXPLICABLE JOY because I was stressing about cleaning up a mess in an already messy house. 

I have realized this has carried over to other things I've said/did because it would create work on work, a mess on a mess, judgment on judgment...all leading to a downward spiral of me sliding further down the ranking of "Average Mom/Wife of the Year."

"Don't play in the mud!" (What if it gets into the house?)
"Don't get all sweaty running around!" (I was hoping to not do a bath EVERY night this week!)
"Those shoes/socks/hair ties don't go with that outfit." (What will the other moms think? *gasp*)

These may be poor examples, but I think you get the point. Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying I think my girls should do whatever they want whenever they want and I should let my house get into further disarray for no reason. The point I was getting at was I think at times I've held my kids back from some true joys in life because how it indirectly (or directly) affected me.

Seriously....what kid doesn't remember running through mud or a rain puddle just because it was SO fun!?!? The fact that they are running around and getting dirty and sweaty at night means they are having FUN and they aren't wanting to be glued to a TV. They want to dress themselves and express their personality in a fun way? Go for it! My friends certainly must realize I didn't just walk off the pages of Vogue either. In reality polka dots with stripes or clashing pinks shouldn't throw me for such a tizzy.

I have lots of awesome memories from growing up. The smiles on this picture are pretty indicative of our upbringing. Was it all peaches and cream and packaging popcorn fights? No, but in general we were happy kids that were allowed to be kids while being held to certain rules and expectations.

When was the last time you climbed a tree?  Go for it!
My theme for the year has been "Grateful In All Things." Jesse and I have been blessed with two incredibly rambunctious, inquisitive, full of life, smart, energetic and sometimes downright impossible girls. I'm so very grateful they are healthy. I'm grateful that 95% of the time they love each other and play well together. I want them to be able to just be a kid while they are kids. I want them to look back at these years and think, "We had fun. There were rules and expectations, but we had fun. Our mom loved life and didn't get her panties in a bundle over the little things."

I know I need to relax. I know I have to find the balance between times when I need to draw the line and times when I need to just let the girls be girls. They won't be ages 5 and 7 forever. I realize some of the decisions I've made have prematurely aged them. No more...I don't need the teen years getting here any sooner.  ;)

Simply put....How fun it would be to be a kid again.
Fly a Kite
Pick Dandelions
Run Through Puddles
Laugh a Lot
Have Tea Parties
Play at the Park Forever
Climb a Tree
Play Dress-Up
Eat Cookie Dough
Play in the Mud
Have Camp Outs
Take Naps
Run Barefoot
Imagine Anything

Other random pics...

Because pure joy as a child was time with our cousins.

What kid (or adult) hasn't licked the cookie batter?!?!
Raw eggs or not....delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment