It’s been a while since I have had time to write. I sure missed it. I find catharsis when I’m able to let my thoughts tumble out into writing. Fine tuning and articulating the current chapter of motherhood I am stumbling through is a release of brain pressure for me. To share with other mommas the idiosyncrasies of our journey so you know the craziness that is your family is 1000% normal. You are in fact NOT insane and you certainly aren’t alone in all of this.
The past few months have flown by in a whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking, shoving boxes into closets to make it look like we’ve unpacked, painting, helping the kids adjust to their new home, trying and often failing to organize during nap times, our air conditioner breaking, our basement flooding (over five times y’all), home repairs, playing in the new yard, continuing to learn and grow in a million other ways and counting our blessings.
It always puts a smile on my face when I realize the lessons God keeps trying to teach me because I don’t catch on the first 500 times he puts opportunities to grow right in front of me. Here is what I expected to happen when we moved. Go ahead and chuckle if you feel so inclined.
My children, 3 years and 8 months at the time we first moved, will be angels. They will sweetly play with each other so I can unpack, organize and decorate. I will do all this while keeping up with my day job. I will be able to keep up with three healthy, prepared meals a day, plus snacks! Maybe I’ll even start a new exercise routine.
Reality. My threenager has been a roller coaster of mood swings. My children don’t play unsupervised. Ever. Sleep regressions. Teething. Separation anxiety. Mislabeled paint cans. The first month we lived in our new home Doordarsh served us more meals than I cooked. Oh. My exercise routine consists of lugging around a 20 pound baby on my hip while complete all the things, all day long.
As with most parts of motherhood and the quickly turning pages of our chapters, I like to share the, let’s call it, “wisdom” I glean from my experiences, with a touch of added humor. So here are my take home messages from our move and what I’d tell a fellow momma friend if you are embarking on this adventure. Take and apply them to any new changes as needed.
1. Set your expectations. Then lower them. Repeat as necessary. Nothing. I repeat nothing ever goes the way you plan when you have children. At least that has been my personal experience the past 3 years. Instead of finding yourself in a constant state of stress because you are not meeting your goals or expectations, lower them. Ask yourself if your expectation is a burden only you are placing on yourself? I had wanted to have every room painted within the first month of us moving in. I finished our last room last week (almost three months in). As much as I wanted to decorate and clean and organize everything to Joanna Gaines standards, day to day I had to step back and ask myself what is more important in this moment? Spoiler alert, it wasn’t having picture perfect rooms.
2. Time is money, honey. There were some things we needed to hastily check off our to do list. My husband and I attempted to do them ourselves. Quickly, it became evident that it was worth more to pay someone else to come and complete these tasks. The time and stress we were spending in order to try and juggle it all while keeping up with a heavy work load was overwhelming. As much as we all would love to be able to do everything our time and sanity needs to be valued. Money well spent! When your task list is overwhelming, ask yourself if it is worth it to delegate some of those needs to someone else.
3. Throw in the towel when necessary. Some days everything just piles up. If you are strong headed like me you still want to power through and check off everything on your to do list. There are days you need to just throw in the towel. Will it really affect you long term if you let go of some of those tasks? Come back to them later when it’s a better time.
4. Laugh at yourself. The last room I painted in our house was our master bedroom, I chose the color, “silent white”. It’s a very, very light grey color. A few weeks ago during one of my son’s naps I felt the motivation to finally tackle our room. I painted an entire wall before my husband came in and said “why is this purple?” That’s right. I painted the wall the wrong color. The paint can was mislabeled! I painted our wall a very, very light purple, “white lavender” to be exact which is the color my daughter chose for her room. I could either laugh or cry at the ridiculousness, so I chose to laugh. I can’t believe I didn’t notice until an entire wall was painted. My husband says it was denial. Pretty sure he was onto something.
5. Look for the God wink. After the second time our basement flooded within two weeks, we recognized part of the problem would require us to redo our front stoup and sidewalk. If you are doing any type of home repairs or renovations you know everything is so delayed and if you are lucky you can find someone to help you several weeks or even months out. Our God wink. Our neighbor happens to be a plumber. He told my husband he knew the “best concrete guys” and would give them a call for us. In true country style, the sweetest “concrete guy” showed up at our house later that evening asking how he could help. This was the God wink we needed in this stressful situation and gave us both peace of mind that we would be able to make it through this ongoing process.
Have you made any big changes lately? What lessons did you learn?
Bonus tip: lefty loosey, righty tighty. You. Are. Welcome.