My New Year’s resolution?
It’s been to relax into parenthood more—but that can be easier said than done.
It’s true that most of us crave routine and desire a tidy house, but when I look back through my holiday memories, it’s not the perfectly-clean spaces or the kids asleep on schedule that stands out for me.
It’s that time I nearly lost it over the overstimulation of another art explosion, but instead, quite literally, dropped to my knees and surrendered to the mess. To make light of a chaotic situation, I painted my kids’ faces and let them paint mine. The colossal disarray grew but rather than stressing about what would have to be cleaned up afterwards, I leaned into laughing with them and creating memories that I will cherish forever.
It’s also every time we let their sleep-resisting cries back into our bed for a few more minutes of happy cuddles. Though we are exhausted and in desperate need of alone time too, I know these fleeting, dependant-upon-us-years are passing by too quickly—so I may as well ease into enjoying the unpredictably-beautiful ride.
But, that can be easier said than done.
There seems an unspoken expectation to let the chaos of days’ end stay hot and flow everywhere.
To be that gentle parenting housewife and just get it all done—on repeat.
When I walk away and take a break, I’m learning that it’s my mindful right to turn the intensity down and let it simmer, yet these torturous feelings of guilt tend to seep in unexpectedly.
It’s hard not to feel like other mums are managing much better than me—and maybe they are.
The reality is though, it’s all relative.
My limits aren’t the same as anyone else’s and I need to protect my peace and respect my parenting evolution. I’m immersed in the pressure of my own motherhood and wear it like a weighted suit in the ocean, coming up for air and breathing in the warm sunshine of family, learning to enjoy that swim.
The fulfilment of our busy home is how I always pictured a loving family to be, and yet I feel immensely worn with the tick-tock of time aging and rocking me in an unsteady boat, a boat that is truly unique to our tumultuous seas.
So let’s stop assuming how others carry on.
Let’s tear out this narrative that others are managing better because truly, we’re all just surviving, floating around in this unprecedented time of high pressure and uncertainty.
Let’s try and enjoy the creative mess and these precious, impressionable years with our little ones.
For 2023, let’s relax into this balancing act of parenthood.