This quote is kinda exactly how I feel today. It’s funny because I was always searching for a way to relax a little, let go of stuff that isn’t really important, appreciate what I have instead of striving for more or better and to try and live more in the now instead of dwelling on the past and stressing about the future. Insert having kids, did I mention 3 kids in 3 years… and this is truly what has happened.
Kids change everything, at least they did for me, even the way I think. Instead of having time to overthink and worry and pick apart everything I am learning to master a new way of thinking which includes:
– Breathing. When I am feeling tense or stressed take a few deep breathes
– Living in the chaos. It’s okay if the floor is dirty, laundry doesn’t get done today, my mouldings aren’t wiped down, etc… Embrace it, life with small kids is chaotic so if they ended up “helping” with cleaning the floors and now they look even worse, it’s okay! This has been a hard change for me, but we are working on finding compromise in this area. Over Christmas we had a cleaner come in twice, knowing I would be distracted by mess but Christmas is busy and we were hosting a few events. It is harder to let go of organization when we are entertaining so it was a good plan. This simple thing helped me to be able to enjoy the moments and just sit back and entertain instead of worry about the mess! Sometimes living in the chaos also means accepting when I need help and hiring or asking for it. Easier said then done but I am trying.
– Humble & Grateful. I am really trying to remember that we are fortunate and to be aware and conscious of that. I do believe we work hard and make choices but I also know to be grateful that we live in the country we live in, have the family and friends we have, the list is really endless and I just want to always remember to be grateful for all that we have that has helped us to be able to live the life and lifestyle we do, not just our hard work and choices (although they do play a role in it).
– Live in the moment. This is a huge one for me. I am not sure if it has been aging and seeing friends or peers suffer (either loosing parents, becoming ill, or even loosing peers and friends), some are even strangers that you hear about in the news but that resemble us a little to closely and leave me feeling that could have been us. Or if it has been having kids and realizing you want to be there for them forever (or at least a really long time). But I am really trying to live in the moment with and for my kids. I want them to have amazing memories of us and all the things we did together or the way we listened and were there for them. I would hate to look back 20 years from now and regret not living in those moments. So, it is maybe one of my hardest changes of thinking but I am making an effort to do it! It is also amazing to me how much our kids admire and love us right now, I don’t want to miss this time where Fraser and I are their everything’s because one day, probably sooner than I can imagine, that will change.
It’s so funny because every since I changed my way of looking and thinking about things I am different. My whole body is different. I am physically less tense, my body feels better, my mind is less stressed, I don’t have headaches, it is amazing the things that can change. I feel like I am open and people can feel it. I am attracting just a bunch of good things! Friends, money, even with my kids and in all my relationships. It is amazing how powerful the mind is, and to think it was there all along.
For me a lot of my new way of thinking is around asking myself “Why Not?”, or “What’s the worst that could happen?”
I have always been a bit of a dreamer and have a tendency to set unrealistic expectations. Here is the thing I am learning, still dream but come up with ways to make them my reality. SO “why not” or “what’s the worst that could happen” help determine if I should try something.
Take for example last year when Fraser and I did a renovation and a 10 day holiday to Hawaii with two kids under 2 and while I was pregnant with our third (some might call this crazy). We sat on the beach last year and talked about what it would be like to just come and stay in Hawaii for a month, fast forward a year and we made it happen. It wasn’t luck or even digging ourselves into a ton of debt with no thought to the future. It was making choices through out the year that lead us to being able to make this work, as well as a little prioritizing what mattered to us. We missed a good childhood friend of mines wedding in Mexico in November because we couldn’t do both, and that’s just one example of the compromises we made. Obviously for us the overall goal was to have quality time as a family and also some R&R.
R&R Rest & Relaxation… this is funny, so we are on vacation with a 3 year old boy who has lots of energy and is in the early stages of getting an Autism diagnosis (meaning we are learning how to help him with certain issues we have been having), a 2 year old daughter who has an attitude of a 16 year old and a temper like no other and of course our 10 month old teething babe who is crawling but not walking yet:) Some might wonder how we would possibly think this could be restful or relaxing. And old me would have agreed, all children are still in diapers and when we left home no child was sleeping through the night. But with a little shift of our thinking you can change your whole outlook on something. Instead of wishing we were going without our kids, or that our kids were older (out of diapers, sleeping through the night) I have been focusing on the positives or looking for wins as they happen, and boy have they been happening.
First, I was a little concerned about the airport (we were bringing a lot of child related equipment and I never know how my kids will behave). I am happy to say we handled the luggage and equipment so easily and that the kids were amazing. So much so that we had compliments from other passengers! I call this a parenting win and a great way to start off. It also helps to adjust your way of thinking because any doubts you had are pushed aside.
Now we are just enjoying having no schedule, making sure kids are happy and fed, well rested, etc. This is relaxing because at home we sometimes skipped meals, or were too busy rushing to get to something that we missed a nap or couldn’t sleep in after a bad night because we had to be somewhere. Commitments and schedules can be stressful and have an impact on me for sure which in turn impacts our whole families attitudes and outlook. I’m really going to work on slowing down at home and trying to bring this more relaxed way of dealing with our kids home with me. It is obviously different in a home environment but I think we can take some of it with us when we go home!
I guess what I have learnt is rest and relaxation doesn’t have to look like massages and days at the spa, relaxing and reading on the beach and sunsets from the lanai with wine in hand. Instead it can be a quick pedicure while the kids are taking a break with dad from the sun, an hour escape down to the beach with my book or even just sitting with Eleanor watching the other two play in the sand, and nothing beats a sunset view with all kids happily playing (plus you can still have wine!). Things evolve and what I am finding out is they are for the better. My biggest fear is to stay the same, so why not embrace change in every aspect and see what comes with it. For now I am going to enjoy the stage of life we are at… busy, chaotic, messy and all!