When I think of motherhood, I think of little kids running around the house, tied to the leg of their loving mama. I see food all over the floor, finger paintings hanging from the refrigerator, laundry piled up, the noise level just a little bit louder than normal, and laughter. And lots of it!
Motherhood has been one of the best things that has happened to me. God has taught this slow-learning heart of mine that motherhood can be messy and ugly at times, but the end result is me always seeing more and more of who God is and His faithfulness. God has changed my heart in so many ways and much of it has to do with letting go.
The idea of “letting go” is so beautiful in theory, isn’t it? Self-help books crave using this lingo because in letting go, you are more free to be who you are. But for me, this idea goes far beyond a self-help book. It begs for me to release my life into GOD’S hands and to let go of what I cannot control. But even more so, let go of my imperfections and let God be my saving grace and answer.
Motherhood has taught me well to let go of these 5 things:
Letting go of the mess.
How many times have you vacuumed up the floor, to only have your child drop their food, yet again? I know you’re probably thinking, duh Kristin, it happens all of the time! How about the toys strewn across the floor? Or the toothpaste stains on the counter? It’s okay. Our house will one day, not look like the way it does. And though it seems like the messes never end, they will. One day, playdough will not be stuck in our carpet. One day, I won’t step on a Paw Patrol figurine. One day, it will all end. So, I’m learning to let go of the mess and allow myself just to be. To just be PRESENT. In the mess.
Letting go of what I thought my life would look like.
My life looks completely opposite of what I thought it would look like. I thought I’d play basketball, have tons of kids – enough to field a football team, have them at a young age, and live in the inner city. Well, I will never play organized sports again, I have one child here on earth, had her at 31, and I live in a small-er town. And I COULD NOT BE MORE THANKFUL. When I let God take control of my life after my first open heart surgery in 2001, it changed the trajectory of my life. It is a daily choice to keep following Christ everyday, but it is a choice I have never once regretted. And letting go of what I thought my life would once look like, has been the healthiest thing for me.
Letting go of my to-do list.
I am a list-maker. I feel like every area of my life has a list. Okay, maybe not to that extent, but I get this adrenaline rush when I can cross everything off my life. But I have learned as a mama, that sometimes to be the best mom I can be, I have to set aside my to-do list. There will never be a day when I have “nothing” to do. I can always find something. But there will be a day when I will need to let go of Mazy’s hand and she will no longer be in our home. And I don’t want to look back, regretting that I missed opportunities. Of course I want to show her that it’s important to get things done, keep up the home, and that accomplishing something is a good thing, but it’s all about balance, isn’t it?
Letting go of pleasing everyone.
How I parent is going to look different compared to every other parent out there. Because we are unique people. I am such a people pleaser and want to do what’s right, normal, and accepted. But I’ve realized that how we raise Mazy is unique, just like how YOU parent too. What we are practicing, what we feed her, what we allow, or don’t allow, is just different and I have to let go of trying to please the masses and just try to parent the way I feel God desires for me to parent. As Kristin, mom of Mazy. Not Kristin, who is trying to please everyone.
Letting go of perfect.
This kind of goes along with the last point, but letting go of perfect, takes that desire to please others, one step further. Did you know that there is NO perfect parent out there? That there is NO perfect way TO parent? There isn’t. And there never will be, this side of heaven, because we live in a fallen and broken world where everything has been touched by sin. I know that sounds a bit depressing, but don’t let it be. Let it reassure you that NO ONE is perfect and we are ALL in the need of God’s daily grace; even though many act as if they don’t need that. But trust me, we ALL need it. I have to stop trying to look perfect, act perfect, and be perfect because that person will never exist. So why not embrace our imperfections and ALL go to the foot of the cross, asking God for that daily grace we all so badly need?
Dear Mama, you just can’t do it all. You do not have to have it all together. You do not have to be a certain someone. All you have to be is YOU. And letting go of all those things that hold us back from being the mamas God designed us to be, allows us to free ourselves from the entanglement of perfection and soar in the comfort of the grace God gives each of us. Because sweet mama, I am the first to admit I need that dose of grace on the daily!