We are all looking for that easy answer, that one helpful tip that will make it all work. "It" being kids, life, parenting, mornings, homework, laundry, I could go on. Everyone is living a fast paced life, either you are traveling the world, climbing the corporate ladder, running kids to their activities, or trying to referee a shouting match between your kids on who looked at who first.
We all have moments of thinking "How can I go on?" "Something needs to give." But, what can give? I am a Mom to three young kids, I write, blog, and handle the home, sometime in there I try to cram in a marriage too. Where can I give? You can't. I can't.
I know, that is harsh, but you can't. There is nothing to give, nothing to minimize. Yes, you could vacate the corporate ladder. But you still have to work. Not have your kids in any extra curricular activities or sports. But, there is still homework, friends birthday parties, and entertaining the home bound kids.
There is always going to be something making us feel stretched beyond belief. As parents we are surrounded by chaos. As I sit and write this little tidbit of my mind I am surrounded by piles of laundry, kids art supplies everywhere, a trail of cars from the living room to my boy's bedroom, a mound of coats my kids enjoy dropping when they come in, and a to do list too long to actually accomplish.
Short of getting rid of my kids. Which is not a option because I adore them, want them, and legally speaking is, well looked down upon. I cannot get rid of the chaos, I cannot simplify anymore. Making it work is my only option.
Well, I have one other option. One that I can control. I can let it go. Yes, in the words of Elsa and that song your kids won't stop singing LET-IT-GO! You will never be on top of things, there is no fix, no amount of organizing will really make it all work. Life is messy, having kids is (obviously) messy and chaotic on a good day. Hard, too much, and exhausting on a bad one.
With any rushed morning, desperate bid for bedtime and some peace and everything in between. There is always moments of perfection. Not the perfect home, closet, kids, or schedule. The knock knock jokes at the dinner table, your 3 year old smooshing you face and saying "You are the bestest", your 7 year old running into your arms after school because she did great on her spelling test, your 5 year old having the best giggle attack ever where he falls over from laughing. Those moments are the ones we should try to organize. Organize into our minds, our memories, add more to our life. Organize that perfection.
They are always there, even in the chaos, and they are deliciously perfect. Kids are good for that, they are waiting for the fun, the crazy, the Mom that insists on them playing in a summer rain with their clothes on. That is what we should try to organize, prioritize and handle. Also with the knowledge that within the day you will have both, horribly bad and amazingly good. It all rolls in together. You just have to let it go, keep doing you, and realize that in the future.... It may seem like a eternity but, we will all be sitting in our quiet homes. With the organized and neat home, no laundry to do, book in hand, quiet. We will miss the before. The chaos, the loud, the messy tables, the toys covering where you assume is still a floor. We will ache for the moments we are living in now.
My Grandma had 12 kids, and her 87 year old self has told me "If I could, I would do it all again. My arms ache for my little ones, my ears strain for the noise, I wish with everything I could do it all again." She is one wise, and amazing woman. Her words remind that my kids, these moments, even the bad ones are all fleeting. We are but a blip in our kids lives. Of course a huge, monstrous, I better be special kind of blip, but still, just that.
I like a clean house, a magazine ready living room, clean laundry, made beds. But, I like my kids, their laughs, their kisses, playing hide and seek, drawing, reading, going on walks with them, watching them interact. Sometimes I could get lost in them. Life happens, responsibilities pile up, tantrums happen, it is all included. Putting worth on things, what is even worthy of my organization and stress.
There is no thing to do it all, no magic wand anyone can wave. Not one person on the internet, your bossy and judging Mother in law, me, whoever. No one has the tool or trick to make it all work. It won't work, I am almost certain life is meant to be this way. Organize and plan your life until you can't see straight. The bad days will still happen, your exhaustion will get the best of you, your kids will still say something that both overwhelms you and makes you fall in love with them more.
There is always going to be laundry, soccer, writing deadlines, homework, for now. It is my reality, what I am living. And then it will all be gone and I will be craning my head in the hopes of hearing my kids come in the door. Them with their little ones, my grandchildren with too much energy, a tired former small child of mine with a baby who is not sleeping, my son who has so much on his plate. I will be the old lady telling them to "let it go, just be" and they will look at me like I don't understand. I hope they get it. In listening to my Grandma I have put into perspective the stress, to do list, schedule and whatever happens; happens. I do my best, I try my hardest, and look for the moments of perfection. They are there, organize those. That is what matters.