Get These Shackles Off My Feet So I Can Dance…

Y’all are stinkin‘ hilarious!

Literally.

I felt it necessary to interject here and say I don’t believe any of us chooses not to bathe out of willful neglect. (This is where you’ll want to scroll to the previous post if you have no clue what I’m talking about.) Will you agree that there are those windows of opportunity that present themselves and if you find yourself missing them, well then you’re just out of luck for a few hours?

For example, I normally get up by 6:30 every morning. I read my devotion/bible study (currently Power of a Praying Woman) and then go for a run/walk around 7:30. Luke likes to be at the church by 8:30-9:00 so I do my thing at the park and get home in time for him to leave. My goal is to be showered by 10 am. But, what if the kids get up about this time and want breakfast? And then the phone rings? And then I need to throw in a load of laundry right before the phone rings again? And then I have to get my morning bloggin‘ in?

Before ya know it, it’s noon. Am I talking to anybody?

So I could solve this by getting up earlier but the thing is – I don’t want to.

So there.

All of that to say I used to be a crazy schedule girl. When my first two kids were babies/preschoolers I would, hand to my heart, WAKE THEM UP if they weren’t out of the bed and having breakfast by 8:30 a.m. because it would throw our whole morning routine for them to sleep late. I remember my mother telling me, “You are NUTS! I never woke any of you girls up until you were in school.” And I thought to myself, “Tisk, Tisk, Mom. No advice needed. I’ve got this mommy thing under control.”

Control being the key word.

(And by the way, mom. You were right. I was insane. I’m making up for it now though by letting them sleep ’til noon.)

Back in the day I had two charts on my refrigerator. One with all my daily cleaning responsibilities and one with my hourly ones. HOURLY, people. And do you know what?

I was driving myself nuts.

If my schedule fell apart, I fell apart. I didn’t leave the house unless the beds were made which meant I rarely left. And heaven help if a friend wanted me to go somewhere during a nap time. “No, thank you. We mustn’t disrupt the little darlings’ sleep.” And though I thought I was controlling their little lives, it really turned out they were controlling mine. I’m telling you girls, their little psyches soak that up. If it’s been established from day one they are kings and queens of mommy and daddy’s universe, when do you think the cut off day for that attitude will be? The answer? There won’t be one without much wailing and gnashing of teeth from both sides. One of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever received was to make sure our children knew they were a wonderful addition to our world but they were not its axis.

(Am I freaking y’all out yet?)

Obviously, I got over it. I realized my children would still be well-adjusted if he/she missed a nap from time to time. I learned it was worth the trouble to teach them to sit at a restaurant dinner table so we could go out with friends. And, I’ll tell you like I tell Luke, cleaning house from daylight to dark is just not fun. I’d much rather take the kids to McDonald’s or have lunch with a girlfriend than scrub baseboards. I’d rather get in my morning devotions than a morning shower. I’d rather be a happy wife and mom whose carpet hasn’t been vacuumed than an a screaming meemie who can’t bear for the kids to drag out their train set in the living room floor.

And I realize I may have just stepped in to a hot mess. Hear me well, my friends. If living by a schedule is something that works for your family, I’m not hating on your precious self. I’m not saying I don’t love my kids or cater to them whenever its appropriate (and sometimes when it isn’t) because of course, I do. I’m not saying it doesn’t feel great to be showered early with the house straightened. I do strive to make an inviting home for my family but if they have to choose between nice home or nice mom – they pick the latter. My point here is that we should each do what makes us truly happy. If structure floats your boat, own it and sail that bad boy! What I do know is that there are a lot of women out there who pressure themselves to appear together and they are miserable doing it. I can say this because I was one of them. From experience I can tell you that kind of girl really just wants to know your car has chicken nuggets under the seats and your bathroom needs cleaning. There is much ministry in truth-telling.

As evidenced by the amazing number of you who outed yourselves about not bathing regularly.

So, go. Have fun today doing whatever it is that makes you happy. And if you do that thing in yoga pants and a ball cap?

Well that’s all the better.

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