Why I gave up control and how I found freedom…
I’m a control freak, its no secret. I like things a certain way, in a certain order, and in a certain amount of time. This was once a perfectly achievable goal, you know before I had kids. It was never really as ideal as I remember it to be, those nostalgic days where everything is so far away that it all seems perfect in retro spec. Well, guess what. I give up! That’s right! I quit. I have admitted to myself I cannot do it all. I have finally accepted the help everyone has offered and you know…It hasn’t killed me.
I have given up control to my husband, to my kids, to my Mom, my sister in law, and all of my amazing and perfectly capable friends. I thought it would be this horrible gut wrenching experience, but so far it has been nothing short of a miracle. The idea that the kids don’t fold the laundry the way I do, the fact that my husband feeds the twins differently than me, and so many other things have yet to kill me. Wow! What a concept. I have given up worrying about how things get done, and I am simply grateful that it’s checked of the to do list.
One of my biggest pitfalls is the idea that I am burden to someone else. The notion that my inability to handle everything on my plate would affect someone else in anyway has always plagued me. I used to get upset when my husband would come home to a pile of laundry, and the idea that he would help clean or cook really bothered me. He has never once acted the least bit inconvenienced or bothered. He is happy to pitch in when and where he can, that is what makes us such a great team. We balance each other out.
I once had this amazing friend in town and we would trade off watching each other’s girls so that we could go to the gym. Rather than be able to see it a mutual partnership, I always felt like I was getting the better end of the deal, and I felt constantly indebted. This was not in anyway based on fact, but all because I was paranoid of burdening someone else with my own responsibilities. So I gave up! And now when someone offers to grab a few things at the store for me, I take them up on it with a grateful heart. I return those favor when I’m able, and its a great feeling to know that I’m there for someone else, too.
With four kids and two dogs there is always a mess, and if I’ve just cleaned the mess you can bet someone is in another part of the house making a new mess. So I gave up trying to keep a picture perfect house, too! I don’t live in dump, but I no longer worry if there are a few plates in the sink. I’m also no longer worried about how tidy the classroom or the girls’ bedrooms are.
We pick up two or so times each day, declutter as best the girls themselves can, and then we worry about a deep clean on the weekends when Dad is home and able to offer me some backup. Guess what, no one has turned around and run out the front door because my house was too messy, and if it burns down I doubt the firefighters will worry about the Barbie’s in the middle of the bedroom floor. I gave up on perfect, because frankly no one likes to come over and feel like their kids can’t take toys out to play or worry about making a crumby mess at snack time.
One of my biggest victories in the “I give up” department is my nutrition and exercise. Since I gave birth in August my stress level has been to the moon and back. I was so stressed out trying to keep two tiny humans alive while making sure their two older sisters felt loved and attended to, that I was not forgiving enough of the foods I ate or the little activities I did do. I had an all or nothing mentality. If I didn’t eat well at breakfast it ruined the entire day. If I couldn’t go to Crossfit, while a quick run just wasn’t good enough.
So I gave up trying to make sure that I ate perfectly blocked meals. I eat as close to it as I can. Most meals have been spot on since I “gave up” because there is no pressure. I have no expectations, and for now this is exactly what I need. I have had two unplanned set backs that have kept me away from the gym much more than I can deal with quite honestly, but I hopped on the rower for a few minutes the other day and realized that, you know what, that is plenty for right now. It felt great. It left me wanting more, and that is exactly what I need. I’m going to ease back into things, and I guess that means starting from scratch.
I’m not where I once was, but I give up trying to get back there. I’m not the same person anymore. Life is far different. I’m headed in an amazing direction. I cannot wait to see what happens next, but for now I give up expectations, I give up control and burdens, I give up. I’m going to let faith step in. I’m going to enjoy this journey.