I have all the answers

I don't know how this happened exactly, but I find I've lightened up. On my personal blog I became known for waxing philosophical about the angst of motherhood almost daily. I was constantly fighting a losing battle to find balance. I was uptight and trying too hard to be the perfect mother.

I don't know how this lightening up thing happened exactly, but I think it has something to do with surrender.

Surrender isn't an entirely new discovery, I've even written about it before, assuring myself that with this realization I'd be more calm.. But I wasn't. It never stuck. It did not stick with me until the letting go phenomenon moved from my head to my heart.

I'd like you to know I have all the answers. They are up there with shoe sizes and dates for doctor's appointments. They string along behind my childhood phone number and knowing when to say no. These answers are beside the on-going list I try to keep memorized, the one of alternating items we go through in this house...nutella, ranch, bread...what else do we need? oh! there it is, hummus!

What I'm saying is that I have all the answers, right there along with all the other things I consistently forget and then remember again. Sometimes.

Yup, they're in there, buried but a part of my jumping-monkey mommy brain.

What I've realized lately is that to find those answers, I have to stop and listen to my heart-gut. I have to ask myself if I should really be so scared about future orthodontics or the dating years, or if this school is right or that one. I have to stop and find some quiet and see what happens with the butterflies in my belly, what kind are they? I'm learning to tell the difference. Some churnings are there as a wake up or a warning or a nudge and some are just fear and worry.

So yes, I know the answers and I think you do too. I've learned what agrees with our family time and again. And when new things come up, my heart-gut is still there for the consulting. It's a mother's greatest gift. And for some reason, when I listen to it more than I listen to my scattered and ruminating mind, I relax over the little things in a way I never could before.

They ate junk today. Oh well.
There was way too much screen time in this house today. Tomorrow's a new day.
Will he ever stop needing a pull-up at night? Of course.
What should I do to get him to eat his vegetables? eh, whatevs, I'll just keep trying.

I truly believe that every mother has access to all the answers, if she listens as she's spoken to inside her specially-made-for-her-soul instead of letting worry win. I mean, the thing is, we're never going to always get it right and that's okay. It takes a lifetime to slowly learn the listening. But I think if we lighten up and focus on our progress as our kiddos progress with us, instead of focusing on perfection, we can't go wrong.

We can't go wrong because all roads lead back to grace, even though there are so often detours, especially those set up by fear and over-thinking. We'll get back to good. I know. Because Matchbox 20 told me so.

And also, I have all the answers. In a way.

Heather writes at The Extraordinary Ordinary

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