An end of the summer/back to school special.
So you are all expecting part 2 of the Leslie story, and if you want, I will publish it tomorrow or later this week. But today was such a day that I thought I would write about it and end of summer/back to school…stuff.
What I have learned this summer is that living spontaneously is not half bad. For someone who loves routine and order, having a plan, having a schedule, moving with the needs of the current moment was a bit overwhelming for me at first. Necessity dictated this major shift for me this summer – and all for good reasons, thank G-d. But it was quite the overwhelming experience until I “gave in” and let go. I handed the wheel over to Mother Nature/the Universe/G-d/Circumstance (whatever you’d like to call it) and went along for the ride. And you know, it wasn’t half bad.
Looking back, I see that the space created by me being out of the house often was overall a positive one. Sort of like – Wow. The kids don’t need me to plan activities for them each day to keep them busy and happy. Wow, my kids can cook and make each other food if I am not home to do it, without calling me to ask what to make and without complaining. And Oh my goodness, I have been out of the house and the kids with me are behaving so nicely and the ones at home are so happy with their quiet time…maybe I should do this more often?!
Definitely an eye-opening experience. A shift in perspective. From the always-around-and- taking-care-of-things Mom to the out-three-times-a-week-and-not-taking-care-of-much-at-
all-around-the-house Mom. I like it. :)
It was good. And the need was temporary. But the lesson learned was eternal. I do not need to be indispensable around the house. The kids and my husband are happier when I am out and about and crazy happy with my life than when I am home and around but feeling humdrum with all the home and around stuff I am continually taking care of in a never ending cycle of things that need to get done. (I know that was a long run-on, but it called for it. ;)
All that stuff that we do and feel the need to keep doing does need to get done…but we don’t need to be married to it. We are married to our husbands, to our kids, but not to the job. You know what I mean?
I have kept the house relatively clean. The laundry is getting done. My kids are eating reasonably well. My husband is AMAZING at doing the food shopping and odd errands (thank you G-d!). And we are happy. Sure the kids have had enough of each other after 8 weeks at home (they love being home – which is great – but they get sick of each other and the bossy comments from the older siblings, the annoying comments of the younger siblings, etc).
But we are happy.
Which brings me to today. The whole summer I sort of had it in my head that we were going to go to the zoo. (As a family, we LOVE going to the zoo – my husband and me, the big kids, the little kids – it’s just all around family fun!) And last week I set today to be the day. I think for me, it was “I have not had family outing time with all the kids just us all summer and I really want that so we are going to the zoo.” Maybe some guilt in there for all the days I was out (even though most of the time hubby and some kids were with me). Maybe just a mommy desire to have her whole brood together for a nostalgic summer day. But, you know what? I was the only one who wound up wanting to really go to the zoo today. So we went to the mall instead (mostly because I insisted we at least do something together as a whole family, and also because we needed something at the mall :). Meaning, no one else felt the lack. I didn’t deprive them of anything. As they have told me a few times (also last summer when I put my business into the global stratosphere) – if I am happy, they are happy. This year, it was less verbally spoken and more seen and felt. Happy Mommy, Happy Family.
So the real Q is Mamas – what makes you out of your mind flippin’ fantastically happy? And – are you doing it?
With love and serenity and some don’t-hate-me-cuz-I’m-happy,
Last year, at the Zoo!