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Things I’ve Learned To Let Go Of As A Mom

Before I had children, I was a perfect parent.

We’ve all been there, right?  Before children, we were all so well-versed on parenting and how kids should be raised.  But then real life kicks in, we have a kid or two of our own, and all bets are off.

You may have seen this rant circulating online, and I love it!  Okay, I don’t love slightly judgemental tone, but I do love this woman’s standards.  We should all aim so high!

 


And honestly, isn’t this a reflection of exactly how each one of us thought this motherhood thing would go?  Everyone would always be well-fed, bathed, clean and happy, healthy meals would be made on time, children would be well-behaved and certainly never do anything unacceptable, and the house would be well-kept.

But I’ve learned to let go of certain things as a Mom.  Things like:

Forcing my kids to eat veggies.  They’re picky.  They only eat certain things, and very specific fruits and veggies.  I’ve made peace with that.  And guess what?  They’re three of the most healthy kids I know!

Making my kids clean their rooms.  I have three messies for kids.  And I do have cleanliness standards in place (no clothes on the floor, food rotting under the bed, that sort of thing).  But if you were to walk into my kid’s room right now, the last thing you would say is that they’re clean.

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Dusting.  Okay, I never really did that before becoming a parent either.

Eating unprocessed foods.  Because life happens, and chicken strip wraps are yummy.

Clothed babies.  When you’re volunteering at the school and counting money and can’t leave until you’re done … and your baby has a diaper explosion in her stroller and you’re a 30 minute walk from home …?  After a baby wipe bath, a clean diaper and Mom’s sweater will suffice.

Those times when I wasn’t watching my kids closely enough.  Like when one of them ate kitty litter (it was still in the bottle, thank goodness!).  Or when two of them managed to mattress-surf down the stairs before I noticed what they were doing.

Doing my daughter’s hair every morning.  She hates having her hair pulled back.  It took me years, but I’m okay with that now.

My crazy children …

A post shared by Megan Elford (@meganelford) on

Making sure my kids’ clothes match.  Clashing outfits drive me nuts, and kids seem to specialize in them.  So I just do my best to make sure that all of their bottoms (pants, shorts and skirts) are neutral colours.  Problem solved!

Folded laundry.  I don’t have piles of laundry laying around for one reason: most of my kids do their own.  But, with that comes a need to let go of how they do it.  It gets clean, and they never re-wear dirty laundry.  That’s all that matters anyway, right?

Organized Toys.  Try as I might, the toys will never stay in their carefully labeled plastic drawers.  It doesn’t matter how many Pinterest-worthy efforts I make, the system always fails when the kids get involved.

Just when I thought it was safe to stop investing in washable markers …

A post shared by Megan Elford (@meganelford) on

Clean carpets.  Sure, I can vacuum non-stop, but the truth is, kids very rarely make it to the bathroom before throwing up.  And sometimes they run outside in their socks or bare feet, and then track dirt inside.  Or sometimes they find a piece of styrofoam and play with it until it’s in little tiny balls all over the floor.  Or sometimes some crazy person (me) gives them a dollar store feather boa, and the feathers find their way into every nook and cranny in the house.  Or sometimes, kids, with that crazy autonomy of theirs, take their toast into the living room and get crumbs and peanut butter everywhere.  It happens.

Perfect table manners.  Anyone else remember that episode of Home Improvement when the mom goes a little crazy over the kids’ behaviour at the table, so the dad gets the kids to behave for one meal?  I keep wishing that would happen in our house, but it hasn’t yet.  But you know, in between all that talking with mouths open and using fingers to eat and wiggling around on their chairs, we have some pretty great conversations around the dinner table, and a lot of laughs!  Like when one kid introduced us to Chicken Man.

 

That mom who has been a parent for 2 weeks will soon be initiated into the real world of parenting, and she’ll laugh at her own words.  Just like you and I did. 

What have you had to let go of as a parent?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

34 Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    It’s funny how we have this picture of what it’s going to be like once we have kids – and then how it’s NOTHING like that in real life. It’s not easy, but the good things in life aren’t

  2. Jeanette

    You son totally cracked me up! I love it! I hope my son is like that when he is older! I agree with you until you have your own kids yeah think you know it all. Now that I’ve had kids if I can get through a conversation without having them to interrupt me I would be excited.
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  3. Heather

    I am a step-parent and it’s even harder I’d say because the child has two sets of rules in two different houses. I am an extreme neat freak so I have learned to let go a bit, but it’s funny – I wrote a blog post on this very thing (along the lines of laughing at myself because of things I said BEFORE I married a man with kids). We all end up eating our words when it comes to kids. I laughed at that blurb you posted when I saw it in my Facebook feed, because, yep – we were all her (even us stepparents).

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc

    The is no ultimate guide book on how to be a perfect parent. Before, I told myself, “I’d be just like mom,” but situations were not the same, so I relied on instinct. My kids grew up healthy, smart, loving and respectful. Can’t get any better than that.

  5. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    I understood that all of the things that are on your list would most likely happen.
    And so for those reasons I knew early on that I would not enjoy being a mom. I know that inspite of those things, moms will say there is no greater thing the joy of being a mom, but I just never wanted to go there.
    Go check out Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy’s latest post! Mirror, Mirror…Who Is That?My Profile

  6. Amanda || Growing Up Madison

    I’ve learned to let go of a LOT of things over the years. My oldest is almost 20 and when I first had her everything was neat and in order. By the time my last one who is 3 came along, I didn’t care if the room was clean, if they ate at the table etc, as long as they ate. She’ll get over herself eventually.
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  7. Life as a Convert

    I can’t wait until her kid smears peanut butter under her couch. 🙂
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  8. Terri Beavers

    I was really surprised by the amount of things I let go of as a mom vs being a grandma. I let the grandkids get away with things my kids couldn’t.
    Go check out Terri Beavers’s latest post! Playing and Having Fun Online, Kid Safe SitesMy Profile

  9. Liz Mays

    I can definitely relate to some of these. As long as we’re working to improve ourselves letting some things go is okay.
    Go check out Liz Mays’s latest post! Pro Prep Diaries: Stay Organized, Stay SaneMy Profile

  10. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    I think as long as you do what you can every day and try your best you are doing okay. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to other mothers. While we are all given the same amount of time in each day, there are just some people who can’t seem to keep up with things the way others can. But motherhood, having a career, being a wahm/sahm or anything else is not an excuse for laziness.

  11. Travel Blogger

    This is such a fantastic relief to read stuff like this. I see so many parents on social media making life seem perfect and all roses, but as a new mom, I know that is just not real life. Thank you so much for sharing. It makes me feel better as I ignore that sink full of dirty dishes.

  12. Erica Brooks

    I can so relate. Messy rooms, and bedtime routines are still a challenge in our house but I’ve let it go.
    Go check out Erica Brooks’s latest post! Antique Silver Clear Necklace and Earring Jewelry Set SA86768623My Profile

  13. Miles L.

    This is so true. We’re so idealistic and when reality kicks in, we struggle to keep up with the standards.

  14. April Mims

    Every parent has a different experience. My oldest child would nap for hours and I could get tons of things done. The second one only napped for a few minutes at a time so I didn’t get much done – including showering. Some of the things like matching clothes – not worth the fight – and most parents will recognize that you probably don’t send your kid out in mis-matched clothes intentionally.
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  15. ricci

    I don’t have kids yet so I am probably one of the “well-versed people” you are talking about. I think it will be interesting to see what all I do and don’t do as a parent if I should ever be in that position.
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  16. rika

    This is a fantastic post! I agree, before i had children , I was a perfect parent and very unrealistic.. I am still forcing my kids to eat veggies, still trying
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  17. victoria

    Such a great post. when i had a kid my big challenge was doing the laundry and try to eat them a healthy foods.

  18. Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey

    Enjoyed reading your post, funny that I could totally relate to some of these. Who ever said parenting’s easy and there’s not even a manual that came with it! lol Whatever works and sometimes arguing with kids is very stressful if we keep pushing what we want. lol There are things that are okay to let go.
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  19. OurFamilyWorld

    I agree with you on all this. Those are also the things I’ve learned to let go of.
    Go check out OurFamilyWorld’s latest post! 8 Cute Valentine’s Day Cards to DIYMy Profile

  20. rochkirstin

    There are so many things that you learn being a mom. I think putting in more patience and more commitment to caring for kids is a definite must. My mom let go plenty of her time relaxing to do house chores and provide for our needs at home and in school.

  21. Chubskulit Rose

    Before I became a parent, I was an organized freak. When my kids arrived, I learned how to accept the fact that it would be impossible to be organized all the time. I love the picture of your kids!
    Go check out Chubskulit Rose’s latest post! Raising Responsible KIdsMy Profile

  22. Rebecca Swenor

    This is a great post and the ones that say things like this are the ones who don’t have kids usually. I had to let go of constantly picking up each of their toys every time they put them down to play with something else. As soon as I would put one away they started playing with something else and go to the one I just put away.

  23. Jaime Nicole

    Some of this is really good for a laugh or at least a chuckle. Nobody knows the right way to do this – it’s a learn as you go thing and then you realllllly hope that they change the names when they write their autobiography
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  24. Bites for Babies

    I’m a clean freak and so I’ve had a hard time trying to ‘let go’ of all the mess sitting around the house!
    Go check out Bites for Babies’s latest post! Healthy Breakfast Ideas for 2016My Profile

  25. Ann Bacciaglia

    When my kids were younger i had to give up on the idea that my house was going to be clean and organized all the time. I used to stress so much when the toys would be everywhere. Now the kids are 17 and 20 and my house is back to the way i like it. We put to much pressure on ourselves.

  26. Lynndee

    i stopped forcing my son to eat veggies too. I was very picky myself when I was a kid so I am not going to force him. I love veggies now so I know he will also love veggies when he’s older. 🙂
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  27. Kathy

    I can definitely relate to some of these! I pretty much gave up on trying to always keep the house clean. Once it’s clean it’s already a mess, so it doesn’t even matter.

  28. Bonnie @wemake7

    Lol, I can’t wait until realizes she is so wrong, 2 weeks in? lol. Great post.

  29. CourtneyLynne

    I saw this the other day and it did make me chuckle. I see where she’s coming from because kids shouldn’t be an excuse for things, but yeah…. Things will get way more tough…. Wayyy more tough lol

  30. HilLesha

    This is my first time seeing that lady’s rant, but she sure has a rude awakening! I’m sure she’s going to have a different tone within a year. 🙂
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  31. Claudia Krusch

    I need to follow your advice, I find myself screaming more and more often and I don’t think that is a good healthy relationship! Thank you for your post! It opened my eyes!
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  32. Yona Williams

    I’m not a parent, but my brother is. I think one of the things that is going to be hard for him to get over with my nephew is the mismatching of clothes. I don’t know if my nephew has a lazy sense of style or no style at all…

  33. Renee @ Getting Fit Fab

    I am not a parent, I have NO idea how it’ll be, but I’m expecting messy, crazy, and chaos. I am a messy person, but I can keep a clean house if I need to LOL. My fiance is a very neat person, maybe that’ll rub off on me.

  34. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    Oh my gosh! No matter how you plan tihngs out. With children, anything — and I mean ANYTHING– can happen.

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