Updated: May 13
Here’s 4 things I am letting go of in 2023:
1. A perfect house
This summer, my mom took my boys for three weeks.
For the first time in two years, my house was clean every day. I didn’t step on a single Lego or find pee on the bathroom floor. My counters were clean and clutter-free. The laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away in a single day.
Then, they came back and immediately I was stepping on Legos, sweeping up crumbs three times a day, trying (and failing) to keep the counters clear, forgetting about the clothes in the dryers and wondering how pee even got there?!
If you’re having trouble “keeping up”, it’s not a personal failure. Kids are messy. And if you follow DIY or interior design accounts, remember- it’s their literal job to keep their house Insta-worthy.
2. Parenting the same way my parents did
I know the sting of hearing “you don’t discipline enough” or “you’re being too harsh”, or “you would have never gotten away with that when you were little”.
Nothing hurts more than being told you’re not a good parent, and while that may not be the intention in these statements, it’s what most parents hear. You aren’t good enough. You’re failing.
Your child is unique. Even if your child shares similar personality traits or the same interests as you, they are not you. They have their own thoughts, motivations, triggers and dreams. YOU know what is best for your child. Honoring that means you are thriving, not failing.
PS- breaking harmful cycles or behaviors isn't easy, but it's badass.
3. Blaming myself for everything my children do
I’ll be honest, I have a really hard time with this one. I feel like a terrible mother every time I receive an email from a teacher about an incident at school. Or every time my children shout something inappropriate. When my 4-year old had an accident. I assume everyone involved thinks I am a terrible, negligent parent.
But here’s the thing: I don’t tell my preschooler to pee on his grandma’s couch. He’s four years old. Accidents happen. I don’t go around my house shouting: “MY BUTT ITCHES!”
I was always well-behaved in school, but I am not neurodiverse like my son is. I don’t know what it’s like to have trouble sitting still or holding my thoughts in.
My children are not me. And when I take a deep breath and remind myself of that, it’s easier to move forward.
4. Comparing myself to other moms
I have a couple of mom friends who are “weekend warriors”.
Every weekend, they are packed with activities: the zoo, the museum, bowling, the pool, the latest festival, Disney On Ice.
I hear their stories about their latest outing and I sometimes feel guilty for not doing enough with my kids.
But then, I take a deep breath and remember: I work on weekends, we don’t have a ton of disposable income, and my oldest child is easily overstimulated. We take them to the zoo and the museum, but not every weekend. Our kids are delighted by game nights and movie nights at home. We are doing what works for our family right now. It doesn’t look the same as other families, and that is okay.
You are parenting the best way you can. You are doing enough.
What are you letting go of in 2023?