I think my goal in life is to not fall apart…
It is a weird goal, I think. Some people want to be astronauts. Some people want to be ballerina dancers.
I want to provide my children with a fantastic home, a great learning environment, enable their pursuits in education and extracurricular activities, make sure we participate in social events, volunteer, provide healthy meals for my home, make sure we have clean clothes and a functional household, encourage my husband in his work while being a loving and fun wife…. I also want to have a garden and write and paint and one day visit Montana. I could go on for days, it’s a never ending list.
However, on the outside, I might come across as “laid back.”
I have had a few friends actually tell me that I am “the most laid back mother friend they have,” which is just ridiculous and I try to debate emphatically, because I feel like a freaking nervous ferret stress-ball most of the time! I just do some wild balancing act trying to stay observant while being calm so I don’t stress other people out.
Case in point:
Do you see what my husband is doing here? He is watching the hippopotamus at the zoo with our son.
Do you know what he is not doing? Sitting on the bench watching the kids to make sure one of them doesn’t run off, get picked up, cut themselves, fall off something, touch someone, steal some kid’s sippy cup, lick something, run into the lion’s den, or spontaneously explode.
That’s what I am doing.
Do you know what my kids were doing?
They were playing happily on the hippopotamus statue.
I was when I was watching them that something amazing happened to me.
I didn’t realize I had been a ferret worry-stress-ball all morning, worried if we had everyone’s shoes, sunscreen, water, wallets, shoes, jackets, all the kids, my backpack, diapers and shoes. I was trying to leave the house without worrying that I left the oven on, even though I didn’t use the oven that morning, or the stove was on, even though I didn’t use the stove; that all the doors were locked, the gardens were watered, the chickens had enough food and water for the day and we had all of our shoes.
I need RFID trackers for shoes.
As I sat there watching the kids play, and watching my husband enjoy the hippo exhibit with our son, I let myself sit and watch them. There was this peace in my lungs that I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. I think I was actually taking deep, calming breaths instead of shallow, ferret breaths. I was able to appreciate the joy of kids climbing and sliding down statues in the zoo. I could hear the hippopotamus play with his ball without a care in the world. Heck, there was even a group of young adults there dressed in all black leather and bright green/blue/pink/yellow hair who were enjoying themselves!
No one was worried people would fall over and die for no reason.
Not even the lions.
Except for me.
Mothers are generally the heart of the home. If the heart of the home is stressed out the home will be stressed out. The husband will have a higher stress level if his wife is stressed out all the time; the children will follow their mother’s lead both in behavior and in attitude; and it is just as important to give them a good example to follow as it is to be a good example for yourself.
So take some time to learn from them. Learn how to just enjoy watching the ocean, instead of worrying about where everybody is on this enormously safe beach. Learn how to sit with your husband and children, instead of looming in the sidelines making sure everyone is okay. Learn how to smile like they are smiling. Learn from those who love you…
Learn how to relax.
3 thoughts on “I Am Letting My Husband and Children Teach Me How To Relax.”
I’ve got that worried ferret tying my guts in knots all the time too. I don’t want to be that guy, but I am. I used to be laid back, but over the pat ten years I felt like I needed to wash some valium and advil PM down with beer just about every night (aside – I don’t. I just feel like it). Let me know when you’ve found the cure.
(why am I just seeing this comment now…weeks later? Anywho…)
The funny thing is, the very next day after I wrote this my husband took me to a reservoir he took the kids to that week while I had been at Bible study or something. The kids were happy jumping over rocks and climbing up hills…and my 4 year old literally scampered up this ridiculously steep hill and I felt my lungs try to escape my body. But I remembered my goal, so I breathlessly asked my husband, “…is that okay?” and he casually said, “oh yeah, she’s done that 5 times before. Do you want to go up?” I did, and it wasn’t as bad as it looks. On one hand, I can’t believe the kids made it up there without breaking something….but on the other hand, it gives me great pleasure to know they can do much more than their paranoid mum lets them do. So, I try to keep that in mind. …..I also enjoy a stiff beer after they’ve gone to bed some days, though…..
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