That’s my title and I’m sticking to it.
I’m Type A. I like things clean and organized. I dislike clutter. I love nothing more than crossing things off a to-do list. I do NOT like things or chores pilling up, physically or just mentally clogging up my brain. I get this from my mother, best mom ever mind you, but she makes me look like a slob. She is a perfectionist and clean freak. Again, I love her, but that’s just the way she is…I get it honestly.
And then I had kids. And a husband. And a shaggy big dog. *sigh*
I’m not going to give you a pep talk about better organizing your time or delegating tasks or even that you need to take things off your to-do list to make time for you. I’m not going to share that stupid quote about a dirty house but happy kids or whatever it says. Those articles and blogs exist by the thousand.
I am here to tell you that you just need to learn to let shit go! It’s going to go all on it’s own anyway…your housekeeping skills, your to-do list, the things you will forget, the Pinterest crafts you’ll never get to do…so just pretend you meant to let it go. It will save you some guilt. Seriously, you can’t do it all, or at least not all well, and so sometimes, like right now when I’m blogging instead of washing dishes because that’s what makes me happier, you just throw up your hands and say “fuck it”. Or maybe you’re more classy than me and you say something like “Oh I’ll do that tomorrow”…but I say “fuck it” and you know what? It feels good!
After my first baby I tried, I really did. And because I am naturally organized and clean and all that, it went pretty well. I stressed a little but my house was still pretty clean and my laundry was mostly caught up and I put a nice, healthy meal on the table most nights. I stayed in touch with friends, not quite as well as before, but I still never missed a birthday. I managed to still do yoga and volunteer for some things and even take my kid to those stupid baby music classes that, obviously, make them all little geniuses.
Second kid came 17 months later. Which happened to collide with my husband traveling a lot. Like every week a lot, and always last minute. Did I mention we don’t have family around to help? Everything fell apart – my to-do list looked like a battle plan; my house was not clean enough, ever; the laundry, oh god, the laundry; I forgot not one or two birthdays, but pretty much every event for a year; I never returned a phone call; and my stress level was through the roof. Oh, and I didn’t ask for any help. Or accept it when dear friends offered. I still thought I should and could do it all. Guess what? I couldn’t. And when I didn’t, the world didn’t end. SHOCKER!
Looking back, and knowing my personality, it had to happen that way. It had to be BAD for me to get it (I’m stubborn – or stupid – like that). But then we moved into a project house (yes, we did that voluntarily!) and I got pregnant again and something clicked – LET THAT SHIT GO! And I did. My house will only be clean the day I have help (I should write a whole post on how much I love the lady who cleans my house twice a month! LIFESAVER and worth every damn penny!). It’s clean enough. I will always have a to-do pile on my desk, it will likely never go away. And that’s ok. I am still pretty good about birthday cards, but I’m probably going to miss a few and that’s ok too – my friends know I love them and they understand. In fact, they cut my much more slack than I cut myself. I gave up long ago on laundry…it will still be there tomorrow. I shop at *gasp* Costco now and I meal plan and I take shortcuts…my kids still eat better than any of us did as kids, right? I have learned to say “no” which is seriously my second favorite word in the English language now (any guesses as to my first?). And I let shit go. Because I cannot do it all and I certainly can’t do it all perfectly and I’m a damn good mom and wife and friend as it is…the only person putting that pressure on me was me.
One thought on “Learning to Let Shit Go”
Nice post, Colleen. This is something that I have struggled with…ok do struggle with. I do let things go…sometimes, but then I beat myself up about it. Thanks for the reminder not to do that.