Letting Go and Letting Kids Be Kids
In a world full of social media perfection, unrelaistic expectations and contant comparision - I sometimes find it hard to let my kids just be kids. Too often I find myself cluttering our lives with elaborate activities, events and commitments because I tuly want my kids to have great experiences. But, then once we are in the thick of it I am miserable because I can't let go of what I want the outcome to be. How I want the project to turn out. What their behaviour should be.
Here in Nebraska, we have finally started the transition into my favorite time of year, Fall! On the way home from church, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some items for lunch and outside were the pumpkins. The kids eyes lit up and they begged to get their pumpkins for the year. Equally as excited, I quickly said yes and we proceeded to pick out the perfect pumpkins for each child.
We checked out and headed back to the car and began talking about how we would decorate our pumpkins... and that is when the magic of the season started to wear off. I began thinking about the last five years of pumpking carving and it went a little something like this:
Kids pick out the elaborate design for the pumpkin
Mom has to clean the pumpkin because no one likes the way the guts feel
Mom carves pumpkin because the kids can't be trusted with sharp objects and they would undoubtadly cry as soon as they messed up the design
Mom spends the next three hours painstakingly carving the pumpkins while the kids are off doing something completely different
Mom finally finishes and we go out to put a candle in it - the kids start crying because they decided they wanted a different design
Mom seasons and bakes the pumpkin seeds - no one eats them
Every year, especially around holidays, I find myself trying to create perfection instead of creating fun. Instead of letting the kids run the activity, I am controlled by my expectations and find myself being a momzi. In the end I don't have any fun. I still have to clean up the mess that I was trying to avoid in the first place. We are all stressed from my constant dictation. The magic is gone.
When we arrived home and carried our pumpkins inside, I saw all the craft supplies we had out in the dining room for a recent renovation and a light bulb went off. This year we would have no carving, no toasting of seeds, no guts. This year the kids could use all of the left over craft items I had to their hearts content and create their own creation. My kids love to craft and they spent the next two hours happliy decorating their pumpkins with all kinds of left overs.
At the end of the project they were SOO proud of their creations and they completely encompessed their creativity. I wasn't stressed or fatigued and in fact had been able to supervise while getting some other things done.
Too often I find myself caught up in the way that things SHOULD be done, look, be like that I forget to have fun. More importantly, I forget to let the kids be kids. I forget that traditions and ideas can be transformed to fit my childrens age and preferences. So if you are a mom out their sturggling with the same thing, I feel you! But make a resolution with me to make this the season of change. The season of saying, "WOW" even when the end result isn't as you planned.