I stopped chasing normal

My calendar frustrates me. All the things on it.

I keep telling myself “I just want normal” and then look at my schedule and the schedule feels a bit like hell. Every single day where I look to see if it could just be normal, if I just could work, there’s something scheduled. When I see the schedule I have that moment of angst of something to do. And even if there isn’t something scheduled, I can guarantee you that with my kids something will come up.

This is summer. Life.

That’s what I tell myself. This is the breath, the break, the moment I can create that new normal routine and honestly, and I don’t like admitting this, all I can think about is the routine I think I will find again in August.

But the truth is this – August will come and I’ll probably be thinking I can’t wait until September when I can find normal again. And then September will come and I’ll wish for October and then October and I’ll think I’ll find routine in November and then well, you get it. It goes on and on and on.

It’s very frustrating at times. Okay truth: it drives me crazy at times. Which results in me feeling lost and not knowing what to do so I end up watching old episodes of Survivor on Hulu because maybe their strategizing for 39 days will give me insight into my summer. Which results in nothing being done, except me wishing for a Buff or someone to clean my kitchen and find my counters that have stuff left by my kids who are now bored. On week two of summer. Bored. So then I tell them imagine being on Survivor with nothing to do AND nothing to eat. 

Sometimes I just want the chill of time in life. Maybe that chill of childhood on a Saturday morning when I’d wake up and think I have the whole day in front of me. What do I start with? Now, as a mom, I wake on Saturday and I tend to wonder which load of laundry I should start with or I should venture into the bathrooms and start cleaning. I try to roll over, but then my daughter needs to be driven to work or the milk spilled or someone is knocking on my door at 7:34 trying to sell pest control.

As I’ve been sitting outside writing, which is because my good friend told me as I was lamenting my frustration over feeling lost in life and he told me to write it down, I came to a realization about my quest for this chill, normal, lazy predictable motherhood life.

There is none.

Life as a mom just isn’t that way. I’m so sorry if you’re moments away from your first child entering life to burst that bubble of motherhood, but trust me, the sooner we all just drop that expectation that it has to be a certain way the happier we all can become. It doesn’t matter what’s on the schedule or if I ever get to that hypothetical normal because I can guarantee you this – there is NO normal.

Now, just so you don’t feel like this is the worst. Here’s the cool thing I realized:

The more I chase normal, the more frustrated I will feel.

There is a routine, but it might be the routine we all wanted. It might not be the laminated charts with movable activities or the schedule with colored pencil lines for each kid. And the more I chase a routine in my head and not the routine of my life the even more frustrated I will feel.

You too. Listen, we are never ever going to find normal when we think that normal will be this place of peace and happiness.

That happiness comes in being lost in the not-so-normal day-to-day crazy bits of life. In discovering lice or dealing with stomach flu or late homework or the boredom of kids in the summer. It’s in bags of groceries left outside by kids in 95 degrees who told you they brought them in. It’s in babies not sleeping and toddlers giving up naps. It’s in trying to have a playdate and nothing going right. It’s in movie nights where no one likes the movie or times at the theater spent in the hallway with the one who was scared.

It’s in trying our best and applying the sunscreen but reading the next week how that sunscreen isn’t the “safe” on anymore. It’s in buying the popsicles and not caring that they’re not organic but just making the kids happy. It’s in being early or late for pick up. It’s in late night binge watching of Survivor too.

Chasing normal will result in me today: cranky, lost, short-tempered.

Accepting life as crazy beautiful will result in one thing: space.

Yes, space. Space for the normal chill times and space for the times that drive us insane. And that space allows us all to look at each other and say, you know what? You’ll be okay.

You’ll be okay.

I’ll be okay.

The kids will make it, we’ll make it. We’ll have our gamut of days and in it all – we will make it.

So give yourself a break. A breather. Exhale. Stop chasing the days on the calendar that have nothing on them. They will come, sweet sister, and when they do, we might just miss this space a teeny bit. And trust me, you’ll have those days in the midst of the busy and unexpected – when you do – remember to breathe and enjoy that day with space. Those are the recharging days, the days where you can prep yourself for a life of unexpected.

You see, normal, crazy normal, might just be all around you.

We just needed to see it again.

It’s called life.


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