I have a secret.
Well, it’s not really that juicy awesome kind of secret that makes everyone wonder. It’s more of that motherhood secret that we all have that we never say but we all just want.
I crave space. Quiet. Myself.
In fact, I love a day on my calendar where there is nothing written on it. A blank day, an empty space, a day that means I can just have the day without expectations of extra stuff to do.
Most of my life is the opposite. And I mean the opposite. If we met at Starbucks and had a chance to chat over a latte, I would probably be late, out-of-breath, in yoga pants, my hair in a bun, checking my phone. Not because I am obsessed with my phone, but because I would be waiting for one of my kids to either tell me they were ready to be picked up or the doctor would be calling back or I would have a reminder set to remind me to get home before the bus arrived.
It’s hard to breathe in that space.
I would try to sit and listen. But I know my mind would be distracted. I know, because for almost twenty years of my twenty-two year long so far motherhood journey I have been the cluttered mom.
That’s the label I freely give to that version of me.
Busy, thinking I needed to do more, be more, show up more, volunteer more, worry more.
It’s not that I didn’t want to slow down – it is because I didn’t know HOW to slow down. And then, coupled with that, was this tremendous vicious guilt that slowing down, saying “no”, doing less meant I wasn’t being a good enough mom. So I cluttered up my life, cluttered my motherhood, cluttered my home and kept myself so busy doing things I deemed important that I forgot how to breathe.
But life has a way of knocking us down doesn’t it? I don’t think it’s always smack in our faces, but sometimes it can be quietly, like you reading these words of mine and you having that moment where you try to inhale and it only gets so far and you realize your breath is stuck. And then when you realize your breath is stuck is the moment tears fill your eyes because at that moment, you dare to think “I need a break.”
You might need a break. In fact, if you live a cluttered existence of busy, you WILL need a break.
It’s not more noble to not have a day of nothing. It’s not more amazing to drive yourself into the ground of busy.
It IS noble to decide that for a moment, just a moment, you will breathe.
Yes, that is it.
Space. Margin. Breath.
Kids and life doesn’t give it. I can guarantee if we were chatting at that Starbucks that we’d each have our to-do list moments racing through our heads. That’s okay. I really need you to understand that. So many times us moms read articles that put heaviness on our hearts. It just becomes “one more thing” we need to do or “one more place we have to work on” or well, you get the picture. I don’t want you to feel that way. All I want you to feel right now is one thing.
Just that in this moment. A breath.
Shut out the noises, the to-do lists, the timers beeping and just give yourself an uncluttered moment in your day.
You are worth it. You do amazing things. You try so hard. You are a good mom.
Yes, you are.
Breathe in those words of truth, let your heart have a moment of uncluttered, and then pick up, carry on and mother.
You see, the truth is that YOU have to give yourself permission to carve out these spaces in your life. No expectations, no timetables, no nothing. Just permission to sit in the car for five minutes extra or to hit the snooze for five more minutes or to watch a show on Netflix or to run or to clean that kitchen before you read to the kids. You are in charge of you. You are the one, all those other things – you get the space and the permission to love you in the midst.
That’s uncluttered motherhood.
It’s not about you deciding to get rid of stuff right now. It’s not more piled on. It’s you, taking a moment, and breathing deep.
Love to you.
Breathe deep, my sweet friend.