Curious? Bamboo motherhood? Well, let me tell you this -> I almost titled this post how to be a calmer and more chill mom and then I changed it to life changing. Because it is, trust me.
Anyone who knows me in real life reading this will probably laugh because I used the words calmer and chill describing myself and motherhood. So lets set the record straight – my nature is not typically the go with the flow chill mom. Partially due to Starbucks and caffeine intake and partially due to the recessive hyper and stubborn genes both my parents gave me. As a result I would describe myself as a bit high strung. For most of my life. And if you are high strung or stubborn or set it your ways motherhood can be very very very challenging.
For instance, it’s really hard for me to let go of frustration. If I get home from working or grocery shopping and the kitchen is a giant mess and there are no lids on anything (because my kids, no joke, lose lids. And shoes) and everyone is sitting around I will get snappy. Crabby. I will say things like does no one care about me? Seriously? What is the deal? And then I will huff and puff and storm around the kitchen making sure everyone knows I’m irritated.
As if slamming a kitchen cabinet does anything.
I mean it does feel satisfying in the moment. Until one of my kids says I thought we weren’t supposed to slam cabinets. To which I reply maybe I wouldn’t if you didn’t lose the lid to the Dr. Pepper which should now be called Dr. Flatter.
I know, ultra mature, but come on, flat soda is the worst. And it’s not about soda it’s about my mindset and how I stopped being quite as controlled by the circumstances.
So over the past year I’ve been working on this t-rex of crazy motherhood self I have. I could have been an extra for Jurassic World, or at least my kids could tell you that when they deal with me walking into a room where all the clean clothes are on the floor because they were looking for their favorite shirt. So hence the title of this year.
This is the Year of Bamboo Motherhood.
Don’t laugh. Listen here….I lived like an Oak tree kind of parent. I was stubborn, with my roots deep in the ground. I was firm and set my mind. I didn’t like changes to the schedule and I love a clean kitchen (read just do the dishes for proof). Which is all great. Except when life presented opportunities or challenges or just crazy normal things instead of dealing with it – I would snap. Get overwhelmed. Think no one loved me because the siracha sauce was on the counter and milk left with out a lid. I was like an oak branch in the wind.
Put too much pressure and the oak branch will snap.
Now, bamboo is different. This is why I’m learning to be like this – flexible. Yoga mom. Chill. Calm.
Well sort of. But what I am learning is to change my mindset so that my roots aren’t so rigid and my mind isn’t looking for things to go perfectly. And it’s changed my life.
Like the kitchen. I now realize I can choose to get angry and frustrated or I can choose to deal with it and don’t allow it to define the rest of my day. Does a milk carton without a lid really get that much power that it converts me into the extra for Jurassic World.
I think not. I was tired of snapping.
Trust me, this isn’t the easiest skill to master. But think about traffic and being stuck in it. You could sit in that car and let your heart get all angsty and your emotions riled up or you could sit there and just decide to let it go and enjoy the music. You’ll get there at the same time BUT your emotional state will be different.
As moms we have got to be bamboo. I’m not joking. Look at us down there.
There are going to be so many many many things in your journey that will threaten happiness and your day. And if every single thing had the power to derail we will go to bed lamenting that we are just not enough. Or that we messed up. But if we can let go of that stubbornness and work to be just a bit more chill and flexible slowly life will develop one thing – margin.
Margin is the space where you and I can collect our breaths.
Margin is bamboo motherhood. That’s the secret.
There isn’t any breath collecting when we are always waiting to snap. But listen: toddlers make messes. Kids lose one shoe right when we need to leave. Homework gets lost. Teenagers slam doors. Lids get lost. Or tossed. What matters is not the situation but YOUR response to the situation.
Do you snap? Or do you bend, adapt and keep growing?
That’s what I want you to learn. I just want you to think about it, about the freedom, about the joy that can be found in changing that one response. Does it mean the kitchen staying messy is acceptable? No. Does it mean that the kitchen getting cleaned up and you not losing the rest of the day because you are crabby? Yes. You see, the kitchen won’t stay messy and the fruit roll-up wrappers on the floor. It will get fixed. Issues get resolved. Potty-training ends. Homework is completed.
The only difference between living in frustration or living in peace often comes down to one thing -> your heart and your willingness to not let the outside dictate your inside.
There is so much freedom in a bamboo approach to motherhood. It gives you and your family space to breathe. It allows life to happen. And it opens up the doors to opportunities we might never have seen.
You can do this.
I am much calmer and much chiller. I dare you to try it. To share the secret with friends.
Then when we run out of coffee and sit at Starbucks and share about our day we can breathe. Well sort of.