30 Apr #itsfine (excerpt from Coordinating Chaos)
“What is your hashtag for life? I mean, if you had to assign a hashtag that summed up your life in one short run together phrase, what would it be? There are tons to choose from. We see them all the time attached to fun pics of moms in cute exercise outfit, laughing with their kids in their gorgeous kitchen – #tooblessedtostress #messyhairdontcare #nohoodlikemotherhood. Mine is #itsfine. I really truly say that at least 20 times a day. My two middle boys get in a fight over who gets to play with a very specific Fortnite toy, even though we have like 9,000 other toys – #itsfine. My daughter decides that right when we are all getting in the car for dinner is the perfect time to make an outfit AND hairstyle change – #itsfine. My teenage son takes 40 minutes to wake up for school, then spends 15 minutes making a sandwich, which puts us 10 minutes late out the door – #itsfine. You get it. Really what “it’s fine” translates into is – this situation is kinda nuts, and kids do wacky things, but I’m gonna keep on truckin’ and not let this add stress to my life.
This definitely wasn’t always my motto, though. When my teenager, my oldest, the sweet apple of my eye (yah, there’s a little sarcasm in there) was little, we had ‘ideas’ about what was best. Of course, we did! Don’t we all have these grandiose ideas of what motherhood will be like and how we will parent when we have our first kid? At this time, also, my husband was very… well, let’s say, particular to put a nice spin on it…. about food. Twelve years ago “organic” was not as readily available, or talked about, or accepted, like it is now. We sent our firstborn at this time to a preschool that served a hot breakfast and lunch – it was part of the cost, and which was also great because it’s one less thing to have to organize or worry about each day. But, then, what kind of food were they serving? Was it Organic? How was it cooked? How could I call myself a good mom if I let him eat anything less than the best? And in all our first child snobbery, we decided it wasn’t “good enough” for our sweet dear. So, every morning my husband would make Drew a lunch to take to his preschool. An added stress to each morning – and we all know that mornings with kids are already stressful- but regardless, he would leave for school, the only kid walking up with a lunchbox in hand. One day, after school, I hear my husband, Brandon, in the kitchen asking Drew why he hadn’t eaten his lunch. I walked in to observe the conversation or eavesdrop, same same. As Brandon opened up the Tupperware (yes, that is correct, Tupperware, for a toddler) I asked him what he had packed. He replied in a perfectly matter-of-fact tone “Salmon on a bed of lettuce.” Huh? I’m sorry, did you say salmon? Yah, he had packed a 3-year-old salmon on a bed of lettuce. And sent him to preschool with it. To eat next to a kid eating bagel bites and grapes. No wonder he didn’t eat it!! This is when I think I subconsciously adopted the “it’s fine” motto. My perspective changed. I realized he would be fine – bagel bites and all. And he is.”
Check out the rest in my book Coordinating Chaos!