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? Mine is #itsfine. I really truly say that at least 20 times a day. The two middle boys get in a fight over who gets to play with a very specific airplane 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, that’s the time she needs to make an outfit change and change her hairstyle – #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 not as crazy as it looks, I’m gonna keep on truckin’ and not let this add stress to my life.

When Drew was little we had ‘ideas’ about what was best. (Of course, don’t we all when we have our first kid!) Also at this time, Brandon was very… well, let’s say, particular…. about food. And keep in mind that this was 12 years ago – “organic” was less of a thing than it is now. At this time, Drew went to a preschool that served a hot breakfast and lunch – it was part of the cost, and one less thing to worry about each day, so yay! 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 Brandon would make Drew a lunch to take to his preschool. An added stress to each morning – and we all know that morning with kids are already stressful. One day, after school, I hear 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 opens up the tupperware (yah, tupperware, for a 3 year old) I asked what he had packed. Brandon replied in a perfectly matter of fact tone “Salmon on a bed of lettuce.” Huh? 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.

We love our kids so much that sometimes that manifests itself into self-imposed regulations or standards of what being a ‘good’ mom means. We see things in social media or read things in books and set our expectation bar super high for ourselves. Then, we let the craziness our kids demonstrate each day get to us. We let their wild antics fluster us. This added pressure and stress, isn’t necessary. We moms frickin rock! And we do SO many things. Kids are wackadoos. They are gonna do nutso things. We don’t need to add to it by holding on to the unreasonable expectations that we put on ourselves. We need to let ourselves let go of some of the little stresses, some of the standards we set for ourselves, because they really won’t make a huge impact in our children’s lives in the long term.

Hank walked into daycare the other day holding a bag of chips that he had snagged from the garage on his way to the car – in true 5th baby fashion. Trying to take the chips away from him became a ‘situation’ in the driveway, so I let him take them in. And then, it didn’t even phase me when the chips got opened and he ate them as a side for his breakfast. Walking back to the car, I laughed to myself – I would have NEVER let Drew do that, and here I was not even concerned that Hank was having Doritos before 8 am. #itsfine.

Yes we need to keep our kids safe. Yes we need to keep them healthy. Yes we need to help them grow up into humans that will make an impact in our society in the future. But, no, we don’t need to super stress out if they get dirty, eat junk once in a while, watch one more show on the iPad or wear a cowboy hat and rain boots over sweatpants to Target. We really just need to love our babies well and do the best we can by continually showing up. That’s really all we can do and know that #itsfine.