Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be awesome. It’s one saying that I’ve come across and love. Sometimes, in the imperfect moments of motherhood, there is still so much fun and joy to be found.
One of my favourite photos of my mum is a family photograph from when she was just 5 years old. I am sure her parents were looking forward to a perfect family picture. Dressed in their Sunday best, everyone is smiling beautifully… except my mum. She is pulling a crazy face, tongue hanging out. When I look at it, I laugh. I love that I can see her cheeky personality shining through and get a glimpse into her childhood. You can bet her parents didn’t laugh at the time though! She remembers getting a good telling off. But sometimes when things don’t go to plan, good or funny memories are made.
Expect the unexpected
It’s hard to be flexible sometimes (or maybe that’s just me?). You plan something, try account for every eventuation (spare nappies, spare clothes, snacks, toys…) and then something happens to throw a spanner in your perfectly planned works. A tantrum is thrown, a toy lost or someone’s mood turns bad. Recently on the last day of a beach holiday, we went for ‘one last walk’ along the beach before heading home. The kids weren’t all that keen, until we got on the beach. Within 10 minutes they were swimming, fully dressed! Initially I tried to put them off the idea and ‘control’ the situation. Then I realised: a) I was not going to win that battle b) I do at least have a towel in the car and c) they were having a ball! I had to decide to roll with it, despite all the sand that later made its way into the car with us. They felt cheeky and rebellious and had so much fun.
I chose fun, and it made a great end to our trip. I might point out though that I don’t always do this though! I’m continually learning to better ‘pick the battles’ of what really matters, and when to just let go and have fun.
When it all comes down to it, balance is the key, I think. As mothers there are certain things that must be done- dirty nappies changed, meals made, dishes washed, not to mention the hard and emotional parts of parenting our kids. Yes, it is often hard work, but there is also so much opportunity for enjoyment, fun and loving connection with our children. Having a pyjama day and watching movies together. Doing something “crazy” like eating dessert for dinner. A hot chocolate ‘date’ one-on-one. Letting them chose a sport to try together. Fun can bond us, and lighten our moods (which is why humour can be such a great diffuser when tensions rise).
In this role of motherhood, I get things right sometimes… and I get things wrong a lot. But I know it’s a lot more fun when I let go of expectations of perfect, and try make the best of life.