When I first started my own journey the things I valued are not the things I value now.
What was important to me?
Shopping daily at the mall. Now I look back and think that is so strange. I loved stores like the Childrens Place and the Gap. And for some reason I had an addiction to clearances. Like got a high from it. I loved strapping my kids in the stroller. Walking up and down the mall getting them a giant pretzel to share and a diet coke for me and just spending the morning at the mall. Finding their clothes for a great price was a bonus and a high and made me feel successful and I loved it.
I was obsessed with a perfectly clean house. The same way I liked to find the perfect clothes for the perfect price was the same way I liked my house. Perfect. I liked decorating for seasons and I liked nothing out of place. I vacuumed daily and loved the lines in the carpet. And I never left dishes int he sink when left the house. Why you ask? Because what if someone was waiting at the house when I got back? And there was dishes in the sink? Then they would know….. Know I wasn’t perfect I guess? So sad I felt that way. Because isn’t it nice to have friends you don’t have to feel perfect for?
I loved the perfect toys for my kids. Only educational of course. No Barbies, no junk. Why? My kids were smart and needed to keep learning and show everyone how smart they were. That would mean I was a good mom doing the right things.
You can imagine how having a child that wasn’t perfect might butt up against some of those things. It is incredibly easy for a smart child that wants to annoy a mother that likes things perfect to make things not perfect. I mean how much more easy could I make it? If I were smarter at this I would have made it harder to be annoyed.
I think I am smarter now.
Because if you came to my house, even with no children at home any more, it is definitely NOT perfect. My yard isn’t perfect. My porch isn’t perfect. My sink ALWAYS has dishes in it. Even after I just did the dishes – it still has dishes in it.
I no longer value the same things I valued before. I learned to leave dishes in the sink. As I realized I needed to be home more and give up my shopping addiction I mourned the loss of that and in return got an absolute love for staying home and just being still. I learned to love playing games with my kids and seeing their brains at work. I loved Sitting outside and just listening and feeling the sun. I learned to love audio books and learning new things. I did puzzles to practice stillness while I helped my kids practice stillness. We were learning hard new things together. Learning new things daily about myself and my kids and how we are more alike than different with our stubbornness and need to rebel against systems.
Having a child that needs different parenting than what you thought, and learning a different way of being doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. In fact it could open up a whole new world and help you see all sort of possibilities for yourself, bigger than you ever knew.