I'm probably one of the last moms to read Glennon Doyle Melton's book, Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life. Around the book’s first birthday, I finally picked it up. Glennon writes with wit, wisdom, and honesty about parenting, relationships, and family. But what I noticed when I immersed myself into her words is that her worldview is very different than my own. Throughout her writing, she gives examples of how life is hard and “brutiful,” her word that describes a messy link between brutal and beautiful.
If we go looking for hard and brutiful examples in life, we’ll have no trouble finding them. This culture values difficult. We’re rewarded for working long hours. We one-up each other on how little sleep we’re getting. The evening news and the internet are filled with horror stories. There’s even a dinner party game where each person tells their worst story of hardship and despair and the one with the saddest story gets a free meal, sort of like a modern day equivalent of Queen for a Day. We’re suspicious of easy, like it’s cheating by taking the shortcut to the finish line.
I know that life presents us with many challenges. It can suck us down into a dark rabbit hole where we feel lost, alone, and clueless of how to find our way back into the light. I know this because I’ve been there.
My Friend, Not My Enemy
When my son was three and a half, he started having temper tantrums. At the time, the book Raising Your Spirited Child was my bible. In the book, author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka writes that spirited children have difficulty self soothing. And so, when my boy would begin a tantrum, I'd pick him up, go to the bedroom, close the door, and sit on the floor with my back against the door, to be present to help him calm down. I tried to stay peaceful and relaxed with my son, but my inner reality was far, far away from that place. The tantrums left me feeling angry, resentful, and trapped.
I read a lot of books - because this is what I do when I don’t know what to do - and I bookmarked a list in Louise Bates Ames, PhD’s book Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy about what to do/not do with your three and a half year old. My favorite suggestion was ...
Avoid the feeling that routines should always go smoothly if only
you do the right thing. There may be much daily conflict.
I took this as permission from Louise Bates Ames, PhD, to surrender. I still sat on the floor, against the door, in the room with my son. But I sat there by choice not because I believed I was supposed to. I stopped trying to control the situation. Nothing else looked different on the outside but I felt very different on the inside. I felt patient, loving, unwavering. I created a safe place for my son to work through his emotions the only way that his three and a half year old self knew how.
In surrendering, I gave myself permission to let it be easy.
And my son collapsed against me, safe, soggy, and tired and ready to move on.
This is what is at the heart of my coaching for moms: Letting it be easy. To let go of trying to satisfy your insatiable, unrealistic, and unachievable expectations of yourself. To figure out how to stop trying to please everybody - it’s impossible, believe me, I’ve tried. I help you find the signed permission slip that lets you say “No, thank you” in the nicest possible way to the extracurricular activities that don’t serve your soul. I give you ideas, advice, and proven ways to stop the roller coaster and head home to the peace that lives within the madness and miracles of motherhood.
If you believe that life is hard, it will be. And if you believe that it’s easy, that’s what you’ll get. I’m not saying you won’t have a care in the world. But you will discover the energy and room in your life to say yes to what you want and then make the map to get there. This is the journey to Easy Street, my life coaching program for moms. The door’s open. You getting in?
Start your journey at www.touchbluesky.com/easy-street.html
It's my last dance with my 40's tonight; I turn 50 years old in just a few hours. Coincidentally, today was Flashback Friday in dance class with the talented Patti Stetson Michelsen playing tunes from the 1970's. In the mix was a song that I did a dance routine to back in 1978. As I danced to the song today, I realized that I really don't feel all that different than I did 36 years ago (well, a little more jiggly in places and a bit more wise.) That curious, awkward, eager girl, she's still here.
As a treat for you, here's the song that I danced to at 14 and again today. Play it full blast and see if your inner 14 year old will dance along.
I'm a mother of two incredible boys, wife to Bill White of Happy Baby Signs, author of the books The Well-Crafted Mom and Signs of a Happy Baby, and an intuitive life coach. I like to blog about my adventures with my family and the life lessons I'm learning along the way. I hope you'll join me on this journey.
Check out our past newsletters by clicking the link below.