Do you always wait for the perfect time to get things done?
I hope not, since the perfect time doesn’t actually exist. As a mom, it is so easy to procrastinate about doing just about anything because it’s not the right time. I put off potty training my first child because he wasn’t showing all the signs of being ready. Eventually, I realized that he might never show all the signs of readiness, so we just had to pick a time to jump into the potty training process. Was this an easy process? No, but in the end, my son learned how to use the potty. That’s all that really matters!
Don’t wait to invite friends over because your house isn’t perfectly clean.
Honestly, my house is never perfectly clean. Even when I manage to pick up all the junk, my kids have more toys out by the time I turn around. At this point in my life, I have given up on having a perfectly clean house. I lowered my standards. Now, I’m happy with a reasonably clean house. It will never look like the beautiful pictures I see in magazines or even on some of my friends’ Facebook posts. That’s okay, because I’m too busy focusing my energy on other things. However, my messy house leaves me reluctant to invite people over. I often feel lonely, but I am still too embarrassed by my house to invite anyone over.
One of my friends is an excellent hostess. I always enjoy visiting her home and she makes me feel quite welcome. However, her house is like mine. Kids and pets run throughout the house and leave messes in their wakes. I feel like I can make myself at home in her house because it’s not pristine. It’s a real home. Also, she doesn’t wait for the perfect time to invite friends over. She will whip up a lunch from whatever food she has on hand. It’s not a planned-out, gourmet meal, but it’s nourishing. I always leave her house with a smile on my face. Over the February school break, I invited some of my children’s friends over for a play date despite the kids’ rooms being strewn with toys and clothes. The kids will remember the fun and none of the mess anyway!
Don’t wait for the perfect time to take a trip.
There are many places to visit on my family’s bucket list. However, we have a habit of putting off trips, saying that we will wait until the kids are a bit older. After all, it’s difficult to travel with young children! Will they even remember the details of a trip they make when they are so young? In the ends, these are all just excuses. I know my children will enjoy trips even though I hate having to plan out all the details. Even if they don’t remember details of a trip, there are always pictures to remind them. Also, if your children have a wide age difference, the older children will enjoy and remember a trip even if the baby doesn’t.
My own children want to visit Washington, D.C. We keep putting it off because they will appreciate it more when they are older. We are waiting for the perfect time. However, children grow up fast. We run the risk of running out of time when we delay our trips. Older children often have busier schedules, which add scheduling difficulties to vacations. I still have vivid memories of my own trip to Washington, D.C. the summer before I entered sixth grade. I have set a goal to visit the nation’s capital by the time my own children enter sixth grade. After all, I don’t want to let this opportunity slip by our family.
Don’t wait for the perfect time to take care of yourself.
Life with children is often chaotic. Days are eaten up by working, taking care of household chores, and most importantly taking care of the children. It’s easy for parents to put off taking care of themselves because it’s not the perfect time right now. They are too busy and the kids need them too much. However, once you get used to a busy schedule, it becomes a way of life. Even as the children get older, your schedule will still overflow with activities. It’s easy to transform yourself into a martyr for your family by neglecting your personal needs.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time away from your family to care for yourself. Taking time for myself makes me a better parent. I took no time for myself when my son was a baby and I was miserable. I cried every single day. Music is my release, so I joined a choir. I was 39 weeks pregnant with my daughter at the first concert, so the timing certainly wasn’t perfect. I am glad I took that risk because singing made me so much happier and I am still singing with the same choir six years later. Knowing that you will get a break from you children will allow you to focus on them better during the time when you are with them. It’s also easier to practice patience when you know there is a break in the near future.