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Monday, July 13, 2015

Letting Things Slide

Words & gifs by Meg

I've been jotting down random bits of this post for weeks and today I was finally compelled to finish it after participating in a facebook thread about moms who are overwhelmed by "having it all" and therefore having to DO it all! It was a bunch of moms going and forth about the things we've let slide and the things we're holding onto, but probably should let go of. It was nice to know I'm not alone, but also kind of sad to realize that we all struggle so much.

This time a year ago, pretty much everyone I knew could tell you the following things about me: 1) I was that crazy person who got up at the crack of dawn 4 days a week to take 6:00am spin class. And I liked it. 2) I volunteered every weekend at a local animal shelter and we fostered kittens for awhile, too. Yes, I'm a crazy cat lady. 3) I liked to read and belonged to a book club. 4) I was very organized.

It might sound silly, but these facts gave a lot of structure and meaning to my life and my persona.
Just about 8 months ago, I stopped being defined by these things. It's not a coincidence that 8 months ago we welcomed our Ella Bean and our lives as we knew them completely changed. In the first few weeks of my new life as "Mom," I really tried to get to the gym. I subsequently felt really bad when I couldn't pull it off because I was up half the night with a baby or work demands were growing or I felt guilty leaving Kate alone with the terror (I Whatever the reason, I didn't make it 6:00am spin very often. Ok, I didn't make it to 6:00am spin at all. Ever. I actually took a two-week old Ella with me to the gym to cancel my very expensive membership. Shortly after that, I decided to let myself off the hook for 6 months and re-evaluate at that time how (or if) I could fit it in. we are at 8 months and my spin shoes are still gathering dust.

Cats on exercise balls
Maybe I should combine my two loves? Save time? Maybe?
Regrettably, I've also become a major slacker in the volunteer department. I've only been back once since Ella was born. I have a lot of guilt about that because I really don't like to quit something I've committed to and I miss the routine, my fellow volunteers, and feeling like I was giving back and contributing to the world.

On top of the guilt about not exercising and not volunteering, I feel bad when I miss friend's birthdays, don't send postcards from vacation, ignore messages for days, struggle to keep in touch, fail to finish a book, don't vacuum for weeks and fall behind at work.

I have plenty of excuses and some of them are even pretty compelling. There are practical issues of the number of hours in each day and the many, many tasks that fill them very quickly. But what it comes down to is this: I need to let some things slide. And then I need to let myself off the hook for letting them slide.

In the wise words of Queen Elsa, every mom's favorite character, I need to let it go, let it go...(turn away and slam the door?).

Keep Calm and Let it Go
What have you had to let go of?