You know how I recently had a bit of a nervous breakdown.
And how the cavalry swooped in to save me.
You know how I got over being stubborn and reached out for help.
Yesterday was the second It Takes a Village Thursday.
Three of my friends came over to help out.
The Trauma Mamas.
Last week two TM’s came, and I wasn’t really ready.
I hadn’t thought about things, and I had no plan.
Yesterday was different.
I had a list. I was prepared. I was not going to waste any of this precious time.
Before I get to that, let me backtrack a little.
And let me throw something out there.
When my husband and I got married, Numbers 1 and 2 were five and seven years old.
I would spend hours cleaning the house.
Then Numbers 1 and 2 would mess it up in a matter of minutes, and I would have a mini freak out.
Sometimes a major one.
I had pretty specific ideas of the ways in which things had to be done.
They way things should be done.
You know, the right way.
Back in the early years, there were things that did not meet my expectations or fulfill my preconceived parenting notions.
Item number one?
Numbers 1 and 2 didn’t have flat sheets on their beds.
It drove me crazy.
Everybody knows that all beds are supposed to have a flat sheet on them. And you are required to use them. That’s the way beds work. Otherwise they wouldn’t sell sheet sets.
Not when we first got married.
No flat sheets for Number 1 and 2.
They only wanted their comforters.
I spent a good 2 years trying to force the flat sheet issue.
Then there were the pajamas.
They had to be matching.
How on Earth could a decent parent put her kids to bed wearing mismatched pajamas?
That’s like Basic Parenting 101.
I had control issues with a lot of things I had decided were mandatory when the first few kids were young.
Eventually, I let go of most of them.
The ones that didn’t matter, anyway.
None of the kids have a flat sheet on their bed now.
And I really don’t care what any of them wear to bed at this point as long as they are warm enough.
For me, the fact that they can dress themselves is much more important than the specific items of clothing they are wearing and whether or not they happen to coordinate.
Unless we are filming a Garanimals commercial in the house, it doesn’t really matter.
This past Monday I went out with 5 of my friends.
One of my friends there was discussing how she could really use some help but that she just can’t afford it.
She reads the blog.
I just looked at her.
You know, with an are you kidding me? kind of look.
You just have to ask, I told her.
People will come.
But first, you have to let go of the pride thing.
You have to not worry about what other people will think.
Let me tell you something.
If other people are going to think poorly of you when they enter your house because of its condition, then they wouldn’t be the people who are offering to help you out in the first place.
They don’t care.
They just want to help.
That is where that flat sheet part of the story comes in.
The control part.
Step one: Ask for help.
Step two: Accept help.
Step three: LET GO.
You can’t control everything.
And you don’t need to.
Moms know how to get shit done.
It may be done a little differently than you do it, but it’s getting done.
And that’s the important part.
One of the things on yesterday’s to-do list was to address the Christmas cards.
I handed the box of cards, and the address labels, and the stamps to TM #1.
I stood by the table where she sat down with the box.
I explained to her what to do.
And then I explained it again.
And one more time, just to be sure she did it the right way.
She peered at me over her glasses.
I got it, she said.
I was doing the flat sheet thing again.
It’s hard not to micromanage when you are a mom.
You can get pretty used to doing it.
And really good at doing it.
So I shut up, and I headed out to Costco.
I wasn’t even gone for an hour.
When I came back, my laundry was folded.
Even my period underwear.
(Who am I kidding? All of my underwear is period underwear at this point).
Anyway, there was also dinner in the crock pot.
And it wasn’t even my crock pot. TM #2 came equipped with her own crock pot from home.
She also came equipped with stickers for Number 7 to play with.
My Christmas cards were finished.
And TM#3 had tackled the Christmas decorations. They were all boxed up.
They still had some time left.
Next item on the list: prep dry ingredients for multiple batches of granola, so all I have to do is add the wet stuff when I make it.
I gave TM #1 my iPad with the recipe and she went to work.
TM #3 took the next job upon herself.
She’s an animal in the gym. She’s no different when she comes to help out.
She took the lights off the Christmas tree.
And then, the TM’s went home.
But they weren’t done.
TM #1 took my Christmas cards and mailed them.
And TM #3?
Well, remember my nativity set? The one that Gma gave me? The one that Number 4 decapitated?
Well, TM#3 took it home.
I didn’t ask her to.
She just did it.
And when she brought it back a couple hours later, it looked like this:
Gma is looking down from Heaven at her restored figurines, and she’s smiling, I’m sure.
No, it’s not quite 100% intact.
The shephard boy’s leg and the wise man’s head are floating around somewhere in this house.
No worries though.
I’ll put it on next week’s TM to-do list.
As long as I shut my mouth and stay out of their way,
I’m certain the Trauma Mama’s will get the job done.
2ND PLACE SUCKS! I need your votes!
VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE!
I’ll keep writing, you keep voting!
All you need to do is click on the banner above to register a vote for me!
You can vote one time every 24 hours from your computer and cell phone! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I really appreciate your support!
Check out and “like” the not-your-average-mom.com facebook page!
Follow me on Twitter @mom_not_average
pajamas are supposed to match?…..shit.
so i couldn’t had read this on a better time…. ahhh today has been such a rough day for me… my emotions have been going crazy all over the place just frustated with everything… first, my couch is falling apart lol its so worn out and we dont want to buy a new one until we move to a bigger place.. our condo is way to small for a baby girl of 2 months and a 5 year old… so i sweep and sweep everyday and u can just see the letter falling off every second of the day … then my son comes from school and wants to have his toys every where.. i feel like i live in the kitchen on top of that.. either cooking or washing diches.. i had a fit on my husband once i woke up for NO reason.. and my little girl has been so fuzzy today i cant seem to get anything done at all today 🙁 so sorry im venting on u lol… ahhh i have to spend some down time and just think about the good inmy life and not let any of this get to me lol.. so like u i feel like i need to control everything and i need to get things done asap all the time and i think i just need to let GO… if its not done and someone decides to show up who cares why does my house have to be spotless clean all the time … ahh anywho.. ive really enojoyed your blog ! thanks a bunch and God BLESS you!
If you ever need help please let me help too! You help me, and I am sure, many other moms out there every single day just by posting this blog. This blog has truly been a gift in my life, please let me know if I can ever help!
Kelly B says
Long time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted to let you know that I have found A LOT of strength through your words. At times, I feel like I have bit off more than I can chew, and I expect so much more of myself. And then I read your blog before the day is over, and I realize that it’s OK to let go. I may have 5 kids less than you, but this post sums everything up for me.
Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for having the courage and strength to share, well, you. Thank you for helping me.
P.S. Once I get a couple extra dollars, I am SO going to sign up for your e-fitness class because I have been on a 1 month break for 7 months now.