How I Embrace the Chaos of Life
If your mornings start anything like mine, then they are probably chaotic. If you get home from work and don’t even get to take your shoes off and your purse off your shoulder before your children bombard you, the dogs scratch your legs and your husband asks you a million questions, then this is for you.
If you answered no to any of these, I think you’re lying to yourself because we are living in chaos.
Your chaos may look different than mine or from your neighbor’s, or your sister’s or your mother’s. It will present itself in many forms and you may not even realize it’s surrounding you.
Its symptoms are varied and for me when chaos ensues I bite my nails. And by bite, I mean I chew them down to the quick so they burn and bleed and hurt. Others get that annoying twitch in their eye or eat or clean or drink themselves into oblivion in an attempt to control the chaos.
We, as women, approach chaos in different way, but they can be summed up into 3 categories:
You become overwhelmed by it. It is all consuming, all-encompassing-- you cannot do anything else other than become consumed by your chaos.You cannot do anything else other than think about the chaos.
You ignore it. You go on about your day and simply choose to pretend that chaos isn’t looming behind your back.You dive into anything else that does not cause or make you think of the chaos. (you become a workaholic).Y
You wage war with it. You try to take it on. You “clean” it up so to speak.You post perfectly posed picture on your Instagram and Facebook and when the tough gets dirty you just put clean clothes on it (or them) and go on with life. You micro-manage every aspect of life in an attempt to control it.
The problem with each of these approaches is that none of them helps you deal with it. It turns you into a despondent, angry, anxious, depressed, addicted woman. They do not address the problem. You make excuses for the chaos or place blame on everything else in your life except for the real root of your chaotic, stressful, busy life. You have to just embrace the chaos.
Rachel Hollis speaks to this in her book Girl, Wash Your Face and man it resonated strongly with me.
She speaks about the butterfly effect and how the straw that broke the camel’s back is never the big thing, but rather the small, innocuous things in your life. It’s the snowball effect of something little like leaving the toilet seat up that can cause you to make chaos. You let it fester and then it’s the he is inconsiderate, then it’s he doesn’t get me and then it’s our marriage sucks.
Instead live in it. Accept that this is your life and that you cannot become overwhelmed by, ignore or wage war with your chaotic life. Just live in it.
Find the happiness in your situation, the joy in the messes, the laughter in the toilet seat and the hope in your children’s cornucopias of “why.”
Here is how I have learned to embrace our chaos.
Give yourself a night off.Do it.Just give yourself one night where you choose not to worry about the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning.Watch TV, play with your kids, have dinner with your girlfriends.Take a hip/hop dance class and make a total fool out of yourself (its worked well for me).
Give your spouse/partner a night off too.My husband and I trade off.On Tuesdays, he takes E to swimming for that I can go to my dance class.And Wednesday is his night. I take E to dinner, park, whatever so he can do whatever it is that makes him happy.
Share you chaos with others.It’s ok if you house is not spic and span when your play-date arrives.The dishes can sit in the sink one more minute. The dig can lick the plate clean for all I care.Text a friend and lament, post that messy baby on Instagram and show the world that you live and love your chaos. Quite living in a picture perfect Pinterst world and post real life. Your mom friends will thank you.
Recognize that thing about your parenting that you dislike and work on it.I am a bit hot-tempered.Anger is my go-to.I hate it.I hated being angry all the time, I hate when I yell at my daughter, my husband, my mom, myself.But I know it is, so I have work to control it and I have be the one who takes a breath and let her change clothes 5 times because she thinks that there is something on her shirt (hint there isn’t).
Laugh.We laugh a lot in our house.We laugh at E, we laugh at each other, we laugh at life.It’s in the tough moments that I remind my husband that survived getting married, having a baby, me changing jobs twice, and buying a house all in one year so this, this laying on the floor all out temper tantrum is nothing.
Embrace the situation, chapter, events, whatever it is that God has given you and love it.