Relinquishing Control by Betty Daley



Hello, my name is Betty and I am a recovering control freak.


I want to control everything.  I am a planner.   I am a perfectionist.  So, you can imagine what life is like with me.  I am rarely the life of the party.  I like to plan the party, but not attend it.  I think there should be a place for everything and that most of the time things should be in their place.   However, that rarely works out with children.  They like to make messes.  They like to play.  Arts and crafts are their specialty.  Can you guess what goes on inside my body when I see those messes are occurring….. Yep you guessed it.  It makes me crazy!!!!


Over the last 23 years, there have been many compromises in my home.  I knew that when we decided to homeschool, it would mean the house would often be in disarray.  I had to come to terms with that fact.  It was hard to accept at first, but after years of battling I learned to let go.


The first few years of homeschooling, I still wanted to have a clean house.  We would spend an hour or more everyday cleaning up the messes that happened that day.  It frustrated the children.  They would have projects they were working on, and mean old mom would make them clean them up.  It was not working.  Mom had to learn to relinquish control.  I had to let go of my perfectionism.  My house needed to become a home.  A home where my kids and husband would feel warm, safe and can explore their gifts and talents.


It was time for a change in this mama’s heart.  We had to find a happy medium.  So, we sat down as a family and put together a game plan that would make us all happy.  We made out chore charts so everyone would have a designated area to tidy up.  We decided that we would only go crazy cleaning one day a week.  On the other days, it would be more relaxed.  The kids could keep their projects out and work on them when they wanted to.  The atmosphere of our home was much more laid back.


I wanted to share this with you because I feel there are many moms out there who are just like me, or there are mamas trying to keep up with everything and wearing themselves to a frazzle.   I want to tell you it’s okay to let go. No one can possibly keep up with it all.  We need to spend these precious short years loving on and caring for our families.   Don’t worry if there are fingerprints on the wall or windows.   Don’t fret over the toys on the floor or crumbs on the counter. I promise they will get cleaned up.  Just savor the little things.


My only regrets are that I spent too much time cleaning and not enough time sitting on the couch reading with my children.  I ran around dusting instead of playing on the floor with my kiddos.  I would run to do the dishes instead of enjoying the laughter that ensued after a game night.   My heart aches to have those moments back, and as a mom, I feel I would be wrong not to tell you my mistakes so you can learn from them.


Instead of worrying about tomorrow, enjoy today.  Give your children your undivided attention.  Listen to their little stories.  Kiss their little hands.  It all goes by so quickly.   Don’t miss one adventure.


I have given God my days now.  Our home is so different these days.  With three of our children grown and moved out, I have learned how fast it happens and now I truly appreciate each moment of every day.  Please don’t take one minute for granted.


During the holidays, it is easy to get caught up in all the work, and we forget to enjoy the smiles on our children’s faces.  Make this time a memory you and your family will not soon forget.  Let go of all the hustle and bustle and have some good old fun.  Take rides to see the lights.   Bake cookies together.  Go out and play in the snow (if you have some).  Put a gingerbread house together….. the bigger the better J   Don’t worry about the mess.  Just enjoy this time as a family!!!!!


Check Out Betty Daley’s Blog for more great posts –  Lets Get Real

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