December 29, 2013

baking cookies and a lesson in motherhood


Like much of motherhood I had this idea that we could bake cookies together and that it would be this awesome memory and a great tradition to start with the boys. We'd all happily pour in ingredients and they'd be so focused and invested in the experience. We'd make a mess with flour, but I wouldn't care because it's about the experience, not the mess. I'd take some cute photos of them "helping" and look back on it and smile. They'd be so proud they helped mommy make cookies.
And like much of motherhood, it didn't go quite as planned. They would have been completely happy just digging in the flour. Now, as I type this retrospectively, I think to myself, "Why didn't I just let them dig and play in flour?". It would have been a great sensory experience for them, and probably would have occupied their attention for quite awhile. However, as I look back at this experience, at the time I wasn't thinking about how they'd enjoy it most. I was thinking about how I thought they should enjoy it. 
The whole cookie experience consisted of me trying desperately to keep their attention, and really all they did was pour in a couple of ingredients and then went back to playing with their toys. I wanted to get photos, I wanted to have documentation to remember them helping me make cookies for Christmas. They didn't care about any of this. And therein is this huge lesson that I've never really even considered. 

This motherhood thing? It's constantly pulling me in different directions. I want to make an experience for my kids but they are going to experience things how they want no matter how hard I wish it to be one way. I get so caught up in the details and rules that sometimes I forget to just let it be and let it go. I never thought I was like this, but since becoming a mother I've craved structure and control like never before. Maybe this is my way of trying to cling to whatever I think I can control. Being a mom in itself is a never-ending learning experience and I have very little control over so much that worries me the most.
Let these cookies be a lesson to me to just go with it. To just let experiences happen as they will and enjoy them for what they are rather than trying to control how they turn out. Here's to trying to see things from my children's eyes and not how I want them to see things. Here's to letting go of the reins and just letting life dictate this ride. Here's to taking a deep breath and letting go of the pressure.


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