To The Overwhelmed Mom: It’s OK To Let Go Of Responsibilities 

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“When my kids were little, we took a lot of walks together.

We walked slowly and looked around at everything and they were collectors… or they may have been hoarders (whatever).

They would hand me everything… sticks and rocks and leaves and all the random things they found.

One by one by one, I would put them in my pocket, until my pockets were full to bursting.

And yet, they would keep finding one more special thing.

I would continue to try and hold them until each hand was also full. We would reach a point where trying to hold onto each and every thing their eyes saw and their hearts wanted to claim would simply be impossible. Things would be falling right out of my hands, and still they would ask, ‘Can you carry this for me, Mom?’

Eventually I couldn’t carry another thing, and we would sit down on the ground and look at all we had collected.

‘Really look at what you want to take with you. Think about what you will do with it at home. Think about why you want it or what it might mean to you. Then, choose only the most important and special things to take home. If you are really doing this right, you will choose only a few,’ I would tell them.

They would ask, ‘What about these two Mommy, which one will help me remember this walk better? Which rock will look the best in my collection? Which leaves will be good for my project?’

We would thoughtfully choose, and then take those chosen and head on back home. I would feel much lighter and now able to enjoy our walk together.

Right now, life is like my little children handing me all of the things at the same time and asking me to carry it all. My pockets and hands feel like they are bursting and like I might drop it all, because I keep on taking what is handed to me.

Perhaps you feel this too.

We reach a point, friends, when we need to sit our butts down on the ground and look at all of the things and ask ourselves, ‘What do I want to take with me? What do each of these things mean? How might each thing being asked of me help me serve the people? What do I just need to leave behind so I can continue to carry what is important without dropping it all?’

Life right now can be so overwhelming and you may not be sure what to do next. There is just always SO MUCH.

Don’t forget to give yourself permission to sit down and breath and look at what is in front of you.

What are you carrying that you can set down?

Some of the things you carry you have no choice in.

But some things? Some things we can choose to let go.

We can decide the world is wrong when it tells us it important to fill jar after jar with rocks of every size and color, and instead we can decide we want to just carry the few most special ones.

We do not have to do all the things. Full stop.

Sit down. Breathe. Leave behind what does not serve you.

Walk forward lighter and ready to enjoy the walk and to do justice to those things you are taking with you.

Those you’ve set down may be picked up by another, or they might not. But either way, they are no longer yours to worry over.

We are not meant to do it all. Even if we are being asked to by the world.

Now go set stuff down.”

children hiking on trail near beach
Courtesy of Amy Betters-Midtvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. Follow Amy on Instagram and Facebook. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

Read more from Amy here: 

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