“How important is it?
I ask my kids all the time.
When they’re bickering or having a meltdown I’m always asking, ‘Honey, how important is it?’
But the truth is, I’m 14 years into this parenting gig now, and I’m only just learning what this question really means…
You guys, listen.
I think it means letting the important things be important and then completely letting go of the rest.
I rolled this around in my mind today as I picked up a million shoes and socks and empty wrappers and stray toys from the floor, then washed breakfast dishes and gathered clothes sitting BESIDE the hamper, to shove into the washer.
And my eyes came to rest on the empty toilet paper roll.
As a young mom I always thought, ‘How hard can it be??? To teach your children to do chores and pick up after themselves and get along? And behave? And be… PERFECT?’
I had visions of these lovely children who would follow the rules, follow directions, march in line, and share MY vision for exactly who they were supposed to be.
You know, top of the class. Best on the team.
But it’s hard, actually.
Harder than I ever imagined.
Because these little people don’t really care much about MY vision. They are too busy living their own little lives.
And it turns out… I’m not in control of WHO they are.
So, I’m constantly asking myself this question: ‘How important is it?’
And most of the things I used to rant about and get my panties in a bunch over truly don’t matter much at all.
So, my kids bicker a lot. And love video games. And obnoxious humor.
They choose to do their homework in the car on the way to school.
And never practice guitar or soccer on their own initiative.
And steal my phone charger.
And stink at chores (even though I still make them do them!).
And apparently haven’t mastered how to remove the spring-loaded bar from the center of the toilet paper holder to replace a used roll with a new one, preferring instead to place a new roll on the top like a little shelf!
But how important is it? REALLY???
Because when I watch how they REALLY live their lives, I see mostly nice people. KIND people. Who do their own schoolwork in their own way. Who chase their passions the way they see fit. Who smile and laugh with their friends and show up on time and attempt their chores and tell the truth.
I see caring and empathetic little people who truly have their very own dreams and goals and aspirations. Their very own lives!
And I mostly just get to cheer for them as they go.
And pray for them.
And trust God has a plan for us ALL.
Oh… and change the toilet paper!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mikala Albertson of Ordinary on Purpose. Follow her on Facebook here, Instagram here and visit her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Mikala here:
‘HE STILL NEEDS ME to listen to his stories about school, friends, or some ridiculous meme. No matter how old he grows, I will ALWAYS be his mom.’: Mom says teen son ‘still needs me to love him, no matter what’
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