‘Let the grass grow. Let the kids stomp in puddles. Let go of the words you hear from others.’: Mom’s tips for finding parenting joy

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“Here’s my perspective on life right now:

Let it all be messy.

Let the grass grow long on weekends.

Let the kids stomp in puddles, squishing mud between their toes.

Let them rest their heads in dirt and grass to watch the sun go down.

Let ‘em go bananas on the freezies and the Bomb Pops. (If JOY in life is made of sticks of Kool-Aid… let ‘em at it.)

Let their fingers stick together, turning red and green and purple. Let their tongues turn blue and orange as they feast on flavored ice. Let ‘em sneak another push-pop. Let ‘em flash that ornery grin when they see they’re getting ‘caught.’

It’s the grin that gives you life.

Let yourself laugh. Outside and inside.

Let the laundry go unfolded, let the dishes sit and soak. There’s kids’ crap literally everywhere. (Of course there is… you LIVE there… and a life well-lived gets messy.)

Let go of the words you hear from other people. And drop the words of weapons you’ve been using on yourself.

Let time be ‘wasted’ now and then; let days be ‘non-productive.’

Your body is made to get tired sometimes. Give yourself some rest. Let days be slow and easy. Let your body, mind, and spirit HEAL… and goodness, FILL YOUR CUP.

Ask yourself ‘so what?’ sometimes. Things go wrong: so what?

So. What.

Embrace the imperfect, and let it be messy. Bathtime is a-comin, yeah? Messy things will clean.

So go and eat that Bomb Pop. Let the sprinkler, and the bubbles, and the heat destroy your makeup. Blow dandelion wishes. Be curious again.

When a fierce wind tangles your hair, for example… will you wonder where it’s going next? Or where the wind has been?

I’m telling you to WONDER.

Let the crickets sing you melodies while stars set up at night.

Let yourself breathe in fully, and exhale slowly, and just exist in the moment.

Because THIS is life, you know? THIS is what it’s made of.

The thing is, there’s so much beauty hidden in the mess. Maybe one is the byproduct of the other, I don’t know. But either way, they coexist. And LIFE is there, in both.

So, yes. Some days are made for work and toil. They’re made for cleaning the house.

But some are made for LIVING there. Especially with popsicles.

Some days are made for sun, and wind, and dirt, and love, and wonder.

And in the end, I don’t think you’ll regret the days

when you smiled in the sun

and you wandered with the wind…

the days when you let it all

be messy.”

young girl in rainbow swimsuit holding a hose
Courtesy of Cassie Gottula Shaw

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cassie Gottula Shaw. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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