what my third child taught me about letting go
It was around this time last year that I started to feel the familiar twinge of early labour. I spent a good five days deep in the in-between – that heavy, emotional place between pregnancy and birth when it’s so incredibly difficult to articulate what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.
And now here I am in a different kind of in-between; starting to feel slightly unsettled and a little apprehensive/excited about moving house. I can go on and on about the song or the cushions that declare: home is wherever I’m with you but there is the practical matter of needing a roof and four walls and right now, the lack of plans are making me a little uneasy.
I was chatting to Natalie the other day (picked up some of this) and I mentioned that we had to move and that it’s ok because people move house all the time. Thankfully she’s good at seeing right through my words. “But you still have to look for a house, fill out applications, pack everything up, keep up with the washing, work and make sure dinner is on the table each night.” Validation is so powerful, isn’t it.
I’ve packed 6 boxes now – mostly the kids books and toys (the favourites remain on the shelf) and a few kitchen items that I can easily go without. Yesterday I did it with Percy’s “help” and like a bad comedy sketch he pulled out one item for every two I packed. In the end I gave up, made myself a cup of tea, and sat on the floorboards with him surrounded by picture books. Once my tea was finished he managed to smash my favourite cup. Let’s just say it was one of those days. But in the midst of the stress and overwhelm, I realised that regardless of just how much is on my plate at the moment, it’s not all that bad.
You see, having a third child has been the very best lesson in letting go. Because when you have three kids and you work from home and you’re doing all the things that are required to keep a household going, there isn’t really time for perfection. I’ll leave the washing in piles on the couch now because I’d rather spend ten minutes playing peek-a-boo with Percy. I’ll take myself off to bed for an early night in lieu of tidying up because I know that the chaos will continue the next morning. I’ve given up on having neat piles of books and candles on the coffee tables because toddlers never tire of dismantling vignettes. And as for green, flourishing house plants – ha! The dirt was eaten, the leaves turned brown, I’ll replant in six months time.
The stress of moving house may be significant but I’m thankful to be doing it with a good dose of perspective. Thanks for making me realise what matters, Percy. I can’t wait to celebrate your first birthday with you.