“When life give you lemons …” Yeah we’ve all heard the saying but what does it really mean? And how does it play itself out in everyday life? Allow me to paint you a picture. A restless night’s sleep made worse by a few unexpected night awakenings, courtesy of our youngest of the family, brings me to a morning that has come too soon. By midmorning I hear the sound of racing footsteps, then a blurred flash of my son and an all too familiar dance in front of the potty.
Soon there is urine on the walls and the floor. This will be the first of three times today. My daughter has found the magic markers her brother has left out and has decided to add new color to my kitchen walls, not to mention her cheeks, ears, hands and oh yes her mouth, both in and out. By afternoon I get a phone call from my husband that a late meeting forces him into overtime. I can feel my internal pot starting to boil over as I realize that the break I was counting on at 5:00 pm now is not coming. Sound familiar? I take it you have seen these kind of days too.
My advice? Breathe. Breathe in the bathroom, the closet or even the pantry any place that you can find 60 seconds alone. And then? Throw your entire set of rules and routines out of the window! Yep just let everything completely go! Determine that this is a “Very Special Day” and it calls for a special set of rules! These are the kind that disregard all the silly ones that you’ve kept unconsciously like, don’t get your clothes too dirty or don’t rip that shirt, don’t get mud on your face or sand in your hair. You know the ones, they don’t really protect from any danger and yet we keep them enforced as firmly as those that do. Then take your children outside with some plastic lids, put together some of your best mud and throw mud pies at the back fence until there is mud everywhere. Grab that old stack of newspapers you planed to recycle and help your kids rip them to shreds while throwing them in the air making the biggest mess possible yelling “It’s raining!! It’s raining!!”. Or find that package of watercolors and brushes and invite your children to paint themselves all over hands, arms and face included, then tell them you’re next! Sound crazy? Maybe. But let me tell what it will do. It will release the stress of trying to keep it all together and give you the permission to rest from all those rule’s sticky expectations. Sometimes we are so wound up with the many limits in our head that when the little things in life go wrong, or the many little things, as it would be, we become easily unraveled. The solution is throwing all the nonessential rules with the stress of their countless expectations out the window. This is not an everyday event. Only on the days when life throws at you a handful of lemons. You will be shocked at the weight that will fall off of your shoulders, and your children will have the time of their lives seeing a whole new side of mommy! After it is all said and done, you will realize that the mess isn’t as big as you made it out to be or even that difficult to clean. But most importantly you will laugh and remember how really beautiful life is. And that, my friend, is how you make lemonade!