no more rules!

I used to think I was such a rules person. I thought I liked them. I really did. You know, because rules are safe. And as a mom, I thought I liked them even more. Until fairly recently. I've gone through a transformation of sorts as far as my parenting style and expectations for myself. While it may not seem obvious to onlookers, I know by the peace I have in my heart and mind. Let me explain.....

I used to make rules that I told myself were really goals or guidelines to help me be a more successful at my job. For example:

I will read 20 books to Parker everyday. (20 books? Geesh...)
We will do flashcards for numbers and letters everyday
And an art project everyday
The kids will eat from the major food groups at each meal
We will memorize a bible verse each week
I will get up every morning at 5:30 to do my devotional
I will work out 5x's a week
And I even had a schedule in the kitchen for our day. I cringe when I write that.

Seriously, the list could go on and on and on....blah! It is really embarrassing to me now. While some of those things aren't unreasonable, I was viewing my virtual list as a checklist! I was bound by these "guidelines" and realized that I failed every single day. Failure, failure, failure. I told myself that all of the time.

But here is the thing...I really am not a list person. I'm no type A whatsoever. My personality is very laid back, go with the flow. I follow my instincts, do what I feel, that sort of thing. And when I do...things work. My head works:) I like some routine, but I am so not a schedule person. I was just not working with my idea of what I was supposed to be doing. Does that even make a bit of sense? And most of all, I hated being a failure and being bound by my made-up rules.

Then something happened. I really wish I remembered what I was reading at the time or who influenced me or whatever, but I don't. I really wish I had blogged about things I was learning. A lot of what I've learned about this past year has dealt with freedom...at least I remember that much. But maybe it was more of a slow change and I'm just now realizing what happened.

I don't have a list anymore. None of that junk above is allowed in my head...I have a "no rules" policy. Sometimes my old rules creep up on my and I just brush them away now. I just do the best I can...I allow myself to mother in my unique way....and move on to the next day. I feel like myself now. I'm still learning (and always will be) but I feel more freedom to be the me God has designed me to be. And it is so good.


AndiMae said...

This is such a beautiful post! While I absolutely cannot relate to the "not being a list-maker, type-A person", (because that is definitely me!) I CAN relate to letting go of unrealistic expecations we have for ourselves as mom. It is such a process! I feel like I am constantly learning to let go more in the being a mom department. And you, my sweet friend and sister (lucky me!) are always such a great example to me. You always inspire me to let go and relax more with my kids, to not worry about them getting messy and dirty. And to not do things by the book so much, but to just go with the flow. You are such an awesome mama, Amy. Don't ever doubt how blessed Parker and Griffin are to have you! Thank you for sharing what God has been doing in your heart- I can see it, not just in your blog, but in your life so much. I love you!

P.S. Sorry for the novel...I know, that's what email is for :)

Jenn @ Munchkin Land said...

And see... this is why I like you so much. =) You are real, honest, and true to yourself. You are a great mama!

Joel said...

You are a great mama, great wife, and I think God smiled when you wrote this babe because your freedom to be you pleases him....and me. I love you!


Stacey said...

You are incredible! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I agree with Joel, you are being smiled down upon!

Rest in the truth of who you were created to be.

Ginainchina said...

Amy, this is so good. Really encouraging... I think when I see others living like this - in freedom, it really comforts, inspires, and encourages me. Im sure others too. thanks for sharing and helping us along in this journey of life. You're a joy to be around (and to read your blog!). love, gina

Aleah said...

I can relate! Maybe another reason why I like the idea of home schooling. : )

Thanks for sharing even the things that make you cringe!

Love, Aleah

PS: Cute pictures of you all in the previous post!

Denise said...

great post.

i use to be a rules person, and am type a. BUT i realized with the rule came someone who was also making rules for others to live by. i became an ugly pharisee. i too have learned to live each day as it plays out. there is always a "to do" list in my head, but i give myself GRACE if i do not get any of it done.

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