I’ve received a lot of parenting advice over the last year, from the downright ridiculous to the insanely helpful. Some things I’ll be wholeheartedly ignoring but one thing that has really stuck with me is when people have told me to pick my battles and learn to let the little things go.
This advice is so important and is almost certainly the key to not losing your mind as a first time Mum. Sometimes you just have to think ‘is it really worth stressing about this?’ Or ‘will this matter tomorrow?’ And if the answer is no, then just let it go. Save yourself the stress and focus your time and energy on something more important or enjoyable.
For example, I spent a good few weeks battling with Darcie to wear socks around the house and definitely when we were going out anywhere. I’m not sure why, I suppose it’s the socially acceptable thing to do to have socks on, but if you have met my headstrong daughter then you will appreciate how challenging it was to get these damn tiny things to stay on her feet. If I did manage to get her to wear them out of the house then I would inevitably end up with people chasing me around the supermarket to return a little lost sock. One day I realised, she doesn’t actually need to wear socks all of the time, in fact most of the time there is no reason for me to be fighting with this barefooted little queen about it at all. So I let it go, it’s only a small detail of the day but it’s one less thing causing us stress. It’s hard enough being a Mum, don’t make it any more difficult than it needs to be.
If it’s not harming your child or anyone around them, not hindering their development, not a life lesson they need to learn or vital for their health, then don’t add it to your already overflowing list of things to think about. Focus that energy on something more positive and productive. You can apply this to all areas of your life. Is it really going to matter if you don’t manage to hoover today? Or is it actually going to affect your child’s development if you don’t get out of the house in time to get to baby group? If the answer is no, then don’t let it cause you any unnecessary stress or worry.
We all have certain things we won’t let go, and standards that we are not prepared to drop but I guarantee there will be a few things you can let go of. Cut yourself some slack, give yourself a break. Put the kettle on and clear up some headspace for the more important things in life.
What could you let go of today?