22 April 2015

I Give Up

Let's be honest - as much as parenting can be rewarding, fun and a great excuse for us adults to act like kids again ourselves, it is also exhausting, challenging and draining. 

Lately, I've been more on the exhausted side of things. I'm a full-time working mom so that adds to my pile of responsibilities and there are some days that just suck the life right out of me. By the time I've worked a full 8 hours, taken care of Chickie and all her needs and fulfilled all blog/sponsor/Bluemont Media responsibilities, I'm wiped out. Let me describe it more accurately...

Do y'all remember that scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Harry’s cousin Dudley Dursley and he were trapped in a tunnel by Dementors and one of the Dementors starting sucking the life right out of Dudley through his face? Yep, that's been me lately. 

Sexy, right?

To add to my stress and load, I'm one of those kinds of people who have to maintain control over everything. I like things done a certain way and some days it takes everything I have to let my OCD go and let Chickie make a total mess of things, all in an effort to let her just "be" a young child and explore her surroundings and world around her. I like order. I like predictability (to a point) and I like the comfort of routines. Not always a great combination when you have children.

Lately, I've come to realize that in order to get a little more balance and peace in my life I need to give up some things. Parenting can be challenging and I think sometimes we get caught up in the day to day chaos that we forget to stop and be happy in the midst of it all. So in an effort to gain a little more peace and balance, I’m simply giving up these things:

1.  The idea of perfect.
It's never going to happen, my friends and I admit that many times, I've fallen into the "Everything has to be perfect" trap. There is no such thing as the perfect person let alone the perfect parent. Embrace the fact that we're entitled to go days without make-up. Laugh at yourselves. Stop comparing yourself to the picture perfect images you see on Pinterest.

Side note: as much as I love Pinterest, I have noticed the phenomenon of Pinterest Pressure. It's not worth it, guys and gals. Be who YOU are. Not what some pin says you should be. 

2.  “Supposed to be"
Society (and Pinterest) has a funny way of dictating to us what family life and parenting is "supposed to be.” We're conditioned from an early age to believe that parenting and childhood is supposed to look a certain way. I say - not true. We are all different so it stands to reason that our backgrounds and beliefs are going to be different. There is no one "right" way to raise your children and no one should ever guilt you into feeling that the way you're parenting is wrong. Only you know your child and what is best for them. Besides, if you're always so consumed on what you think parenting is "supposed to be" you stand the chance of missing out on how wonderful it really is. Be willing to have the honest conversation with yourself about what your priorities are as a parent. 

3.  Give up the "One size fits all" rules of parenting.
Just as each parent is unique, so is each child. What works for one may not work for all. It's great to get input, suggestions and advice from other parents but at the end of the day, you have to make the right choices for your children based on who they are - not on everyone else's experiences. This also means having the guts and courage to parent the way you believe and to stand by those ideals even when they may not be so popular or well-received. Consider the possibility that being a fair parent to your child doesn't mean doing the exact same thing in the exact same way as everyone else. Trust yourself and your ability to be the best parent possible to your child.

4.  Give up unhealthy self-sacrifice.
As parents, we give everything we have to our children: love, attention, emotion, and time - literally everything. But just because we become parents doesn't mean that we should give up our core selves, interests and hobbies. It's my belief that if we give up ourselves in parenting, we teach our children to not take care of themselves and their needs. Make time for yourself - you're worth it and more importantly, you need it. And let me stress - don't feel guilty about it! We all put a lot of effort into parenting. We deserve some time to ourselves.

5.  Give up your own childhood story, hopes, and dreams.
Whether your childhood was great or not so hot, give up trying to reflect those same things onto your child, especially the fears. Don't trap your children in the fears of your past. Let them go so they can grow up to be who they want to be. The one thing I've noticed that I do a lot of lately are saying things like, "Are you going to be a soccer player like mommy?" when Chickie starts to kick a ball around. I need to give that influence a rest and can it. Maybe she will play soccer but maybe she won't and that's okay. I need to give up my childhood in order for Chickie to have hers, the one she deserves to make on her own. 

So there's the list. What are some things you might need to give up in order to gain a more peaceful and stress-free style of parenting?

Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. So the "Let it Go" song was in the back of my head the whole time reading this - thanks for no frozen pictures! Ok enough joking aside. Letting go of other expectations is the best and hardest advise ever. We need others input in this parenting journey but then we have to sort it out and find our way. I've adapated a saying when others ask me for advise - I give it - but then I end with "I'm only an expert on my child. Do what works for your child and family." No matter how many kids someone has the reality is every kid and every mom is different and there are no real parenting experts.

  2. I truly think one day I will walk away from blogging. It takes up so much of my time and the stress I have in my life (which is fairly small compared to others) is directly related to my blogging responsibilities. As Connor gets older, we will have more and more real life stress that comes with raising a little person and that will be something that I need to be ready for. I want to be the Mom that is involved in the classroom, field trips, parties, excreta. I am more than willing to give up on other areas if it means being the very best Mom to Connor.

  3. I love this list of things to give up. We all should consider it. Moms have give a lot of themselves and it is important to practice extreme self-care. Is there something else you could let go of that would bring more peace? Can you simplify your life? Can you delegate? These are years you will look back on and be grateful for, but don't burn yourself out along the way.

  4. Wonderful list! I completely agree with every single one. I love being able to have this outlet, but I know at some point I'm going to to decide that enough is enough. It can be so stressful focusing on the things we should be doing as bloggers that I sometimes forget the real reason we blog.

  5. The perfect thing is a trap, but I think that we forget that to be able to put that down it is a daily... even a moment by moment putting it down and walking away. It takes grace and lots of it.

  6. Love this list, girl. I've been where you are, and know how hard it is - sending you hugs (and maybe you need wine?) :)

  7. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    There is so much truth to your comments and I agree so much with everything you're saying. They don't call it "Mother's Intuition" for our own children for nothing. Thanks for reading!

  8. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    You are already an amazing mom to Connor and he is so lucky to have you!! XOXO

  9. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Yes, exactly. That's a great point, Linda. When I look back, I know I'll remember the challenges along the way but I should be able to remember far more of the good and great. Thanks for reading!

  10. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Blogging is a great creative outlet but I know that parenting will only get more challenging as our daughter gets older so it may have to go on the back burner entirely and I'm okay with that. I highly doubt I'll look back on this time and think, "I wish I would have blogged more..." Thanks so much for reading!

  11. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Yes, so true! Once you form bad habits, it takes continual awareness to know when you're falling back into that line of thinking and stop it. Great point, and thanks so much for reading!

  12. Courtney PattersonApril 22, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    ALL the wine. ;-) Thanks for reading, Jess! XO

  13. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesApril 22, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Pinterest - oy. I have all but stopped going there. A) who the hell has the time to peruse Pinterest?! B) ideas welcome, but that's where I draw the damn line. I don't need the pressure.

    Self-sacrificing - amen. There was a time when I felt REALLY guilty about heading out to pound pavement while my two guys were at home. I felt as if I needed to be with them at all times. Then I realized I needed the running as much as my guys needed me to go on those runs. Mommy needs her time. Just like she needs her wine.

  14. Yes I have learned what to focus on and what I just need to let go... I am always working to find the balance but I am much more forgiving with myself. I think that is key.

  15. Thank you for sharing this! I think others will enjoy it as well, so please come link up and share with me at http://www.wrightsimply.com/2015/04/not-so-wordless-wednesday-linky-hows.html
    Have a wonderful day! xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright

  16. Well said and all true. I have to truly monitor my internet consumption because it can truly throw me into a full on funk. Thanks for sharing!