Well tonight I’m sitting here writing while my husband is playing the Grand Ole Opry. This is something that at one point in my life, not that very long ago, would have upset me for days. I want to be there, but my reality is that there are two small children who operate by a very strict schedule and need to be in the bed. Sure, I could get a babysitter, but honestly it’s only Tuesday and I’ve learned that an over-tired Mommy doesn’t make happy children. You see one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in this journey is that I have a very specific role in our dream – not a role that was given to me by my husband or anyone else – but one, that for the sake of our family, must be filled by someone. I’m the REGULAR.
I’m the regular parent. Other words could be the consistent, everyday, ordinary, routine, traditional – sounds exciting, doesn’t it? No, it absolutely doesn’t sound exciting – it sounds boring and that’s how I looked at it for a long time. I mean, I don’t think my children are boring and I love my time with them, but it’s easy to look at the touring schedule and then see the Facebook posts of all the fun and become frustrated with the “regular”.
Now I know I’m not the only one out there that feels this way. I think we all have moments of “regular” from time to time – even if you live a very exciting life. I also think there is one parent who is more regular and one who is more fun. This doesn’t even necessarily have anything to do with children or marriage – after a while everything can become “regular”. That’s just life – but I’ve found the key to overcoming the “regular” is gratitude and perspective. It helps turn my regular into extraordinary. It also helps me stay focused on my role and live it with a good attitude.
This is how my perspective changes:
- When I’m truly grateful for the opportunities my husband has, I stop feeling like “I do everything” and become grateful that I can be at home with my children. Although he loves music and loves to travel, he misses our children terribly (and maybe me too). Also, lets just be honest, I’m a home-body and if I had to live out of a suitcase and catch 6 am flights every week I would cry. I like home, I like a schedule and I like sleeping in my own bed. And if you want to have a miserable day, just spend more than 4-5 hours with me in a car – it’s not pretty (my parents and sisters can attest to that) – and we can’t afford to fly everywhere we go. So there you go, I need to be home. Additionally, changing this specific perspective helps me see the beautiful side of the music industry. He has worked so hard and this band is family – we prayed for such a situation for years – it would be a shame to let that go unappreciated.
- When I’m truly grateful for my home, car, washing machine, etc. I stop complaining about the laundry, cleaning, etc. Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t sing “Kumbaya” while I’m folding my laundry, but if I try to remain grateful I may stop telling my husband how much laundry I have to do while he’s out “having fun”.
- When I’m truly grateful for my job I stop complaining about how “I have to work and then come home and take care of the kids by myself”. First of all that attitude is not fair to all the single parents out there. If you are a single parent, you deserve a massage in a field of heavenly scented flowers at least once a week. Yes, I am by myself several days a week and sometimes for weeks at a time but my husband is very supportive emotionally, we have two incomes, and when he’s home, he helps tremendously. Second, my job helps provide for our family. ‘Nuff said.
- When I’m truly grateful for my children I start enjoying the moments. I can “go with the flow” a little more. If you can’t tell, I’m not the easy-going type and sometimes I miss the moments. Gratitude for my children slows me down and helps me just enjoy the simplicities of life – playing at the park, fun splashes in the bathtub, giggles when someone goes potty. It’s not all roses, but it doesn’t always have to be difficult. I’ve always known that children need stability, schedules, consistency, etc and I GET to be that for them – that’s very different than feeling I HAVE to be that for them. See the difference?
I don’t always perfectly execute this and that’s okay. I think that it’s more important to recognize the need and give it a good college try. So here’s to all the REGULARS out there. Keep doing what you’re doing but turn that frown upside down, get glad, be grateful, recognize your role in your dream and turn the regular into extraordinary, fun, exceptional, and amazing. The road may be hard but keep moving forward.