Tuesday Talk: Learning to LET IT GOOOOO!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hi!!! Happy Tuesday!!
Did you have a good start to your week??
Last night was Back to School Night for my "big" girls...Daddy took them to meet their teachers and drop off their school supplies!
I stayed home with our little guys because Marshall and James don't do so well when we mess with their bath and bedtime was just easier for Aaron and I to divide and conquer! :)

Sooo....I do A LOT of thinking when I am on my early morning runs and one "topic" that I was mulling over the other day was: things I have learned to say to "LET IT GO!" about (and things that I do NOT "let go").
I am most definitely a different parent now, as a mom to 5 kids 7 years old and under....then I was when I just had Charlotte...even when it was Charlotte and Cora. Heck- I have changed a lot of my ways since having Celine! HA!
Anyway....I thought I would share some things that I have learned to say "LET IT GO" about...and just so you know- every time I type "LET IT GO" I am singing it JUST LIKE Idina Menzel sings it :) HA!
//1// As my girls have gotten older, they now want to pick out their own outfits. Womp. Womp. HA! For some reason, I thought they were going to let me dress them all alike until they went to junior high! I know it sounds totally dumb- but this was a big one for me to "let it go!" I absolutely love dressing my girls in cute outfits/dresses and to be honest I fought it for awhile and tried to force my daughters to wear things I wanted them to wear. Well as I am sure you know- it just wasn't WORTH the battles. So I let it go! And actually- it's been a lot of fun to see how creative they are with picking out their outfits and how they could care less if they are wearing stripes on stripes on stripes :) HA!

//2// All of my babies start out eating solids really well and for about the first year of their lives- they are great eaters. Then right around 2 years old, they almost get disinterested in food. This totally STRESSED ME OUT with Charlotte. And Cora too. I finally just "let it go" with Celine and figured if she was hungry- she would eat. I was totally over trying to play "airplane" and zoom bites into her mouth or try and bribe her with "one more bite and then you can have a cookie!" We are going through the same thing with James right now and it doesn't bother me one bit. For example, we were at our friends' house on Saturday night and all James had for dinner was an applesauce pouch and strawberries. He didn't want anything to do with his pizza. FINE! Aaron struggles a little bit more with wanting him to eat- but I know- if the kid is hungry- HE WILL EAT. So I don't force it and my life is a lot happier at mealtime! HA!

//3// I have had to "let it go" that I can't always get to the baby right away. When it was just Cora and Charlotte, I would get pretty bent out of shape if Cora was crying- for even just a second..and I was able to manage that because I just had two kids. Well...with the arrival of Celine, then James and now Marshall...sometimes it is logistically impossible for me to get the baby the second he makes a peep. And sometimes Marshall has to cry for about 5-10 minutes (GASP! HA!) before I can focus all my attention on him. This used to bother me so much! Not anymore! Just had to "let it go!" 

//4// Messes. Spills. Stains. For a type A, slightly neurotic clean freak like myself, I am not proud to admit that I used to lose my marbles when the playroom wasn't picked up IMMEDIATELY AND PERFECTLY.  Or if a cup of milk was spilled all over the kitchen floor. Or if one of my girls dropped an entire chocolate ice cream cone down her beautiful WHITE sundress. Luckily, I have been able to gain some perspective and I am not nearly as psycho about these things as I used to be. I know I can get pretty much any stain out (Dawn dish soap for the win- EVERY time!), spills are just not a big deal- even if I just mopped! HA! And it's ok if the playroom isn't picked up EVERY night- it's gonna get messed up the next day anyway! 

//5// So guess what I have learned in the past few years of will be kids! 
No matter how much you coach them or prep them or "positively reinforce" their behavior. I used to get SO UPTIGHT if my kids didn't act perfectly out in public. Even if we were at the park- I wanted them to be following ALL the rules and just be perfect little angels. COME ON JUSTINE. Totally had to "let it go!" And wouldn't you know it...when I started to loosen my reigns on my kiddos just a smidge- they started to behave better! I take all 5 of my kids places all the time and we rarely have any behavior issues. Not because I am some awesome mom...but because I have realistic expectations. And even now- I sometimes have to repeat in my head when one of my kids is acting up- "Let it go...let it go!!" HA!
I could go on and on with my "let it go list" but for some reason stopping at '5' seems right :)
Now as much as I have learned to let certain things go- here are a few things that are NOT negotiable in our house:

//1// In regard to outfits- Mommy gets to pick out what everyone wears for church on Sunday. They can change as soon as they get home from church- but I am in charge of their clothing for 2 hours once a week. HA! I know my days of matching the girls are running super low...but thank goodness for coordinating outfits!! ;)

//2// My kids allowed to play, be super creative, and make messes at our house- but they can't destroy every room in the house and think it can be left there. While messes do not stress me out like they used to- I do not tolerate not picking up after yourself. I am CONSTANTLY reminding the girls to clean up the last activity they were playing before starting a new one. This is more about teaching them to respect their things and our home than it is about picking up messes. They are expected to pick up both of their playrooms twice a day, once before lunch and once before dinner. it done perfectly? Are things put back in just the right spot? Nope! But I have let that go :) 

//3// I am really flexible and easy going 95% of the time with my kids being "kids" when we are out and about...but at church- our expectations are different. Our girls are expected to be respectful, quiet and participate in the service. James is a whole different story given that he is two years old and a complete tornado- but even as young as 3 years old, we have expected our girls to sit quietly and pay attention. If they can sit for 2 hours and watch a movie without making a peep- they can sit nicely and quietly for an hour while we attend church as a family.

//4// You're going to think this is so DUMB- but I will not let my girls leave the house without their hair being done with a bow in it. I don't care if they are wearing a swim suit or a "sporty" play outfit- their hair needs to be combed, pulled back/braided and with a bow clipped in. 
(Do you think I am crazy?!? HA!)

//5// I mentioned I don't stress out about eating in the toddler stage...well I don't stress about my "big" kids eating either. If they don't like what I have served them- they don't have to eat it. But they will get nothing else! (Do you think I am super mean now?? HA!) I always give my kids the option to leave the table if they think our dinner is "GUH-ROSS." The alternative is that they go upstairs, take a shower and go straight to bed. My philosophy is- "if you are hungry- you will eat." Period. I am not a short order cook/waitress. Take it or leave it sweetie! HA!

//6// And finally- one thing I have not "let go of" and never will- is teaching my kids about manners and expecting they use them. ALL THE TIME. 
We are super strict about table manners at our house as well as using your manners when you speak to others. Please, thank you, May I please have, Yes ma'am, Yes sir....we expect our kids to use these phrases. I recently read a devotion that totally just hit the nail on the head on why manners are SO important- here's what it said:

"What gives manners their social weight? More than simple etiquette, it’s their message: I am treating you with courtesy because I believe you deserve it. Manners talk respect. It’s not a stretch to hear manners as a small piece of kindness."

BOOM. Couldn't have said it better myself if I tried!!

In the end...this is what it's all about for me and my family...and our number one goal in raising our children.... now that I have rambled on for WAY TOO LONG....I would love to know:
1) What are some things you have learned to "let it go" about?? And you don't just have to be a mom to answer this question! Outside of parenting- there are so many things that I have let go of as I have gotten older and gained more perspective!
2) Do you have anything that you will not "budge" on? 
Tell me in the comments!! I LOVE hearing from all of you!! :)

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Full Hands Full Heart


  1. Oh I love this post!! I so wish I wold have read it when my kiddos were younger!!
    I have learned over the years that fighting the "clothes battle" was NOT worth it!! They can wear whatever they want long as it meets the dress code at school! I don't care if it even matches!! HA
    With dinner, you eat what I fix or a bowl of cereal! I only do that rule bc the DR was like "Ella really needs to gain some weight" oops!
    Oh the manners- Ben and I DO NOT budge on! I volunteer at the kids school all the time...DRIVES me nuts how disrespectful kids are now.

    You are doing a great job, Momma!!

    1. Perspective is everything- isn't it Heather??? HA! Love that you feel the same way about manners...they are SO important!! Hope you have a great day friend!

  2. Very similar things. I no longer care about what my sons wear, except for church. They never complain about church clothes either because 95% of the week they're picking out their own clothes. I try not to get too wound up about food, but that doesn't always happen. I am non-negotiable about church attendance, manners and a get a little uptight about sleep. We don't have a set bedtime because of activities and honestly, because sometimes if one of my sons is acting grumpy, that child goes to bed as early as 5:45pm (we need a lot of sleep in our house!)

    1. Yes to NOT being flexible about bedtime! HA! We do not mess with afternoon naps and bedtime at our house either. No activity/event is worth it to me if it means I am going to have strung out/tired kids as a result of it! HA!

  3. I've learned to pick my battles, too. Certain things are non-negotiable, but I'm trying to be a little more laid back with things. More of a "yes" mom, so to speak when I'd normally say no.

  4. Love this post I can relate with so much, it's funny how you are with your first child and as you have more you change. I have definitely stepped back on the eating and clothes, we always say if they are hungry they will eat.

  5. Picking your battles is key to keeping your sanity...ha, ha! I am continuing to learn how to "let it go" when it comes to clothing choices and keeping rooms perfectly clean. Non-negotiables for me are church attendance, eating together as a family, helping with chores, spending time together as a family, and careful monitoring of tv/movie choices. And manners too. Loved hearing your thoughts on "letting it go" in this post. :)

  6. This is pure perfection. Yes! Let it go! Embrace the madness because it doesn't last forever and with every new season comes a change and a happiness that you never expected before.

  7. I've learned to pick my battles too, and eating and outfits are definitely things I've learning to "let go"! My son wanted to wear pants on a 110 degree day to run errands. Worth the fight... Decided it wasn't!

  8. I LOVED reading this post!! It was so interesting to see what things you're a stickler about and what things you've let go. I've had to learn to let things go as Olive's gotten older and baby brother jumped on the scene. I used to pick out her outfits with matching bows and I've had to let that go. Now I give her two options and she has the final say. She is going through a no bow phase right now. I'm fine with that, but I insist that her hair is combed and has a clip in it. I've had to let go of choice of footwear, keeping things tidy all the time and how much food is consumed. It's such a relief to no longer stress about how much food she's eating and know that she'll eat when she's hungry. I used to insist on cute, matching pjs when Olive was younger. Now I'm lucky if she wears any pjs! It's just not worth the fight and she'll wear clothes when it gets cold - right?? I also insist on playroom clean up at lunch time and before bed. We do it together and I want to treat her to care about the things we own. I also insist on pleases, thank yous, saying sorry and talking through situations. It's something we practice all day every day, but hopefully it'll stick. I also insist that we start doing chores together even if she says no thank you! I feel like I'd like to come to Justine's Mommy Bootcamp to see how you run your ship of 5!! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. I also loved that you pointed out that you and Aaron don't always agree on things to stick to. Kevin and I are currently working through some things that are more important to one of us than the other. In the end we've compromised to agree on a united front :)


I love hearing from you! Let's keep it nice though...ain't nobody got time for anything else!