Opinion: Parenting with a pinch of grace

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

“When I have kids, they are not going to watch TV.”

“When I have kids, they are not going to have such an extreme number of toys.”

“Oh, I will never let my kid play video games.”

“iPad? Are you kidding me? Never will my kid’s beautiful little eyes be exposed to a screen.”

These are quotes from old me, before having four kids in two years.

Right now, in my house, two kids are on their iPad playing games, while two kids are in my room in front of the TV, watching Netflix. It is 9 a.m. on a Wednesday.

I am not going to B.S. around it: Parenting is hard. Virtual school, trying to keep four kids from fighting all day long. Knowing that they likely are falling behind in the first grade because I am trying to also entertain 2- to 4-year-olds.

However, parenting is just as tough as it is rewarding. Do what it takes to make your days lighter and lifted. Try to make it easy on everyone. That’s how I am doing it now.

Simplicity is my motto, and I stand by it. I am just a mediocre momma doing the best I can. I want to enjoy my family. If I were to stress out all day long about them getting all of their homework done — on top of working from home and keeping the house clean and food on the table — I would be miserable every day. I don’t want that. My kids don’t want that. My husband does not want that.

How do I maintain a state of blissful ease in my home during these unpredictable days? I lighten up. I am not taking myself so seriously. I’m not trying to be the best at anything. I’m not comparing myself to what other moms are doing. I am just keeping my focus on the minute in front of me, rather than worrying about how to handle tomorrow, next week or next year.

I also am having fun. I am doing my duties at home, but if it doesn’t all get done, grace is given to myself and the kids.

Do what is right and best for your family. Do not look beyond that.

We live in a world where we see the highest of highlights and the lowest of lowlights. We never see the in between. We never see the mediocre lives that 99% of us live on a given day. We don’t see any of this because on social media — where we have decided that all truth exists — we have decided that this is how everyone lives life but us. In complete reality, it is not.

Be good with it. Be good with the mediocre life. That means things are all right. Lay on the couch, and look at your kids or pets for too long on a Tuesday. Read a book that is not “self-helping” you for once. Eat some cake. Skip a workout. Take a sick day. Just realize that being OK is a great thing. Being OK is amazing given the circumstances we cross in everyday life.

Live your life for the now. Most of us are doing just the same as you are, which is making the best from what we have been given each day. If that is all you can do, I say you are doing all right.

Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at www.HealthyHairdresserAddie.com.

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