Tuesday, December 16, 2014


via Dream Photography Studio
So much lately I have found myself longing to slow down and set my own life standards. Imagine that! I keep wanting to "rebel" against what others or society thinks I should be doing/how I should do it! Basically I want to break free from the mold. You know the one that expects a mom to be the perfect homeroom mom, perfect cook, the perfect housekeeper, etc. I had to start asking myself...how come I can't keep up?! Why don't I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed?! Then I realized something very important. I can't be categorized with the masses. I asked myself how many friends or family do I have with three kiddos toddler age or younger? One. That's right in my massive network I currently have exactly one friend in a similar situation to ours. Oh but eeeeeeeveryone has opinions/advise/tips on how to successfully parent three littles. Things like spending an hour after we get home cleaning. Purge all their toys. Pack everything the night before for the next day. Have a paper calendar. Make chore lists. And MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY more suggestions. I'm a major advocate on doing what works best for YOUR family.

I'll let you in on a secret, I don't have it together and I currently am not doing any one thing successfully to today's standards AND really not even my own if I'm being honest. I've been flaky volunteering at church, I feel less involved in Reegan's school this year, house cleaning is always a struggle (I'm aware it needs to be done can't find time to do the deep cleaning), clean eating/cooking (I won't even go there), mommy wellness (what's that?!), etc. I was talking to Mr. Harding about this today and thinking out loud. "What if there were no standards to which we were held? I wouldn't feel so bad about falling short in so many areas." How freeing would that be I thought!

Well me, I have armed myself with my own internal response to the advice that makes me feel judged. I will simply nod my head and say, "Great idea!" What I will know is that person right there, even if the advise is coming from a place of love, is NOT in my shoes. They don't have my three kiddos to care for on the daily. And there you have it. My ANSWER. I will say to myself, "Self, do they have three kids ages 4, 2 and 11 months?" If the response is YES! I will promptly break out my notebook and scribble the "answers" down faster than humanly possible. But so far the answer is NO they don't. I find a comfort in that. And that's kind of selfish of me. I know there are probably people out there in my situation but none who are in my life with a similar set up.

So I think that this outlook should be used by others too. Consider the source. Are they experiencing what you are? Do they think they know what it takes OR actually struggle with the same daily challenges you do? It only took me a third of my lifetime to figure this one out. My hubby and I become more and more happy with our set up the older we get. Even though it's not up to so many of the standards that others have for us. Because this Harding family would rather snuggle with our kids than start a load of laundry at 7:30PM at night. We would rather give a bubble bath to three splashing sweeties than do some dirty dishes. We would rather spend the very last 30 min- hour of our day with our partner not planning out the next day. We would rather giggle than organize our garage (you guys I'm not kidding our garage is a disaster and a HOT HOT HOT TOPIC among many in our lives). Many think we are crazy and maybe we are but ask yourself....do you have three kids ages 4, 2 and 11 months? No? Then you know my loving answer to your advice.

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