Control Freaks Anonymous

Hi, my name is Danielle! “hi, Danielle!” and I’ve been a Control Freak for 27 years.

Yes, thats right. I celebrate my 27th birthday this weekend, and given my 10 month old’s ability to assert his will, I know I blessed my Mom with this control issue from birth. Thanks for putting up with me, Mom.

Have you ever found yourself so frustrated at someone, and as you thought about the details you got more and more frustrated realizing the person has done nothing wrong, and you’re just a control freak?!?!

Okay, maybe it’s just me…maybe not.

There’s something about leaving my munchkin in someone else’s hands that makes me feel like I’m the only one who knows what he needs during the day.

This is ridiculous!! When I’m gone he’s with one of three people: his Dad, his Grandma (mil), or a close family friend from church. Each of whom he adores! My issue has nothing to do with competence, it’s simply, I’m Mom and “Momma knows best!” Right?

I swear to everyone that my munchkin is not on a set “schedule”, “I let him tell me what he needs.” Yet I find myself writing minute details, down to activity suggestions for specific times during the day, that I pray will be followed. I’ll come home and want a play-by-play, and as I listen, secretly I’m stirring inside wishing I could’ve done the day differently. Wondering how the rest of the evening will play out since I wasn’t here with him.

I know that every day is a new day with him. Every day does change. When it’s just the two of us, I do follow his lead and don’t force time constraints on him. However, I know consistency is crucial for babies, so I try to keep certain things routine like story time, walks, errands or park days, bath time, etc.

I’m embarrassed even as I write these sad facts. Please Moms out there, tell me I’m not the only one!

As I drove to work, I pondered who I could call and vent my frustration without sounding like an idiot. Then I realized I hadn’t done my daily reading. I open up my app at a stoplight, and read the following from She Reads Truth- Daniel (my son’s name…ironic?) By: You Version:

“What am I clenching in my fist that I refuse to see as His [God’s]? What is it that I long so desperately to build, to control, to call MINE?

Epiphany: Gasp!! My child!

Can this really be? Am I that much of a control freak that I’m not trusting God with His very own creation. My Baby, My munchkin, My miracle. I feel so foolish. Yet just as I’m about to beat myself up, I remember Grace.

I realize that just as I have to guide and redirect my munchkin’s steps to protect him, God does the same with me. When is it that we assume our learning is over? No matter how old, Daniel will always be my baby; I will always be God’s child.

I am on a journey and need to let go! I am not in control. You’d think I’d know this after being “redirected” as much as I have been in my life.

As hard as this lesson has been, and as much as I’m still frustrated over Daniel not eating as much as I feed him, I need to get over it! Or GOI (pronounced \’gōi\ or goy) as my husband and I say frequently with sarcasm (I think it sounds nicer, thank you very much). Oh…my..gosh I really do have an issue, don’t I? Now is when I just need to laugh.

Well, until my munchkin’s next nap: thanks for letting me share my heart with you! I hope my tough life lessons or “redirections” will help you find peace or guidance in your circumstances, even if it is just to laugh at my ridiculousness.

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On a side note, my mom and best friend, who I call my sister, are coming to celebrate with me this weekend. Keep an eye out for fun stories and pictures from our girl’s weekend.

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Opinions: No one wants them, but we’ve all got them

Venting…Ready….GO! People are really opinionated! It doesn’t matter if I even know the person, people are ready and willing to share their plethora of vomit wisdom and knowledge even if you don’t ask for it. Scccrreeech!! Time for the breaks before I lose you. Can I let you in on a little secret? I am too. Eeeekk! I said it!

Ugh! So, I had an epiphany: the things I despise about myself, I am so quick to criticize about other people. I have, however, been on a mission to change my negative, critical way of thinking for a few years now, but there’s still pieces to chisel away.

This epiphany, fortunately, was a quick reminder of how important my support system is to me. I have those friends I call when I’m having a really rough day; those friends I can call on a great day who will be excited with me; friends I call when I need to vent about rude comments I get from people, like, “Enjoy your pedicure now, because once your son gets older this will never happen!” and they’ll give me some humor to lighten the mood; others who know when to listen; others who have the perfect wisdom, experience, and encouragement to offer like, “the only reason you care so much about what others say is because as moms we put enough pressure on ourselves, we don’t need others to do it for us.” They remind me, and all my opinions, to breathe, and see the good intentions in those “opinionated people.”

Then there’s my best friend, who I proudly call my sister, who knows which of the above I need and when, without me even opening my mouth. (Thank you for that, Em!)

Then there’s my amazing sister, who I call my friend, who also falls into most of the above categories. I love that I can call her to tell her about the goofy, awkward, overly concerned customer service I received, and she knows I’m not judging the poor guy who asked five times if I needed to talk to the supervisor about not being satisfied, simply because at the register I decided I didn’t want to buy that $40 bathing suit…and…we laugh!

Here’s another lesson on giving myself some grace: 1. For not being perfect, as much as I’d love to always be right, I know I’m not (shhh don’t tell my husband I admitted that); 2. For caring unnecessarily about strangers opinions, or anyone’s for that matter; 3. For giving my opinion when it isn’t asked; 4. For being hypercritical of myself and circumstances, trying too hard to control everything.

My friend gave me some great words last night, ” We aren’t meant to control balance every part of our lives, so why do we strive so hard to achieve it? Instead, we should wake up every morning asking, ‘what is my purpose for today?'”. After all, in order to achieve “balance” something’s gotta give. So why stress about it every day? Just let go! Ask God! Let God!

I was looking at my son’s precious prints and it reminded me. We’re all unique. We were given our own design to make a mark on this world. We have one life on earth to live out a purpose. Here’s my point: I want to be the person anyone can call for any reason and know without a doubt I will be the one to listen, encourage, offer advice (using wisdom to know when it’s warranted and when to keep my mouth shut). I want to help people; be a light to people, be a mentor, be a friend. I am a work in progress, but aren’t we all?!?

Until my munchkin’s next nap time:
I hope my transparency will help you find peace and joy in your circumstances! If you’re looking for that support system, I’m here for you. I may not have all the answers, but we can learn together. In the mean time, smile! It’s amazing what a smile will do.

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Wake up and…Breathe!

WwwAaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Waaaaaaaa! Aaaaahhhhhh!

This is how my morning started at 2am. Any mom knows, with the reality of waking up many times at all hours of the night, the exhaustion that comes with the no-sleep followed by no-sleep pattern. But there is something about the 2am mommy shift that is the worst; hence starting my morning with a homemade venti iced mocha!!!

I bet you’re tired just reading about it!

My happy little guy always wakes up with a big smile on his face, so to hear that screeching cry this morning made my heart break for him. So then at 4:30, 5, and 5:30am when he woke up to my husband and in-laws getting ready for their day, there was no putting him back to sleep again.

[My husband and I moved in with his parents shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I’ll tell that story another time. Before you feel sorry for us, it’s been more of a blessing than anything! I’m so grateful for them! I am not, however, loving that everyone in the house gets ready so early and so loudly in the morning!!!]

Ok so back to my story… My little guy is wide awake and ready to play, like everyone else in the house, not phased at all by the broken up sleep. Momma over here on the other hand is a walking zombie. Dilemma: do I try to play with him and risk dropping him because I’ve nodded off unintentionally or let him play in his crib with some toys and hope he falls peacefully back asleep. I choose the later. Feeling guilty, I keep waking up startled every so often to check my video monitor to see how he’s doing. Finally, about an hour later, after dreaming he has been the world record baby for figuring out how to climb out of his crib at 4 months old, he has managed to flip himself over, spin the opposite direction, kick all of his covers off (it’s freezing by the way), and fall back asleep. Again, feeling guilty as I’m bundled under a sheet, 2 comforters, and 3 blankets, I peel my motionless body out of the warmth and go cover him up and curl myself back in bed.

He manages to sleep about 45 minutes and then decides its actually time to be awake now. Out of bed I roll. I put on my happy face, which went from fake to genuine as soon as his toothless smile melted my heart. We rose with the sun singing our morning tunes, “Arise, shine, the morning has come…”, “You are my sunshine” “In the morning, when I rise…”, and “On Mondays I am happy, on Tuesdays full of joy…”. I have found that if I can’t muster up the strength for my own energy, I must put on a smile, sing with this voice only my son can love, and hope someone left some spare coffee in the carafe for me to indulge on a morning like this.”

After doing our morning routine of exercises, massage, A,B,Cs, counting, tummy time, and stretches it was time to feed him and I course… He passed out! 🙂 Now hyped up on caffeine I’m thrilled that my phone rings and its my sister. On a morning like this the best person to hear from is my sister and friend, a mommy to a precious and overly eccentric, energetic 2 year old little girl and a beautiful newborn daughter who is probably just as happy as the eldest, but seems to cry more often than the first because, well, now there’s two to manage not just one. My sister is one of the strongest, most caring and nurturing women I know, and her wisdom in Mommy craziness, always assures me that I’m doing a great job. I told her how terrible I felt for leaving him by himself in his crib. This morning her kind words were, “I’m convinced this is why God made children’s memories nonexistent before the age of three. So parents can make mistakes while honing their parenting skills, and their kids will not remember any of it!” Now, that’s grace at its finest!!

I know someone out their needs to hear that too, so whoever it is I hope you’re encouraged! As nuts as life might be, please take time to breathe, and please, share your thoughts with me! I’m new on this journey and would love to learn from you too!

Until my munchkin’s next nap time… Happy Thursday!