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Learning When to Let It Go as an Anxious Mom

There are dirty dishes sitting on my counter and in my sink right now. I don’t like it. There are a couple of baskets of laundry on my living room floor. I don’t like that either. There are shoes and backpacks thrown on the floor and several toys out of place.

I know I should be “doing my rounds” in all the rooms of the house, which would mean getting the dishes done and folding that basket of clothes and picking up the misplaced toys and shoes and bags, etc., etc. I know I should be “preparing” in order to create a better morning for everyone.

The clutter and the mess heightens my anxiety. It makes me feel out of control and lazy, and even unappreciated. None of the other residents in this household get that. I know this because I mention my intolerance of the clutter and mess often, sometimes with explicit language, and yet, there is little change.

Tonight I am going to pretend I don’t care. Tonight I am going to sit alone in the silence while five children and a husband sleep soundly in their beds. They aren’t bothered. Why should I bear the burden every night?

It’s hard walking in the door and seeing so many of the “things” not done. It’s hard not to feel the rage begin to stir and lift to the surface. It’s hard not to be on the same page or maybe even just in the same book as those closest to you. It’s hard letting go of “simple” things that are important to you.

But tonight, anxiety isn’t winning. Tonight I am going to let it be. Tonight I will try to remind myself that the dirty dishes in the sink meant my husband made our children supper while I was working. I will try to remember that the clean clothes sitting in the baskets are better than dirty ones. I will try to see that the toys left out meant my kids were playing and imagining today.

I will try. For my own sake. Letting “it” all go for a night is OK. Besides, all the “things” will be waiting for me in the morning!

Follow this journey on Perceptions of Motherhood.

This story originally appeared on Perceptions of Motherhood.

Getty image via solarseven.