Think outside the box

Sometimes, it just plain feels like everybody wants to put you in a box.

You are either in the Mom box, or you're not. Further, you're either in the stay-at-home mom box or you're not. You're in the Good Friend box, the Smart box, the Tall box, the Chunky box. There are so many labels, and we're so used to categorizing and being categorized that the brain does that job for you millions of times a day without your conscious mind even realizing it.

But I often feel like I'm still an adolescent middle-schooler who is walking in on that first day back, not feeling like she fits into any of the right boxes. I'm a mom, yes, but the lines are blurred when it comes to staying at home. I work from home. I keep weird hours. I get to enjoy a nice mix of mommy time and nanny time, but we are a rare breed, us Work From Home moms.

I've always wanted to be more crafty with the kids, watch less TV (or not even OWN a TV), read more Scripture (daily Bible time with the kids, daily devotions as a family) and live like the French: kids should be seen and not heard; everyone eats the same foods at three square meals; incorporate more culture, manners and bits of history into the everyday.

But I am not crafty. We have at least 5 TVs in this house and frankly, I forget about daily Bible time. A lot. And my 3-year-old? He's just not that into it right now. Anything that doesn't involve cars or Angry Birds, including, ahem, "dinner," suddenly cramps his style.

So I don't fit in the Crafty box, the Screen-Free box or the Real Food box when it comes to what my kids eat. I like Joel Osteen, and I like Grace Potter. I like meditating, and I like Survivor. I like standing outside in the cool early morning air, before most of the world is awake, to feel a calm, grounded quiet as a preface to whatever else awaits me inside the doors of my home. Is there a Box for that?

Learning to celebrate your quirks, curves and creative self is actually an exercise in thinking outside the box. I don't judge other moms who watch reality TV, so why do I judge myself for it? I don't judge other moms who buy cheese crackers for their kids, so why would I feel guilty for putting them in my own shopping cart once every 3 months? The only person trying to put me in a box is me.

Let me tell you right now: It is OK that you do not fit in the Crafty box. It is OK if you forget to brush your teeth before the play date. It is OK if all you want to do at the end of the day is curl up with an episode of the Real Housewives. Accept yourself and expect more of yourself. There's a reason you have that dream in your heart, and it's not to make you feel bad or like you don't live up to someone else's standards. It's for you to inch closer every day, in good faith.

What box are you itching to jump out of today? Leave me a comment, or reach out and share this post with a friend. It is a message that truly deserves repeating!


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