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A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go


Welcome to the January 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Stay the Same

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the continuity and constancy in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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A Primal Need For Order and Predictability: HybridRastaMama.com

I am a huge creature of habit. I like predictable. I need rhythm. I enjoy a routine. Honestly, if I had my way, I would stick to a pretty strict schedule.

I have always been this way. I need to know what comes next in my day or else I get very off balance. I work best when I do the same thing at the same time. I am easily thrown when something I did not plan for happens. It affects me deeply. Almost in a not-so-healthy-way.

My husband whines about how I need to lighten up, be flexible, and stop watching the clock. And to some degree, I have. Having a young child means you need to expect the unexpected…be prepared for all your plans to go out the window for the tiniest of reasons. It still doesn’t mean I embraced it.

Last month something inside me shifted. It is one of the moments that is impossible to explain but we all have them. One minute you are going about life one way and the next minute things are upside down, inside out, but you come out the other side with a completely different world view.

I have been one tightly wound up ball of stress since the day I found out I was pregnant. And every day it got worse. I struggled with the unpredictability of motherhood more than words can ever illustrate. Even though my daughter and I have created some really wonderful daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms together, which kept BOTH is us grounded, it seems as though the last 3 years have been a constant struggle to maintain my sanity.

My life has been a rollercoaster ride for the past three years. While we all have ups and downs in life, it seems as if I was getting hit from all directions with something life altering every few weeks. It was horribly disruptive for me and it led to a lot of stress and anxiety.

I held so tightly to ANYTHING that resembled structure in my life. I clung to it fiercely. I rushed my daughter through her days so I could fall into the safety net of the anchor points in my schedule. The ones that felt safe and warm to me.

And then I read a blog post. A post which slapped me hard across the heart. A post which opened my eyes and made me realize that I had been completely wasting my life trying to stick to schedules, meet deadlines, and achieve perfection.

My daughter is almost five. In my primal need for order and predictability, I had begun to suck the joy of life right out of my daughter. I hurried her along constantly. I forget about the importance of allowing her to be little, to stop and smell the roses. I forgot to watch the little things in life instead of watching the time. I forgot how much spontaneity can feed the soul. I forgot to cherish NOW. I got lost in the future.

After reading that mindset changing post, the universe began to speak to me in other ways. Songs I had not heard in years where beckoning me to move away from structure and order. Articles and blog posts were digging deep into my soul – expanding my blossoming awareness that I was missing out on what mattered most in life. Even an innocent Christmas letter sent me a powerful message.

A Primal Need For Order and PredictabilityAnd then Fox crossed my path on a day where, from that moment on, everything I had planned went sideways on me.

When Fox appears in your life as spirit animal, it encourages action and quick, swift moves. You may be called to take action in a way that shows your adaptability and ability to move quickly through obstacles and resistance.

That morning when Fox crossed my path and everything I had planned went wrong? I breathed. I breathed into it. I embraced the unexpected. I adapted. I seized the moment. I marveled at the happiness that poured out of my daughter as she saw me sit back, smile, and truly enjoy everything that was going wrong. I let go of my expectation. I let go of my schedule. I let go of that piece of me that was screaming for ORDER! I gave order the middle finger that day.

I felt powerful after that day. I felt like even though I had no control over that day, I was more in control than ever. I was in control of not feeling out of control. I was in control of living for the moment not what comes next on the list.

A Primal Need For Order and PredictabilityOwl confirmed this.

Owl spirit animals are symbolic of death in many traditions. In most cases however, it should not be taken literally: If the owl is associated with death, it can be viewed a symbolic death, meaning a transition in life, important changes that are taking place or about to happen. When the owl shows up in your life, pay attention to the winds of change. Perhaps you are about to leave some old habits, a situation that no longer serve you or bring something new in your life.

For me, the need for rhythm, routine, and predictability will ALWAYS be a part of my nature. But I will no longer let that need rule me. I won’t let it suck me into a dark place that is impossible to get out of. Instead, I have committed to living for today. To embrace the moment. To let go of the uncertainty of the future. To stop planning for the what-ifs. To stop living my life by an endless list of to-dos.

While my typical day, week, or even month might not change much, the way I live it will.

(I wrote this post in early December and shortly after, all heck broke loose in my life. You can read more about it in My Tail Of Woe. However, through it all, I am somehow embracing the uncertainty of my upcoming struggle. I am managing to move with the sudden and life altering change. We’ll see how it all plays out.)

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)

 
  • The making of an artist — Some kids take longer than others to come into themselves, so you have to stick with them, as a parent, long after everyone else has given up, writes Douglas at Friendly Encounters.
  • Not Losing Yourself as a First Time Mom — Katie at All Natural Katie continues to stay true to herself after becoming a new mom.
  • Using Continuity to Help Change {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs from A New Day talks about how she is using continuity in certain areas of her life to help promote change and growth in others.
  • Staying the Same : Security — Life changes all the time with growing children but Mother Goutte realised that there are other ways to ‘stay the same’ and feel secure, maybe a bit too much so!
  • Harmony is What I’m AfterTribal Mama gushes about how constant change is really staying the same and staying the same brings powerful change.
  • A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos.
  • Breastfeeding Before and After — Breastfeeding has come and gone, but Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow finds that her relationship with her son is still just the same and just as good.
  • A Real Job — Back in high school That Mama Gretchen had a simple, but worthwhile career aspiration and today she is living her dream … is it what you think?
  • Comfortingsustainablemum never thought she would want things always being the same, but she explains why it is exactly what her family wants and needs.
  • The Other Mums’ and The Great IllusionMarija Smits reflects on the ‘great big magic show of life’ and wonders if it will continue to remain a constant in our lives.
  • Unschooling: Learning doesn’t change when a child turns four — Charlotte at Winegums & Watermelons talks about the pressure of home education when everyone else’s children are starting school.
  • Finding Priorities in Changing Environments — Moving from Maine to a rural Alaskan island for her husband’s military service, Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work found that keeping consistent with her priorities in changing environments can take some work, but is vital to continuous health and happiness.
  • Keeping it “Normal” — Kellie at Our Mindful Life has moved several times in the last two years, while doing her best to keep things stable for her kids.
  • The Evolution Of Our Homeschool Journey — Angela at Earth Mama’s World reflects on her homeschooling journey. Homeschooling is a constant in the life of her family but the way in which they learn has been an evolution.
  • Sneaking in Snuggles: Using Nurturing Touch with Older Children — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s son was a toddler and preschooler, he was the most loving, affectionate kiddo ever. But during the course of his 5th year, he drastically reduced how often he showed affection. Dionna shares how she is mindfully nurturing moments of affection with her son.
  • Steady State — Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes a letter to her partner about his constancy through the rough sailing of parenting.
  • A Love You Can Depend On — Over at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, Jennifer has a sweet little poem reminding us where unconditional love really lies, so it can remain a constant for us and our children.
  • Same S#!*, Different Day — Struggling against the medical current can certainly get exhausting, especially as the hunt for answers drags on like it has for Jorje of Momma Jorje.
  • New Year, Still Me — Mommy Bee at Little Green Giraffe writes about how a year of change helped her rediscover something inside herself that had been the same all along.
  • One Little Word for 2014 — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs has decided to focus on making things this year, which is what she is loves, as long as she doesn’t kill herself in the process.
  • The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and Consistency — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the continuity of her teaching, parenting, and grandparenting philosophy using a combination of freedom and consistency.
  • My Husband’s MiniCrunchy Con Mom shares which of her sons looks more like her husband’s baby pictures — and the answer might surprise you!
  • Growth Happens When You Aren’t Looking — Lori at TEACH through Love is treasuring these fleeting moments of her daughter’s early adolescence by embracing the NOW.
  • A New Reality Now – Poem — As Luschka from Diary of a First Child struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother, she shares a simple poem, at a loss for more words to say.
  • Making a family bedroom — Lauren at Hobo Mama has decided to be intentional about her family’s default cosleeping arrangements and find a way to keep everyone comfortable.
  • New Year, Same Constants — Ana at Panda & Ananaso takes a look at some of the things that will stay the same this year as a myriad of other changes come.
  • I Support You: Breastfeeding and Society — Despite how many strides we’ve taken to promote “breast is best,” Amy at Natural Parents Network talks about how far we still have to go to normalize breastfeeding in our society.

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Comments

  1. I could use the occasional spirit animal. Hold onto that zen!

  2. I too strive for structure and schedules and I absolutely hear ya when you say that little ones change that up a bit. I’m balancing loosening up and letting the natural course of the day lead while still maintaining some structure for sanity. It helps that Jemma is very much into the plan of our day, she is constantly asking, “What’s next?” and “What are we doing tomorrow?”

  3. I’m pretty much the opposite and struggle to create order, so it’s intriguing to read the other side! I’m glad you’re seeking out a balance that will work for you and your daughter.

    I hope you heal quickly!! The universe is definitely giving you a lot of practice on embracing unpredictability, huh? Silly universe.

  4. I love the use of the spirit animals! A fox crossed my path last week while I was wearing a fox shirt, and I was wondering what that might mean. Thanks for the insight!

  5. I love the spirit animals Jennifer, and I have to thank you for the reminder to slow down. :)

  6. Love, love, love this! I can so relate – I need to have predictability and structure. But you’re so right, the need to control what is going on prevents me from living in the now. I will keep this in mind!!

  7. I like the references to the fox and the owl. I will be on the lookout for those in my life. I have learned to be more patient by staying at home to raise a baby. My husband even complimented me this past weekend. I am still working on letting go of schedules and “stopping to smell the flowers.”

  8. Awesome.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  2. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  3. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  4. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  5. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  6. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

  7. […] A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos. […]

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