I am maturing. It amazes me to realize that I was unknowingly immature in an area of my life (purposely immature- silly- is acceptable, right?). It encourages me to see myself growing.
I am learning to enjoy others and learning to let go of stress and the impossible standards I place on myself. Enjoying others (being hospitable) has provided me such joy. I wrote about my new perspective on hospitality here.
I am also learning to let go of stress and unrealistic standards that I impose on myself. My parents just left after a wonderful visit. I made a conscious and very determined effort to refuse stress and to be relaxed. In doing so, I was able to enjoy my parents (be hospitable) and not try to be something I am not. I discovered something that I wish I had discovered years ago. I had created tension without knowing it because my self-confidence was low and my standards were too high.
My mom enjoys doing things for other people. I haven’t read the book The Five Love Languages in a long time but based on the little I remember about it, I would say that my mom’s love language is "Acts of Service." She feels loved when people do things for her and she loves to do things for other people. This used to create incredible tension when she would come to visit. I could not understand why she wouldn’t just relax and enjoy my company and play with her grandchildren. I mean, it would frustrate me to no end.
My new hospitality perspective during her visit allowed me to realize that she was not trying to fix me, my parenting, or my house. She was just trying to love on me. I recognized that I had a problem with feeling inadequate. The tension had come from my fear of not being a good enough mom in my mom’s eyes. The tension was because I was focused on myself. I let go of my self-imposed stress. I let my mom be herself. She did laundry for me. She organized clothes. She cooked and cleaned. She was very happy. For the first time, I enjoyed the way she loved me. In doing so, my love and appreciation for her grew. Without the stress, we all enjoyed our time together more.
I love seeing myself mature as a mom. I am 35 years old and I am beginning to grow up! I laugh that it took having 4 kids for me to realize that I have to let go of unrealistic expectations and unnecessary stress.