Inspire · Memoir · Mom'ing

A Thought on Cereal

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I’ve always loved listening to my grandmother’s stories. After High School I made a promise to call her every Sunday. During those Sunday phone calls I learned a lot about her life. She was a career-woman, married to a career-man, balancing four children and a busy life. I remember her once telling me about the times my Papa would go away on business. “Cereal for dinner!” she’d tell me.

How silly I used to think, getting excited about feeding the children cereal for dinner. When I was a little girl, cereal for dinner seemed more like a punishment then something to celebrate. I never felt particularly excited about cereal for dinner, in fact, it kind of made me feel sad. Strange, boxed cereal giving me an emotional response.

I’ve been “momming” for nearly five years now, and for the first time, I feel good about cereal for dinner.

Why? What changed?

Perspective.

I struggle with this never-ending internal need to be perfect. Perfect house, husband, kids, life. Can I say right now, it’s a lie, whatever you’re seeing on social media, or in advertising, it’s not real.

There is no such thing as perfect.

Ah ha. I’ve always known this, deep down, and yet strived toward the unattainable. Sometimes killing myself, sometimes allowing this empty pursuit to engulf me, and when I do, am I missing out.

I get so wrapped up in trying to create “perfection” that I miss the sweet little moments, the marrow of life. In my “I need to have it all handled” pursuit I miss laughing when my little guy accidentally flings his food into his hair. It was funny, I should have laughed instead of scolding him over the mess. In this pursuit I’ve literally shrugged off my husband’s hugs while doing dishes. “Just leave me alone, let me do these dishes.” Seriously, dishes more important than my husbands hugs!?!

Is it better to have a beautiful meal or to have a slightly messy looking meal that your proud 5-year-old helped prepare? Is the pursuit of a perfect home keeping people out?

Is this world going to explode if I exhale and release some of these self-induced expectations? (side notes, it won’t, I just tried it.)

And so, on this weeknight, when were all just a little weary, it’s okay to pour that bowl of cereal. The world won’t collapse, and in my case I’m getting a very thankful hug from a very happy little man, who tells me coconut flax seed granola is his “best favorite ever.”

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