Carefreedom- Another Classic SWM Post

Carefree: having no worries or troubles

From birth I’ve been a worrier.  Really.  Truly.  I probably came out of my mom’s tummy worrying about my ability to breath and my lack of hair.  I was a pretty serious kid, too.  I kept an immaculate room, was particular about the clothes I wore, made sure my vocabulary was correct if I was going to speak, and didn’t enjoy other kids my own age a whole lot, except the likes of my BFF. 

When the first day of school arrived each year I had the worst stomach ache because I was worried. Worried about the other students and how they’d treat me.  Worried about my new teacher.  Worried.  I worried so much through my younger years that I ended up with hives.  Huge, reddish bumps that flattened out into pancakes across my stomach, back, chest, and up near my neck.  The doctor deduced (if I remember correctly) that they were caused by nerves.  Nervousness.

When Maycee was born this inherent nature of mine was right there, lurking in the shadows.  I took her to the pediatrician about five times in her first two weeks of life.  One little sniffley breath and B-BAM! I was there.  I read parenting books, I subscribed to Parenting magazine, scoured the on-line world for facts upon facts about baby care.  I hadn’t learned to trust my maternal instincts one iota.  There was no way that what I thought or felt could possibly be correct. 

It took almost a full two years for me to allow the worrying to subside…a teeny weeny bit.  Having to place Maycee in daycare helped this process immensely as I had the walking, talking, all-knowing daycare provider to guide me-and guide me she did.  This was an amazing benefit that came out of doing something I did NOT want to do as I succumbed to the difficulty of being a working parent.

Fast-forward eight years, two divorces, and a whole bunch of hullabaloo later, and I am nowhere near the same woman I used to be.  Raising my daughter on my own has FORCED me to face life head on and look it straight in the eye.  It has FORCED me to trust my gut and not seek outside advice with every little blip on the page.  It has FORCED me to let things go, to put off vacuuming for a week, to ignore the tall grass in the back yard, to accept that my dogs might have a flea or two, to ignore the crack (that is fixed) in my windshield, and that I don’t have to worry about every little thing that transpires when Maycee is in school and I’m at work.  It has FORCED me to be okay with just getting by, and it has FORCED me to focus on what is truly important in life: living it and being present.  It has ALLOWED me to take breaks from my troubles…because of course they do still exist.

For my own sanity I have had to seek the brink of understanding carefreedom.  This is not a word you’ll find in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but it is a word that I’ve been pondering (and that I made up). “Freedom from having worries or troubles.”  No, that doesn’t mean always, but it means for me at least sometimes. A few examples:

1.  Over the weekend I had that dinner date I was supposed to have a couple of weeks ago.  Maycee’s dad took ill and couldn’t get her for their normal visit, so I arranged for a play date, which turned into a sleep over.  Instead of w-o-r-r-y-i-n-g about getting home as soon as my chile relleno was devoured, “what if she calls me”, “what if things don’t go well at her friend’s”, “what if, what if, WHAT IF!”, I told my date I was now free for the remainder of the evening, and we watched a movie and stayed up late.  Not that I haven’t been out late before….but typically I save any “going out” I do (and please…this is sparingly…and usually only to the grocery store) for when Maycee is with her dad.  Thus, a small step towards carefreedom.

2.  The next morning as soon as Maycee came home from her sleepover, we proceeded to enjoy the whole day doing nothing much productive.  Yes! What?!  Yes!  I let Maycee stay in her PJ top and just put on some blue jeans to run around in, and we went to the ranch, we went and visited the newborn kittens at my work, and I took her and her buddy to ice cream (at the expensive parlor, not the Rite Aid-oh, the excitement!), and once home I even took a 20-minute cat nap while Maycee watched TV.  I didn’t immediately stare at my to-do list and think, “Oh, gosh!  I didn’t do anything I needed to do today!”  No, I simply made dinner and watched TV with my little one until bedtime.  Another small step towards carefreedom.

Not a care in the world…

3. And last night, after Maycee was tucked away and heading to dreamland, I didn’t wash the dishes or begin laundry.  No.  I felt like playing my guitar for a change.  Knowing I could clean up the dishes and do the laundry the next day, I allowed myself the carefreedom to indulge.  Woohoo! Three or four cheers!

While I know I will never be naturally “carefree”, and while I know that my life does not allow for frivolity on a regular basis, and while I know that I will inevitably fall backwards into my worrywartism over something like the need to carve our pumpkins in time for Halloween (even though it’s a week away! Agghhhhhhhhhh!), and how are we going to get a jump-start on trick-or-treating Halloween night so we aren’t out too late with school the next morning, and I hope that no one steals all of the candy I’m going to leave in a bowl marked “Please take one” because I can’t be at home to pass it out AND take Maycee trick-or-treating at the same time, and, and, and…

I’m going to continue to make these small allowances for myself every so often.  They bring joy, you know? And, joy breeds more joy.  Besides, hives are horrible. Ew.

Readers, I hope that you find a little carefreedom in your lives…maybe for an hour, maybe for a day, or maybe you’ve got it down to a science.  If so, please share how you do it!  And, since life is short, don’t spend too much time worrying like I do, and as always, give a chuckle. (Wink!)

JOY.

 

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Author: singleworkingmomswm

I love to write, and I love raising my daughter. The two combined have prompted me to create a blog about being a single working mom. Life's a trip, and I tend to take the windy roads.

12 thoughts on “Carefreedom- Another Classic SWM Post”

  1. Wow, is this ever a well timed read! I found a lump on Li’l D’s neck and immediately went to the land of worst case scenarios. Five minutes later, I had enough presence of mind to check Google and find there is, as yet, nothing worrisome about that particular lump. This all reminds me, too, of a lactation consultant who demanded I throw away my records notebook and start just listening to myself and my son. Best command ever.

  2. You sound like me! I was anxious and a worried my whole life. My first baby? I panicked all the time over silly little things. Thankfully, I’ve learned to let things go much more now. (still, it’s a process) I love your term carefreedom. Thanks for this post, I really needed to be reminded again how many blessing I DO have and that
    most things in life will work out on their own time. Better to stop for a moment to enjoy the moment!

    1. Thanks, Darla. Yes, it is a process, and some days are better than others as far as following it. I just know that taking a break from our cares, troubles, and worries is a necessary part of living. Hugs! XOXO

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  3. I want to add my thoughts to what my friends wrote above. More than anything, I want to thank you for this (always timely) reminder to settle down, let go and enjoy the moment. I realize that this will never be easy for you or for me, and so I commend you for being able to relax into the lovely life you’re building with your daughter. These are the things you and she will look back on and remember with great happiness. Big smiles! xoxo

    1. So true, El! That is what I try to be mindful of; it is as much for Maycee as it is for me. She needs me to detach from the stressers of daily life and all that rests on my shoulders. Our best memories are made when I can do this. Love ya! XOXO

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  4. Sounds like a couple of lovely and relaxing today. I’m reminded of this quote:
    “Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”
    ― George MacDonald

    1. Ha!  “Idleness”…that is a word that is rarely part of my vocabulary, Holly, but little by little I’m inching it in there. 🙂  Tonight I plan to sit “idly” and watch a movie, again.  That seems to be one of the best ways to keep me down and forces me to sit still and relax.  Have a great weekend, friend!! XOXO

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      1. I love movies…I also love idleness. I’ve always been a little envious of people who seem to have an abundance of energy.
        Enjoy your weekend!! Big hugs!!

  5. My friend, we are very similar. It is a struggle to allow myself some “carefreedom”. One small step for mankind, one giant LEAP for Kasey! Three cheers for carefreedom, letting go and letting God or just letting whatever will be, be. Good for you (and Maycee!). xoxox NY

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