Just Call Me Gumby Momma!

| October 23, 2013 | 10 Comments

Gumby MommaThere are few things I know for sure, and one is as our family grows the need for flexibility has become essential to our survival and necessary to thrive.

I like tidy. I love organization.  Family with young children is naturally neither.

We had the pleasure of spending some time with family in the Maritimes during the month of August. After visiting for a few weeks, we had made plans to leave mid-week and head home through the States for a of couple days.  I was awoken the morning of our planned departure by my cousin with the news that my son’s eye was swollen shut.  As we had already been giving him Benedryl for a swollen cheek, he now looked as though he had gone a few rounds in the ring and it was very clear we would need to visit a clinic.  Our breakfast plans were not going to happen and we would not be crossing the Link at 10 AM. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, no matter how much I willed it to be.  By the time we saw a doctor it was well in the afternoon.  Our departure was delayed by a day.

Swollen Eye

In the end, the eye was fine. Swollen shut, unpleasantly itchy and not so pretty to look at, but 48 hours later the swelling was gone and there was no lasting impact for my son or his eye.

As this event unfolded I found myself reflecting on best-laid plans.  How discouraging and disappointing things can be when we map them out in our minds and they don’t roll out as expected. In turn, how since becoming a parent and how much easier things have been when we just roll with it.

There is only so much we can control and the sooner it’s realized, and surrendered to, the better off we are.  We cannot control the weather, we cannot control traffic, we cannot control in-laws, and we most certainly cannot control a four-year old’s eye that has been bit by a black fly from swelling shut.

We can control our attitude, expectations, and our efforts. Ultimately we can control our level of satisfaction and happiness.  It isn’t always easy and certainly not so cut and dry, but ultimately if we aim to roll with what unexpectedly comes our way, even unpleasantness can be turned into a bit of an adventure – and survival is key in those – right?!.

Ever enthused,

Shauna Rae


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Category: Family, Kids, Living, Travel

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  1. Renee Savoie says:

    Well said Shauna, coming from a mother of three who loves to have things tidy and is constantly disappointed, haha. Must learn to let go.

  2. Shauna Rae says:

    Thanks Renee -on this end it is an ongoing work in progress! It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.

  3. I think this is a huge lesson for so many of us…. learning to roll with the punches. It took me a while to get to that place, but I can honestly say I am there now. Teaching our children that they are also in control of their own happiness is something I strive for as well. This attitude can get you very far in life. That I know for sure.

  4. Brenda A says:

    Oh that poor eye! You never know what will happen when away. We have dealt with bites and pink eye and fever while travelling. Not too bad!

    I also am super organized when away from home. I habitually overpack and it is usually not good!

  5. Shauna Rae says:

    Thanks Sarah – glad to hear rolling with it is working well for you too!

  6. Shauna Rae says:

    Brenda – kind of a Murphy’s law thing – I too used to habitually overpack but with the introduction of our third I have become much more practical simply because from a space perspective we have significantly less room. Still being over prepared is better than under…think I read that somewhere 🙂

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Who said life was easy with kids around? It certainly wasn’t me! I think the worst we went through was when we took a ferry, a 2 hour crossing which isn’t much really. However it was extremely choppy, one son nearly made it to the bathroom before it happened. A daughter ruined the carpet where were sitting, another daughter made it to the bathroom, another one managed to puke into the back of her sister’s hair (long of course!). The whole ferry stank to high heaven, people were being sick everywhere. I apologised to one of the stewards who was cleaning up and he said, don’t worry about it, I’d be without a job if no one ever got sea sick. What a fantastic attitude to have. He made my day. All told 3 were sick and 4 of my children were close but managed to keep it in. Worst ferry trip ever.

  8. Elizabeth – that sounds like quite the ferry ride. Oy. Glad you survived and shared the tale with us. I thought our ferry stories, having to wait hours on end, as children to get to PEI were pretty awful, but yours clearly takes the cake. Love the stewart’s attitude too! Thanks so for sharing.

  9. kathy downey says:

    Its a learning process for both the parent and the child,we learn together

  10. Stef says:

    Thank God he is fine. Kids can be unpredictable at times. You can only do what you can, so glad it was fine in the end

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