“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”
Those are the lyrics to a song you’ve likely known since you were little. And probably never thought of. Neither did I, until I walked into the room where my children were having breakfast and really heard the words for the first time.
It’s the perfect guidance for life, hidden in a children’s song that’s been around forever.
If you’re going to put your boat in a stream, you’re going to point it downstream, right? You would be crazy to try to paddle upstream for no reason. Oddly enough, that’s one of the biggest secrets to life, one so simple and obvious but that nearly everyone struggles with.
And in motherhood? Oh, lordy.
Motherhood can be soooooo pointed upstream. Because we have a vision for what it will be like, and how we want to be... and the reality is often so, so different than we expected.
Yet we keep trying to be the Pinterest mom, or the PTA mom, or the impeccably dressed mom, when we’re not. And so every day, we put our boats in the river pointed upstream. We are paddling like crazy in the wrong direction.
When we accept that we’re not ever going to make cupcakes that look like cute little animals, and embrace the fact that we are the brownies-from-a-box kind of mom, we turn our boat around and start heading downstream.
When we stop caring that the other moms at preschool drop-off are dressed and ready to go, we can embrace the fact that yoga pants are just where we are right now. Downstream.
When we realize that we thought we’d enjoy every little minute but we don't, because that just isn’t the way things are right now, and we realize that that is okay and also, it’s normal? Downstream.
I so appreciate my kids for singing that song so I could hear it. (And Esther Hicks for helping it really sink in— if you want to really grasp this concept, spend some time listening to Abraham Hicks.)
So today, let’s do this: let’s row, row, row that boat down the stream. Gently. And merrily, remember. Because what the heck else can you do? Downstream and merry sounds a lot better than upstream and pissed off about it.
You’re always best at being you. That’s downstream, and that’s where all the good stuff is.