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  1. Oh my goodness! This was a God moment for me coming across your post today. I was literally in tears tonight putting my three boys to bed with their dad gone all week and them fighting all day and me trying to get things done etc. and was just at my wits end. And looking back my day would not have been measured very highly on smiles that’s for sure. But that is just a fantastic way to reframe my mindset. Thank you so much for this and every other post. Aloha!

    1. Oh I am so glad to hear that the timing was good on this one, Jen. We’ve all been there–and there are simply bad days that we must get through. Try to let it go now and have a fresh new week. Bless you as you finish strong. 🙂 XO

  2. Love this post! I think I’m always comparing myself to others and worrying that I’m not doing enough as a mother. I think this post hits spot on and shows you what being a mother is really about.

    1. Oh so glad you enjoyed the post, Amy! Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂 We all have that tendency to compare and you’re right–it helps to come back to our true calling as a mother! XO

  3. Some great advice! I am a pretty relaxed mom, but it’s not something I really have to work at…I’m just naturally a more relaxed person. I do find that I often deal with feelings of guilt though because I feel like I should be doing more…that I’m too relaxed!

    I think everyone on this forum is probably an amazing mom. Just the fact that you are reading an article about parenting means you care deeply about your kids and their wellbeing. Try not to stress too much about whether or not you’re relaxed enough as a parent. As a relaxed parent and Type B personality, I can tell you that’s a very Type A way of thinking, lol. And I envy Type A’s! You get so much more done! Just being conscientious of our motivations is key, I think.

    Blessings to all you amazing Mommy’s! And thanks Monica for sharing your wisdom!

    1. Lauren–Haha, I love your perspective! That was fun, and I felt myself just relaxing reading your words! 🙂 Funny I don’t necessarily consider myself type A, but in light of what you just shared, maybe I’m more there than I had realized! Bless you and thanks for the encouraging words for all of us! xo

  4. Love this reminder, Monica! I breathed deeply and relaxed several times throughout this day of boy-parenting after reading your post 😎 I’m just gonna have to share this with my friends 👍🏼

    1. Thank you Amy! So happy the post stuck with you! 🙂 Love your site (and gorgeous food!) too. Much Aloha and happy relaxing! XO

  5. Monica (another Monica :) ) says:

    Ahem…need to hear this today. We are doing an impromptu camping trip (thanks to Hubby), and I’m having a hard time being relaxed. I am trying not to turn grumpy today as I juggle planning ahead meals and snacks while trying to keep up, etc. I don’t want to come home to a messy house, etc, either. Thanks for the encouragement….

    1. Oh I know that dilemma so well! (Big priority for me to not come home to a messy house! :)) Hope you did well and at least relaxed while out camping!! It helps me to get out of the house and change gears! 🙂 XO

  6. Thank You Monica!!! I really needed this today. Something I struggle with everyday. We all want the clean house, perfect children, perfect homeschool, perfect curriculum, perfect crafts, healthy children physically and emotionally. I have found that in trying to control ALL of these areas we are in a state of constant stress which causes fear and anxiety for everyone. Maybe if we learn to RELAX and TRUST GOD all of these perfect things will be imperfect in a perfect way.

  7. I love this post, thank you – it’s just what I need to hear at the moment, when all the pressures of what I SHOULD be doing with my boys is too much. I’m going to focus on being relaxed this weekend (but might try and get the house tidy before they get home from school this afternoon!) 🙂

    1. Thank you Mel! I know what you mean–and sometimes I have to compartmentalize the “time to tidy the house” and “time to relax and be a fun mom!” which is ok too. Much aloha and have a wonderful weekend!

  8. MARIA HALL says:

    I love this. I pride myself in being relaxed, my mother was relaxed and I take after her and I wouldn’t have our life any other way. With three kids and a full time sometimes demanding job, I can’t be any other way.

    1. way to go Maria! I love that! I’m officially inspired! 🙂

  9. I need a mantra to help me remember to “just relax”
    Thank you for writing @ sharing this!
    I so enjoy your words.

    1. Thank you Amy! I need that mantra too, trust me! 🙂 So nice of you to take time to comment and for the encouraging words. Bless you! aloha-

  10. So true! My boys are 5, 4, and 1 and I’m finally starting to chill out and guess what?… Life is so much better! Great advice and I love reading from boy moms who’s sons are a bit older:) thanks!!

  11. Just found this post, boy did it resonate with me! I’m always running my 4 boys around to this sports practice and that game and this lesson and that school rehearsal. Wish we could go back to simplier times! It really made me stop and think just what will my boys remember about me from their childhood. Hopefully its not the yelling to hurry up and grab your stuff and get in the car to race to the next obligation. I am going to make a conscious effort to try and relax and have some fun each day with them so when they look back that’s the memories that stand out! Thanks so much for that reminder! P. S. I stress less when the house is in order too! Must be a female thing!My boys could walk right thru a disaster area and not even see it!!!

  12. Love this! Just found your blog through MOB. My husband’s cousins also live on Oahu. One of my goals the last year has been to RELAX! I’m so done with rushing around and worrying about things that don’t matter, like what my boys are wearing or what their teachers will think about my lunch choices for them. Ha! That job of stressing about measuring up? I QUIT! I just want to be who God created me to be. And that’s enough. Looking forward to your posts on health also!

    1. Thank you Paige! So glad you came by, and good for you–you’re absolutely in the right place w/ your desire to please God and relax on the rest! Much Aloha-

  13. So much truth for EVERYONE. That is a lesson I even learned as a teacher – – and am continuing to learn as I work to be a healthy, relational, successful, & God-honoring adult! I did not see this modeled, so I am learning by “doing” – and by watching friends like you. 🙂

  14. Thanks for your posts on parenthood! We are expecting our first (a boy!) in a few months, and your posts have really been helpful as I try to wrap my head around being a parent. This post in particular seems so spot on for me, as I lean toward perfectionism and anxiety. I definitely want to try to be a relaxed mama!

  15. We always go around the table on New Year’s Day to ask our 3 boys what were their best memories of the year. (We include our best, too) Perhaps we should do this for each week, too! (At least every couple of weeks) So much to be thankful for and we all need the constant reminders. Having all boys, I feel it is so important to give them ideas for their future from a female perspective. Luckily my husband is totally on board with this!

    1. I love this Lisa. You’re right–what a fun tradition that would be to do weekly…Maybe our family will try it tonight! Thanks for the idea. Aloha!

  16. I just read this post as we were driving along the north shore back to our home in mililani. Aloha!

    I loved the message you shared here. You have a way of writing that leaves me inspired. Thank you!!

    1. So great Katrina! Thank you –that is a huge compliment. 🙂 Much aloha and say hi to Mililani–We lived in Mauka for nine years before the North Shore! 😉

  17. Hi Monica,
    I have started following your blog all the way over here in Australia after a friend of mine ( whose boys I taught a long time ago)posted your ‘Teenager tips’ on her facebook page. We have three boys 10, 9 and 7 and I can ALWAYS relate to your posts. Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us. Your advice and anecdotes are so encouraging and not only help me out but make me laugh as well! I have loved hearing about your property and home as recently we went on a family holiday to Oahu and spent time in Waikiki a few days on the North Shore which we loved.
    Thanks again, looking forward to your next post!
    Gena 🙂

  18. Monica, I so needed to read this. Even more, I need to put this into practice. We have 3 small boys and hubby works a stressful job. I love routine, structure, and boring LOL not a good combo with boys and being an Officer’s wife. I hope to really find out how to relax more. If you could keep me in your prayers, I would appreciate it!!

    1. Absolutely, Heather! I’ve also been thinking about practical application for this…so look for more in the future. You’re carrying a heavy load, bless your heart! Much aloha to you!

  19. Hi. Great post. Well I think time away from my own kids makes me think more clearly about how to handle the issues that come up. My habit I’m trying to work on is over reacting. Even if I’m not yelling, my heart is pounding and I’m all worked up. I’m trying to just stay calm. The kids actually listen better when I’m in control of myself. More to say but gotta parent now. Elsa

  20. Thanks for the reminder. I have been more layers back about house cleaning. Some days it was hard not to do a lot of cleaning, but spending more time with my son was worth it 🙂

  21. I love what you wrote. I have actually been working on the same thing – I am reading an amazing book called The Hands Free Mama – which contains basically the same theme – except get off the computer and/or smart phone and spend some time with your children. All the things we miss out on when we say ‘I have laundry to fold’ or ‘I’ll be there in a minute’ – which then turns into 30 because I had to read the latest FB posts or email. My husband is military – he is very busy and not around – so I am basically on my own – and I need to take advantage of every minute I have with the kids. We have just relocated for 2 years and are trying to make friends and fit and most of all have fun. Thank you for your amazing posts I so enjoy reading them – such a blessing.

  22. I needed to hear this today. This morning I was thinking, why are the kids wound so tight? And the answer lies right at my door! I am going to breathe deep this week..every time my messy house and homeschool/Realtor mom life feels like its going to send me over the edge!

    1. Yes Hope, my kids often reflect the mood of their mom! 🙂 Keep it up, so glad you stopped in to comment. aloha!

  23. Andrea T. says:

    Wow!!! This really hit home for me this week. I’m a new subscriber to your blog but with each new post I feel like you’re talking to me. We have 5 kids, 4 boys and and 1 girl, 2 of which are bonus kids. But to me, it’s all the same. With how busy our lives are with 3 different schools, their sports and social lives where is the time to clean, or prep dinner much less even work?! I know I need to be more relaxed on a daily basis. Must figure out ways to do it! Thanks for the wisdom!

  24. I am reading this post on a day where I feel I don’t even like to live in my own house anymore. Maybe (I hope) it is the aftermath of a summer with an unemployed husband, 2 energetic, preteen boys and me working from home. My husband is pretty militant with our kids and we have constant friction because I feel there is not enough joy and fun in this house, but with the added element of unemployment and no school it really escalated. Now school is back, so at least I can work in peace, for the most part. My husband seems to think now is time for “us” when I would prefer him grabbing a vacuum cleaner or go pull some weeds outside….. This too shall pass, but I am worried about the scars it will leave for my kids. Thanks for letting me vent.

    1. Oh Heidi! You’ve got some legitimate stress there! 🙂 Sounds like you have perspective, even if it is hard. One thing I know–the re isa time to clean! I’m a different person after a thorough house cleaning. I think the key is to get it done and then enjoy everyone–husband included. 😉 Much aloha–

      1. It definitely takes a load off when the house is clean. Have a great weekend!

  25. I love reading all your posts. You have such great realistic advice. I will say I think implementing this relaxed mom seems a bit challenging and I am generally not uptight. I am just reflecting on my week with my kiddos (5, ages 8-5 months) and it’s been rough to say the least. Maybe some more thoughts on what to do instead of pushing for that clean house.? What is that happy medium? How relaxed exactly? Ha just thoughts swirling around. But I would love nothing more than to have my kids grow up and be happy and balanced in life. Thanks again for passing on this old wisdom. There must be something to it.

    1. Chantel– My first thought for you, is “survival!” WOW–five kids in that age range–you are amazing!! I was thinking that maybe a more practical post ought to follow–because it is true, What exactly constitutes “relaxed,” right? I would say if your focus is more on appreciating and enjoying things in life than it was before, you’re headed in the right direction. There are still things that must get done–but in the midst of it all if you can laugh at a silly child, overlook a mess or two, you are on the right track.

      1. Thank you for the response and the encouragement. You are great!

  26. christina bratcher says:

    Thank you for the post, I greatly appreciated it! You know, it’s a lot harder being the way you said, because in reality a single mother’s responsibility, is ALOT of weight to carry around, especially when you have a 12yr old son, on the verge of puberty ! It’s about to get awkward enough for me, when I have to have “THE” conversation, with my son, when it’s the father’s duty/responsibility/right, to do so! I will do my best to do as you have posted! Again, thank you for all the posts you’ve sent me so far! Have a blessed weekend! Philippians 2:3-4

    1. Christina–I can only imagine the load you carry. I pray that you can enjoy even the awkward stage and that talking to your son will be a blessing…He will always remember his mom as a hero for what you are doing in his life. God bless you and try to enjoy the ride!

  27. Oh boy, this morning I berated my guys for the crumb mess on the floor so soon after the house was cleaned. My husband , trying to help, said,” You know a messes make Mommy unhappy.”
    Wow. There are far greater issues in our world.
    I will try to relax. I will think about this quote:
    “But what if we quit judging ourselves so hard by this made up criteria, and started evaluating our parenting based on how peaceful and fun we were?”
    Peace and fun sound better than cleanliness and compliance.
    Thanks, Monica!

    1. Thank you Shannon. I was sure to leave out the story of how I spoke to my ten-year old when I was just editing that post…Trust me, I am right there with every other “wanna-be-relaxed” mom out there. 🙂 I hope it’s a great weekend Shannon! Aloha

  28. Love this post- thanks. So what do you do about the surfing/homeschooling debacle then? Are you relaxed mom and let them surf, or uptight mom and make them study? Or is it different depending on the day/situation?

    1. Yes Corinna (and good question, :)) It does depend on the day…Often, I let them surf (my husband is super helpful about driving one way or working it into his work schedule, etc.) then they come home and I get a bit militant. 🙂 If they’ve been gone for much of the day, the next day I usually say school HAS TO come first. Of course I have to consider factors like waves and traffic, so I don’t always get my way…Much aloha to you—

  29. I love this post. I got so so angry today with my toddler for refusing to sleep and waking up her baby brother in the process. Looking back, I could’ve just chilled out and read books with her rather than stressing about trying to get things done when she should have been napping.