I am out of my comfort zone

out-of-my-comfort-zone Why I need to get out of my comfort zone as a motherWe run a tight ship at our house. That makes us creatures of habit: predictable meal schedules, nap routines, bedtime protocols—overall consistent rules and structure for the kids and adults alike.

Kids thrive on structure and predictability.

I get that. Actually, I couldn’t agree more.

But structure and predictability frequently gives me the itch for something new and different.

Some people scratch that itch by shopping for new clothes or redecorating their home. I have enough “stuff”. Instead I find myself shopping for new memories—and by that I mean dreaming up travel plans.

I have written in the past about my love for traveling with kids. Therefore, when I am shopping to make new memories, it’s hard to imagine making them without the two little people who have my heart.

But as I write this, I have an extra large mezcalarita in my hand. If you don’t know what that is, you need to make a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico as soon as possible.

The reason this extra large drink is in order is because I have spent the last 12 days on a rich, beautiful, amazing, yet immensely difficult trip with young children.

I have been put out of my comfort zone.

I try to embrace life outside the comfort zone. I know that is where I grow the most as an individual and as a mother.

Outside of the comfort zone I have learned that my children will not melt without naps. Outside of the comfort zone I have learned that risk brings great rewards. Outside of the comfort zone I have learned that life can be pretty great.

It also can be pretty scary. And uncomfortable.

Naptime is at 2pm. Which happens to correspond with the same time that Mexican’s eat long lunches. Meltdowns were had, tantrums were thrown. Rules, structure, and consistency all went out the window. Generally, life without naptime is scary.

We all were out of our comfort zone. But people have been kind. We have grown. I have learned to breathe deeper. My husband has learned to crack good jokes.

As a creature of habit, I need to do more things that challenge me. Things that make me uncomfortable.

I have felt challenged and uncomfortable on this trip. It would have been a helluva lot easier if we left the kids at home. Scratch that, it would have been a helluva lot easier if we had just stayed at home.

But these rich, beautiful memories will last us a lifetime. It has absolutely been worth it.

And despite rules and structure going out the window—one thing remains.

A 6:30am wake up call every.single.morning.
Have you been outside your comfort zone lately, on purpose? How do you find a balance between encouraging routine and flexibility in your family?

Denaye Barahona

Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She's a therapist for moms, an author, and the host of the top-ranked Simple Families Podcast. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.