Let Go And Breathe


During this last year, I’ve learned to let go of the need to control everything. I was already suffering “mom fatigue” from just everyday life.

You know what I mean, right?

There is always more laundry to do, a meal to figure out and pull together, an activity to get to, piano to practice, and the list goes on. Never mind the other “adulting” things that must be addressed. Of course, my “fatigue” is not any worse than yours and vice versa.

We are all in this thing together!

Motherhood – some days are better than others, and some, well, some should be released and forgotten by the end of that very same day! Yet the cycle continues and it will for the rest of time, in some form or another.

The truth is, it’s a privilege to be a mom. How we manage it is our greatest test of character ever. Sometimes, many times, we just need the reminder that we are doing an okay job of it.

This lingering pandemic has definitely taught us one thing. It’s that we don’t really have control over anything. For a mom, that can feel pretty tough. If nothing else, we pride ourselves on “keeping it together” and “making it happen” at all costs.

What do you do when life turns upside down from one day to another? We pray, we scream and some find grace in just rolling with the punches.

Me? A little bit of all of those things, but mainly I had to let go of control, and for many reasons. The most important, in my mind, was to ease the potential burden of what this pandemic would mean for my seven-year-old. In some ways I let her take the reins, as crazy as that sounds.

Yet, I was surprised by what blossomed from the very action that fellow moms and books alike tell you to NEVER do. 

Here Is What Happened…

My girl started making her next day’s schedule in the evening just before bedtime. Half of the time she decides what is being eaten for meals. She plans weekly activities from full-out raves to high tea parties. Almost every other day, it feels like, is “costume day” and often is themed. Everyone is required to participate! Somehow she always carves out time for snuggles and movies. Extremely thoughtful, she regularly sends messages of love and laughs to every member of the household and cousins far away.

Ever selfless, she’s always gung-ho to do something to uplift the community. There is a playlist of music that she plays at the start of every day, including TOP 40 to bossa nova to Chopin and Beethoven. She says “I love you” probably 100 times a day, and it’s returned four-fold, never allowing her to doubt the love that surrounds her. Every day she finishes with a prayer and self-affirmations – because if she doesn’t know it for herself, in the long run, it won’t matter what anyone else says.

Like any mother, I give myself completely to my “role”. Within reason, I am willing to do anything to help create a lifelong memory. I always ask, “Will it make your heart happy?” That often ends up being the determining factor. So recently when I was surprised with a short scavenger hunt in the house by my sweet seven-year-old, I shouldn’t have been.

I didn’t realize how good it would make me feel, either. In all reality, this must be how I often make her feel.

After the back and forth and up and down of the stairs, I was greeted by a handmade card and a “prize upon completion.” I can’t remember the last time I felt so special, so important. I suppose that is the greatest gift of motherhood – the reminder of your worth to the little someone, with the old soul that sees you and loves you, right back, unconditionally.

The Gift…

Letting go has given me the gift of “the looking glass”—an observer’s view of my daughter’s character and capabilities. More importantly, it has given me the quiet self-awareness of my own capabilities as a mother. It has given me another perspective on who we are to one another. Motherly love aside, I genuinely like who my kid is and who she is becoming. If I hadn’t let go, I would still know these things about her. However, I would not truly know her to the depth that I have come to over the last year.

I feel a great sense of pride in watching on as she dances through her days, literally and figuratively. The purity behind it is awe-inspiring.

It’s wonderful. She’s wonderful. It has reminded me that I am wonderful too.

To think that all it takes sometimes is to just let go and breathe!

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Bianca Bain Villegas arrived to Pensacola in 2015 and readily embraced the local culture and history. She and her husband feel genuinely grateful for the opportunity to raise their two young daughters here. Originally from Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, her Caribbean heritage and worldly ideology imparted to her by her parents and extended family, largely influence the outlook she has on parenting, life and the experiences that they afford. Having family and friends that live around the world and having completed her education in London and Madrid, only furthers her love of travel, different cultures and the need to have a deeper understanding of it all. Locally, you can find Bianca actively participating in historic preservation, neighborhood action, or service in the community through civic engagement. Her belief is that nurturing a community is as important as the families we choose to raise in our homes - we get back what we put out.


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