The end of the school year is almost here, and I’m starting to get giddy.
I love my son’s school. I love his teachers, classmates, and the parents are the best!
But I can’t wait … to sleep in, not check homework, not pack lunches; to lay around, watch TV, and not rush out the door.
We’ll do more with our summer than just idle it away, of course … but for now, the visions of casual relaxation dance in my head.
Maybe you just caught me at a lazy moment.
Am I wrong? Lol.
It’s one of those nights. I’m so tired I can barely think, let alone type. Yet I’ve committed to blog … so blog I must. I’m sure we’ve all had these times. Between working, volunteer involvement, kids, cooking, homework, and a whole lotta noise, I barely have anything left. So instead of trying to be extremely witty or amusing, I’ll talk about how, in my present state of mind, I maintain sanity and order with the kids.
1. Don’t answer any question right away. Because inevitably you’ll snap, say something you don’t mean, or give permission you’ll try to hastily retract.
2. Don’t let the noise get to a deafening crescendo. Because when it does, yelling can ensue. And I don’t mean from the little ones.
3. Figure out how to have the kids play in another room. Give yourself time to think and clearly process what’s going on. This didn’t work tonight, but there’s always next time.
4. If all else fails, find something to laugh at. Laughter blows off steam and restores good spirits like nothing else. A merry heart does good like a medicine!
My quest to simplify my life continues. Like my prioritizing, it’s something I have to continue to do, and re-do, to prune, and make midstream corrections. But it’s worth it to me. To get to the life I really want … filled with crucial time with family and friends, with those that matter to me, making an impact and difference in the lives of others. This may look different for you. But here are a few ways I’m working to simplify my life.
1. Only say yes to things that I enjoy, that make someone I love happy, or that will make a productive difference in the lives of others.
2. Enjoy each moment. That is so much easier said than done. But I’ve put that adage into action, making an event that’s not enjoyable to me but wonderful to others, and seen the difference it makes.
3. Re-evaluate what’s most important, what must be done today, and what can wait. I love how simple this sounds but how seldom we do it, instead trying to pile on as much as possible to be done as quickly as possible – at the cost of something that could be much more important to us or our family.
My quest to simplify my life continues ….
I am determined
To be the difference I want to see. To bring about the change I know is needed. To be a help, not a hindrance.
I am determined
To make a positive mark in this world. To raise Godly children. To laugh and to love.
I am determined
That others won’t change who I am. To smile. To radiate joy.
I am determined.
What about you?
I read something this weekend that really bothered me. I read that actress Kirsten Dunst was under fire for remarks she made to a magazine about women’s roles in the home. Now when I read the caption, I thought, what could she have said? Then I read the article, and was upset. But not for reasons you may think.
The article quoted her as saying, “I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,” Dunst said. “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.”
Hmmm. Okay. So I read further. And this was the only quote listed from Dunst. But the remarks drew ire from some feminist groups. I’m guessing they didn’t like her “feminist” viewpoints.
And now the reason I am so upset. Why should remarks like Kirsten Dunst’s be offensive? In what I read, she didn’t say anything that women can’t be. She didn’t say that women MUST only work at home or in the kitchen. She said it is an undervalued role. I not only agree with her I will go a step further – it is a necessary, fulfilling, life-altering, amazing role. A role I gladly fulfill. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to work outside of the home, doing amazing projects, meeting people others have only dreamed of talking to in person. And I loved it. Still do. But nothing compares to my role as a wife and mother. Society is trying (and unfortunately succeeding) to make women think that if you don’t go out and get a career and fight to ascend to the top, that something is wrong with you. There’s nothing at all wrong with the career path. But being a mother in the home is just as noble a calling.
Women – hear me clearly – you truly can be anything you want to be. And that includes a nurturing mother.
No decision you make affects just you …
Words of wisdom often spoken by my Pastor. I never necessarily doubted the validity of this statement, but for the past few months have been receiving a first-hand dose of its reality.
I made some decisions several years ago. While not earth-shattering per se, they are now affecting our entire family … and my son. I’ve beat myself up over and over again. Why wasn’t I more careful with money? Why didn’t I pay better attention? Why did I spend so frivolously? And now it’s come to a head, with hard decisions about our son’s education. I continued to play the blame game …
Then a funny thing happened. Instead of disdaining the choices as “problems I caused”, I started to embrace them. Instead of thinking all we would be missing, I marveled at what we would be gaining. And I decided to make it work for me.
It’s all about perspective ….
I have a filter. You have a filter. We all … have filters. We seldom immediately see situations through someone else’s eyes – only our own. I do it with career interactions, I do it while volunteering, I do it with my kids and of course I do it with my hubby. If there’s something I like or something I need, I naturally assume that it’s the same way for others.
Well, my son has one particular friend at school that he adores and is always with. Having been a child who experienced some lonely friendless times, I hate to see him put all of his eggs in one basket, so to speak. However, my husband tells me that our son has to learn lessons for himself. Also, in all fairness, I must note, my son had a similar “best friend” situation last year and got his feelings hurt, so I’m on my mama bear preemptive strike.
Then, I have some social situations that I really enjoy, and because I like them, I assume that not only does my husband like them, but needs to have them as well.
So one day I’m busily going about to make all of these social situations happen for them, and it hits me. Hard. Who am I really doing all of this for? If my son is doing fine, is it for him? No, not really, because as I stated, he’s fine. If my husband is quite happy with things, am I doing it for him? No, again, he’s happy. But doing these things makes me feel better because I think I’m helping them …. And I’m just doing it, really, for me.
So the lesson in this? Examine my motives. Though I mean well and want what I think is best for my family and those around me, I need to make sure it’s not really just for me.
I spent the night last week with a bunch of animals … Some monkeys, snakes, elephants … and a rousing bunch of first-graders. We enjoyed an overnight trip to the zoo. My son was literally bouncing off walls waiting for this trip with his class. I, on the other hand, was a little less enthusiastic. I mean, it was going to be great spending time with my son, but sleeping on the floors in sleeping bags and not being able to shower didn’t exactly make me giddy.
Side note: In college I had a glorious time traipsing across London, sleeping in Youth Hostels. I fancied myself adventurous, needing only my backpack and the clothes I was wearing. Fast forward many years, and I’m a little more spoiled, and a little less inclined to find that sort of event a fun “adventure”. But I digress.
So we arrived at the zoo. It was actually a very informative adventure. We had the opportunity to see the food the animals eat and what goes into preparing it, have a fun scavenger hunt in the reptile house, and in the morning have a great behind the scenes tour before the zoo opened. My son spent the majority of the time with his best friend and his friend’s father. At night I didn’t get a ton of sleep, but more than I thought I would, lol.
But I think what was more important in this was the bigger picture. When the time came for parents to volunteer and be included in activities, my son enthusiastically offered me up. When it was late at night, he wanted to cuddle. And when he had a problem, he ran to me. In other words, he knew I was there. And that’s what’s most important. Knowing Mom is there loving him, supporting him, and watching out for him. Regardless of how I felt about it.
Now time for some sleep. Those kids wore me out!