I haven’t thrown in the towel, the blogging towel that is. I’ve just been pre-occupied (willingly and joyfully) with the all-consuming job of caring for a new baby. But, It’s turning out to be an eye-opening, goal-setting kind of week…
Just say YES. (Or, at least don’t always say NO.)
On Monday I saw some construction paper pads for a good price so I bought them for summer arts & crafts (mainly for my daughter). My first mistake was not putting them away as soon as I unpacked them. My daughter saw them and naturally wanted to use them immediately. I explained to my daughter of four & a half years that this is for her arts & crafts over summer so she should just take one or two pages – and she did. Win/Win. My second mistake was not putting them away after she took out her two pages.
On Tuesday morning (while getting ready to go to school), this same child brings me the larger construction pad (that contains less sheets of paper than the other) and asks for FIVE pages. Five. Is she crazy? This is for arts & crafts over the summer… didn’t I mention that yesterday!!?? As an aside this is also for my sanity because she happily cuts/glues/paints/staples for extended periods of time – on her own. So I start to get frustrated. And then I remember this image/saying I saw just the other day…
Right. There is no reason to lose my cool over this. She’s not even five years old and just wants to play with the colorful paper. I take a few deep breaths and calmly say “Yes you can take as many pages as you want BUT once it’s done, I am not buying more.” Once I explained (again) that it is for her summer arts & crafts and that she must learn we can’t always “just buy more,” she put the pad down…
And proceeded to use the smaller sized (yet plentiful) construction paper. And by use I mean, bring to school, then to granny’s and pull out page after page to cut and fold. LOL. Ok we can’t win them all.
I should point out that I don’t mean to say yes ALL the time (picture snack overload) – that would create a spoiled brat I’m sure. I just need to pick my battles… My daughter did just lost her spot as the baby in the house only two months ago.
I may be THE worst at keeping my cool when my kids spill just about everything all over the floor I JUST cleaned. It’s usually after I’ve said “be careful” about a zillion times or sometimes they have decided to discard all common sense. Mainly, it’s just because they are kids. SO I’m trying to handle these situations better, because it’s just not that big of a deal. Really.
Later that same day, my older son made a comment about everyone always being mad at each other… Once we talked about it, he seemed to agree that it’s not ALL the time or even MOST of the time. But the comment struck a chord.
Which leads me to Tuesday night when I started to reflect on the above and other things.
I like order in my life – and tidiness. But kids are not necessarily orderly or tidy – certainly not all the time. Part of being a kid is the spontaneity of life. Play & go. (Again, I should point out that I’m not saying kids shouldn’t clean up after themselves!! That’s madness.) So I need to find some kind of balance. How can I help myself NOT overreact or get uptight over silly things… and save my energy for more important things in life??
I’ve started by setting some simple daily reminders for myself – for the mind, body & soul.
Step 1: Eat something healthy. (too often I grab and go in the morning and miss out on some morning essentials)
Step 2: Exercise or Meditate , or both (I may not find the 40-60 minutes to exercise every day but I should be able to grab 5-10 minutes to breathe)
Step 3: Find 20 minutes for yourself – to write, read, take photos, etc. (this may prove to be the most difficult to achieve)
These may seem inconsequential but as a mom of three they can quickly be forgotten or at least pushed aside. And I’m quite sure I will learn to ignore the little pings of reminders soon enough but for now it feels like the right way to go. I may very well post that little image on my refrigerator as well!
So now it’s Wednesday and you are still reading this because you are just dying to know if I (1)ate anything healthy, (2)exercised or meditated, and/or (3)made time for myself… and of course, whether or not I lost it over spilled milk.
My yummy oatmeal with blueberries and banana and a side of scrambled eggs gave me the energy to walk with my baby boy in his stroller for two miles in the botanical gardens. And well I wrote this so I obviously found time for myself – thank you Logan for sleeping so well!! As for the “not losing my sh** over nonsense” part, I’ll keep you posted. 😉
It’s only day one but even if the rest of the week is a bust, my triumphant and lovely morning will keep me in a positive state of mind.
Hoping the same is true for you!