Awhile ago Jen tagged me in a Rocking Motherhood blogging challenge. Today I am attempting to fulfill it because it seems like the hardest thing I could blog about right now. Today’s been rough, and this whole week, and honestly the past few months, and in a lot of ways I know I dwell on the things that aren’t going well or have been total failures lately, so maybe some positivity would be good for my mindset. So here are some ways in which I’ve been “Rocking” it at motherhood lately.
- I say Yes and No carefully.
The kids have been in a few select activities this semester. Clara was in an excellent music program (that I did as a child – with the same teacher) and she and Hugh participated in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd which my mom was teaching and was SO GOOD. We also went to mothers group (which has a great babysitting/playschool program for the kids) and frequented Story Time at the library. It wasn’t too much and it certainly is showing its effects in what they are learning and talking about, so I think it was a pretty good job of selecting the right amount of activities outside of the house for all of us. And that took a lot of saying No to cool things and fun opportunities that for one reason or another might have pushed us as a family over the “too much” line, even if I personally would have enjoyed having more “Things” to do.
- The kids can entertain themselves, and each other.
I find that the mornings we are at home, while I work on things in the kitchen, (meal prep, dishes, whatever) the kids will often come up with a fun and very imaginative game to play together, happily. And as long as I don’t sit down, make any sounds or do anything tooo interesting that they have to get in on, that they play happily with themselves for awhile. This morning the game was Clara was the aunty and Hugh was a kid but the mom had died (I was told I was the grandma) so she had “taken over” and she was taking her son Huey to Church and since he behaved well at church they go tot go to “the beach” so the game turned to Swimming so on went their swim suits (and they have been on ever since – its 7:52pm – it was a home day today).
- The kids are becoming literate
We reached the age where Clara and Hugh are happy to listen to read aloud REAL chapter books for bed time. We have read Peter Pan and are on the 4th book of the Little House on the Prairie series which we are moving through really quickly! They will also ask for audio books on car trips and sometimes just while we are colouring or again working in the kitchen, so Clara and I have listened through some of the Anne of Green Gables series, and are in the middle of Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as Wizard of Oz and shes listened to Dr. Dolittle twice… I love it and am getting to read some books I have always wanted to or barely remember and its fun to have stories to talk about that are more elaborate and not from TV shows.
- Reading Lessons
Speaking of which, with me totally failing on any “formal preschool” if that’s a real thing, Clara’s picked up on so much with letter writing and showed great interest in learning to read, so we are moving through “Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and she looks forward to her reading lessons and asks to do 2 at a time, so as long as I fight for the 20 minutes we need without other kids or things interrupting us each day, I hope we can finish before the baby comes so she can read him or her stories!
- We Eat Homemade Almost Everything
I don’t know why exactly, but getting take out doesn’t really cross my mind as an option, so pretty much every meal every day is a home made something or other, usually decently healthy, despite the huge amount of work that is.
- Their Messes don’t Take Over
Its so much work to stay on top of, but our house is usually generally tidy and things haven’t been really out of control messy in a long time. There are always things to be picked up and bathrooms that really should be scrubbed, but I never have to say no or be embarassed if a friend were to stop by and when we want to do a thorough clean its usually possible with out too much effort. I have my husband to thank for most of this because he is a saint and cleans the whole kitchen, no matter how messy it is, every night before he goes to bed.
- I’ve pursued a few of my “own things”
Knowing the danger of having my kids be the be all end all of life, I have made time and sought direction in carefully establishing a few of my own things to make part of my time. Reading (which takes great effort for me) and finding a spiritual director and a few more things to feed my soul (like going on a 4 day retreat) as well as getting a little involved in local politics, organizing and hosting multiple Saint Peg Doll Swaps, and occasionally making time for some hobbies and catching up with old friends… It sounds like a lot but really that’s spread out a LOT and still 99% of my time and effort is probably spent at home, focused on my family and vocation, but still I am glad I have made the efforts I have and I really enjoy the but I am pretty sure they haven’t ever been too much or taken away from where my first focus should be, and that’s not always a easy balance to find.
- I’m not intimidated by glitter
I let the kids get messy and do projects, even ones that involve paint and glitter. I enjoy crafts myself a lot, but its still hard to let them just go wild knowing I will have to clean it all up or even worse – have to walk them through cleaning it up “themselves” as a learning opportunity… But we still do it and have lots of beautiful “art” to show for it.
- I take care of myself
I mentioned in my last post starting physio for some issues I suspected, it was really not easy to make that call and I usually can ignore my own little discomforts but I am glad I am learning to take care of myself and do hard things
- I’m patient and punctual
I know it takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r to get the kids dressed or in the car or anything like that, so I plan for it and give us SO much time and am not usually surprised by anything that makes us late, in fact sometimes things go better than average and we end up places decently early, without any yelling on my part.
So that felt like a whole lot of needless bragging… but, Blogging a list of 10 or 100 ways I feel like I am failing at this whole things would have only taken a tenth of the time and thought, so Its good to focus on the positive. I know most of the bloggers I might have tagged have probably been tagged already, so if you have been tagged and have ignored it, consider this your reminder tag and get to it! We would love to see what you have to say!!