Uncategorized

How My Garden Has Changed in 17 Years

What’s in a hobby?  Why do we choose to spend our time doing the things we do? Maybe you crochet or knit.  Perhaps you love to spend a rainy afternoon baking or writing long letters. Maybe your thing is athletics?  A nice long run or bike ride.

Whatever hobby you choose, you have to love it to spend the amount of time on it that you do.

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That’s what gardening is like for me.

Now, I grew up in a gardening family.  My grandfather was a gardener and so was his daughter, my mother.  But, I had no interest..that is, until I got my first apartment with my husband.  I immediately starting gardening in pots on our second floor balcony.

I have driven by the 3-family house since then, and the balcony is gone.  (Maybe I watered too much?)

When we bought our house in 2001, one of the selling points was a huge yard.  No more pots.

Fast forward, I have been gardening in that same space for seventeen years and the garden I have today is NOTHING like the garden I started out with.

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1. The soil has changed

First of all, new soil is untouched soil.  When we began, we found rocks, but as time has gone on and the dirt has been added to, manipulated and re-arranged, I no longer find rocks.  I have reached depths in the soil where I see different colors of decomposition, I have added bags and bags of cow manure, and I have dug and then re-dug. Now, when I prep the garden for the yearly plant, it’s pretty easy to move the soil and pretty easy to pull weeds as well.

2. The garden space is PACKED.

I have over-done it.  I always pack too much stuff into my little space.  I forget how much room a cabbage takes up! When I first began, I tilled 3 neat rows.  I also have mature perennials like Egyptian onions, mint, Jerusalem Artichokes, raspberries, and milkweed now that come back every year and if I am not careful, choke out my productive space for food plants.

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3. The bugs have changed. 

When we first started I had very few bugs and more critters (rabbits, moles, voles, even deer!).  We put up a fence and buried it 6 inches into the ground and that seems to have prevented little nibblers from approaching for about 12 years now. Now, I get your typical insects like cabbage worm, aphids, white flies, snails (a wet year) and Japanese Beetles.

Therefore, I have needed to educate myself on how to manage these pests and get rid of them when necessary.

I also have many beneficial bugs in my garden like long-legged flies, multiple pollinators, and Ladybird beetles.

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4. The tree line has changed.

There is a tree I depend on to give my garden some shade.  My garden in right in the middle of the yard.  But it is in decline.  Many of its branches are breaking off and it will not be long before I have to cut it down.

I have also added trees that will eventually bring some shade to the garden such as a peach tree, fringe tree, and a Rose of Sharon.

And most importantly…

5. I have changed.

In the last 17 years I have learned through mistakes. And that is THE main advice I give friends when they are asking me for gardening advice.  Learn from your mistakes and don’t give up!

I have used products I wished I hadn’t, I have seen plants look like they are flourishing only to die overnight, I have had summers (while pregnant or with a new-born) where I let the weeds win, and I have allowed plants to succumb to pests through neglect.

I just keep learning.

Here’s to another 17!

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Uncategorized

So You Withdrew Your Kids From Public School, Now What? Part One: De-Schooling

Moms know best.

They know when things are just not working out with the school their kids go to.

They know when the bullying has gotten out of hand, when their son/daughter is just not learning anymore, when their child cries and has belly aches every morning before school.

So, mom makes and choice and says,”I am bringing her home,” and files the needed withdrawal papers (different depending on where you live).

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Now what?

Let’s talk through some of the steps you should take from that point.

First of all, and I cannot stress this enough, you really need to take some time to DE-SCHOOL. This is not the same as Un-school (which is a form of homeschooling), this is to take some time to do NO SCHOOL at all.

What??

This may go against all your mommy feelings and you may feel like you are being an irresponsible homeschooler, but, trust me, you need to take this period of time.

Here’s why – if you child has attended school for any period of time, he/she has a certain, pretty rigid idea of what school is, what “learning” is.  This may include but not be limited to: schedules, bells, big hard books, desks, shuffling through the hallways, bumping into tons of kids, noise, grades (failing or passing), emotional stress, etc.

Whether the public school experience has been a positive one or a negative one, you and your child will need to take some time to just be in the same space and get used to the idea of learning at home and to having you as the teacher.

Now, this time  is not wide open free time. No, no, no. (We’re not talking hours of tv watching and videos games).

This time is you laying a foundation of how you want education to go from here on.

During this time you should:

Attend art shows and museums
Plug into local homeschool groups
Go hiking, swimming, walking etc
Read books together
Listen to audio books
Cook together
Read the Bible together
Draw

and most of all….talk….and LISTEN.

Your job is to gather information during this time. You are on an information seeking mission. You are going to use this time to hear what your student loved and hated about public school and to see if you can ascertain what sort of student he or she is.

Attempt to answer these questions:

Does your child like to do hands-on things?
Is your child a natural artist?
What are the areas that the student hates/struggles in?
What are his favorite subjects?
What are things that she would like to learn more about?
What subjects is he behind in?

The point of de-schooling is to allow you and your new students to get to know one another…in a NEW way. No longer are you just mom and child, you are also now mom and student.

Caution: one of the things new homeschoolers need to embrace quickly is that homeschooling’s goals is NOT to re-create public school at home. In fact, it is the opportunity you and your child have been waiting for to personalize  your child’s education, so all boundaries which once existed are now GONE!

Does your child want to learn about WWII? (Great!)
Does your child have an interest in mushrooms? (Awesome!)
Does you child doodle and draw (Utilize it!)
Does your child prefer you read to them vs reading themselves? (Do it!)

Do you get what I am saying, momma?

There are 2 subjects which are non-negotiable in our house (Math and Language Arts) – but I do personalize their curriculum to their strengths and interests. I do not expect everything to get done perfectly and sometimes, some subjects which cause more frustration than others, I say: I will come back to this another day…month…even year.

It bears repeating…you are not re-creating public school in your home. Grasp this opportunity to do the things your child would never do in public school (for lack of time).  

And this,my friends, is how you begin. Gather a supportive community around you!

How long your de-schooling period is, is up to you.  I usually advise 2-3 weeks, but others would advise you to take longer. It’s up to you.

Jenny

 

 

 

 

goals · Mommas · organizing

Scriptures on Planning and Priorities *free printable*

I have been reading scriptures about planning and priorities.  I have been somewhat amazed to see how important it is, actually!

But, as I suspected, God is a God of order and planning!

This realization reappeared time and time again as I went through the Word.  His plan for the Israelites, for the arrival of Jesus, and even for the way we live our daily lives.

Check out this free PDF of Scriptures about Planning and Priorities. I hope you allow it to shape how YOU plan and prioritize your own life.  🙂

Jenny

curriculum · future · goals · homeschool solutions · homeschooling

What is a Student’s ‘Best Effort’ in Homeschooling Look Like?

Do you ever feel like your kids give video games, television, playing, sorts, their hobbies (add your own thing) their best effort, but when it comes to school they try to quickly hurry through, doing as little as possible, with as little effort as possible?

First, in order to avoid the trap of perfectionism, let’s define what best effort isn’t.

It is not:

  • Never making a mistake
  • Always doing things correctly
  • Never taking chances
  • Never trying new things
  • Berating yourself for not doing it all, all the time
  • “topping” your highest score

So, for our purposes, what is homeschooling’s “best effort”?

A student’s best effort can be more adequately defined as:

  • Effort not limited by prior knowledge.
  • Being a willing learner.
  • An attitude of “I am willing to try.”
  • A persevering spirit to follow it through to completion.

*Important*: best effort should be defined within the students’ appropriate developmental age and personality style.  Learning disabilities also need to be considered.

For example, I have a perfectionist. When he is approaching a new math subject, he puts in the effort, he is willing to learn and try, BUT he often quits at the first sign of confusion.  

His issue is that he does not have a persevering spirit. He is used to “getting” things quickly and when he has to push harder to understand, he gets frustrated and quits.

My other student, who by the way has dysgraphia, will see a new subject and say “I don’t know what this is about. It looks confusing. I don’t want to try.”  He has an issue with being a willing learner and being willing to at least try.

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What about your child?  In which are do they need to grow so that they can achieve their best effort?

Effort not Limited by Prior Knowledge
This student sees a new topic and is willing to learn about it. They are not frightened and say “I have no idea about this topic,” or may have limited knowledge but be open to adjusting their current understanding.

Being a Willing Learner
This student has a desire to understand his world better. He is humble in his approach and not frightened of learning new information which may be challenging.

“I am Willing to Try” Attitude
This student acknowledges a lack of understand or exposure to a new topic, but doesn’t allow that to prevent him/her from absorbing it into his/her mindset.

A Persevering Spirit to Follow it Through to Completion
This student, when faced with new information or learning something for the first time, doesn’t give up.  He/she sticks with the new information until a natural end.

It is my belief that in order for your student to achieve his/her personal best, the weakest area needs to be identified.

It is said, that you can only know where you’re going, if you know where you have been. Likewise, a student cannot perform at his/her personal best until you take and evaluate your current status and where you need to grow.

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If your child struggles with one of these areas, don’t panic. Every child does.  It would be a rare child indeed that could do them all perfectly. 

These issues may, in fact, appear even when they are doing their favorite activities (like video games or drawing), but they are more willing to persevere through them because there is a higher reward of joy, satisfaction or fun.  With schoolwork, though, the reward isn’t very obvious..and let’s be honest, it just isn’t as fun!

So, the next time your child is giving you less than his/her best, evaluate which concept they are wrestling with and make a plan.

Solutions…

Some ideas for turning around one of these areas of work struggles include:

One-on-one learning with a parent (even sitting next to them if needed)
Taking a break from said topic and approaching it with a new, fresh mind/attitude
Trying a new curriculum that teaches it differently
Adding more hands-on work to the topic
Asking another homeschool parent to help teach the topic
Utilizing a group learning environment (through a co-op or group) to teach the topic
Utilizing a tutor

Hope this helps and I am right there with you!

Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

Bible · Bible journaling · Mommas · This blog participates in the Amazon Affiliate Program

Wise Women: My Favorite Christian Youtube Vlogs

Imagine this: you, in a cozy chair, with a cup of coffee and a notebook and your favorite pen.

Just by itself that sounds great, huh?

But, now add an amazing Youtube channel from someone you can learn from…And now I am in my happy-zone!

As a Christian woman, I crave the instruction and wise experience of Titus 2 women around me.  I am referring of course to the following scripture:

Titus 2:3
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands,so that no one will malign the word of God.

Once there was a time in my life, when I was the “younger woman,” but now, I am entering into the age when I would be considered an “older woman!”  Regardless, I STILL need to be instructed by moms, especially moms who have already passed this way.

So, with that in mind, I have collected __ of my favorite Youtube personalities that fall into the category of Titus 2. Some are older, some are young and what you would consider to be “millennial.” 

They are all great teachers!

May watching these ladies bring wisdom and joy into your daily life as your walk your own personal paths.

The Homespun Wife
My #1 and favorite mama to listen to.  Sherry is full of compassion and grace, great advice and she is firmly planted in the word of God. I love to hear her talk about her trips to Dollar General.  She also runs a growing scripture writing facebook group.

Jamerrill’s Large Family Table
Jamerrill is truly a presence online and her videos tell you why.  She is warm, pleasant and smiling in every video no matter what is going on around her. She has 8 children and talks about how to feed everyone, clothe everyone and keep her family organized.

Marcie Ferrell @ Thankful Homemaker
I wish Marci Ferrell lived near me so I could ask her advice whenever I needed to. She talks about homemaking and your Christian walk. I especially love the video entitled: Delight in Being Workers at Home.

Lauren @ The Joyful Homemaker
First of all, I love her accent.  But, she is a very gentle-spirited young mama who you can relate to.  She talks about homemaking, marriage, parenting and her Christian faith.

Beth Moore Sermons
You have heard Beth’s name She is a prolific author and speaker.

Priscilla Shirer @ Going Beyond Ministries
You will recognize Priscilla from movies such as War Room and ____. She is an amazing speaker.  She is very passionate and inspiring to listen to.

Parsnips and Parsimony
Follow Art and Jannelle as they travel through their daily family life.  Mostly she does shopping hauls (her budget is SO amazingly low), but it’s fun to watch her family start new projects and just be together.  

The Fundamental Home
Amanda’s focus is her tight shopping budget and amazing shopping hauls.  She brings her teenage daughter on a lot and she is a sweetheart.  She has also begun sharing her morning Bible studies with her viewers. 

Jady A.
This past summer, as I was getting ready to homeschool my preschooler, I got hooked on Jady’s videos. She gives SO MANY creative and smart ways to homeschool littles. Beyond that, she is a minimalist and you get to see how she does it. She discusses debt, cooking, minimalism, and her faith.

Anna Willemstein
This wonderful young woman gives a great testimony of why she began vlogging on Youtube.  She wanted to reach women for Christ.  She shared Bible studies, scripture journaling, and tons of beautiful things that will lift your heart!

Enjoy!

 

-Jenny

chores · clutter · declutter · goals · homemaking · Mommas · organizing · Uncategorized

What Does Decluttering Mean Exactly? (And Why You Should Do it)

It’s January, so naturally, the whole world is talking about decluttering their homes.  The stores have gone from being stocked with Christmas decorations to being filled to the brim with plastic totes, drawers, and bins.

Everyone is decluttering.

What does this mean exactly?

Decluttering if the act of going through one’s home to remove items which are unused and unneeded. It may be sorting out your tightly packed bedroom closet, cleaning out your garage or donating things that you think you will probably never use again.

So why do folks do this? 

There are many different reasons. 

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Many people say their motivation is to bring more peace into their home. 
While others say they feel that they are owned by their belongings – and that they have so many, they cannot manage them all.
Some feel that they are anxious and depressed in their own living spaces.

But…

An ever growing population of declutterers are moms of young children who have been overwhelmed by piles and piles of plastic toys and tiny bits and pieces that cannot be easily maintained.

Whatever the motivation, people are looking for change, and they are starting with their living environments.

It is a proven fact that living in a cluttered home actually causes mental health issues. There are endless articles online that will tell you why being surrounded by clutter increases anxiety and depression, and causes the person involved to lose focus and become unable to make choices.

I have felt all those feelings.

“Things themselves don’t make us happy, it’s the emotions and memories we attach to them that make them hard to part with.”

In my own home, we have too many toys, too many unfinished projects, piles of things older family members have either gifted to us and/or passed down to us, and then the other stuff that we actually really like.

It’s a big mess a lot of the time.

I had an a-ha moment recently when I said to myself, “Why can’t I keep the house clean?” Now, I am not an inspired cleaner, but I clean everyday. And I often find myself stuck putting things away… more than actually cleaning. 

I realized that we have too much stuff

There is just too much to manage.

So we have begun to declutter.

Today we put 12 boxes in the garage to be donated.

It feels great. And it’s just the beginning.

I am learning that:

  • Things themselves don’t make us happy, it’s the emotions and memories we attach to them that make them hard to part with.
  • Being surrounded by things actually decreases my ability to think clearly and causes anxiety and sadness.
  • Being surrounded by things doesn’t make me feel satisfied or filled up.
  • The quantity of things I have in my home actually decrease my general sense of happiness and control over my space.
  • Things don’t have feelings.  They don’t care if they stay or go.  It’s us that have to deal with our feelings of attachment and perceived loss.

Is decluttering one of your goals for 2018?  How is it going?

  • Jenny

 

Photo credit: Eric Didier and Markus Spiske

 

 

 

baby · homeschool solutions · Mommas · technology

Limiting Technology: Again

There was one day a couple of weeks ago, when my kids got a wake up call.
I am not proud to say this, but I had been allowing them to watch WAY too much television.

They would wake up, watch TV, do school, watch TV, play video games then watch TV.

I had gotten into a rut.  With a new baby, I had been super tired and had not been keeping a careful eye on their technology consumption.

It happens.

But this one day, my older son got off the Wii and came in crying.  Like, really crying. He was upset about some level in some game against some “boss” he was battling. He yelled at me, yelled at his brother and was generally DISAGREEABLE.

I realized – it’s the technology.

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I have known for a long time that video games and TV watching triggers certain parts of your brain that are associated with depression, but you know, life happened and we fell down the tunnel of technology-keeps-them-from-bickering into a comfortable place where I was allowing technology to give me some much needed peace and quiet.

Maybe you can relate.

I have some friends who have completely eliminated technology from their homes – I really admire them. But I feel perhaps we are too far down the road to take that route.  

So what are we to do?

Here’s the thing. What I have learned is that we will start off with strict parameters around technology, they eventually wane and weaken.  It’s the times when the rules falter that I often need to re-evaluate and recommit to what I feel are healthy levels of technology time.

When I notice the behavior is off, and the transition time from technology to “real life” is bumpy, it’s time to employ one of my de-tox techniques.

They are:

A tightening of the belt so-to-speak. I ask them to recommit (as mommy will too) to the one hour of video games a day we allow.

I engage them more. I step up my requests to ask them to draw, write, read or do some other activity or I offer to do an activity with them.

I ask for a 2 to 3-day fast from technology. I ask the boys to choose two days that they will not be on technology all day.  Yeah, they can be long days…but it’s worth it!

Or do all three!

I often see an immediate change upon doing these things.

Can you think of any other ideas that you can share with me in the comments? 
I would love to hear your perspective.

Jenny

chores · cleaning · clutter · homemaking

What if You and Your Spouse Have Different Cleaning Styles?

What if you and your spouse have different cleaning styles?

If you are smirking, then you already know exactly what I mean.  But, just in case you are not sure, let’s talk about cleaning styles.

The wife, let’s call her “Susan” likes quantity over quality.  She wants every room picked up by the time she is done, but, isn’t looking for every single thing to be 100 percent perfect.

Her husband, let’s call him “Bill,” is the opposite. He prefers to hunker down in one room and spend three hours there, getting it clean from top to bottom.

Alright, you guessed it.  My husband and I are Susan and Bill. 

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I tend to treat the house like a three layer cake.

First I go all over the house on the top layer, picking up clutter, putting things away, wiping off counters, etc. Then, and only then, do I go on to the next layer and so forth.

Pros: This type of cleaning gives the cleaner immediate satisfaction.  It’s more bang for the buck.

Cons: Susan NEVER gets to the bottom of the pile.  She will be lucky if she can ever get to the nitty-gritty of a room.

Bill’s style (my husband) is good too, although different.  Instead of starting on the top layer of the cake, he chooses a place to start and dives into all three layers at once, slowly making his way through.

Pros: It is extremely thorough! (And looks so good in the end!)

Cons: It takes a LONG TIME and if he is pressed for time, he cannot finish and it causes frustration.

There are other styles of cleaning too:

The follow-the-list cleaner. This person has a list. She follows her list and then she is done.  No more, no less.  She can wait to do the other things tomorrow.

The anxiety cleaner. This person sees something that needs to be cleaned and starts to clean it, but then sees something else that needs to be cleaned and gets distracted by it.

The let-it-pile-up cleaner.  This person has things organized, sort of.  Piles are everywhere and when, and only when, the pile becomes a problem, they address it.

The cleaning as therapy/exercise person.  This person cleans to keep themselves sane (or fit). They throw the vacuum around like it’s a rag, they haul the soapy water through the house with ease, they move boxes with all their strength…just don’t get in their way, because you will be trampled or conscripted into working.

Which one are you? Which one is your spouse? 

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So, what is the result of different cleaning styles coming together?  After being married for more than twenty years, I can tell you: arguments.

I confess to looking at my husband 45 minutes after we started cleaning one Saturday (or several) and allowing my impatience to come flying out of my mouth.  Quantity-wise, I had accomplished MORE in that 45 minutes. But quality-wise he had accomplished more.

When we plan a cleaning time (or home repair, because it come up then as well), I have to consciously choose to not critique him and not compare.

I didn’t know this when we first got married.  We got into some serious bumps on cleaning  days during the first years (ten?) of our marriage because I would say: “What have you been DOING??” The unhappy result of that was that he felt bossed around and criticized.

And even worse, the cleaning stopped! (kidding..sorta)

As the years have gone, I have learned to seen the value in his style of cleaning.  And most likely if you and your spouse do it differently too, there is some good to his way of doing things. 

But, I have had to CHOOSE to not push my style of cleaning on him. 
I have had to learn to see the value in his style. 
I have had to accept that maybe not all the things will get done in the time I thought they would.

And that’s o.k.

I see now that when he leaves a room, it looks stunning. Shiny, organized and peaceful, just the way I want it to.  So, really, why am I complaining?

I’ll be honest, probably because I am impatient!
I am quick, he is methodical. It comes down to that.

If you and your partner have different cleaning styles, I would encourage you NOT to allow it to come between you and for you to attempt to see the value in the other persons’ style.

Rather, choose to focus on the fact that you are lucky he is willing to help, as not all husbands are.

And always, remember:

“Cleaning with kids in the house,
is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.”

Jenny

future · goals · homemaking · Mommas

A Letter to Yourself for 2018

What if you could sit down and write yourself a letter about how you would like your year to go? Assuming that would not open it until December of 2018, it will be like giving yourself a gift of things to be grateful for, to acknowledge success in and to continue reaching for.

What would it say?

A dear friend of mine did that this week, and I thought: “What a great, uplifting idea!”

This isn’t your typical list of things you want to change or letter telling about the joys or disappointments that happened in the previous 365 days.

It’s a letter of hope, of intention, of desire and anticipation!

What could a letter like this include?

Mine would include something about how I kept up with the dishes on a daily basis and managed to get rid of a hundred bags of clutter.

Perhaps you would write about the relationships you plan to make steps to heal or the personal accomplishments you hope to achieve by March and then again by June.

Consider these ideas:

Relationships you would like to see grow closer or repair.
Do you have people in your life that you will like reconnect with? Friendships that have grown cold or maybe relatives you have lost touch with?  Tell your future self the names and how you would like to reconnect with these special people.

Young Women Travel Together Concept

Personal goals you would like to see achieved. Do you have a hobby you want to send more time on or are you trying to grow a small business? Are you looking to open an Etsy shop or to get business cards printed? Tell your future self in what month you would like to see this goal accomplished.

Spiritual pursuits which have been on your mind.  Do you feel you need to increase your Bible knowledge, ramp up your prayer life or memorize scripture?  Get yourself a reading plan and praise your future self for having had 30 days in a row of prayer and scripture reading.  You can do it!

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Physical aspirations that you have been wanting to achieve.  Tell your future self how proud you are that you lost 15 pounds or that you joined that local yoga class.

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Bad habits you want to break.  What bad habits would you like to make history for your future self?  Smoking? Emotional-eating? Lack of exercise? Wouldn’t it be great to tell your future self how accomplished she is for going 30, 60, or 90 days without a cigarette or having stuck it out through a whole exercise class?

Things you would like to have happen with your children or in your marriage.  If you have been desiring to have more special time with your kids, this could be the year.  Or if you and your spouse need to make time for monthly dates or alone time.  Tell your future self about some of the fun times you had together.

I hope this have sparked some ideas for you.  I hope that your New Year will be filled with blessings and you will be able to achieve all the great things you hope to!

Jenny

 

 

 

 

cleaning · clutter · cooking · homemaking · Mommas · Uncategorized

Decision Fatigue and Moms: Management Burnout

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I recently had a long day.  A really long day. I was at the check out counter with all three of my boys and one of them was asking if he could buy candy.

By that point in the trip, I had already had to:

-Decide whether or not the 2 year old would walk or sit in the carriage
-Decide which sneakers to buy for the oldest for camp
-Decide which food to buy which would not bring us over our food budget
-Decide which popsicles didn’t have fake coloring in them
-Decide if I should let the older ones wander off to the toy section
-Decide if the little guy was ready for the next size in pull ups or not
-Decide whether I was going to buy the food for my son’s camping trip today or not

Decide, decide, decide.

CAN YOU RELATE?

another_tricky_day_for_Mom

My head was spinning and I was tired of making decisions.

Moms make a lot of decisions don’t we? We are constantly thinking about that present and future and making choices based on what we feel is best.

I recently read a little cartoon about something called “mental load” and I really related to it. It actually made me angry for a little while, and I had to consciously choose to not allow it to brew discontentment in my heart.

In this enlightening article published on Huffpost, the author discusses how once she and her husband had children, the general “workload” of the house increased exponentially.  She talks about how she became the “Knower of All Things.”

Moms tends to carry a lot around in their heads.

Things like how the three year-old likes his toast, to how long the preteen has been on the computer to how many bowel movements the baby has had.

The more children you have, the more of this “stuff” there is to remember too.

So, what are the results of being the brain of the family?

Exhaustion.  You are tired. A lot.

Stress. There’s too much to remember.

Disappointment.  The kids are bound to be disappointed that something wasn’t “remembered.”

Irritation.  That’s a lot of pressure!

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So, what are moms to do?

Here are a few ideas that I have tried to reduce my mental load.

Write things down.  I am 45 years old.  I forget things.  I have taken to writing everything down.  Grocery lists, requests, things to do today, things to do this week…why do you think the “organization” industry is booming??

Delegate. So, there are some things I have to do, which cannot be outsourced.
I have to make sure the three year-old brushes his teeth.
I have to make sure the kids are eating healthy.

But, my thirteen year-old can pick up his own darn clothes off the floor and walk them to the washing machine.  My eleven year-old can clean up his own dishes, get his own drink and other chores. I think too often we think “I HAVE to do this,” when in fact “I CHOOSE to do this,” is more accurate.

Ask for help.  From the kids, but also from your partner. If you don’t have a partner, ask a girlfriend, or a cousin or a neighbor.  You don’t have to do it all by yourself.  This is hard, because it means giving up doing it “our” way and you risk being disappointed.

And most importantly…don’t be bossed around by perfection.  We all have that little voice inside our heads saying “this isn’t good enough,” “that chair is ugly,” “more throw pillows!”  Don’t allow your perceived idea of perfection to kill your joy! That’s what it does – it judges you, it judges others even.  Work on contentment and peace.  Say to yourself “It isn’t perfect, but it’s home.”

Jenny