To All the Mommas Doin’ it All

This time of year there is a lot to do. Mommas do it all.  This one is for you.  Remember, what they really want is YOU.

I see you Momma. You’re tired.  You have no makeup on, yesterdays jeans, and you could really use a coffee delivery person.

I know you didn’t sleep well last night. Your little sweety was sick, or teething, or afraid of the dark.  You back hurts from sleeping crooked and fitting your grown-up frame into 6-inches of mattress.

I know you are aching for 20 minutes by yourself to think your own thoughts. To just have ONE THOUGHT from start to finish. Maybe to make a phone call, read a book that is not found in the children’s section or say a prayer and ask your Creator to give you peace and direction.

Laundry? It’s clean, but it’s all piled up on the couch.

Dishes? I think there is one clean spoon.

Dust?  I can’t remember the last time I did that.

I see you Momma. Wrestling that toddler in the grocery store.  The one who is begging for a toy or grabbing all the sugary cereals off the shelf. The one who isn’t thrilled your passing up the potato chips for apples and the ice cream for yogurt.

I know your budget is tight.  I know there is no room for a special nicety like a bottle of nail polish, or a new hairbrush, or a sharp razor for your oh-so hairy legs.

I know you see those Pinterest pictures of freshly baked bread and feel guilty that your kids are eating Goldfish crackers for breakfast….again.

I know you think you should be making “me time,” and that’s just another thing that tells you that you maybe aren’t living your “best” life.

Workout? Maybe.
Veggies? Sometimes.
8 glasses of water? Never.

I know you have a secret desire to write a book, to sing a song, to paint a picture, to go for a run.

I know you had a career before the babies came.

I know you have some regrets, but the babies aren’t them.

Momma.

Do you know how valuable you are?  Not for cleaning and cooking. Not for changing dirty diapers, not for clipping toenails.

But valuable.

Do you know that you provide security, peace and gentleness in a world that is very unpredictable, chaotic and angry.

You answer the questions.
Calm the fears.
Acknowledge the accomplishments.

You laugh at the silliness.
You give affection.
You teach right from wrong.

Don’t worry about the dust, the unbaked bread, the pile of clothes.

They really aren’t looking.  They don’t care.

They just want you to run the car down the ramp, one more time.
To turn on the music loud and dance silly.
To let them play with bubbles in the sink.
Or make a craft, or jump on the bed, or….

Momma.  They love you.  Just the way you are.
And that’s enough for today.

 

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When Your Day Doesn’t Go As You Planned

It is partly my fault and partly just the way things worked out, but today didn’t go as planned.

I say my fault because I know I was lacking in self-discipline and I slept too long and didn’t start my morning routine on time.

But, things didn’t unfold the way I had expected either.

Have you ever had one of those days?

My main goals of the day was to make sure the kids did a good size amount of school work and to get my 2-year-old to his weekly library visit.

I was running behind. It was already 10:30 am and I wanted to get him to the library.  I got dressed and him dressed and changed his pull-up(joy).  Then we proceeded to spend the next half an hour looking for a complete set of shoes.

We had one shoe of both his pairs. One sneaker and one cowboy boot.

:/

I had both other kids looking too (impatiently because they know when I go out they can pay video games). They pooped out on looking pretty quickly leaving me to scrounge closets and look under couches.

After a running around the house with my winter coat on (getting hot), and frustrated because there isn’t an actual PAIR of shoes to put on him, I gave up.

I put him in the car and drove to Target.  

I went to Target reasoning that, after all, I had to get coffee, so I might as well get his winter boots too.

Yeah, I was the mom strolling around her 2 year old in cart with no.shoes.on.

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After we found some boots, he began to get really moody and grumpy.  But that didn’t stop me from buying a whole bunch of other stuff that I probably should have used coupons for and bought only when they were on sale.

Then he fell asleep in the car.

We never got to the library.

Happily, when I did get home the older boys had started school.

Day gets back on track? No.

Our internet pooped out in the middle of school.

So, I had to get on the phone with them and figure that out (which I did not resolve and they are coming out tomorrow).

While I was on the phone on hold I was trying to teach my 5th grader the different properties of matter.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“Ma’am, may I have the model of your modem please?”

“Density, son. D-E-N-S-I-T-Y.”

“Ma’am?”

My day didn’t go as planned.

But in the middle of Target, as I was walking toward the shoe section, with a quick detour at Starbucks, I decided something.

Instead of longing for a day I had expected, I was going to embrace the day I was given. I had a quick talk with God, and I said, “God, things aren’t going the way I wanted them to. What are you trying to tell me? Whatever it is, I will thank you for the day and do my best with it.”

I decided I would take the day as it came.  That I would not lament over goals undone, chores put off, school done through distractions…

I decided to roll with it.  I said, “Show me Lord what YOUR plan is today.”

That is so hard to do as moms. It’s so hard to let go of all the hopes we had for the day, and just BE with them, however that may look.

I did get to the library later in the day.

They did some school.

Tonight we are watching a movie together.

Do you think I will ever find those shoes?

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How Many Clothes Do You Really Need?

Friends of mine were laughing at this post put up by Muddled Up Mommy.

Some reactions were astonishment, others were totally in agreement.  What do you think?

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In our house, laundry is on-going.  There is always a basket going into the washer and a basket that needs to be put away.  And we still end up with no clean pajamas in the evening!

I am beginning to think we have too many clothes actually.  Just TOO MANY OPTIONS.

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So what’s a mom to do? Research of course!

How much laundry do we really need?

Living on a Dime has taken the time to figure it all out: How Many Clothes Do I Need?

If you’re a stay at home mom, Laura at This Felicitous Life has come up with a list of her own.

Let’s talk about kids.  They grow so fast that it seems like you always have to have clothes in reserve just in case!

Keeper of the Home lays out (pardon the pun) her kids clothes and describes what they have and what they don’t really need: How Many Clothes Do Kids Really Need?

Actual Mom describes her large family’s wardrobe need in her piece: How Many Clothes Do my Kids Really Need?

The Purposeful Mom conducted a laundry experiment.  You will want to read all about it here.

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Let’s face it, in America, we have so much stuff, in general. Clothes are cheap and made cheaply and it’s therefore no surprise we are drowning in laundry which costs us money in water, soap and WASTED TIME (the most important thing!)

  • Jenny

 

 

Creating Joy in Your Home

Ever have one of those trying days?  When parenting the kids resembles something more like herding cats or trying to hold sand? When silly, annoying things are overblown, when children aren’t listening, when the world seems to be conspiring against your home being a relaxed,happy place?

I have. Like plenty, ladies.

Sometimes I handle them in a righteous, Godly way, and sometimes I just go with what feels good and yell or punish, willy-nilly.

I don’t just want a happy home.  I want a home filled with JOY.

Let me clarify what that means.  That doesn’t mean everyone is walking around with a fake, plastered smile on their faces. But it does mean there are special, cozy places where everyone can get some quite, it means things are organized, it means disagreements can be discussed (calmly if possible!), and there is a sense of family unity; that despite what happens, we are a family and we will love each other and nurture that loving relationship.

But, many of us spend our days putting out fires.  If it’s not one kid with a need, it’s a another.  Or, a fight, or whining, or complaining, or…you get the picture.

Definitely NOT joy!

Why do our homes become this way?  Why do we find ourselves in the middle of the third battle of the day by 9 a.m.?  There are tons and tons of reasons, but I wanted to discuss just a few in this piece.

With my children, and maybe with yours too, the more free time they have on their hands, the more they argue with one another. One or both of them become bored and starts irritating the other one for sheer entertainment. “I was kidding,” he says to his annoyed brother.  But really, he was probably was looking for something from his brother: connection and direction.

My kids have a so-called playroom.  It has been a blessing as far as keeping most of the toys in one place, BUT, it can also become a dungeon of negativity for my boys if they are in there too long.

So

Eyes wide open…

Ok, I want you to know that I am not going into this daydreaming about hours alone or watching tv all day. I realize that I may get sick to death of seeing my house and it’s 80 year old cracks and creaks, it’s grubby bathtub, persistently clanky iron radiators, weedy lawn…
I think I am going into “staying at home” eyes wide open.
I know about being lonely in a house all day even though you are surrounded by kids, I know about getting tired of talking baby talk and wanting to see something on the tv besides Wow Wow Wubzy or Backyardigans.
Regardless, I’ll take my chances.
I also know some of my weaknesses…say for example not being a real ‘structure’ person. Luckily, I recognize that and I try to impress it on myself regardless of the fact it doesn’t come natural. There are numerous websites that can offer assistance (a few of which I will put at the bottom on this blog entry) if you are willing to make some changes. I truly admire my homeschooling mom friends…you are amazing!
Also, I don’t like to clean. You may be surprised. You may think a stay at homer must have a innate desire to clean, clean, clean. No. I think that it actually is an assumption a lot of folks make that is not true. I am going to have to really figure that one out won’t I? (advice please?)
I would like to ask you alll: How do you get it all done? How much of a structure do you use? Any tricks to chores?
Here are those links I promised…God bless!
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com
http://www.mommysavers.com
http://www.containerstore.com