So....mostly to help myself out of this strange funk....here's my list of things that are working and things that aren't.
Not working (warning....this is a very realistic and pretty sad picture of me as a mom):
- Saying to my kids "wait just one minute" over and over and over again.
- Not responding to them when they ask really nicely for something (because I'm so engrossed in what I'm doing)....this results in them asking for things in a frantic, loud, crazy tone which I then get mad at.....and then at least they get some attention so the next time around they don't start out by asking nicely but instead start at a full volume frantic tone. (And I've been asking myself why they're SOOOO freaky outy....duh!)
- Not waking up before my kids. What a luxury, I know I should enjoy this....but people, they sleep until 8:30 and often have to drag me out of bed. Sweet Charlie with his really very patient calls from his crib "mommy! I want to get out please!" and Hazel with her quiet tugging at my arm. She even knows to bring me my eye drops and glasses so that I can get up.
- Giving the kids each a bowl of cereal first thing in the morning so that I can go and snarf mine down while checking my email.....of course I have no email because I was up till midnight and checked it just before bed. Sadly, I'm not nearly popular enough to warrant checking email so often.
- Being stuck to my computer chair after the cereal is gone for a while checking all kinds of dumb things just to give me more time before I have to turn my brain on. This results in the kids getting up from their breakfast (clearing their bowls....those little sweethearts) laughing their heads off at each other and then eventually fighting. Their fighting is usually what pulls me away from that stupid something that I'm "checking." It's pretty pathetic!
- Trying to run a gazillion errands in way too little time so that I'm rushing the kids around stores and getting extremely frustrated that they're kids and want me to look at things that are exciting to them. In my frazzled state they just seem in my way, so that I can't concentrate on what I have to buy for YW/work/joyschool/jeff/dinner/camp.
- And finally, vacuums. We've been through three vacuums this week that don't work....and that alone has turned me into an obsessive woman. Finally, after way too much running around and researching I settled on a $50 little gem that seems to get the job done.
Now, on to the few things that thankfully are working in our life right now:
- my new camera. I love it. Can't wait until I actually have some time to go and shoot with it.
- Thanks to my good friend HK we have now instituted a family devotional at night before the kids bedtime. This has REVOLUTIONIZED bedtime for us. We have the kids race to do "pee pee/hands/teeth/PJ's." They usually do this really quickly because the winner gets to pick out a story book. We meet in our extra little room upstairs and read a story, read a scripture story or an article from The Friend magazine, sing a song and then kneel for family prayer. As HK suggested we don't talk before the prayer and it (usually) brings such a nice spirit into the room. I think one of my favorite parts of the day is watching Charlie as he so earnestly closes his eyes and folds his arms during the prayer. I love it. Then we plop them into bed. Easy as pie. I love it.
- Happy's and Sads. When I tuck Hazel into bed she's been telling me a happy and a sad from the day. I love being able to get a little glimpse into her little brain and emotional makeup. Today her sad was that "Charlie made a bad decision and was crying." Her happy was that her friend Jo knows just what to get her for her birthday.
- Praise. It works miracles around here. If I want Hazel to snap out of a funk I just need to find some tiny thing that she's doing right and praise her sincerely for it and she slowly turns back into my sweet little girl.
- Yoga. On the rare morning that I do get up before the kids I've been doing some Yoga and man does it make my day better....calmer, more comfortable, more focused. I love yoga.
- Putting Charlie to bed without his diaper. Not one accident yet....and the best part is that I get to take him sleepily to the toilet at night before I go to bed. I know I've said this before, but I love that part of motherhood.
- The repenting step. This is an idea I stole from my parents. When the kids fight (which is a little more often lately with all this neglecting I've been doing) I ask them to go sit on our stairs. When they're "ready" they call me and I come over and ask them each to tell me what they did wrong. Surprisingly it didn't take them too long to figure out that the easiest way off the step is to admit what they did to contribute to the argument. They've also figured out that if they don't know what they did they can ask the other who can certainly tell them in great detail. Once they can both admit to their bad decisions they say they're sorry, ask to be forgiven and give a hug. Seriously guys, it works like MAGIC, and the totally melt my hearts as they so sweetly repent. Then they're off to play like nothing ever happened and they're the best of friends.
- Cleaning the kitchen before bed. If the kitchen is clean everything starts out a little better in the morning.
- No computer AT ALL until the kitchen is clean, the kids are fed and dressed and played with (at least for a few minutes) and the day is planned. Can I do this? I really hope so.
- When I am on the computer, I need some structure.....any ideas on this? No more mindless blog or craigslist or ebay checking.
- No more crazy consuming. I just made a short list of things that I actually need to find and buy before the baby comes in November. I am going to commit myself to only buying these things, and not let myself get suckered into thinking that I need more....beyond this short list it's all obsessive consumption....and it has to STOP! So, if you my protruding pregnant belly squashed into some too small pregnancy clothes or I'm sporting some seriously out of style maternity fashions just know that I'm sticking with my resolution to stop being obsessed....at least for a little while....with stuff.
- Either arrange for child care swaps when I have a ton of errands to run or be realistic about time so that I can help my kids enjoy the errands (i.e. stop to look at something they find fascinating....).
- When I need to get stuff done for work, or my calling, or our family life, play with my kids full force for 10 min first. Get them into something before leaving them to get my work done.
Please, please, please leave a comment if you have things that work for you and your family that I can try. I feeling extremely humble and open to suggestions right now. I need to find (and embrace) more things that work.
And congrats if you've made it to this point in this post.....sorry for all the honest rambling.....is there anyway on blogger to make some of your entries private?