Hello again!! I have been meaning to touch base for a while now but honestly have been at max level busy. A lot of new things have developed and I can't wait to share it all with you.
Can I be honest here with you? The last few months have all been a crazy blur. Another honest truth is... well... I just hate the holidays. Phew, I said it. Now let me explain why before you start calling me a Mr. Scrooge. As an adult with children I feel like the holidays have changed. Our culture in America has shifted. As an adult, now I have things like Facebook and Pinterest to keep me on my toes. Not only am I expected to go above and beyond for holidays, I now have to do it like Martha Stuart! Don't get me wrong, I love being able to share with friends and family through social media but most of the time it is overwhelming. I get to see what all the other "good" moms are doing with their kids. I see all of the projects I should be doing. I see how beautifully decorated other people's houses are and the ugly comparison monster in me comes out. This year has just been so exhausting from selling our home, to moving in our new home, to our new adventure in homeschooling, and all the other things we are involved in. On top of that, we decided to get pregnant! How crazy am I?? So, when I see all of the things I would love to do with my family, it just wasn't possible this year. That really just makes me feel like a crappy mom and I have been living in this mental state of hating myself for the last few months.
This year the holidays just served as a reminder for all the things I couldn't do or buy for my friends and family and that really bums me out. Now I know the holidays aren't "supposed" to be about what you buy for people but there is definitely a level of expectation as an adult. I hear, ya. I could just make gifts for everyone I love and show my love through the time I spent on projects or goodies. That was my plan too, but I guess God had a different plan for us this year as I got the horrible stomach flu the weekend before Christmas (all while still in my first trimester!) I wasn't able to do hardly any of the projects or gifts I had in mind. This just added to my already built up feelings of worthlessness.
So, I get it. Everyone feels this way once and a while. I know that. I also know what scripture says about my worth in the eyes of the Lord and that brings me some comfort. I know that this is just a phase that I need to pass through and know that next year will be better but I also know I need to take steps to bring me out of this funk.
Last week was the last week of vacation, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to start getting my act together. I have been having some issues with my children this last month as well, and I believe lack of a routine was a huge factor in that. So the first thing on my list was to make a schedule (something I have never done before) for our family throughout the school week. This is huge for us. While we like to maintain a routine with the kids, we have never set a schedule in writing before.
I am so excited to start our routine (which we did as of today) because of the new time management I will be using with the whole family. One huge factor in this is my excessive use of social media throughout the day, as well as the excessive use of technology. I believe this has had an impact on me and the kids heavily. The best thing about a smart phone is the ease of use. Everything is at your fingertips. This is also a downfall. If I am texting someone throughout the morning, it literally can take up a ton of my morning by reading and responding every time my phone beeps at me. Same with social media. So one thing I have implemented in our new schedule is a technology free morning. From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon I will have my computer shut down and my phone turned off.
This morning proved to be a success! I was able to focus on everyone's needs, all while getting school work done for both of my oldest children. I was able to complete all of my first graders school work plus I was able to work with my preschooler with her letters! I really felt like I was able to breathe them in. To soak up every moment with them and to truly be engaged with what we were doing. It was pretty awesome and I think they noticed a difference too! (Did I mention I was happier and less on edge, too?)
Another thing I have added to the schedule is a specific chore time. We never really had issues with chores before until my 4 year old got old enough to start helping more and when she wasn't.... well, that just ticked my oldest off. Obviously it is not fair to have her do all of the work just because she listens and does it. So something had to change. This time I made lists. I made colorful, graphic lists that were specific to each room. The pictures are easy to "read" for my 4 year old and a description is given for further instructions for my 6 year old. This way they know exactly what to do in each room. Each day I have an hour for chore time. In this time I expect 2 rooms to be completed. Today worked out great! It took a little longer because I had to take the time to show them exactly how I wanted the rooms to be cleaned but did I get any resistance? Nope! None! Although, I did get an eye roll once from my 4 year old but hey, I'll take it! They both were excited and helped each other through each room. Best part of it is knowing I am teaching them skills that will be useful their whole life! Now that is something you can't get out of a book!
I am only half way through this first day but I will admit, I feel a ton better. I haven't left much time for extras throughout the week, though, and I think that means I will have to cut out a few other things but if it means a better home life here, I will take it... So, that is what we have been up to, cause I know ya'll have been wondering! And as of today, I am 11 weeks along and heard the baby last week! Love you guys and thanks for baring with me!