I’ve been wanting to update for awhile now, as I know my last post was a little discouraging. Things have been going much better since then, I just have been so busy it is hard to find time to sit down and write.
I have started trying to do three things each day, no matter what else I am able to do. Those are – start the day with prayer and Bible time (and 3 days a week at least a few exercises), take a break midday once all kids are down for naps to pray and just relax a bit, and end the day with reflection and journaling time. I’ve also started keeping a journal for each of my kids. Each of them has one day per week that I concentrate on them. I try to focus on praying for that child throughout the day and in my journaling time, I will jot down the positive and negative things I saw in them that day. The negative is so that I can gain a clearer focus as to what to be praying for and working on with them. The positive is to see where we are making progress. I also realized that writing down the positive puts me in a better mood about my day. For example, Will’s day happened to fall on one that was one of his worst days ever. The amount of destruction that kid produced in that day was overwhelming. But I was still able to think of two things at day’s end that he had done right.
My times haven’t been that long each day, but the little bit of effort I’ve put into has been rewarded with a better attitude in me, and remarkably, better behavior in my children. Though sometimes I wonder if they are really being that different, or if I am just looking at them differently. Or perhaps my good attitude just rubs off on them.
That is not to say I haven’t had my low points this last week. Monday this week hit hard and strong. I had been up too late (my fault) and then did not want to start the day well. Many stressful things happened that day with work, which caused me to lose my focus on mom things. I was near tears by the afternoon, but we made it through the day. The important thing is that most days I have enjoyed my job as a stay-at-home mom. It makes the days I don’t a little easier to bear, because I know that tomorrow will probably be better.
We’ve had a couple of exciting things happen this week as well. The stressful things that happened with our business – Baby Vardo, have led to some changes that I think are actually going to give me more time. I’m excited about that. Also, I finally got around to calling about getting Elise into gymnastics since she has been wanting to do that for awhile now. She had her first class yesterday, and loved it! I realized then that gymnastics is perfect for her physical build (which is small), and that she will probably be very good at it. Her favorite part – the uneven bars. Funny, seeing as how the reason she decided against pursuing it last year was because she was afraid of the height involved.
Tomorrow Elise starts piano. This is also something she’s been wanting to do for awhile. I am not sure how much to expect from her once she sees what it involves, but I am excited that she is ready and willing to try. Now John and I are discussing if we should get Will into anything. He showed interest in gymnastics once he knew Elise was going. He got to visit with Nana during her class, so he didn’t actually see what it entailed, but I think I might take him along next time and see if he still shows interest in it. He obviously couldn’t be in her same class, but it might be fun for him to be involved in something Elise is doing.
So, overall, we are doing much better. I did realize yesterday as I was getting out of the house to run errands, that one thing that makes being a stay at home mom so hard is the fact that I am alone so much of the time. Sure I’m surrounded by my kids, but as every mom knows, that is not the same as having adults around to talk to and share in your work. I think it is sad that this is the way our culture is. Many cultures are built around a much larger family group, where several generations are living together, and everyone is also surrounded by a community that works and plays together. I talked this over with John and he shares many of the same feelings I do on that missing component in our present day culture. It is freeing to recognize that the desire I have for community of this sort isn’t just me being selfish. It means I don’t have to feel bad if I spend part of my time connecting with other people instead of just concentrating on my own housework. Sometimes I feel like taking the time to reach out and connect means I am neglecting my own responsibilities and that isn’t true at all.