Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living Simple- Sanity

I can't count the times I'm asked, "how do you do it?" or had the comment made, "I don't see how you do it. "
Sometimes this relates to feeding and diapering three kids under 4, sometimes its surely relating to keepig my sanity. My answer is simple. We just do it! What else can you do? Just that. Do it! This week I was called "creative" and I guess that is the best way to describe how to "do it". I'm going to share a few of those simple ways that have helped so much in the past almost 5 years. In no way is this to boast it is intended to help because I promise you, I would have loved to have not had to learn some of these lessons and ideas the hard way.
The first lesson to Sanity! This lesson was given to me by a dear friend, my brother.
The advice was given - Pick your battles...I never forgot this and at the time it was given I had no children but This has rung true on so many levels in my life especially motherhood.
Is the world going to end because a 2 year old won't get in the bath or eat his/her veggies. The answer surely not. I am not saying rules and boundries out the window but lets think about this for a moment. The day has gone for the most part beautifully with no major meltdowns. The day has been fun, eventful, and now it's time for that nighttime routine... Supper, bath, bed... The battle starts at supper when the child simply will not each those green things that you call food on her, but he happily ate all the chicken and nooodles, but those green things FORGET IT! He'd rather die than have them anywhere near his mouth. Well if your doing your job as mother then certaintly this isn't the first time he has had veggies, and probably not the first time he has had them today even. You fight and insist on eating at least ONE bite of those veggies, now the child is screaming, maybe even on the floor, supper has been ruined - time for bath. That child is still mad over the veggies do you think there is ANY chance she is getting in the bath now. Nope-not in this house anyway. Oh, but wait, there's noodles in his hair. Bath is a must. More fighting. GET REAL- It's a noodle. Get a wet rag and wipe it out!.. UGH--JUST GO TO BED!!!! Now what could have avoided this? Yep, He ate EVERYTHING on his plate, she's no longer hungry. Does he get dessert? Why No he didn't eat his veggies but certaintly that ONE bite is not always worth that fighting. . . If this is an ever so often accurance, my advice. Pick your battles. Now if this happens everynight then there might be a night when ONLY veggies is served or veggies is mixed in with everything else but that is a blog all on it's on. What I am trying to say is being a parent is so many more things than a dictatorship and children have opions, self respect, and values and as moms our job is to embrace them so they will become self reliant respectful adults.

Sanity lesson two- Have fun!
How long will kids be kids? Well that is debatable because it depends on the child-or adult even. You want a happy stress free home? Then take the time to have fun with the kids. Forget the dishes and the laundry, forget facebook(Yes I am talking to myself here Ha Ha) and sit down in the floor with your kids and have fun. Pitch a tent in the bedroom, read a story, and just listen to your kids. Sit at the table and draw your family like you did when you were 6. Grab a bag of popcorn and plop on the couch with the kids and a movie. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box and don't mind getting dirty.Laugh and be silly. Who's watching? THEY ARE!!!! Which brings me to lesson three

Sanity lesson Three- DO Do DO!!! Do as you say, Do as you would want them to do. Let them see you doing. You want them to use a quite voice? Talk to them softly and turn down the TV... You want them to clean up their room? Let them see you cleaning your room. Let them see you enjoying your clean room. This one I am just now learning! You want them to read? Read to them and let them see you reading. A book, a magazine, The Bible. Anything just so long as they can see you do doing it.

Sanity lesson Four - BREATH!!!! This one may seem the simplest of all, but how many times a day as moms do we find ourselves clinching or teeth, yelling, at the kids to do something, or doing so many things that we can't see straight, can't breath. Take a minute when ever you can to just take a deap breath. While your cooking. Breath in 1.2.3. breath out 1.2.3. You will feel instantly better and it's good for you.

Sanity lesson 5 - This one is new for me too. Find your "thing". Something small that you can spend 20 minutes a day doing for just yourself. Something that makes you remember who you are. Sewing, music, watching a movie, cooking, baking, anything that you like to do that you are not 100% doing for the kids. Can it be something that the kids will enjoy or the end product will be for the kids. Yes if your thing is sewing then of course you will sew your kids something. It's the act of doing that relaxes you and reminds you of yourself. As a former boss used to say, "Process not Product". We learn by doing, we relax by doing(or not doing). Bake your kids a cake. It will make you all happy.Happiness is the true keep to having Sanity in the home!
These are just a few of the things I've learned. I hope that if you find just one that you are not doing you will try it. Stay tuned for my Living Simple-In a pinch!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The beauty after the storm

You know, living in Florida I've seen my fair share of storms from Hurricanes to random thunderstorms. The first thing people look for is the destruction. Trees and limbs down, bridges out, water everywhere in many places and it makes me wonder if anyone is like me. You know the first thing I notice, the sky. The sky is always so blue and pleasant the day after a storm. I look up and I am reminded that God is there, where he always is looking after us in all his beauty. Our lives are just that too. We go through storms everyday some last longer and feel like hurricanes as we watch the Gulf for the tropical warnings rolling in and get hit with storm after storm until the big Hurricane hits. Some are just an overnight downpour but once we surrender all and let God be in control we have this overwelming peace about us. He was ALWAYS there and ALWAYS will be. That peace is the same peace that I feel when I look up at the sky after a storm. That peace to know that God is 100% in control of my life. Nothing is greater than that peace and if it takes a few storms then so be it, but how wonderful will it be when I get to a place in my relationship with God to keep that peace THROUGH the storm. . . . Afterall that is what God wants. He wants us to trust him before, during, and after the storm.