Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Sanity & A No-Show Housekeeper

I love summer.

The kids are home from school, the days are long, the sun is shining… it seems like anything is possible and adventure awaits! 

That is how I felt as we pulled out of our driveway and snapped this picture...

We know that children only stay young for a very short while. 
(If I park on this thought for too long, I'm reduced to tears.)

 I remind myself to live in the moment and make 
the most of these days with my sweet boys in tow.  

So we dive in head first...

We go swimming, enjoy the outdoors together, spend time playing with cousins and friends… We bring kittens home to care for, take the boys to basketball camps, make homemade clay (confession - I actually made the clay to make faux antlers… but I tripled the batch for the kids), plan family get-aways and adventures...

And then, I realize...

All the while we're living these days to the fullest, the laundry is piling up 
and the floors threaten to hold on to bare feet without letting go 
(what is that stuff? lemonade? juice? a science experiment?). 

The happy laughter turns to fighting. 
I begin refereeing to find out who owes me 30 weeds 
(pulling weeds is today's consequence of choice).  
I dream of backup (Hubby is on another trip). 

"I'm hungry!" fills the air before I can even make sense of what time it is. 
(Is it breakfast, lunchtime or somewhere in between?)

I'm pretty sure it's change-the-sheets day (or at least it should be). 

The kittens get sick in the downstairs bathroom and the smell 
seeping from that room is, well, W-R-O-N-G.

It's been seven days and the housekeeper hasn't shown. 

Oh wait, she is ME.

There's this nervousness I feel. 
Here's why… There is much to be done 
but with three active boys - their energy needs to be directed. 
(And I am the "Activities Director" on this cruise ship we call home!)

Just in case you, like me, ever struggle with the mythical "balance" of managing the to-do list and purposeful parenting, here are a few things I've found can help:

1. Stop beating yourself up (conserve your energy for parenting and tackling the to-do list! : )

2. Think of what you HAVE accomplished today. For example, today I have: fed my children 3 meals, fixed the beds, played basketball with our oldest son, scheduled dentist appointments, etc. So often, I think we moms discount the "givens" of what we do each day. We don't "count" the preparation and clean up of meals and things like that. This can lead to discouragement if you're wired like me - - feeling like I haven't accomplished or contributed much.

3. Use the "see it - do it" approach a few times a day. (This tip was given to me by a Mom of young twins many years ago.) Rather than thinking, I'll come back for that stack of laundry later, pick it up and put it away. Whatever you see next, do immediately. Maybe we don't have a solid hour to tidy up. But maybe we can take 15 minutes and power through a few areas. I waste a lot of time getting distracted as I go from here to there thinking I'll come back to it. (Adult ADD… perhaps? : )

4. Do a 10-minute family pick-up, where everyone works on a room or a specific task for 10 minutes. Amazing what five people can get done in 10 minutes! 

5. Set expectations with your children and be purposeful about a time to play and connect. Sometimes when I have an at-home catch up day I feel pulled between needing to get things done and answering my sons' requests. It has helped me to let my kids know that "Mom has a lot to get done today! I need you to play nicely together and then we can go swimming, play baseball, etc." (This usually needs to be communicated MANY times!)

Not rocket science, I know. I don't pretend to have it all figured out - not even close!

I would love to hear your tips and ideas for seizing the summer and maintaining sanity! 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
adding pinterest script 3. Changing the Position of the Pin it! button The cool thing about this code is that you have some freedom over where the Pinterest button for Blogger will go over the image. Take a look at the code that you just copied and pasted into the HTML for the word 'center'.