Friday, February 3, 2017
Yes, just like that cheesy talking animal movie from the 90's (btw- what is it about talking animal movies that people like so much?) I am on a mission to keep my 3 children and I at home as much as possible for the next 6 months. Why for 6 months you ask? Because that is the magic time frame my mother has convinced me of for radical changes (both in maturity and in our schedules) to occur amongst young developing children and collectively our family life. Call it the straw the broke the camels back, that last Jenga piece to make the tower tumble, or just the tired motherly voice of reason in my head that started out as an innocent whisper and has now become an unavoidable ROAR...reminding me to re-imagine and re-frame our lives with as less stress as possible.
I know that I've done the 3 kids-in-tow thing pretty darn well for the last while....especially given my children's ages and grade levels. I even sometimes would feel a rush of strength, like I was about to conquer the world with my impressive to-do lists, indignant "stay close to mom" speeches, and spidey-like mom reflexes such as saving a child from falling, sensing where a lost child would most likely wander off to, and preparing snacks for 5 in under a min. I also give courteous "we're going to leave in 5 min." warnings like clockwork, and always keep ready-for-anything changes of clothes in the trunk of our van. Supermoms Unite!
While these skills will undoubtedly still be put to use, I'm trying to minimize the number of times I have to perform them given the number of inevitable dramatic outtakes (except in our case they're part of our show) that can be so very draining and scary. Thanks to things like babysitters, grocery delivery, and amazon, I know this is possible, the only thing I'm wondering about is why it took me so long to reach this point....I think it could be the city we live in and where we live- everything is just so darn convenient! Or how my husband took on a new job further away, or how we're already all in the car 3x per day every weekday (just going back and forth to school), or how I don't want us to be bored! As my mother would often say to us as children, "Only a boring person gets bored."...I know we are anything but BORING so now all I'll have to do is remind myself with the saying of "Homeward Bound" and home we shall go.
I still want to remember the times when I felt like I saved everyone's sanity with a fun outing to a play place, park, movie, heck, even the dollar store will do! and how I've learned from past events...Eleanor Roosevelt says a woman is like a tea bag; you you never know how strong it is until you put it in hot water!" There's also numerous life lessons I know my children have benefited from about how to appropriately behave and interact in various public settings, and I love taking my children out to discover new places and meet up with family and friends, all of which we'll still do- I just feel I need to try a new approach to practice more simplicity.
I'm aware that chaos can still arise anywhere with kids, but I want to try this new idea of limiting our outings and the number of children we have attending those outings, as well as only attending major outings with another adult and see if it helps. Even though we don't see it, the work of a mom is constant (mentally and physically!) so I think it's wise for me to assess my limits and fully understand the toll that numerous kid-filled days has on me as well as the importance of knowing when to take a break or call it quits. To put it quite simply, I've learned less effort does not have to equal not enough.
So, bring on the bathtub parties, tea parties, car racing, movies by the fire, board games, chess games, card games, made-up games, books (oh, how we looooove books!), ping pong, computer time, cleaning, cooking, creating, dancing, puppet shows, obstacle courses, playing outside (or at this time of the year, in the snow), and making forts....we're up for anything we can do safely (or as safely as possible) within the security of our home or backyard. That's it, and that's PLENTY!