Today, I decided to write something a little more fun. Many of the women I know are mothers, so I am sure you will be able to relate.
We all hear about the honey-do list, well in my house we have that, however we also have the mommy-do list. Which unfortunately (for me at least), is referred to far more often. With 5 children, ages 2, 7, 10, 13, and 24, there is never a dull moment in my house. Or time to sleep, for that matter. Most days start out wonderfully. They go something like wake up, check the whether, drink a cup of coffee, wake up children. That is where the peace of the morning normally ends in my house. From the time their beautiful eyes flutter open, the, mom I need and mom can you, begins. Mind you I wouldn’t trade these moments for the world, because I know far too soon, they will be gone. Still though, maybe say good morning first.
After the morning routines are over and I am getting ready to play taxi, the new list starts. Mom I have soccer, or don’t forget practice after school. Then, of course there always comes the days when 3 of the 5 have an event at almost the same time. These are the days I wish I had a storm shelter in the back yard. It starts out, with one politely (or so they think), telling me not to forget his or her game at such and such time. Then the other 2 chime in, (in stereo, with the bass and surround sound definitely kicked to high), with but mom you have to be at my game. I try to breathe while I wait for the storm cloud to dissipate, (let’s face it, this might be my only chance to breathe until they go to bed), and I remind them that I will be at one game until it is over and will rush to the next and so on. Then there are the days when games are at the same time, so without fail, mom is now the enemy because, she chose the other persons game. Thankfully, this rarely happens, because having 2 of 5 children mad at you at the same time is hard to keep up with.
After, sports they all come home and start the routine of, Mom, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner, and did you get my uniform washed? Then of course, while I am making dinner, one of them always asks, if they can have a snack until dinner, oh and by the way will you cut it for me too? Then five minutes later ask me if dinner is done yet. Well no honey it is not, between cutting your apple and making your sandwich, I haven’t had time to cook it yet. Come on, do I look like a machine here or what? Of course I would never say that, but think it, definitely.
Well after dinner is done and homework is checked, one would think there would be time for relaxing for five minutes right? Of course not. That’s when the next day’s list starts. With the oh yeah, I have a game tomorrow or I have a choir concert, so can you help me find my clothes? (You mean the ones I washed, folded, and put in your basket to take to your room?) I will help you look for them, just give me a minute.
All this chaos leads to my favorite part of the day, bedtime. Yeah, I know that sounds mean, but it is not for the reason you think. Bedtime is the one time during the day, when we do hugs and kisses, blessings for a good night and sweet dreams. We have five minutes of calm, where love can be seen in the eyes of each one of my precious little monkeys. Then the two year old, snuggles next to me and falls asleep. These are the moments that make the mommy-do list all worth while.
So I am sending a great big shout out to all the moms out there, and dads too, who complete this list daily, with a smile (and maybe a glass or two of wine) and treasure every moment of it. Enjoy them while they last, and treasure the young adults they become. After all, one day they will have their own lists to be completing, then they will look back and say, “Wow Mom, you did a lot. Thank you.” Of course we will reply with, just doing my job, but deep down you know your mental self is smiling ear to ear.
These are the victories in life that are worth celebrating and never letting go of. I hope your day is full of memories for tomorrow. Stay inspired and enjoy the ride.
The words “children are the future of our world,” resonate daily across the globe. When we see good statistics on school grades, the census is that we are educating our future well. What happens when grades are low, or youth delinquency is on a rise? Does this mean that we are creating a future, where these will be the trends? Maybe, this just means we need to find a way to inspire the youth of today, to see an inspirational future.
With 5 children, ranging in age from 2 to 24, boys and girls, I see a varied spectrum of interests for each. While one is all about sports and vampire books, this bores others. The same is true for most children, very view have the exact same interests. They will have similarities, but seldom the same. Thus, each child requires an individual perspective and approach to keep them engaged. As parents, we become familiar with the ever changing likes and dislikes of our children. Using this knowledge, we strive to find what we can do as a family, that will satisfy everyone’s desires and keep their attention peaked. Let’s be honest, we are all looking for something they will all agree on, to avoid a meltdown in the middle of a family weekend. What if there was a way to achieve exactly that?
In the search for peace in my house, I have decided the only way to achieve it, is to inspire my children to achieve it. Each of my children have an interest in games and baseball/softball. Working with this base to form the foundation for group activities will give me at least 20 minutes of agreement. Next comes individual interests. Each week another interest can be added to family activities, with the understanding that, they do not have to like said activity, they just have to explore it. Like, trying a bite of new foods, before deciding they are disgusting. For example, 2 of my children love Harry Potter, 2 others were not interested. So, one weekend, that was what we watched. Everyone had to sit and watch part of the movie, then after awhile, if still uninterested, they could do something else. Turns out, they all enjoyed the movies, and mom got to sit and watch a couple hours of tv with minimal frustration. A win, win situation.
Thus, if we want our future to be an inspirational one, we need to teach our children to make it that way. Negativity and conflict, breed more of the same. So too, positivity and peace, breed the same. If we give choices, with a try first approach, we can breed this positivity and peace. Thereby, setting the stage for a positive future. Teaching our children to make good choices is excellent, inspiring them to try new things and make educated choices, is even better.
So what will we inspire today? I personally am set out to inspire love, peace, and educated choices.
In deciding what to write today, I took a cue from my 13 year old. As we all get ready for the long awaited day that our children will return back to school, (after what seems like a very long three months) life can be chaotic and stressful. There are clothes to buy, haircuts to get, and what seems like a million supplies. While buying clothes, I heard “but my friends have those,” for what must have been the tenth time, when it hit me. Half of the stress that is felt during this joyous time for parents, is the worry of fitting in.
We all traverse the stage, we call our life worrying about whether we will fit in or not. From childhood to adulthood, we worry about playmates or in-laws liking us, and fitting into our new surroundings.
Why should fitting in be so monumental in our thought process? Would it not be logical to worry about standing out instead. Such as “I wonder if I will stand out for doing my best today,” or “maybe if I stood out a little more from my colleagues, I would get that promotion I was dreaming of.” Personally, I think standing out and being different is a wonderful thing. Maybe it is just my way of trying to say I am normal. I have lived many years trying to fit in, and being horribly upset and uncomfortable, because, in truth I never have. I have always thought differently, or done things others considered strange. I mean really, how many 21 year olds, were happier at home reading a book, than being in a club dancing with friends. Well, maybe just me, or possibly quite a few, who don’t because, they are trying to fit in.
So here is my new challenge, showing the world, (or at least my children) that it is okay to stand out and be imperfectly themselves. No matter who that is.
I hope you all have a perfectly imperfect week. Remember, be true to yourselves, live, love, and let the masses worry about fitting in.