Housekeeping 101

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Phyllis DillerCleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.

Boy do I agree with this statement! It seems like you clean one room and move on to the next, and before you are done with that room they have destroyed the room you just cleaned!!

I have a touch of OCD/Procrastination when it comes to cleaning though and it tends to show. My thought goes like this “If I cannot do it right then why do it right now?”  The problem with that is when you have small children like I do, the right time may never come to do it “the right way.” So I try to do what I can with what little time I have every day. But those days that I choose to ignore some of the chores are the ones where I find myself enjoying my kids and laughing and playing with them more.

The above picture just grabbed my attention and struck a chord with me. Why would I be wasting the precious memory making time with my kids, by making sure I have a spotless house? Why stress about it? What will my kids remember from their early days? Will they remember a Mom that was present and nurturing or a Mom that was constantly stressing out about the house being obsessively clean?

Part of me screams out that the kids will do better and live better in a spotless and organized house. But another part of me says why waste a lot of time doing things that will always have to be done, when I could be spending that time with my kids?

As a child, my Grandmother was someone who actually was diagnosed with OCD. She would carry baby wipes with her everywhere and before we touched her we had to wash our hands, after we touched anything we had to wash our hands. She would wrap things in plastic wrap, then in foil, then put it in a zip-lock baggie to store things. She always carried a plastic set of utensils in a zip-lock baggie for when she would eat out. She would clean like crazy. And guess what? She always had her house clean and organized.       But she was alone.

Now I am not advocating that we all live in houses that belong on the TV show Hoarders, but I am saying that the things that really matter in life are not really things, they are the people who are part of our lives and the children God has given us to care for and to teach and to love. If we can use the times that we do clean as teaching moments for our kids, then all the better, but as a reminder to myself and to all Momma’s out there, they will not remember the times that the laundry was overflowing or the sink was full of dishes, but they will remember the times you got on the floor and played with them and enjoyed a laugh or two with them.

I will close with this poem that I am sure most of you have seen before, but it serves as a daily reminder to me that time is short with my kids.

“The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

~Song For a Fith Child, by Ruth Hamilton

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Tomorrow is a New Beginning……….

Tomorrow I start an adventure. I will be starting to teach my almost two year old from a free preschool curriculum I found on Facebook. Thing 1 can already count to 20 on her own, say most of the alphabet and she recognizes most shapes and a few colors. I am extremely proud of her for these little accomplishments, but I do not want to lose the excitement she feels for learning right now. Thus begins the school adventure.

Tomorrow is also a renewed beginning for me for exercising. I started doing P90x the middle of August, but when Thing 2 decided that she was going to wake up every hour and cry for almost 2 weeks straight, I barely had the energy, much less the mental capacity to continue a rigorous exercise program like that. So I am embarking again on this journey of exercise that I really need. I need my energy and my health to be there for my husband and two little girls. I feel like there is so much more enjoyment and fulfillment in living when I have the energy to live life to its fullest. I also enjoy how I feel about myself when I know I am taking care of myself. My motivation is to be able to do things this time next year, that I could not otherwise do because of my weight. I want to be able to say on January 1, 2013 that my resolutions are to stay healthy and to live an extraordinary life and to enjoy my little family to its fullest. Starting tomorrow, I have 90 days to make a difference in my life and my health. No excuses. If i fail I will own the failure and get back in the saddle again. I must succeed, not only for myself, but for my girls. They deserve to have and to see a Momma, living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying life right along with them as they grow.Image

The Dirty truth about #2

Momma Moment for today: Thing 1, who is beyond ready to start potty training, woke up from her nap and decided to take her diaper off. Now she has done this before so it was no surprise, but today the thing I feared happening the most occurred  She had pooped in the diaper first. She then proceeded to smear it all observed her crib. Have I mentioned before that she likes to suck her thumb? Yeah. She went there. I thank the good Lord Almighty that I was not there to witness it personally. I think I may have thrown up if I had been there.

I confess that I have an incredibly weak stomach when it comes to bodily functions and vomit. I don’t even do well with hearing someone tossing their cookies. No joke. Well that’s the dirty truth of #2 for tonight.

Kids, Phones and Snooze Buttons

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Momma Moment of the week– Thing 1 decided to grab her Aunties phone and play with the pattern lock like it was a game. Yeah…….long story short, the phone had to be reset back to factory settings and Auntie lost all of her contacts. 

Ever have one of those days that you feel like a broken record? Lately I seem to be having more and more of those. And it always involves the same words to Thing 1. “No do NOT touch that, No No, Obey, Come here, Give that to me etc…’ She is very strong willed and VERY persistent. Those things are great character traits only if I have the diligence as a mommy to train and develop those to her gain. But some days I really want to hit the snooze button. Literally and Figuratively.

Literally meaning that as a Momma of 2 under 2, I live in a constant sleep deprived state. Some days that is of my own choice but mostly its not. Whether its teething, a growth spurt or Thing 2 just wanting to nurse and be played with at 3am, it always seems to be something. Bedtime is my most favorite time of day because it relaxes them and it relaxes me and I know that in a short while they will be asleep (at least for a few hours in Thing 2’s case) and I will have some quiet time to myself. But I will be utterly frank, I hate mornings. I have not had to set an alarm for almost 2 years because the girls are my alarm clocks. I wish with all my might that kids came with snooze buttons. The pacifier has never worked like that in my favor. Mornings come and in my head the argument ensues like this:

    Is it really 6am already? Ughhhhhhhhh. No Thing 2 don’t wake up yet, maybe if I stay really still she will go right back to sleep for a couple more hours…..oh no she started fussing…..honey please stop moving around, maybe if I ignore her fussing she will go back to sleep, ughhhh she turned over……ok ok OK!!!! Stop screaming like you are starving to death!  I am getting up. Lord please give Grace and Mercy, Grace for me to get through the day and Mercy for my kiddos with an imperfect Momma.”

Figuratively, I would love to hit the snooze button on life, responsibilities and being Momma. But I am so glad that there is no Figurative snooze button. Because if there was I might just end up snoozing my way through life. My kids and my Hubby deserve a Momma that is fully engaged and present. And that takes a lot of Grace and Mercy from the Lord. I am reminded daily of this verse.  Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Truthfully, I am not very compassionate. But I know that if my kiddos are going to learn anything from me it might as well be God’s Compassion,

Back Online!!

This is a short and sweet post. I am finally back online after packing, moving and sorting etc…… 

My Momma Moment from this last week was when my 5 month old decided to wake up 5 times in the middle of the night. Yep, count them, 5. I think I was a zombie for at least 5 out of the last 7 days. But God has been good and I have managed to keep my children alive and well and myself from total meltdown mode. In the next day or so I will post on moving with children. LOL Have a great Day!

Money and Kids

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Momma Moment of the week: Never leave the toilet lid open or your wallet where they can reach it.

 

Speaking of wallets, Money is a huge stress point in most marriages and families. There have been numerous studies published linking finances to divorce, health issues and sleep loss.                          Have I been there? Well in reference to sleep loss and health issues, yes. But I am committed to not letting the stress I have towards finances pass to my kids. I read an awesome quote this week from another blog that I follow that I hope you will enjoy and think over too.

“my kids only notice what we don’t have if I point it out. Do they want lots of things? Yes. They do. And as their mom, I naturally want to give them these things. When I have more, I give more (monetarily speaking)……….Having less money to go around forces you to say no sometimes and it forces children to learn that stuff is not always necessary.” ~ http://www.mamabirth.blogspot.com

Did you notice the last part? Not having money, is not something that needs to be a source of stress for your children. It can be a training ground that helps them develop a healthy attitude toward money.

Growing up I remember very clearly that we never had a lot of money. We made do with what we had though. One of my favorite memories about money and growing up was the time that our whole family helped make parakeet ladders for a local pet supply company that my father was working for at the time. We each had a job that helped produce one parakeet ladder. Even my 6 year old brother at the time had a job. At the end of the week when my father got his paycheck, each of us kids got a little bit of money for helping. That gave my parents an opportunity to explain about work ethic, and doing a job the best way possible, and how to spend and save our money. 

Another memory that I have is one of the best Christmases ever for our family. It was one of the best, not because we had lots of presents, it was the best because we did not have any. My father worked in construction at the time and not had work for a couple months. So my parents took us to Toys ‘R’ Us and said to pick out only 1 toy. We did. And on Christmas Morning we woke up and there was nothing under the tree. In our stockings however, was 1 envelope. We each grabbed our envelope and sat down by the tree. We opened the envelope and inside was a Christmas card that said we love you very much and even though there are no toys under the tree you will receive your gift very soon. And there was a piece of paper covering what we were going to get. I remember the excitement and anticipation of that gift. And today it still stands out as one of my favorite Christmases. 

All of this to say, our children learn how to treat and use money by watching us. The Bible states in Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Treasure is not only money, but time and ability as well. If our treasure is laid in the proper places our children will learn the proper way to handle their time, money and abilities as well.