Setting Priorities

I would do anything for my kids.  Move heaven and earth for them. I have stayed up all night perfecting presents, I have held vigil in their beds when they are sick, I have cleaned up so many horrible things that came out of their bodies, and daily I make sure they are clothed, fed, healthy, and happy. I do it all because I love them. I make them a priority. I, like you, make a lot of things a priority...but not usually myself. Sound familiar? 

You're Number One

You're Number One

I stay up late at night to steal moments to myself, but turns out that isn't really taking care of myself or setting myself as a priority. I know I am not alone. Just check out  here or here or here.

Parents...and maybe moms in particular need a moment...a moment to ourselves. I love it when it is quiet late at night and I can read or watch something that is inappropriate for younger eyes or I can blog.

I never put myself first. I bet you don't either. 

Part of my neglect of myself is to let things I care about go first...

  • Too busy this morning to eat or have a cup of hot coffee? I will grab some kid snack later or I will slurp down that cold coffee. 
  • No time to workout? Oh, I can do that later. When? Who knows!
  • Can't carve out a little bit of time for me to get my hair done, or to get myself something, or to have a moment.
  • And sadly I let Posing as Parents go all the time. I care about this blog, but if I run short on time, energy, or even patience this is the first to go. 

Why? I would be so mad at my kids if they treated themselves the way I treat myself. 

I would love to make a sweeping statement about how the buck stops here...things are going to change from now on...etc. But that isn't sustainable is it? So instead I am going to make a pledge of sorts to myself to help me focus on what is important.

A Focus for Me (and you, yes you)

  • Making Myself a Priority-You KNOW it is important and it is what you would want for any one you love. You got to love yourself yo and make you a big deal. What do want? What do you love? What brings you joy? What feeds your soul?

And if you want some more explicit tips check here, here, and here

You are going to fail, that is okay. Keep trying. 

You are #1, baby!

 

 

Just a Moment

Remember how I wanted the routine of Fall? This routine is kicking all of our butts. 

Actual picture of how we all feel

Actual picture of how we all feel

We are all so tired. The school, the sports, the extra activities, all of it. So this weekend we get a little family reprieve from it all. I hope you recharge this weekend too!

On Tuesday, let's do a Fall craft together. See you soon!

Welcome Back

IMG_0069.JPG

Welcome back! I'm back and your back...it is the best. 

Summer break has come to an end...we get out late and go back late here in the PNW. Holy moly what a summer break it was! Road trips, camping, adventures...it was the summer of "yes." My husband and I talked about it and we really feel like we really seized the summer and have no regrets. 

Since school and sports have started. I do have some regrets about the amount of activities we have signed up for. We have a bonkers schedule. The boy has school, Fall Ball (with two games a week), soccer (with two practices and one game a week). Little Miss has school, gymnastics, Speech Class, and soccer (one practice and one game a week). I feel a little overwhelmed.

But honestly I am also glad to have the comfort of a routine. I already miss having the kids with me, but am thankful we all get to have a little space. I just wish I didn't make it quite so complicated.

Clearly I have not mastered my schedule yet and here are the ways I am acting out, screwing up, and/or acting a fool. 

  • For preschool Meet and Greet I had a dried blob of yogurt on my cheek the entire time. I just chatted away and no one said a word...that is until I got to the car. Then my daughter, who kissed me with yogurt lips that morning informed me I had some crusted to my face.
  • That same week, I went to pick up the daughter at preschool and had a label stuck to my skirt...luckily a nice grandmother told me.
  • This weekend, I went to a birthday party and got a stick stuck in my pony tail. My husband half heartedly helped me, but parts of the stick were still in my hair when I got home...hours later. 
  • Unfortunately, I forgot about an appointment with my son's brand new teacher and his learning team. I was at Target when they called me. I was 25 minutes late for the appointment so the teacher had to return to class. 
  • Turns out we have a foreign exchange student coming to stay with us and I don't 100% remember signing up. It seems kind of familiar and I am super happy...I just didn't have a clue.
  • My texts and emails have been atrocious lately...I am typing too fast and not proofreading like I should. It is embarrassing, because I am a writer and it is frustrating when your errors take away from the message. You can't tell how very funny I am if there are typos. 
  • Today I let my  son walk to school because we had a scheduling conflict. I didn't see him when I drove by so I texted other parents and then finally called the school to ease my worries. Those poor school administrators...they are freaking angels.
  • And for my big finish tonight, I was talking to a soccer mom about a child who I thought was this one kid's sibling and turns out I was wrong about everything around the situation. I made it a big weird thing with this mom. The worst part is the child I was mixing up and the child who was really on the team are the children of one of my favorite neighbors and when I was texting her about the whole mess I was calling one of her children the wrong name. I have known these kids since they were babies. Ugh. Adding insult to injury over here, people.  

I am a hot mess. I know this helps you feel better about your own parenting paths. I get it. I am never going to be a cool mom who does everything right. I am never going to have it all together. Competent mom? Sure! Fun mom? Probably. Crazy mom? Definitely. I am doing my best...or my best on a very little amount of sleep and a whole lot of kooky.

And I am sure you are doing your best too. Let's celebrate the crap out of that. I even may make a damn cake (and I will probably forget some key ingredient...like how I forgot to add baking powder to my biscuits a couple of weeks ago...stupid flat biscuits). Celebrate what you can and forgive your mistakes...learn and move on people. 

Life is too short to not laugh at ourselves and we might as well pack it all in while we can. Yes, there a moments that we need to take time to slow down and take time to soak it all in. But there are other times that we just need to embrace the full calendar and experience as much as we can. Life is all about the ying and the yang. No balance...just back and forth...too much and too little. Aim for the middle, for balance, but enjoy the ride.

I know her name, most days.

I know her name, most days.

his too, sometimes.

his too, sometimes.

Now that we are back on schedule. Let's try our Tuesday and Thursday schedule and go from there. Have a wonderful weekend!

Okay, I Got Distracted

I didn't have the blog up when I usually do AND I am not going to write about organization when you are traveling with children like I said I would do. I am just not feeling it. I will write about it next week, but not today. Today I am just rolling with the day.

At Home Entertainment

At Home Entertainment

Since we got home I have been cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning and buying a lot of groceries. Yep, that is pretty much the extent of it and keeping two kids, two dogs, a fish, and a hubby alive and relatively happy. There have been friends, some sports, swim lessons, etc. But I am in slomo when I can be. 

I think that after a trip it takes me a bit to get my bearings.  We all crave to be in our place with our stuff.  And with nothing to do. The last part seems to be harder to achieve.

Hanging with Handsome

Hanging with Handsome

This summer I am acutely aware of how fleeting the moments are...the good ones and bad ones. This is the only summer with my boy being 9 and my girl being 4. That is almost double digits and Kindergarten kind of summer. I have spoken about it before, but is a hard balance trying to let them grow and wanting these moments to hold onto forever. Each time my boy grabs my hand my heart smiles and aches at the same time. And my girl is sooooooo wound up I try to remember that this time is also precious and I want to honor that spirit and help it grow while keeping my sanity. This is the Summer of Strength I just didn't anticipate the strength would also be with my mama's heart. 

Eat Yo Veggies

Eat Yo Veggies

Well, besides working on not being an emotional nut job mom, I have more to do. Right now we are having a family "reboot" since the trip. Here is what we are trying to focus on...maybe it would work for you as well. 

  • Sleep- Sleep is magic. Our sleep has been jacked, so we are trying to go to bed early (I mean besides me) and we have been sleeping in (besides dad). 
  • Eat Fresh-Eat yo veggies. Our food choices weren't always ideal on the road so we are trying to eat more veggies, more fruit, and less meat. Our garden is going bonkers so that helps. I will admit that our son has been deep in on the box mac and cheese...that is new, but it is also fine...we will make up for it in other ways. 
  • Move Your Body-The kids have activities that get their body moving and they naturally want to play. BUT for mom, I have to work on it. I have started a new work out program that is very slow, but it is a start! I will have to incorporate more movement to have this really be the Summer of Strength. 
  • Read-We are all reading. Taking time to sit and dive into a book. The kids got a ton of screen time on the road and I think they are craving more than electronics right now. 
  • Play/Art/Etc-Be creative. The kids are playing and doing art. My husband and I have been working in the garden and in the yard...just taking time to be. Use your mind in another way. 

Have a great weekend...slow down and enjoy the moments. See you Tuesday where I WILL tell you about best tips for traveling with kiddos. I mean, I probably will. 

Love a Little Harder

This paper isn't big enough.

This paper isn't big enough.

I was typing into the wee hours of the morning to have my post ready first thing Wednesday and then I started to doze off. I would type and look back at just jibberish so I decided the best thing to do at that moment is sleep and get the post out once everyone got to where they needed to be in the morning. But as I type my post has changed...I will write about teaching our kids empathy another day. 

Lately I feel like I am just a step behind. My To Do List is growing and turns out there aren't more hours in the day. Lame. So I am focusing on what I always struggle with...being organized and more prepared in my personal life. Once upon a time in my work life I was so on it, and for my family I got my kids lives and schedules worked out and I am there, but when it comes to me...I am falling behind. (Also, those last four words made me think of Cyndi Lauper and "Time After Time" and now I am listening to that...no wonder I can't keep on track! Good gravy, pull it together lady!)

This is just life. It is busy and there is only so much time and energy. I started a fitness group and it is so organized to help keep you on track and I feel like a hot mess trying to figure out what I am going to do next. I plan out my family's week, but for my own I just wing it. We all get caught up in the act of being busy...this isn't something that we should be proud of...it is not a badge of being a good person. I am much more impressed with people who are doing less stuff and creating more substantial relationships/work/art/etc. 

So if there is only so much of this life that we get, perhaps we should do a few things to capitalize on the time we have (this may be more for me than you...I am okay with that)...

We should do what we love.-Life is short, sometimes painfully so. Be with the people you want to be with, do the things you want to do, enjoy this time. Of course, we all have to do some BS, but for the most part try to focus on the love. 

Yes, we need to make money to pay for the things that are important to us. For our family, it is important to have a house, cars, activities for our kids, etc. Those things cost money so we have to make money to pay for it. Right now that falls directly on my husband. Listen, I know it is a privilege to be a stay at home parent. I am honored to contribute to our family in this way and I am eternally grateful that my husband works so hard to provide for us. (And a very generous grandmother helps too). I get that not everyone has this option. 

However, hopefully we can do things that bring us joy...sometimes that happens in our career and sometimes it doesn't. If you have to work someplace that doesn't bring you joy, then make sure you are spending all your other time focusing on what makes you happy...family, friends, pets, traveling...whatever that is.

Do what you love. Don't just talk about it...do it. 

My best job.

My best job.

We should set out our intentions.- You have to put it out in the world what you want. I don't know if I really believed this or thought about this until I met my husband. He is magic about this stuff.

Recently we got another boat. He already has a little one that he found a sweet deal on and the lady was so amazing and gave him all this other stuff (this happens to him all the time). BUT this new-to-us boat he set his intention on for YEARS. It was sitting in someone's driveway for decades. He would drive by to look at "his" boat. He would occasionally go to the door and ask about it. They had reasons why they couldn't sell it. So he kept on and on. He would drive by, he would talk about it, he had his eye on this boat. Last weekend he stopped by again and the couple said they were getting rid of it this weekend. They agreed on a price of $80 for the boat and $20 for the trailer. And he got the damn boat. He does that stuff all the time. He puts it in the universe and some how it happens.

We should all do that. If you want to get healthier, set your intention to work out, to eat whole foods, to get more sleep, etc. Set out your plan. If you want to be a better parent, work for it...set it as your goal and make certain your actions are consistent with your intention.

Willing something to happen isn't enough. 

The Boat (before it was washed).

The Boat (before it was washed).

We should value our time.-This one is really tough and as a parent it can be nearly impossible. Our time on earth is not infinite, your time is valuable...treat it as such.

What do you spend your time doing? I look at my phone WAY too much...it doesn't deserve my time. When I am an old lady I am not going to be glad that I spent time on my phone. I am going to be glad I spent time with my loved ones. I am going to be glad for the time I was with my kids, and my husband, and my family and friends. I am going to remember the hard times and the amazing times...they all add to the story of my life.

Your time is valuable for your work...that is why you should be paid what you are worth; your time is valuable for volunteer work you may do...it is valuable to the organization and the volunteering adds to the richness of your life (hopefully); and your time is valuable for spending time with those you love...you won't regret being with those who are your family...born into or made...whoever it is you call your people. 

The things you spend time on should reflect your values. 

Time after time.

Time after time.

We should love harder.-And last, but definitely not least we should love harder. In my family we love hard...you know that kind of love that kind of hurts...we squeeze you, we are passionate, and we are bursting with emotion. Maybe it is some kind of condition that I have passed down to my kids, but we love hard.

We all should love hard. Remember how life is short? You want the people in your world to know how you feel about them...I mean, unless they are a total a-hole...use your discretion to decide if you should tell them that or not. But definitely tell people you love them. Hug them. Give that compliment to that stranger. Smile at people on the street. Help your neighbor. Tell your kids you love them again and again and again. Don't let it ever be a question. Love your people and this life hard...your time on this earth may be finite, but love isn't...it keeps going. 

You are the love you want to see in the world...share your love...love hard. 

They love hard!

They love hard!

 

Well, I apologize that I didn't have the post up first thing...I like it posted early. I am going to set some intentions for myself, value my time, and love the crap out of this life. See you Friday!