Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy Girl Wednesday (4) — Tips for staying positive during this time

The new season of juggling work, school, and sports is upon me!  I imagine it is for you too!  I find at times trying to keep all the balls in the air is more of a struggle than I care to admit.  Lately that has been the case.  I long for time to relax and rest more, but I also want to accomplish my goals and create memories with my partner and all our kids.  So in this season, one thing that helps is to find ways to stay positive when often I am exhausted.

Here are the ways I try to practice positivity in this season:

  1. I stay focused on the end goal.  This season of raising children will end and I want them to have some good memories of their childhood as well as become healthy, successful adults.  When I am overwhelmed with all the running around we must do and the endless tasks, I try to keep that in mind.  We are raising adults, not children. We are teaching the habits they will carry into adulthood.  It is important to teach all these kids how to juggle life with a good attitude as much as possible.
  2. We take a date night; every single week. Even if it is just a couple hours together.  My partner and I made a commitment to each other from the start that we would prioritize our partnership.  We would make sure the children understood we are committed to each other and creating a solid foundation.  It can tough between work, school functions and soccer games for us to find the time and energy but we are always better for it and it keeps us connected. And it shows our children how to have a healthy relationship.
  3. I make time for exercise.  Sometimes that 30 minutes alone going for a walk or riding my bike or doing an exercise video is the only alone time I can get.  Take advantage of doing something for your physical health as well as your mental health.  Working out is vital to staying healthy and calm throughout the chaos of life in my opinion.  And it releases all the feel good, happy endorphins so it’s a win in trying to staying positive.
  4. I use the calendar.  We have a large calendar on the wall in the kitchen near the garage door.  It is seen daily by every one of us.  With all the activities we could have going on at one time, keeping track with colors and names is important for helping us to not forget things.  And it allows me to know what we can say yes to based on prior commitments.
  5. We communicate. With a family of 6, you have lots of opportunities for misses.  And many more opportunities for connections.  When I get home from work (as I work the latest) everyone is usually coming around to share their day with me.  Asking about school, homework, activities, life in general, is my way of staying in touch with what is going on with each of them.  They all have lots to say and keeping that end goal in mind; I want to hear from them.  I want them to share with me.  Because we have built an environment where the kids feel they can share, we have a home with lots of conversation.

Staying connected and positive can be tough when you are juggling all the demands of partnership, parenthood and employment.  Finding ways to keep your sanity is vital. Learning to communicate what you feel and think is necessary in all relationships but especially in the seasons of change where there can be so much noise from the chaos you forget to keep focused on what truly matters.

I am not always positive and happy.  I struggle with overwhelm and unhappy days just like anyone else.  But I desire to have a healthy life and home more than almost anything.  Giving my partner and our children the best me is often at the forefront of my mind.  I fail I am sure as much as I succeed, but each day I tackle anew.

I hope you find encouragement in these posts. These are just my thoughts; please share ways that you stay calm and focused during seasons of change and chaos.  As always I hope you are living your best life as much as possible.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (13)

It’s another day to celebrate. Mother’s Day! What a fabulous day it’s been to be celebrated by so many that I love and show me love.

Sending a thank you to all the moms that sacrifice to bring children up. May you be honored today by all whom you love.

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #2

Treasure:  Noun: “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized”
Verb:  “to regard or treat as precious; cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

Today’s treasure is about my kids.  Thinking about what I highly value and cherish, nothing tops my kiddos.  This is the norm for most of us, but this week’s treasure is about the TIME I get with them.

Time is a gift we don’t often spend too much energy thinking on or paying enough attention to in my opinion because we are too busy living.  We have busy lives; getting kids to school, getting off to work, shopping, running errands, making food, paying the bills, etc.  Often we are so busy taking care of life, that time goes by and we don’t seem to stop and think about how fast it all goes.  We might think about it for a moment, try to slow down and enjoy it, but we are often pulled to the next thing.

Maybe because I have teenagers and I am looking at one of them graduating in the next 8 months, (early), the process of looking at and applying for colleges is upon us and I am preparing for a new season, I may be more sensitive these days to treasure the time I get with them.   Maybe because I share them with their Dad and do not see my kids every single day, I am often aware of how fast the time is going.

But I wanted to talk mostly about ways to make the most of the time you have together. In our house, none of us are big TV watchers, so we spend more time playing games together, talking,  sharing stories of our days, cooking together, etc.  I have always tried to make sure that we connect every day, all together and one and one with them.

Today I am treasuring that the past few weeks have seen quite a bit of TIME together.  From a crafty night with my daughter, to a dinner date with my son, to family movie night we have been spending more time together.   For most of their lives, I have lived alone with them, in an environment of an open space floor plan, so we have always been in each other’s spaces, A LOT (too much they would probably say).  I ascribe to the mindset that love grows best in tiny spaces, in my world that seems to ring true.

Because we are rarely facing away from each other (ie; facing the television) we talk more.  We share our days, our thoughts and our frustrations more.  Not that we all always get along, I am Mom after all and they are kids, but for the most part, things are smooth these days.  I am very thankful that even though my kids are now teenagers, they still enjoy hanging with Mom some of the time.

So I wanted to say; take the time to cherish the time you get with your littles.  Before you know it, you are looking at them running out the door to build their own lives.  We do no get any moments back and they all go so fast.  I once heard a woman speaker say that she loved every stage of raising her kids.  She didn’t wish for a different time, or to get through a particularly tough stage, she tried to enjoy each stage of raising kids because she knew it was a short season of life.   I had young kiddos at the time, who took every ounce of energy, I kinda thought she was crazy, how can you enjoy the constant questions, the constant needs?  But I have tried really hard in the past 5-6 years to really apply this thought.  To value each stage, to cherish the TIME I get with them.

I thought I would share some of the things we do in our home to show that we value TIME together:

  • We play the High/Low game.  My kids’ Dad and I saw this in a movie many many years ago and I adopted the practice once my kids went to school.  Every day after school I ask, what was the High, what was the Low from the day.  Everyone takes a turn sharing.  This has sparked many conversations, created laughs and been a way to connect with my kiddos, to show them that I value them, that I want to know them and about their worlds.
  • We have at least one meal a day where we all sit down together.  This can be hard to do as they are so busy with sports and activities, so this has not always been dinner.  Sometimes it has been breakfast.  Often times this family meal has been on the go, sitting in the car, eating Subway as we are waiting for practice to start.  But we try very hard to at least once a day connect over a meal, maybe just a leftover practice from my own childhood, but it has been invaluable for us.
  • As I stated, we do not watch much TV.  As a matter of fact, I turned the TV on the other day for background noise and my oldest asked if we could turn it off, she would rather we be able to talk.  When the TV is on, we become more focused on that than each other.  But we do have one or two TV shows that we do watch together as a family.  Usually, this is a funny 30-minute program where we have our phones, laptops, tablets set away.  It’s an easy downtime, relaxing, change of focus for us before we go back to homework or the night routines
  • We try to make sure we laugh together OFTEN!  One year I added this as a family goal, to laugh daily.  Since that time, we have made this a priority.  With so much chaos and sad things in this life, it can be easy to get depressive and down.  Laughter covers over a lot.  Try to laugh often as a family, the feel-good emotions it sparks in our brains is invaluable.
  • We create together.  Not everyone is crafty, but in our house, we find ways to share creativity.  I am a quilter and a card maker.  My daughter likes to make dream catchers and other items.  My son is into programming and working on his youtube streaming.  Each of us has some kind of creative outlet and we try to support each other.  That can be by helping cut out fabric, gluing something, watching or providing feedback, offering an extra hand.  Being supportive of each other’s interests creates value as well.

Giving kids our time, slowing down to make sure they know they are important, gives back ten fold when they are older.  I feel very fortunate that my teenagers still want to hang out with me.  That is the reward I think for parenting and investing the TIME into them, not just to discipline and train, but to get to know each other, to show them who we are, and see who they are separate from us.  As we invest in them, they, in turn, invest in us.  Treasure the time now, let them know how much you cherish them, giving our TIME is how they know this!