Saturday, October 6, 2012

TIME to be the MOM YOU want to BE

Time.  It's what I think keeps most of us from doing many of things we want to do.  We just don't have the time.  That's why I have challenged you to fill ONE BAG a day in our de-cluttering challenge.  ONE BAG-it could take ten minutes if that is all you have.  It's also why I've challenged you to consider making ONE SCRAP or PHOTO BOOK page a day, if that's your cup of tea, ONE PAGE could take fifteen minutes or less if you keep it simple.  Simple is good.  What you want is to get those memories documented so your kids can look at the book when they are older and remember the fun times you had...or so you can drag it out and humiliate them when they are teenagers.  Either way, it works.  It's all about YOU being the MOM that YOU want to be--no judging here ;-)

When my daughters were young we lived in a contemporary themed home that was easy to clean and I had my act together.  Seriously.  We went to playgroup one day a week.  We went out to eat as a family on Friday.  Hubby and I had date night on Saturday.  I grocery shopped one week day and we went for long walks, met friends at the park or had playdates.  It was great.  I felt like I had found the key to the universe.

Then pre-school happened.  Suddenly I had to worry about drop off and pick up times, I grocery shopped and ran errands between drop off and pick up.  That was stressful.

Then kindergarten. Oy vey.  Maybe it is just me, but all of those papers that came home, some that required a signature, some I didn't know what I was supposed to do with it--read it?  I could have spent hours reading all the stuff that came home every day.  Not to mention fundraisers.  Every month our PTO ran a fundraiser.  Then there was Daisy Scouts and Soccer--one game and one practice per week.  By that point each of my girls was in dance classes AND I was teaching Sunday school which required preparing a lesson and getting supplies...suddenly I felt harried and like there was not enough time.

I had dreamed of baking cookies when my girls were at school...I did a couple of times, but most of the time I was overwhelmed with errands and housework and other things.  Not to mention reading all the papers about reading levels and clubs the kids could join and community fundraisers that came home with them.

After a couple of years we made a conscious decision as a family to NOT BEND to the pressures of modern society and try to keep up with the hustle and bustle: each girl picked two things that they REALLY wanted to do and they went to Sunday school.  Even with this change, we were still busy 4 afternoons a week. 2 girls x 2 activities=4 afternoons a week.  We had one afternoon for playdates.  My girls wanted more and frankly, so did I.  But I felt a little guilty and I didn't want my girls to miss out on anything.  All these other kids were taking piano, violin, flute, karate, dance, gymnastics, skating, playing soccer and softball, doing scouts.  One mom told me her secret was fast food for dinner in the car on the way from activity to the next.  Her kids had multiple activities every day of the week.  I liked family dinners with all of us sitting around a table together talking.  I had to ask myself what was more important FOR OUR FAMILY.  Each family is different, what works for one may not work for another.

We pared things down to ONLY the things we REALLY wanted to do.

I stopped feeling guilty that someone thought EVERY child should take music and it was so important. I stopped worrying that all these kids were doing all these things and maybe mine were missing out.
In short, I stopped letting society dictate how I raised my kids.  Quite frankly, I'm not impressed with the values of society lately and I don't want to raise my kids to fit those standards.  Call me old fashioned.

Family dinner are important to us.  Family game nights are important to us.  Taking hikes on the weekend is important to us.  Visiting extended family is important to us.  Having time to talk or cuddle is important to us.  I want to savor these moments, not squeeze them in between rushing hither and yon.

NOT bending to modern society's
hustle and bustle 
was one of the BEST things we did for our family!
It allowed us time as a family.