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Monday, October 28, 2013

operation de-stress, unwind and reconnect

You know those weeks, those periods of life, where things are frantic. Where mom and dad are stressed. When things seem to pile up, and laundry too. When meals tend to be last minute affairs of chicken nuggets and steamed edamame and children are shushed with the television too often. And whether its work or stress or holidays or visitors, life is out of whack.

And suddenly you wake up one morning and your kids are WHINEY and you realize its because you are WHINEY and you have to take a step back and say, okay folks, time to get things under control.

Operation De-Stress, Unwind and Reconnect, commence.

This of course has been my life these past few weeks. New work possibilities opening up for me (hence lots of conference calls and kids in front of videos). Dada's second job fiasco (long story short, didn't work out, now looking for another second job, ugh.) Car breaking down = mama and kids STUCK AT HOME (we have a new - to us - car now, YAAAAAY)

Things have been out of whack, down to the nuggets and edamame dinner last night.

And Oh. My. Lord. The children have been whiney. And we realize last night, yea, its because WE have been whiney (also, wine-y, which is what I just accidentally typed, HA.)

So we step back. Mid-day dada said, "yea, we are scrapping that to do list today, aren't we".

"Uh, yep, looks like it."

Little mirrors, these kiddies need peaceful, calm, contented, reflected from us back onto them.

Instead of the to do list we go to church, clean a little, chop some firewood, carve pumpkins, go shopping for costumes, make dinner. Go to bed.

Slow it down.

Drink it in.

Take a breath.


They NEED us to be this for them. To know that even when the van breaks down and dada is gone long hours and things are topsy-turvy, its all still good, we are together, we are loved, we are blessed.

Somehow I lost this perspective over the crazy week, instead getting more upset with how, simply put, devilish,  my children have been. OH the whining. OH the fighting. OH the TV consumption. And I got more and more worked up. What is going on? Why are they like this? What have I done?

And oh, they are now fighting, again, as I type, about who is going to turn the ceiling fan on, and oh, they just shoved each other...

Yes, still working on it.

But this was my take.

One, what makes me calm? I need to be calm for them to be calm. Honestly, cleaning up the house helps. I washed the kitchen floor at 9pm last night.

Then, two, a calmer week helps too. My mom is on her way up to us to spend a few days. (YAAAAAY GRANDMA!) So we "cancel" school for the week. Instead opting for fun (educational!) activities that we can all do. This morning we read a pumpkin story for the girls, did a paper pumpkin Pinterest craft (mildly successful), talked about pirates and read a history story of Black Beard (little man's costume of choice this year), and then wrote a poem out by Tennyson (copywork!) and read his biography. Then he looks up oak trees and flips through our North American nature book for 30 minutes. All this while lounging in the sun drinking coffee. Sneaky school. Ha.

But it works. We are low key. We hang out in our PJs most of the morning. We make granola. I sit and build Duplo castles for them. Here is how you PLAY, TV is NOT required for entertainment. We read  few stories. Do a craft. Listen to music. Make some pumpkin bars. Wait for grandma.

Soft, sweet, calm, contented. And the last few weeks melts away. And the sunshine helps. Sometimes we just need to step back, and realize yes, their mood does (sometimes) start with us. So where are WE at? Stressed? They will be too. Worried? Yep, they are gonna get freaked out about their sister touching their Duplo castle. Looking for escapism? This is what cartoons are for kids.

You know?

And oh yes, they are their own little people, with their own moods. But I am finding more and more in my parenting how much my tone sets their tone, and rather than correcting them, I see how much there is to work on in myself. Can I show them grace in my reaction to hard things? Can I show them perseverance? Loving reactions? Patience? Calm? These are the things I want for my kids to see in me, to model to them.

And now. We put on our jackets and gloves and hats and go out into the chilly sunshine, embracing the cold air, the wind, the golden leaves.

A mama and her babies, three separate souls, yet spirits so intertwined.

as I took this picture I said to dada...remember how every year
we HATE doing year lets paint them!


  1. Yay for you guys! Glad to hear you are finding ways to re-center. this post was good for me to read as I have had some WHINEY children of my own lately. The pumpkins are fantastic! hope your grandma time is fully enjoyed by all.

  2. jenn!!! so glad to hear from you!! now about those acres for sale nearby, AHEM.... :) hugs friend!


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