Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Change of Plans

Shutterfly has a free 8x8 book deal that ends today.  I was planning to stay up late and finish one of mine, but I don't think I will.  I need some time to just relax, blog and maybe read a little.

Considering that it is almost 10, though, I am guessing I will mostly just blog and sleep.

School is going well.  Better then I expected.  I am exhausted at the end of the day, but the days are good.  We've been starting school at 9am and it has been taking about 4 1/2 hours (including lunch) to finish.  3 afternoons a week we have gym class at the Y and one morning a week the kids have classes at our co-op.  It is a busy thing, but having those deadlines of going places keeps the boys on task in the mornings.  They know that if there is stuff left to do in the afternoons, they won't be able to go out and play until it is done.

I like the fact that most days I can get my workouts done during the day- thanks to the Y classes.

Last week I was trying to workout with Noah in the evenings, but I had to quit that.  I simply don't get enough other stuff done if I am exercising for an hour in the evening.  In some ways I miss the days when the kids were in bed by 7 and we had all evening to be "off duty".  I am actually considering picking one evening a week in which they have to be in their rooms by 7, lights out by 8.  It may be hard to implement that though, because we often don't even eat supper until 6:30.  I wish the schedule could be shifted a little with supper coming earlier, but I don't forsee that happening anytime soon.

After school ends or we get home from the Y, we wrap things up, the baby naps and I work on housework. I have been very diligent about doing "only school" during school time.  Of course I feed the baby, and monitor Berean but I don't do internet stuff or field time consuming phone calls during that time.  The housework I do get done is pretty basic maintenance, so I depend on the evenings to take care of other projects and all the little things and deadlines that crop up.  And of course Awana and work take up some of my evenings.

have I ever told you about our computer situation?  We currently have an old laptop (complete with missing keys) hooked up to a usable keyboard and a bigger monitor.  It is in our room, where the baby naps twice a day.  Two of the boys use it for math, and it is time to fix our PC and get a usable laptop for school use.

Quite frankly, we just need more space. It would be nice to have a place for the baby that is not right next to the heavily used computer.  I don't think it would be as bad if we weren't here all day, but the boys are getting bigger and all the schooling and stuff that goes on here...well, it is feeling really crowded.

Honestly, I do feel a little overwhelmed.  Mostly because I feel like I have to be totally on the ball and on task at all times.  If I don't stay on top of things, they fall apart very quickly.  It is kind of hard to be "on" all of the time.  I can give Noah and the kids stuff to do, but ultimately I feel so much responsibility for everything- and ultimately I am the one that has to make sure that all the stuff that needs to get done, gets done.

I look outside, and I see a huge yard in a dozen stages of "remodel."  I look around the house, in constant stages of decluttering and reorganizing for better space management.

I want to spend my time on the things that matter to me.  But there are other things that have to get done.  Where is the balance?

What do I love?

I love to let my children build with legos while I read  history to them.  I love to hear them come up with words like "bootlegging" and "search warrants" as they connect dots throughout history.  I love to discuss habitats with them while they search for the perfect piece for their ship.  I love to watch them play in the backyard and hear their plans for a zipline.  I love to watch them score soccer goals, run barefoot and hang out with their friends.  I love to discuss the Bible with them, morals and values and life lessons.

How can I get more of that and less of the monotonous housework?

I know I am easily frustrated with myself and easily frustrated with other people. I want to do things that matter.  I think about adults from my childhood.  I think about how I remember them.  How do I want my kid's friends to remember me?  Do I want them to remember me as the mom that wouldn't let them play in the house because they might get it dirty?  Do I want to be remembered as the parent that overspiritualizes everything?  Do I want to be known as the overprotective mom?  Do I want to be the mom that can never do anything fun because the list of household chores takes precedence?  Do I want to be person that is too overwhelmed to do anything outside of absolute basics?   Do I want to be known as the person that is always too busy to help? Do I want to be always sleeping or always on my phone or computer?

No!  I don't want those labels.  I want to be the mom that is open and friendly.  I want to be the mom that is creative and resourceful.  I want to be a listening ear and a friendly face for my kids and their friends.  I want the boy's friends  to see Jesus in me.  I want to be known as someone who is willing to help out, even if my bathroom doesn't get cleaned or I miss a tv show.  I want to have time for my kids and to enjoy them.  I want to have fun with them and teach them things.  I want them to see that I make time for the things that matter to me- important things, even if it is not always fun.  I want them to see me volunteering my time for the greater good- church programs that point people to Jesus, activities that help the poor.  I want them to see me spending my money wisely, making healthy choices for my life and my body.

I am hoping that this year I can keep the bigger goals ahead of me as I continue to press on...

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