I strive to start my day with a devotion and prayer before my kids are clamoring for chocolate almond milk, breakfast or Doc McStuffin. Sometimes, depending on how late we sleep, this is easily done and other times not so much. I am fairly intelligent and I know that early rising is the Proverbs-31 model of the perfect mom for a good reason. I am here to state that she can have that title because I am proudly a night owl.
It is only a "Monday" if we had too many social obligations over the weekend and we 'let the house go'. Otherwise, I find most Mondays easy, when recharged from the weekend. My mind is normally filled with things I wish to accomplish and I try to start tackling them, but the laundry normally stands in my way.
Folding laundry is not my favorite, but I have learned to turn on a show, or a podcast to make it more bearable. My kids are young, so my type-A tendencies haven't allowed them to learn to fold yet. They do put their own clothes away, but until I can become more relaxed and not care if things are folded the way I like them - I am on my own with the folding. If I don't distract myself then it is easy to have thoughts start spiraling downward because my time seems wasted on monotonous things.
If I can get through the laundry, homeschooling and fit in a little work at baby's nap time, then I might have time to squeeze in the next chapter or re-pot a plant ( I dabble in gardening). It is inevitable that someone's temper gets sour during the day (mine included), so to reset, we turn on the music and have a dance party.... and yes, I tip my blinds so I can do so freely!
I get my best burst of inspiration just as my head hits the pillow... why? Perhaps, because that is the only time my day...err night is quiet!? I know God wired me to be this way, so why fight it? I need a pen and pad near my bed or I will not be able to sleep. I cannot count how many times I have started to doze and been woken with something that God impresses upon me or some fabulous idea I simply must jot down. If you don't it will be fuzzy the next day and that is a sin of lost inspiration. ha ha
Monday fades into Tuesday and I praise God that in the midst of it all.
He helps me treasure a moment here or there, keeps me from losing my cool too many times, orders my day, and through loving friends and family somehow keeps me sane!
Getting any exercise with littles can be difficult, but having it be enjoyable is another matter entirely! Whining can make or break your walk. It is just a fact that kids can bounce off the walls indoors for hours but have no energy to walk around the block moments later. So here are some tips to make walks more enjoyable for everyone involved.
1. Good shoes that don't pinch or cause blisters (think back up shoes too if someone wants to skate!) If you know the shoes they are wearing will give them a blister, just pack some band-aids or back up shoes. A little liquid band-aid works wonders too.
2. Water & Snacks for all! If you are really ambitious you can pack a picnic lunch. I know it seems to take forever to get out of the house, but the extra few minutes to put separate baggies of cheerrios or other dried snacks together will be so worth it. If everyone has there own water bottle, you are less likely to run out completely.
3. A stroller with storage - a double if you have it! Even though my kids are older I still drag out the double stroller because someone always gets too hot or too tired to walk as far as I would like to go. Even if it ends up just carrying the stuff until the kids have enough stamina to make it miles on their own, do yourself a favor and bring it.
4. Avoid anything loud or cumbersome - wagons with plastic wheels, noisy toys, (scooters never last), etc. You know you will be the one who ends up carrying that scooter or the plastic wheels scraping will steal your peace and bring on a headache. No matter how cute - if it is not practical - ditch it! Jackets in summer or objects too big to stick somewhere in the stroller storage also should be left behind, because you know they will be too tired to carry it far.
5. Timing it right - not too hot and no one has to pee! We live in Florida so we have to go early in the morning or in the late evening in the summer time. Noon walks last about 5 minutes tops before everyone including you is dripping and whining. If you can choose a walking place that has a bathroom at starting point so much the better. Look for shaded walks in the summer and sunny ones in the winter
6. Picking a new spot, preferably with bathrooms and water fountain nearby! Everyone likes a change of scenery but be sure that with littles there are conveniences around for their sake and yours.
7. Bring a Scavenger List, play a game or bring a camera. Distraction is the best method for young and old alike. There is Geocaching and now Pokemon Go can take that scavenger hunt up to a treasure hunt. They may go farther than you ever thought possible. Now with smartphones having your littles capture pictures of nature along your trail may distract them too. Be sure you have a quality case on it so you avoid tears on your end. There are little tikes cameras if you don't want to share.
8. Go Fast! When my kids were younger we would lock that wheel in place and go fast! Run or skate behind that stroller. Be sure littles are strapped in and give them a fast ride and you a good workout. This gets harder as they outgrow the stroller but you can continue it for a time if you get the older ones to ride or skate too.
9. Bring a book or audiobook. If they bring a book they can read while sitting in the stroller or if you take a break at the halfway point with a blanket and picnic lunch. You can listen while you walk if you have a speaker with good battery life.
10. My favorite is to invite friends! My kids always walk farthest when they are laughing with friends. The bonus for me is I get a walk and talk to0 with their friends' mother! The little things don't bother you as much when you have a friend to keep you sane.
The more kids you have the harder it is to organize everyone into getting out and enjoying movement, but it is a great example of taking care of your body and your mind. Time in nature is a restoring process to encourage our littles to enjoy. So do your best to keep on moving!
So excited for our first official year (third year really) of homeschooling!!! Our oldest is in second grade, but since age 6 is the legal age of sending in the letter of intent in our state, this is her first official year. She loves to learn and is being joined this year by her sister in preschool (so mostly play learning) and her bubby who is potty training... errr kind of. He is only one so we will give him some time.
We started the year off with a visit to the Museum of Science and History with daddy which was super fun. They had a huge model dinosaur out front that growled and moved every few minutes. The history section was a little over their heads, but for my husband and I, it was fascinating to see what is now outdated from when we were kids. It was also a keen reminder of how much will probably change for our own kids over the next decade or two.
I love the endless resources to be found online and continue to add to my own skills. I was homeschooled as well, 7th- 12th grade, and thrived by being able to set my own pace and pursue my interests. My parents cultivated a love and thirst for knowledge as well as an independent spirit. I had no problem in college because I had already cultivated the self-taught rather than spoonfed attitude. I hope to do the same for our littles.
I want them to be out-of-the-box thinkers, pursue their passions and question everything ...yes even what mom and dad say!
I have every confidence that as my children learn and question that they will find the truth. Our God encourages us to seek Him and ensures us that we will find Him when we seek with all our hearts. I know the idea of our children searching without parameters can be scary to some, even myself sometimes when I let doubt creep in, but I choose to rest in the knowledge that perfect love casts out all fear. God loves my children way more than I ever could and I choose to trust Him as I let me children grow and outgrow convention.
I am attempting to balance managing a tech team from home, helping my husband with ministry, homeschooling and keeping a house clean. So, any attempts at blogging will be random at best. As I lead by example for my children, I pray that they learn more good from me than bad. I pray they see that God is way bigger than anyone knows. He is mirrored in creation and glimpses of His glory can be found in those around you. I want them to chew up the meat and spit out the bones and allow only God's Spirit guide them!
in the moments of motherhood...
i feel like all i do
is pick up after you
i wipe your tush
and feed you mush
read you books
field dirty looks
i said yes and i said no
grrr, just because i said so
refold your clothes
and wipe your nose
sing you to sleep
soothe when you weep
moments to treasure
new heights to measure
so many highs and lows
insanity that grows
do not dare to blink
it's gone in a wink
hoping you do it right
as you pray every night
each day is a test
we hope for the best
good or bad; happy or sad
my babies i'm glad i had
We have three children now and I kept on joking that I am intravenously taking my caffeine. Well, now I find it actually exists! Maybe this product can help?! Don't believe me? Click the picture!
We have a smart 5 year old, a sneaky 3 year old and now a baby boy.
I keep hearing that I am in the toughest stage of life. I am starting to believe them!!
Between dealing with the emotions of my 5-year-old who is super smart and testing her boundaries, the silent, sneaky, crafty, ninja 3-year-old who likes to get into things she knows she is not supposed to while I am changing diapers and my son, who is just starting to give me longer stretches at night but poops every other thing and wants to be talked to 24/7 .... I am feeling stretched to say it nicely!!
(Can you say run on sentence!)
Add on top of that:
Trying to keep a house cleaned
Coming up with meals for picky eaters
Cleaning up their messes left and right
Keeping our doctor visits and insurance up to date (researching a new dentist too!)
Doing media presentations for every Friday's CR
Printing off counseling papers and other misc things for my husband
Prepping Sales each week for my TOH job plus other misc assignments
Helping my neighbor with designing a website (I really like helping people with techy stuff!)
Homeschooling the oldest (Kindergarten/1st Grade) while not leaving the middle one out. (Preschool)
And we are left with:
Squeezing in leg lifts while playing on the floor with my son so I can say I did some exercise!
A Bible App for devotions while going to the bathroom so I don't become a heathen...
Chugging coffee so I don't have to start the intravenous drip of the stuff @@)
..Oh and did I mention I try to blog as my sanity break?! - HA!
From the choice of having children, whether biological or through adoption, there are thousands of choices to make.
Here are just a few:
The variations of choices that shape our children seem endless! The same choices that are agonizing for you may be easy for others and vice versa. Who is to say which combination of all these variations will bring about the healthy, well-balanced human beings we hope to bless society with and which ones will set up spoiled entitled brats?
Now, if all children were the same - temperament, learning styles, etc - we could assume that the above choices have the same effect and a right and wrong could be determined. There are countless parenting books that seem to make sense but only contradict the next one you pick up. The Bible has some parenting advice too, but as scripture is open to interpretation even seemingly clear rules seem gray.
It can seem overwhelming when you start to stack all these choices into a list and start googling the pros and cons or even discussing them with friends. If you had great parents you might just try and copy what they did or if you had horrible parents you might go the opposite way. Peer pressure, social media and the government only make it harder to make these choices. Fears start to shape your parenting - fear your friends will think you are too strict or too lenient, fear that others will think your kids are spoiled or lacking in some way, and fear if you discipline too hard the government will take your kids away or if you don't discipline enough your kids will end up a juvenile delinquent.
I can't imagine trying to parent on my own. Single parents are amazing to me! By the time 5 pm rolls around, I admit, I start listening for the sound of the garage door opening, meaning my husband has returned. I also have a mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-laws, and friends I can call to help restore sanity and think out parenting strategies when I am overwhelmed.
Sometimes we have to agree to disagree with what is best for our children too. After all, our children are not going to be exposed to, or go through all the same things as another's children. But instead of letting our choices divide us, we should allow the decision-making process to unite us in prayer for God's direction for each other and be okay when God guides others differently. He places the children and He is trustworthy!
But at the end of the day, I have to come back to the one truth that brings me the most peace no matter what choices I have had to make...
These children are not mine. They are on loan to me by a God who is sovereign and He chose me for them.
So, when we start to feel overwhelmed by fears, we need to recognize who's we are, who's our kids are and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in our choices.
Replace fears with His love.
We can't go wrong when we invite Him into the equation. AND whatever happens is not a surprise to Him and He works all things for the good of those who love Him.
I recently was invited to a Breast Feeding class. Now, yes, I explained to them that this was my third child and I had successfully breastfed my two girls already, but they insisted. They said that there was some great information and having a "seasoned" mother could be helpful for the other moms coming. So, I agreed - I can always learn more!
The first words out of the lactation consultants mouth were, "The first myth about breastfeeding is that it hurts." I almost snorted! I held my tongue and waited for her to continue to explain that it does hurt most new moms tho. I mean surely she would not set these new moms who have never breastfed to believe there would be no pain as they learned a new skill?!? Right?!? Wrong!
She went on to explain that with the proper latch breastfeeding should not hurt and that pain was a sign you were doing it wrong and that a re-latch was necessary. Although it was hard not to jump in, I waited as she explained how Lactation Consultants had to go through 40 hours of training and she had breastfed her three boys. The first two she mentioned were easy, but she skimmed right over the third! I tried to relax as she explained the proper latch with fish lips and how to break the seal so you don't damage your nipple and tummy to tummy rule, trusting that eventually, she would come back to preparing moms that it is a learning process for both their baby and them!
The entire presentation my brain was screaming to warn the moms that myths come from somewhere! Yes, with proper latching it should hurt less maybe, but your nipple has never been sucked like it is about to be! I have heard of so many moms not being able to breastfeed for one reason or another, but I think the biggest problem is not knowing what to expect and giving up because you can't imagine dealing with one more painful latch! I have also heard from seasoned moms that a third kid wouldn't breastfeed for some reason or another. I have yet to meet one myself that said it didn't hurt at first!
Now, yes, for a handful of moms that have babies with angelic latches and who have either a mother or lactation consultant advising from the first latch there may be no real pain associated with breastfeeding. Maybe...But what about for the others?! My children could suck the paint off a wall and I knew how to properly break a latch, but I guess both my daughters and I were slow learners. The first two weeks were hell both times! After those two weeks, we got it and I wouldn't have traded breastfeeding for anything. My nipples toughened up, baby gains head control and your milk subsides from the painful engorgement to the sustainable amount your baby needs. But why do they not tell new moms that the first week is not only crucial (for that colostrum gold) but also the hardest - especially day 3 and 4? I think too many give up because it hurts and therefore they or their baby must be doing something wrong. WRONG! Stick with it - it gets better!!!
You are dealing with so many factors that the first week: being sore, training baby to latch, learning your baby's signs, training yourself to wait for the perfect open mouth, learning how to soothe an angry baby enough to get on or back on the breast if you miss their signs and now they are red-faced, waiting for your milk to come in, worrying if they are getting enough/any colostrum, watching bowl movements - yours and baby's, listing for their breathing, engorgement and let down once the milk comes in, and that is just to name the ones I can think of right now. Can we not reassure moms that babies are resilient and can survive on a tsp of colostrum no problem?! Let's share those baby stories about newborns surviving 10 days after an earthquake even though separated from mom - a little dehydrated but alive! Let's remind moms that not every baby's bowl movements will be charting like the book says. There is an ideal, sure, but with babies, exceptions are the rule!
My heart is to be real - Lets set moms up for success instead of failure by giving new moms ALL THE FACTS! How about pumping is great, but your baby being skin to skin is extremely important (it has saved countless NICU babies' lives), not just for healthy bonding but to also allow your nipple to read whatever anti-bodies your baby needs right from the baby's saliva! Getting a sniffle...no problem your body will sense it and make some anti-bodies just for that - amazing! Save at least a meal a day for that breast if you can. Now, if you are in that 5% that have such severely inverted nipples that you can't latch or your milk never comes in even after a week of regular stimulation and skin-to-skin time, you are off the hook. Our bodies can only do so much. You may be elated by this or be extremely saddened, but I commend you for trying! Breastfeeding isn't for everyone, but I don't want it to be because you weren't given all the facts!
Don't be afraid to get the consultant to come over (the sooner the better yes!) or even another mom who has recently been there! Blessings and may your nipples be toughened quickly!
I have been very blessed to have three great pregnancies. Each one has gotten slightly harder, but I really can't complain and I can't see much difference when I look at the pictures. I am currently in my 32nd week of my third pregnancy and wanted to get this comparison article down before I forgot the details.
My first pregnancy was in 2008-2009 and was not planned. It was hoped for but was a pleasant surprise on Father's Day to see those + signs. I had mild nausea the first trimester. I continued to work part-time as a waitress right up until the month before I gave birth when lifting heavy trays got difficult. I was so enamored with the changes and spent time talking and singing to the baby in utero, but enjoyed being able to put my feet up after work. I gained about 35 pounds with my first daughter and ate coffee ice-cream almost nightly. The third trimester with the onset of heartburn definitely kept the ice cream coming.
She came on her due date. It was a 21-hour labor, but only 40 minutes pushing. 7-pound baby girl.
My second pregnancy was intentional in 2010-2011. Around the time my first was 16 months I was charting and taking my temperature (family awareness method). We tried for three months and then I fell off the wagon with my charting. Our anniversary rolled around and we ended up conceiving our second daughter over our anniversary weekend. I like to think it was God's way of reminding me he is in charge of life, not me. I had been rollerblading or running Monday through Friday which really had helped me get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. My midwife allowed me to continue this throughout my pregnancy since I had been doing it. I had similar pregnancy symptoms of nausea and heartburn, but having another little one to watch and potty train kept me pretty busy. I remember the hip pain at night in the last trimester again, but still knew a lot of friends who had it worse. I still gained about 35 pounds.
She came 9 days early. It was a 12-hour labor with 12 minutes of pushing. 7.5-pounds baby girl.
I am 32 weeks into my third pregnancy and I have been craving more salty things than sweet. I have had even more nausea and heartburn starting in the first and continuing throughout. I had a metallic taste in my mouth about the end of the first trimester which was new and continued off and on into the second trimester. We have been eating healthier but with the two girls and working from home I have not had much energy left over for working out. :( I had lost all the weight after baby #2 but then gained 10 back right before finding out on Josh's birthday we were pregnant again. We were happy but really hoping for a boy so we could round out our family and get that done feeling. Very relieved to have our prayers answered at the official ultrasound!! We had to have a second ultrasound to check out his kidneys since he appeared to have some water on them at the first one (apparently this is pretty common for boys.) Happy to report they checked out at the appropriate levels. I have only gained 20 pounds so far but am assuming there might be another 5 or so in these last few weeks and trying to not let that bother me since it is part of the process. We are praying for a short labor, one push- no tears supernatural birth. Please feel free to pray with us on that!
...update after His birth with the details...
Our son's labor was a little over 3 hours. I was 9 cm by the time the midwife got here but had to push a cm of the cervix for over an hour. Once that was out of the way it was only 6 minutes of pushing until he was out. He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. He was born at 6:39 pm on June 7th. His head was trying to come out sideways and his cord was wrapped once like his sister's. So my kids continue the bungee-jumping tradition. No tears, so two out of three prayers answered. I had a lot of pelvic pain and did most of the labor standing. He is here and beautiful and our last.
Recently, I read an article on the internet, don't ask me where. It was about a mom who decided to strip her daughters' room after observing their deteriorating behavior and increasing expectations on a vacation. She left a sheet and one stuffed animal each.
My first reaction was equally mixed between,"Go mom!" and "A bit over the top?" I went on to read her daughters' reactions at the end of the day, 6 months later and on the next family vacation. In case you were wondering, it worked! Now, she did end up giving some toys back but most she kept for cycling in every few months, or if they weren't educational she gave them away. Her girls' reactions by the end of the day were far from what I expected. They claimed they would just use their imaginations more and there would be less to clean up. Six months later with 5 toys each being cycled in or special toys brought down upon special request, they were using their imaginations more as well as playing independently better. On the next family vacation instead of begging for souvenirs like previous times, they were present in the moment enjoying quality time with their family- WHAT!?
So, as you must have gathered from the title... I started my own experiment!! My daughters will be 5 this month and 3 in May. They have been royally spoiled by their loving relatives and no matter how many toys break, are given away or cycled to bring down in the future, they somehow manage to turn each room into a tornado of toys, crayons and misc articles of clothing. I am pregnant with my third,(a son - yay!) and am having a harder time bending over without heartburn flare-ups. Finding this article just saved me from dumping all their toys in the garbage can.
*Disclaimer I have given away their toys when they have outgrown them, but I always asked which toys they loved most. I encouraged them to share with others. I have threatened to give their toys away to other children when they don't care for their toys properly and yes even once brought out a trash bag to fill after repeated requests to clean their rooms were ignored. Their reaction when I started packing things up were tears, thinking I was giving their toys away. I explained that we were going to try an experiment to help them not have to always pick up an entire room by themselves each night. I had gotten the question from my almost 5-year-old, "Why do we always get the hard jobs?" REALLY!? They calmed down after hearing that I was trying to help them.
I did put some toys away to bring out later when they weren't looking. Anything with small pieces like puzzles or card games got put - WAY UP! - to pull down with mommy's supervision or for special family time. I took all their food and misc kitchen toys and packed them in a big bag which hangs up where they cant reach it (green bag in the picture). I took all their tiny people and pets with their painful accessories (the ones that bring out swearing when you try to check on your kids in the middle of the night!) into another bag hung the same way (clear bag in the picture). Another bag holds their building blocks and yet another bag for all their pretties (necklaces, hair bows, and accessories). The books have a shelf, their dress-up clothes have hooks for dresses and a tub for the rest and lastly, all the stuffed animal (which I keep trying to get rid of but multiply like rabbits!) are way up in a net. Rules are in place that nothing comes down until the last thing is picked up.
It has been about a week and this momma is very happy so far! Not only does this preggers have to bend over much less but my girls have seemed less overwhelmed and already are showing greater appreciation for their toys. They still have far too many toys as far as I am concerned but there is no fixing that with family members who are determined to spoil no matter how much I plead. Plastic kitchen toys get played with for hours instead of seconds and the regular picking up is becoming a habit instead of something they try to weasel out of doing. I wanted to cry at the end of each night when I looked at their playroom, so I can't really fault them for not wanting to pick it up any more than I did. But caving even occasionally and allowing them to go to sleep with cluttered rooms was not only dangerous but self-defeating for the next time I asked them to clean. The restriction may seem cruel, but it will save us a lot of heartache!
I still have hopes of finding more ways to organize the house and give things away to keep life simple. Please share your tips on how you have helped your home be more organized! Or share other methods to show children the value of things, sharing and helping around the home. I look forward to hearing your tips!
...not so secret now...
1. Will I be Okay?
Okay - by definition to me, means mostly sane and happy. Being around children 24/7 can do crazy things to you and I have already experienced some of this insanity with two young children. What happens when/if more come along or the difficulty of questions and repetition of questions increase? Thankfully, I have an incredible support system. My husband is all for homeschooling, many friends with similarly aged children are also starting this journey, and my mother (who homeschooled me) is only a phone call or short drive away. I have confidence that I will get through this season but do wonder how many brain cells will be left at the end....
2. What will happen after I become an empty-nester?
I know this is far into the distant future since my youngest isn't even old enough for school, but I keep hearing that they fly the nest faster than we can blink. So, rationally I don't think this a strange question to ask myself.
I went to college and received an AA. I was even close to a BA when I got pregnant and lost all ambition to do any more schooling. But what happens when they are done with school? Will I have to start over in my late forties waiting tables or taking classes? I don't know if living off the husband will be all that fair or fulfilling when I am not wiping noses and teaching his offspring to read. Starting over does not sound appealing either, as I have been there done that before children and don't really care to repeat that season. I work part-time from my computer at home when the girls nap. But if anymore children come along I don't see how I will manage even working part-time. I will just have to trust that this job or one like it will be available maybe even with a few more hours, when my raising children years are over.
3. Will all my friend lose interest in me?
You know how people get when they are immersed in something, good or bad, it can become a bit much. I don't want to turn into that friend that can only talk about her kids, and homeschooling her kids, and did I mention the wife that reports on her kids? Will I be able to tell when my friends are sick of hearing about homeschooling? I don't want to cause/start/tolerate any child/school/parenting comparing/judging!
....I think I may have a new obsession with the "/" sign...
How will I stay an interesting friend balanced enough to be able to hold a conversation about a vast number of topics? I'm thankful for those friends that are walking this journey with me, because we will be on the same page. I will strive to retain some other friendships that will be uplifting and non-kid focused to the best of my ability.
4.Will I butt heads all day long and have to fight to make it interesting?
When my first daughter was born I was convinced that I had a strong willed child. When my second one was born I realized I had two! Both are strong personalities, but thankfully they love being praised and cuddled. The whole family seemingly shares the same two primary love languages of Words of Affirmation and Touch. So, as much as they aggravate me with some of their antics, they equally astound me with their love.
As my four year old's curiosity increases so do the amount of her questions and demands. We are working on finding the loving balance of allowing the child to be heard but having respect for what mommy and daddy say. We have discovered peak times of the day that have the optimum attitudes for learning and others that just equal quiet time. Learning types are also showing themselves and allowing for tweaked lessons. But inevitably we run into a subject that has run just a bit too long or an interrupted lesson that doesn't want to be resumed. I want them to understand that sometimes in life we have to do things when we don't want to and there are deadlines in life. So, if we are already butting heads now, what happens when algebra comes along?
5.Will my kids hate me for not allowing them to do the "normal" thing?
This one I am only mildly worried about since I loved being homeschooled. I know it is not for everyone, but I thrived going at my own pace rather than waiting on the class clown to get his butt in gear so we all didn't have homework because of his antics. I had the opportunity to experience, public, private both here in the USA and abroad as well as homeschooling. I asked to be homeschooled after experiencing 7th grade in public school. I was tired of teachers and students wasting my time. From 8th on, I was homeschooled.
My girls won't be choosing but we will pray about options each year to see where they might thrive best. I am not set on it until they are 18 but I am hoping. They will have friends that are homeschooling like them, friends going to public school and private school as well. I am hoping I can shape their view of homeschooling to be one of advantage instead of them feeling left out of the "normal". We will have plenty of opportunity to socialize, so I am really hoping to avoid the issue by keeping a balanced peer group for them.
6. Will I get any alone time ever?
I recharge by myself and you have probably guessed by now that I don't get as much alone time with two young kids as I would like. I do try to plan either a date night with my husband or a coffee night out with gal pals once a week.
My daughters seem much more extroverted like their father and are constantly asking where we are going and who is going to be there. My oldest is definitely an extrovert like her daddy and she constantly wants playdates. Will we be able to maintain a healthy balance for her and for my introverted self?
7.Will getting involved in a coop be too much craziness?
I have actually been a part (kind of) two different coops. There first one was when I was in high school/homeschool and the other girls in it and I never really clicked. Some were so sheltered and shy they never made eye contact or engaged in conversation beyond yes and no. And the other kids I knew from youth groups did the 'who is dating who?' conversations which I found juvenile when you can't do anything legally with that relationship anyway. Why date until you can get married? Okay, that is another topic. ;) The other coop I taught in when I was pregnant with my first child. I grew up abroad and learned Russian so I taught a beginners Russian language class. I was not involved in the ins and out of the actual coop and only knew part of the families making it up.
When I think of coops I am wary of who to link myself with or allow to influence my teaching and my children. I know socialization is important, support and sharing helpful, but it can also get out of control quick! I love the idea of sharing resources/ideas and maybe even sharing the teaching load for subjects that aren't my strengths. I am leery of getting involved in a group where I am constantly having to explain/defend my beliefs about God and creation or teaching styles. I will have to pray long and hard about joining one or maybe start my own so I can influence the main vision of the coop. Time will tell if it is too much craziness. :)
8.Will i neurotically over-schedule or lazily under-schedule?
If you haven't guess by the list making, I have a Type A personality. I both like this about myself and hate it. A turn off switch would be very helpful for this trait! I love being organized and having a rough routine, but I am purposefully and slowly trying to train myself to be more Type B for several reasons. I know no one thrives for long under Hitler, so I don't want to be so scheduled and organized that I kill the love for learning and my children's natural curiosity. They are both left handed and think with the opposite site of their brain than I do. They tend to be more artistic and spontaneous and I want them to be free to do things differently than mommy.
I know no one thrives for long under Hitler...
But at the same time, reporting to the state and having a portfolio at the end of the year seems daunting at times. Will my idea of an awesome education balanced with field trips, book work, natural curiosity lead learning be enough to impress who it needs to impress? I have no doubt that the education will be unquestionably awesome (not because I am so awesome, but because my kids have a thirst for knowledge and are sponges!), but I wonder if I will do a good enough job tracking, and explaining all we learned into the correct school board lingo?? Time will tell....
9.Will I become obese?
You may laugh at this one, but for every woman or man who has been at home can attest, food is readily available in fridge and pantry. And I am sure I am not alone in being guilty of reaching for a comfort snack when I am overwhelmed....whether by children or just life in general. The added stress of not just being with children but fitting in quality teaching without regular breaks has definitely added to the challenge of not stress eating.
I am currently going strong with a personal workout Monday-Friday and have eliminated a lot of bad food from my diet, but as the scale refuses to budge there is that small irrational part of me, that cries to be a size 6, that wonders if homeschooling will allow me to reach that goal ever?! The more rational part of me just wants to lose the marriage/baby weight and be back to a heart healthy weight. Either way homeschooling the children will be an added stressor. :(
10.Will it all be worth it?
Okay, you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20? Wish you could jump in a time machine for a moment to know how it will all turn out? I guess what keeps me from complete panic mode when this question slips into my thought pattern during the day...... God's whispered "TRUST ME". God has placed in our hearts (my husband's and mine) the peace and desire to homeschool our children this year. We prayed together asking that God would make His will known and God kindly confirmed His calling for us. Following His direction is ALWAYS worth it!
....and peace returns....
My Current Mantra
Walk humbly with God and do the work at your hands....