Tagged with "games"
12 Oct
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Out of the Busy Race

I’ve officially dropped out of the race for most busy mother. Someone else can take the title.

There are people in my vast circle who bring out the worst in me. You have them too. They want you to see all the balls they’re juggling at any given time. They are constantly on their phones. They want you to know what they’ve had to do without any help from anyone. I’ll find myself spouting off my own to-do list and crammed schedule. I’m done with that trap. It doesn’t matter. None of it. Everyone has their own busy, and listing your own list of busy does more harm than good in this mothering journey.

I knew that our oldest entering high school wasn’t just another chapter for him, but it’s own new novella. So much will change for him in four years. I’ve seen the shift in less than two months into his freshman year. I didn’t know high school was a pivotal life change for me as mom. I’m aware of how fast this active parenting stage of life is moving. I don’t want to busy myself with an endless list of to-dos when what I want to do is enjoy the time I have with children under my roof. I’m out of the race.

We have jobs, four active kids, boards, and volunteering for aforementioned children. Every parent has stuff. It just looks a little different from house-to-house. I felt a shift in how I felt about being busy and what that even means. I’m in a stage of a whole lot of living happening around me. There are constantly needs to be met, children to watch, and projects to finish. Busy is defined as having a great deal to do or keeping occupied.  Shifting from the feeling of constantly being occupied in 100 different ways to giving part of me to someone/something else led me to a revelation. I am going to miss this stage something fierce. The amount of life that happens in my home everyday is a privilege to witness and take part in.

family walking through aspen trees

Sure, I have plenty of boxes of things to check off my list, but a great deal of those things I have to do are life experiences. Picking kids up at different times from different places means I have time with one or two at a time held captive in the vehicle. Driving them around isn’t solely something that has to be done. It’s time I have them, mostly, to myself.  I’m available for them in those cross-town drives. That time is precious with my two teen boys. They’ll talk while they can look out a window and aren’t forced to make eye contact.

Last year, I made a point to weed out parts of life that weren’t adding to the who I wanted to be or how I wanted our family to run. Giving of myself to every cause left nothing for my family. Always saying yes wasn’t worth it. There were things I did mainly so others would see I had given of my time and effort. Those things took away from things and people who were better served by my time and attention. Weeding out that fluff helped lead me to this less anxious stage I’m in now.

In years past, I would look at our schedule and break out in hives. I felt everyone was being letdown. There wasn’t enough of me to give to anyone or anything. The guilt of not being able to volunteer for something at school or missing one of the kids’ activities would gnaw at me. Yesterday one son won his cross country race, and I wasn’t there. Both parents couldn’t make an appearance without stress and possibly yelling for people to hurry up because we have to get across town NOW. Instead, I picked up my daughter from dance and let the race go. Guess what? He won that race without me there, and it was fine. I didn’t apologize for missing the race. I hugged that boy fiercely, congratulated him and made him wear his medal at his brother’s football game. I’m going to miss a football game this week and a few other activities in the next few weeks. Here’s the thing: life keeps going even if I’m not present to witness it, and that’s OK. This is big progress for me who would have lamented for hours about how big of a failure I was as a mother who couldn’t manage to make it to everything everyone does everyday.

Sometimes things have to be prioritized and the chaff put to the wayside to free us from the chains of busy life. This race to do the most is wearing everyone down and setting a sketchy example for our children. The goal in this life is not to do everything all the time. It’s OK if other people do things. It’s fine if you miss a sporting event. It’s alright to say something you’ve done for years is no longer important to who you are now. Let someone else sit on the committee. I promise the world won’t stop spinning if you’re not part of the decision-making process. Turn over the reins friends and let someone else lead.

We don’t have to be busy and occupied at every second. The 30 minutes I sat in the vehicle reading to our daughter while we waited for kickoff instead of checking one more thing off my to-do list was better than squeezing in another errand. I’d rather her remember that than memories of me constantly on the phone. I’ll strive to not fall into the trap of listing my schedule to be the busiest of all in a conversation. I’m not less because someone else seems to be doing more. I’m done offering up a list of things I have to do to prove I have too much going on. Simply saying no to something is enough. No one will care if there’s peanut butter and jelly for dinner occasionally and would be grateful for pizza night in lieu of another crock-pot meal. I am enough just the way I am, even without the title of Most Busy Mom.


 
Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games
By     |    Jan 9, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games

Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games

There isn’t a whole lot I enjoy about winter, but a family game night at home because the weather is too frightful to be outside in is one of the positives of cold-weather living. We’re experiencing a winter with intense winds which makes the safety and warmth of home a giant blessing. Our wind is soul-sucking at times. More than once in the last month I’ve asked myself (and my husband) why we continue to live here. Thankfully our summer... [Read More]

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Coaching and Expectations
By     |    Oct 19, 2016
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Coaching and Expectations

Three years ago when our oldest son started youth tackle football, people told me to be prepared. Tackle football was not for the faint of heart. There was the physical nature of football, but there was also the nature of football coaches for these 5th and 6th grade-age boys. By the third football game of our son’s first season, it was apparent that football coaches were different than any coaches our athletic children had ever been acquainted. Our oldest son’s... [Read More]

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For the Love of Olympics
By     |    Aug 11, 2016
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For the Love of Olympics

Barcelona 1992. That was when my passion for all things Summer Olympics began. I watched everything I could in those pre-Internet days and stood in the grocery store reading magazine article after magazine article devouring every athlete profile tidbit I could. Gail Devers, Jennifer Capriati, Derek Redman and the basketball Dream Team were brought up in conversation as if they were friends of the family. Not much has changed in 22 years. My passion for the Olympics runs deep, and... [Read More]

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Come Sit at Our Table
By     |    Dec 1, 2015
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Come Sit at Our Table

I long for invites and unexpected text messages. My heart leaps to know someone has thought of me and asked me to a party, dinner or coffee. Even when I can’t accept an invite, which is more often than not, I like to feel included. I love people but fail to make those outside my day-to-day routine a priority. I work from home, so most days the number of people I see outside my family is close to zero. This... [Read More]

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Bringing Back Christmas Spirit
By     |    Dec 23, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Bringing Back Christmas Spirit

I count the days until Christmas break. I look forward to the freedom of non-scheduled days and taking part in family traditions. I long for slow mornings with long breakfasts and second cups of coffee. We reacquaint ourselves with board games and craft projects. Bedtime is pushed later. I feel my shoulders relax as the two weeks go by. It’s the best of medicine. I only have to make it through that first day of break. That first day is... [Read More]

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When Serving Seems Like Taking
By     |    Oct 28, 2014
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When Serving Seems Like Taking

“You’re always helping and never with us.” Truth from my nine-year-old filled me with guilt, even if “never” was a bit of an exaggeration. We were talking about the upcoming annual fall festival at the elementary school my two youngest boys attend. I was telling them about some of the games and how they’d have to help daddy get costumes together before they came up to the school that night. I’d already be up there helping. That prompted the small... [Read More]

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Halloween Tradition: Booing Our Friends
By     |    Oct 17, 2014
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Halloween Tradition: Booing Our Friends

We’ve always kept dress-up supplies in all sizes available for the kids to use. I enjoy watching their imaginations explode with the help of a simple piece of fabric. Most days our house is home to archers, spies and princess warriors. Forts are erected, and the kids disappear into a world of make believe. Halloween is one day of the year where a whole lot of people will play make believe together with the bonus addition of candy. Seeing children... [Read More]

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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language
By     |    Jul 11, 2014
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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language

Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people. Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened... [Read More]

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DIY: Hobbit Birthday Party
By     |    May 20, 2014
Posted in: parties     |    2 Comments

DIY: Hobbit Birthday Party

“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien is our first grader’s favorite book. I read it to him and our third grader before the first movie hit the big screen. C can tell you what’s accurate in the movie and what’s added for extra drama. He can quote the book and does a creepy Gollum impersonation. It seemed natural to have a Hobbit-themed party for his 7th birthday, but he hemmed and hawed about the theme he wanted. Fairly close to the... [Read More]

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DIY: Scout Merit Badges Specimen Art
By     |    Apr 8, 2014
Posted in: projects     |    1 Comment

DIY: Scout Merit Badges Specimen Art

I wanted to change the shadow boxes hanging in my kitchen from cookie cutters to a specimen art piece for months. I stared at the four frames hoping for inspiration but came up with nothing. Enter the Internet, specifically Pinterest. Young House Love posted about a Christmas present Sherry created for John of copies of Boy Scout merit badges hung as specimen art in a frame. The badges were chosen by Sherry because they remind her of John. I’m a... [Read More]

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You’ve Watched the Olympics too Much When….
By     |    Feb 10, 2014
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You’ve Watched the Olympics too Much When….

Disclaimer: I honestly don’t think I could ever watch too much coverage of the Olympics. I’m impressed with what people can train themselves to do. However, there is a chance my children may have watched the Olympics too much this weekend. My first clue was watching my youngest boys cram themselves into a smallish cardboard box to bobsled through the kitchen. They used what little momentum they could get from shifting their weight to move across the floor…scritch, scratch, scritch.... [Read More]

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