Squashing the genius within

It would have never crossed my mind to go gather “supplies” from around my house and get creative with them. I never stole momma’s yarn, screwdriver, clothespins and t.p. rolls and ran off into the back yard to act like MacGyver. I don’t really know what would have happened but I’m pretty certain it would have been a bad bad thing. For the longest time my mom and I had separate crayon boxes and coloring books. I wouldn’t dare touch her stuff. I still won’t. Not without explicit permission and sometimes supervision.

As I got older, I started noticing how the kids in school getting awards and accolades were raised in environments that allowed for creative inventing and experimenting. Testing, trying, pushing, creating, risking, succeeding and failing. I was jealous. There was and still is a part of me that thinks of how much “more” I could have been if I had been allowed to explore my world that way.  I know now that there is more to a person’s creativity and success than just living in a more free environment. There are people all over that had nothing to explore or creating with and they still grew to be amazing people.

It is a misconception in my head. Mix it with my regret over all the things I could have done had I been more this or more that and you end up with a mom heck bent on making sure her kids feel free to be, to explore, to create, to test and to dream.

It’s killing me.

They sneak “supplies” out of the house and it gets broken or lost. I can’t tell their clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they dump the hampers to make boats or pulleys or offices. Clotheslines with knots in them strung up in dangerous fashion. Furniture being pulled together, concoctions of various shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, collections of trash to be recycled into some new contraption and towers of dishes (that come crashing down) from emptying the dishwasher because putting them away just wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t balance the coffee mugs 5 high in a leaning tower while walking across a kitchen chair bridge to the cabinet.

I’m tired. They don’t put anything back and they have no concept or concern for respecting other people’s property.

**I made an effort to teach the ‘everything is God’s’ lesson but sadly, it just made their argument stronger…. I can’t say you took MY stuff if it’s all God’s. As an adult I get it, but when arguing with my little geniuses my head wanted to explode**

I don’t want to squash their ideas or hinder their natural learning process but most of this is just wasteful messes. They are illogical and while I should be able to turn it into a lesson I seem to be completely incapable of explaining to them WHY it was a bad idea.

Do you let your kids experiment and explore independently? Do you let them have access to tools and rope and craft supplies and such or do you specify when and how things will get used?

I have spent two days undoing the damage they have done when I could have been, and should have been doing my regular chores. Now it’s all backed up again. Doodlebug just informed me their clothes were put away.

Except for Taderbug’s. Hers were in a pile on the floor where her basket is supposed to be because she’s using her basket as a desk.

I said BED time. No one said anything about SLEEP.

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Our girls were having bedtime difficulties.
Ok. Our kids have ALWAYS had bedtime difficulties. We would have a run of good nights and then BLAM!  Whining. Dragging. The never-ending “I forgots”.
While they were at Awanas Sunday night I made up a little reminder to help them.
It’s our bedtime checks, a list of what not to forget, in rhyme with a last minute recap of our definition of bedtime.
I don’t care if you sleep. It’s not SLEEPtime. It IS “night” time. It IS “bed” time. The moon is up doing it’s job. All they have to do is stay IN BED.
Now….I need to define when “morning” begins!

Stop Reacting and Start Responding ™- Book Review


Living My MoMent has invited me to participate in their new blogger review program by doing a review of Sharon Silver‘s book “Stop Reacting and Start Responding ™”
I have download this very easy to read eBook and am already several chapters in!
Please join us during the LIVE MomTV.com show with Sharon Silver(Proactive Parenting™ ) and Abbey Fatica (Living My MoMent) on January 5th, 2011 at 9pm EST and get answer to your parenting questions.
This book has me very excited for what could happen in our family!  My last pregnancy was hard on me (emotionally) and I found myself becoming Quick Draw McGraw with the kids.  I was not being the parent I wanted to be at all.  The chapters I have read so far have been easy to read, easy to implement and I look forward to sharing it all with you in my full review.

****I am a participant in a Living My MoMent campaign for Proactive
Parenting™ and have received the e-book Stop Reacting and Start
Responding™ by Sharon Silver as part of my participation.****

New Year…Same goals, new attitude

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**This post is in participation with the Bloggy Moms Writer’s Workshop. This week’s theme is New Years Resolutions**
It seems every year at this time, I write out the same list again:

  • eat better
  • exercise
  • budget better
  • clean better
  • cook better
  • learn blog design
  • learn graphic design
  • sew better
  • blog better
  • blah
  • blah
  • blah

The goals haven’t changed.  They won’t change until I reach them. The plan hasn’t much changed either.  Many of my goals only have one way to reach them (usually involving time, commitment and lots of effort).
What will be different? My attitude.
It’s bad when you KNOW what attitude you are supposed to have and how to maintain it but you don’t follow through.
I know that the BEST me is the me God designed me to be.  I used to think that “me” was supposed to be an accountant, since I was a great accountant.  I am NOT supposed to be an accountant.  God had other plans.
In 2011 I hope to change my attitude by starting all things with God, and leaving them up to God, the easy things and the hard things.
Maybe He didn’t make me to be a great cook, because He made me to be writer instead.  Maybe He didn’t make me to be a great blog designer or graphics designer because He needs me for something I’ve never even considered yet.
I feel like I’m failing at everything I’m trying to accomplish.  I’m falling short of even being “good” at anything: wife, mom, exerciser, blogger, teacher, crafter, chief, cook and bottle washer.
I feel like I’m failing because I keep doing things in my own strength.  This year I want to remember to pray, seek His Word, and do things in HIS strength and not my own.
It is a bit exciting to think of who I might become by next December…if I can keep myself out of my own way.

No one respects people who set boundaries

They respect people who ENFORCE those boundaries.

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This goes for your kids, your family, your friends.

After almost jumping off the deep end before Christmas, I found myself in conversations with friends that revolved around me and my situation and how I needed to set boundaries and learn to say no and …and…and…

Funny.  I have boundaries.  Really. Don’t laugh. I have them.  I just bend them, break them, nudge them, and ignore them all too often.  I was actually accused of doing this out of fear someone would stop loving me. 

Ahem, let me make this clear.  I am not afraid anyone will stop loving me.  I am afraid of hurting someone.  I am worried that if I don’t do it or go or talk or be whatever it is I am needed to be at that moment that bad things might happen and I would feel guilty about it.

That the phone call I didn’t answer will be Nana sick, or Momma stuck on the road somewhere.

That if I had just helped you pick out the best item with the best reviews you wouldn’t have been taken advantage of by the electronics guy.

That… insert RIDICULOUS situation here….

I’m also afraid of making someone mad, or disappointed.  You can love someone you are mad at them. 

My goal for this year, since EVERYONE (even those who have enjoyed my “boundary breaking”) seems to be in agreement that it needs to be done, is to ENFORCE my boundaries.

 

My first step is with time wasters.  Mostly the phone.  Second is the interwebs.

I’m going to start with the phone.  I was going to change the message on our voice mail but thanks to a new plan to pay off some big debt this year I might be eliminating that voice mail all together.

(This is where I get to enforce my boundaries without hurting anyone’s feelings)

Hubby and I want to try and pay off two of our big debts in one year.  This is going to be nearly impossible.  But if we buckle down and don’t waste any tax refund we might get we just might make it work.

I’m going to post more about that plan later.  The part that is important here is that we are considering cancelling the home landline and reducing my cell phone from a Blackberry to just a phone…a dumb one.

That will save us about $75 which is pretty significant when you’re trying to pay down a $2400 credit card.

My family HATES to talk to me on my cell phone, ANY cell phone.  They have a hard time hearing me and with kids making noise in the background it is hard to hear them too.  But in an attempt to pay off this debt we really NEED to make these cuts.  This means the calls I do make with family/friends need to be quality calls.  We can always skype or IM if we want to just chit/chat.  At least I don’t have to worry about the noise the kids are making if I’m just typing back and forth.  Somehow it’s easier for me to say “I have to go” when it’s in print and not over  the phone.

Fewer phone conversations means fewer opportunities for me to be asked to help with something that I really don’t have to do.

Now, to figure out how to say “Sorry, that just won’t work for me”.