writing and other stuff

I’m working on some seriously fun stuff at work right now. I can’t share the details just yet, but it’s truly my ideal project. As such, I’m writing all over the place and not writing here quite so regularly. One place I am writing today is All You Need Is Love, a fun, family-centric blog that is also based in Nova Scotia and also run by a gal who is married to a twin named Mike! She also married her Mike just a week before I married mine, so we have plenty in common from the outset. Please take a moment to pop by and check out her blog!

Also, a few of life’s unanswerable questions …

I ran this week for the first time in nearly a year (according to my Nike+ app, at least) and today I can barely walk. Why did I wait this long? Hurts so good.

297ab4a5108c8160f7f4688e27bed4b6

Last week, I had every single piece of laundry in the house clean, folded and put away. Today, I’m tripping over full hampers left and right. Why. Does. This. Keep. Happening?

I’m going to a parent meeting for primary orientation tonight. How is it possible that my kid is starting school already?

Happy almost weekend to you and yours!

Advertisements

my boy

To his dad last night at bedtime, just before I returned home from an outing with friends, the oldest says: “Dad, if I were a superhero, I would use my superpowers to get mama home faster to snuggle me.” 

He’s just the best. And yes, I was home in time for some extra long snuggles.

with and without them

On Saturday morning, I dangled a carrot in front of my oldest, who is four and a half (don’t forget the half!). “Hey, do you want to go grocery shopping, just you and me?” He started in a little skeptically, wondering what was in it for him. The promise of quality time wasn’t quite enough to convince him to change out of his PJs and head to the store first thing on his first “stay home day” of the weekend. Fair enough. Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for the grocery store that I do.

I have never been the kind of mother to dump my kids and run. By that, I mean that I have never taken great joy in leaving my kids behind, whether it’s for daycare or preschool or with a babysitter or just with my husband. There are plenty of days that aren’t perfect, and plenty that I really need a break. But when it comes time for that break, there’s always part of me that feels a little bit lost when my kids aren’t around.

Reading that back, it sounds fake to me. Like, what kind of busy parent doesn’t love and anticipate those moments of free time? I do, of course. I know that by spending a few hours with friends at book club, taking an hour to grocery shop alone (which I did this weekend and it was awesome), and even working out of the home during the week, I’m allowing myself an opportunity to breathe. I’m able to be myself, do things that I love (yes, I weirdly love to grocery shop), and I do believe that I am ultimately a better mother for it.

The day I got pregnant with my oldest son, I became a mother and will forever be. My thoughts are never only my own; I always have two other people in mind at all times. So, when they’re not with me, it feels a little bit like something is missing, which I think is natural, but that’s not to say that that void is always a bad thing.

My mother in law posted a link on Facebook recently about the power of perspective. The concept is simple – see your life for what it really is, assess what you can and can’t change, set your ideals into motion and embrace it. It’s crazy how easy this is to say but how difficult it is to put into practice.

I need to learn to let go of the little things. I don’t buy organic, I do lose my patience, I sometimes forget to take snow pants to preschool (today). Sometimes I say yes when I should say no or say no when I should say yes. Plenty of days aren’t going to be perfect, but the fact remains that my world does revolve around them, I do miss them when they’re not with me, but even still, I benefit from my “me” time and so do they.

043f3be123d4939a2434506f19133e79

our time

There is nothing more valuable in our home than the time we spend together. With work, school, fun activities, chores and a busy social schedule, it can sometimes feel like our down time is scarce. The truth is, that’s not going to change. As the kids get older, our family dynamic is only going to get busier.

Husband and I have been talking more and more lately of the value of uninterrupted, distraction-free time that we want to spend one on one with each of the boys, as a family of four and as a couple.

To help us make sure our time is used wisely rather than wasted, we’ve decided on a few new family rules that we are instituting. We are far from perfect and we know at the outset that these rules won’t always be fully enforced, but we agree that we want to adjust some of our habits and this is how we plan to start:

1) No cell phones in reach during family time. We are not holier than thou. We are fully admitting that we spend far too much time with our phones in our hands. It’s an addictive distraction and we agree that we want to curb it because moments spent reading something on social media are moments we’ll never get back. Life – and specifically our kids’ childhoods – are way too short for that. This means that other than answering a phone call, which really only come from close friends and family members, and are generally fairly infrequent, we will set our screens aside during meals, in the mornings and evenings through the week, and when we are doing fun things together on the weekends.

2) Screen time will be a privilege. Sometimes it feels easiest to turn on a show when the kids need a distraction; I’m not going to deny that. But when we look at our weeks and how much time we spend apart, we recognize that we’d rather spend our hours together interacting with each other – doing puzzles, reading books, hanging out in the playroom. We’re going to reserve weekday TV time to our Pizza Friday Family Movie Night ritual and keep Treehouse turned off Monday to Thursday.

3) More one-on-one time. It’s sometimes hard to find an activity that is well suited for both a four year old and a two year old. When big brother was the only one, he got undivided time and we worked with him on developmental milestones like learning the alphabet, counting, colours and shapes. Now, with double the trouble kids, we tend to simplify activities to keep them toddler appropriate (meaning big brother gets bored) or we leave little brother out when we’re trying to do big kid stuff. In our case, with two parents and two kids, we have the opportunity to divide and conquer with age- and interest-appropriate fun for both.

90d267cbc79e5ecb74ba42179fbc15ca