Photo by sburke2478
I want you to think back to your younger self: to a time before kids, marriage, or your career. Maybe you were still in college, or were just venturing into adulthood.
What were your passions? What did you find yourself thinking about? Dreaming about? Learning about?
Today, I want you to make a commitment to renew those interests, and find time to invest in them.
Maybe, you were a poet. Find a cafe that has poetry readings, and attend. Or, find your courage, and sign up to do a reading.
Maybe you were involved with a nonprofit?
Or, you have a great idea for a nonprofit.
Whatever it is, commit some time to think, research, or do something to revitalize that passion today.
I’m giving myself permission to put myself back on the to do list. Every day is spent doing for other people. You clean your house and cook lovely meals because you love your family. You go to work because you want to be able to provide certain things for your family. You encourage your spouse to pursue his interests because you love him. It’s time for you to do something for yourself because you love yourself and your family.
I don’t see this as being selfish because you are not only doing it for you, but for your kids. If they see Mommy passionately pursuing something, it will give them the confidence to do the same. And we all want to raise passionate and independent kids, right?
What do you want to find time for?
Photo by aaron13251
Your home is your sanctuary. Never mind the cereal bowls on the counter and spilled milk on the floor.
You spend your days chasing kids, perhaps working full-time, eating scraps off your children’s plates, and trying very hard (and failing miserably) to appear to be perfect: the perfect Mom, the perfect housekeeper, the perfect spouse, the perfect whatever.
Maybe, you spend a lot of (unnecessary) time constantly cleaning your house. Maybe you think that if you don’t spend every day cleaning, you aren’t meeting requirements for the home manager position.
I’m here to tell you that your number one job is to play with your kids.
If you are lucky enough to be able to stay home with your kids, then don’t spend every moment cleaning and cooking because that’s what homemakers do.
You are a stay-at-home-Mom FIRST!
But, because someone has to clean up toast crumbs and slimy toilets, here’s a system that is HEAVILY adapted from the FlyLady system. There are a lot of things that I don’t necessarily follow when it comes to cleaning, but her solutions for housework are genius: Do a quick once over, once a week; and deep clean one area or “zone” each week, hitting each zone once a month. This is a breakdown of my daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule:
I hate cleaning a house from top to bottom every week. My Mother-in-law does this, and by the second day she’s worn out, or it doesn’t get done because it’s too much. I’d rather do a little bit every, single day- I’ve found that my home is less dirty because of the daily maintenance. This does not mean that every day works out according to my to-do list. There are some weeks that not everything gets done. I have to let go of my perfectionism, and remember that next month, I need to start with what I didn’t do. Things come up, kids get sick, or every day is just too perfect to spend it inside.
If you enjoy cleaning your entire house weekly, do it. Or, maybe it makes you feel better if you do certain rooms weekly. But, the bottom line is your system has to work for you and your family. My schedule is not your schedule, and my home is not yours. What it comes down to is what makes you happy.
What are your cleaning routines like?
Image by mquest foto
Today, I want you to brew a pot of coffee, get your favorite mug out, find a book you haven’t read yet, and read.
Forget the laundry you have to do, or floors that need swept. Find an hour of your day when you don’t have to think about anything, whether it is when babies are napping or right before the bus drops your kids off from school.
There is nothing more luxurious.
-A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
-Dubliners by James Joyce
-To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
-The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
-Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
-The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
-Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
-Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
-As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
-Beloved by Toni Morrison
What are you reading?
Image from Hollywood North Entertainment Services
In celebration of Earth Day, download a free episode of Planet Earth and watch with your kiddos.
I took this photo of my two boys on a perfect summer day.
It was right after breakfast, and it was already quite hot.
We were sitting under the tree in our front yard, rolling around in the grass and giggling.
Aidan was six months old, and had mastered rolling.
Chance was five, and totally enamored with his brother.
He loved giving him hugs, and Aidan loved to pat his face.
It was a morning filled with plastic pools filled with water, balls being rolled between brothers, and a Mommy trying to keep a baby from eating grass.
I’m excited to see what this summer brings, but also a little sad. Chance has finally learned to ride a bike, and we haven’t seen him since. He’s constantly at his friends’ homes down the street.
Will there still be summer mornings spent under the trees? Will Aidan still want to kick his feet on a spread out newspaper and laugh at the sound? Will Chance want to roll around with his little brother, and shout, “Mommy, watch me do this trick,” as he jumps into the plastic pool?
They get big so fast, I’m glad that I have captured moments like this: to remember how it was when it was just me and my babies, sitting under a tree, on a Tuesday morning, last summer.