The School Days Blues

Guys I may be wrong for saying this, but I will be so glad when my kids get out of school for the summer!

I feel like my kids have so many things going on at school and each one of them has a different schedule during the week. I feel like I’m being pulled in five different directions everyday of the week! It’s such a pleasure to be at home with my children and have such a prominent place in their everyday lives, but I’m plum tired. We have homework, Choir twice a week, Math Olympia, Computer Lab, and Running Club. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my Kindergartner is on a different schedule than my other three children!

It’s not just me either, whose feeling the pinch. I can tell that the teachers are longing for Spring Break as well. I think it’s just the ugly truth. We parents, students, teachers, and faculty are all working so hard to make sure that our children have a great school year and it’s really starting to show.

It’s always a field trip or something to volunteer for and as much as I like that, I’m ready to take a break from it all. Funny thing is, I feel so guilty when I can’t volunteer or help chaperone a field trip! I know so many of my readers have school age children or children that are in college, so I know you get where I’m coming from. How did/do you ladies deal with the everyday, mundane routines of school and homework and volunteering? What’s your secret to combat school days burnout?  How do you not get the blues from doing such important, but taxing work?

Most of all, I would love to hear how you all deal with the guilt! We all have Mommy guilt for whatever the reasons, but I feel like I’m losing the battle with Mommy Guilt. Let me hear your advice and tips in the comment section.

Spring Cleaning

It’s almost that time of year again at my house. The time of year when I purposely destroy every room of my house and put it back together again, while simultaneously throwing away several bags of trash.

I’m the type of person that prefers the bad news first, ripping the Band-Aid off, and volunteering to go first for things that are wholly unpleasant and fill you with dread. Which is my way of saying that our garage was terrible!!! I mean we had boxes upon boxes and storage bins full of clothes, shoes and junk!  Don’t even get me started on all the yard tools and outdoor furniture we had amassed!

I had decided that we would clean out the garage while my husband was at work because he is the type of person who likes to keep things, “because you never know when you might need it.” I am the kind of person who thinks that if you can’t remember the last time you used it, then you should get rid of it!  After I decided that I wasn’t going to leave the garage until it was sparkling clean, the rest was all about team work. Boy did we work!! We did take a few breaks for water and lunch, but we got after it!!

We did have a few hiccups, and a few times where we just looked around and felt overwhelmed with all the mess, but we pressed through and got it done. Because I decided that we should go through every bin and every box, we had a ton of junk out every where. At one point my kids friend came by to ask if we were moving! Which we are, but that’s not until later this year.

The beautiful thing is, the more boxes we pulled out, the cleaner things became. We went through box after box, throwing things into the trash pile and we did this for every shelf in every section of the garage. Thankfully, because there were so many of us cleaning, we had one person sweeping, one person breaking down boxes, one person bagging trash and still had two people tapping boxes and restoring bins to their rightful place. Finally, it got to the point where all we had left to do was to load the truck and that was probably the hardest part!  Trying to fit all that trash into our truck took some creative thinking, but we got it done. Also knowing that we would be throwing it away and that it would be gone for good.

The best part was how good we all felt when we looked at the final outcome. Our garage was so nice and clean that we just wanted to hangout in there.  Looking at the garage was satisfying, all we needed was some hero music to be playing while the wind blew our capes back for us. Seriously, it felt amazing to see what we accomplished in a few hours. In fact it felt so good that it made want to clean out other things, closets, the back yard, the playroom! I even wanted to go and clean my oven!!

I was pumped, but then I started to look inward and think about my spiritual garage. I know that I have a lot of clutter and junk that’s clogging up my spirit. With all the changes that we’ve been through as a nation these past five months, there’s a lot of junk lodged in my heart and mind that I need to get pull out and throw away. I started considering all these different kinds of detox’s that I could do to kind of clean out my physical body.

I started thinking about how important this time is in the Christian faith. The weeks leading up to the crucifixion and the resurrection. This is a time when many Faiths fast or abstain from certain things in observance of Passover and Easter Sunday.

I guess the question that I ask myself is, “Am I willing to commit to cleaning or detoxing myself the same way that I did to cleaning out the garage?” I already know that it will be a long, messy, tiresome, and at times, unpleasant job, but in the end it will be worth it.

That’s what I want to leave you with today? I’m a little behind and I’m currently under the weather, but I thought that this was an appropriate topic for the start of spring. Have a blessed weekend and thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Smoke and Mirrors

This week I went to school to pick up my older children and my two younger kids and I parked in my favorite parking spot under a tree and let the windows down to wait for school to be out. As most of you parents out there know pick-up and drop-off are two of the busiest parts of any school day, so I like to get there early. While I was parked and waiting, my other sons classmate’s Dad parked next to me.  He waved and smiled and I waved and smiled at them. He and his wife were always so nice, their really truly great people. Our kids have had a few playdates and this is our children’s second year being in the same class together. It would be fair to say that they appear to be the perfect family, loving, kind and just fun to be around. It would also be correct to say that I am well acquainted with them, but we’re not close friends.

I’m not a nosey person, I tend to try and mind my own business most of the time. I always say to my kids, don’t stare that’s rude, so when I thought I noticed something off about his wife sitting next to him in his truck I chose not to dwell on it. Normally she waves at me and greets me with a huge smile, but this time she didn’t. It’s been a while since I spoke with them, but I noticed a few months ago that she had lost a lot of weight. That was odd to me, but I just thought that maybe they had been dealing with a lot of stress. I mean everyone has problems, and who am I to judge right?  So, back to the story. Right before the bell rang he and his wife got out of the car, and that’s when I noticed that his wife was not his wife! It was another woman entirely, and I was very surprised. At first I thought oh, maybe that’s his sister, but then the two of them embraced in a way that would have been super creepy if they were related.

Can I just tell you that I was shocked!!! Naturally, I told my husband about it, and he promptly told me not to jump to conclusions and to not make assumptions because gossip hurts people. Of course I wasn’t planning on gossiping about it, but I really wanted to talk about it with someone who I trusted because it was bothering me. Fortunately,  a good friend,( who also has children in class with their child) whom I trust explained the whole situation to me. She confirmed that the couple, had indeed just gone through a divorce.

Ladies, this was not just about me being nosey or malicious. I can’t quite explain it to you, but this became like a personal warning to me. It felt close to home, because I instantly thought that if that could happen to them, then it could happen to anyone. I want to acknowledge that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, but having said that, their public face was very convincing. Whenever I would see that family together they would all be smiling and holding hands. During school events this couple would sit close to each other and  touch in some way, always sharing a love connection, or so I thought. They were the couple that I would want to be honestly. They just always seemed so happy together. Learning the news about their divorce made me want to reexamine my own marriage and the strength of the love that my husband and I share.

We love each other and that’s no doubt, but we go through our fair share of ups and downs that’s for sure. We live a life that in many ways comes with more stress than the average couple and sometimes we handle it well, other times we don’t. It’s not all sunshine and roses over here. We have had many days that include rain and dark clouds. I found myself thinking, “Man what could have come between them to the point that they decided to throw away their whole marriage?”

I don’t know what the future holds, but I pray that we, my husband and I, will always honor our commitment that we made to God and our family to love and cherish one another. I pray that we stay together and that we grow together and not apart.

I prayed for that couple and I asked God to comfort them and mend their hearts and help them to co-parent with love and compassion. I also came home and tried to show my husband how much I love and appreciate him. I know that our actions are sometimes the first things to suffer when we get comfortable in our relationships. It’s so easy to take your spouse for granted.

Truly, the time to build a strong marriage is not when you recognize that there is a problem, but everyday. During the hardest times, the times when you are sleep deprived from being up late at night with a crying baby, or when you go through a difficult time at work. When we face real adversities and experience painful struggles that test our resolve and make us stronger. To me challenges build character and create opportunities for couples to make positive changes that strengthen their relationship. Not every storm will make us feel closer together, but every storm has the possibility to  bring us closer together and closer to God as well.

I firmly believe that God causes all things to work together for our good.(Rom.8:28)

God bless you all and remember to show the ones that are essential to your joy and happiness that you truly love and appreciate them today!

The Talk

How old were you when your parents had the talk with you about the birds and the bee’s? My oldest son is eleven and he recently had a one hour seminar with the school nurse about his, “changing body.” Now I should say that my husband and I previewed all the information that was going to be discussed and we approved of the material. Having said that I was ill prepared to discuss what he learned about in class!

He is such a sweet and innocent boy, he is not really interested in girls yet, and he is still very fond of running and playing with his little brothers. Nevertheless, his body is changing. He is almost taller than me and we wear the same size shoe!  He excitedly brought up the topic of puberty at the dinner table and I almost spit out my water!

I am not ready to have the talk with my son about sex and body hair in private places!!! Every time I look at him, I see my chubby little baby boy, who never let me put him down. At the mere thought of him going away to college I break out into tears. I feel torn between preparing him for all of the changes that will come and ignoring them altogether and pretending that nothing has changed.

I tried to talk to him without being too squeamish, but I was so clearly uncomfortable that he said, “we can talk about it later mom.” Help Me!!

My husband suggested that we get a book for him to read, because he loves to read, and then use the book to help facilitate the conversation.  I feel like that is kind of taking the easy way out, but I also feel that we have no choice. My daughter who is nine, recently had the same type of class seminar and it was so easy for us to talk about her getting her period, and what that means. I guess it’s because I’m more familiar with that aspect of puberty. I can’t imagine her getting her period or becoming a woman either, but it’s much easier for me to accept when I think about her than when I think about my son.

I frequently have talks with him about avoiding the strange woman and how a wife is a good thing, and how kissing girls can lead to things that I don’t think he’s ready for yet.  And yet if I were being honest, I myself did not wait to have many of the experiences that I am urging him to wait for. I want my children to do things the right way, and I believe that there is so much to be gained by waiting for that one special person.

I could fill this page up with worry over how to have a vital and important conversation with my child, that will be ongoing, but I would love to heat your thoughts on the situation. How did you all handle this issue? If you have small children have you considered what age you want to approach the topic?

Don’t be shy ladies and Gentlemen! I want to hear from you in the comments!