Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is the post...

This is the post where I say, "My New Year's Resolution this year is to blog more regularly." LOL. Yeah, ok. I've said that about dozen times this year, at least. But honestly, my New Year's Resolution is to make my computer-time quality time and not just a means of wasting time. And for me, that means blogging. Less Facebooking, more blogging. Less digging for gossip, more reading all those interesting newsletters that sit in my inbox unread because I can never find the time. (And yet I can find the time to play endless games of Scrabble rip-offs and build up an imaginary zoo online.) More time doing the stuff that expands my mind and opens my heart and less time numbing my mind. More time doing stuff (or learning about stuff) that I can share with the kids and less time looking for a means to escape them.

Yes, I admit it. I use the computer to escape the noise and the chaos of this house. But guess what? They just get louder and more chaotic in response. My New Year's Resolution is to engage and take back the joy in my life. It's been a busy and stressful year. I've been yelling and snapping too much and playing too little. I always feel like I'm behind on everything and never have time for the fun stuff because the not-fun stuff is always in the way. So again, I say, it's time to engage and take back the joy in my life. Just DO the crap that I've been avoiding and then I will have time for the fun stuff. And cut down on the evening tv. What a waste of time.

One of Cassia's Christmas presents was a bunch of Mom-made mixes for her Easy Bake Oven. I found recipes online and bagged up single serving baggies of several different treats for her to make (pizza dough, pie crust, cookies, brownies, tea cakes). Then I took material from some recently outgrown clothing and sewed them into little drawstring bags to keep the different mixes in. Finally, I tied laminated recipe cards to the drawstrings and Voila! Hours of fun for only pennies. But the best part of this project is that I realized how wonderfully relaxing it is to spend the evening sewing instead of vegetating in front of the tv. I've been wanting to start quilting for quite a while now - even bought some supplies - but didn't realistically think I'd ever get to it with all the little ones around and "so little" time. I suddenly found a whole bunch of time! And Linus was just enthralled with watching me sew. He didn't get in the way at all and just sat there all wide-eyed making cute little sewing machine noises, lol.

Another thing I've learned in the last couple weeks is that rather than nurturing the kids' curiosity, I've been inadvertently squashing it because I've felt so overwhelmed and behind. They're always asking to help make dinner, something I think is immensely important, and I keep pushing them away. Greyson especially. He's so eager. But he's three so his help is usually just more work for me. He said to me the other day, "Mommy, how come you NEVER let anyone help you make dinner?" And he was so sad and frustrated when he said it too. It really broke my heart and I realized that they are always asking to help and I'm always telling them no. No more.

I want to make up a Helping Schedule. Each child (of able age) will have one night to help cook, one night to help do dishes after dinner, and one night off. I think that they will have a lot of fun helping to cook and will also, hopefully, learn that part of cooking is cleaning. I fear that I've slacked so badly in teaching them to clean. It's something that I had to learn as an adult (and am still learning), so it's hard for me to make them do something that I never had to do. But I also know that it was a huge detriment to me and I'm hoping that they will avoid that fate.

I'm feeling that I also need to make a Chore Chart of some sort but those haven't had much success around here. The one we had that lasted the longest was a dry-erase chart with a few basic things in morning, noon, and night sections and then also a "Do 1 or 2 Extra Chores" section in each time slot where they could pick little things that were necessary and slightly more fun to do, like dusting the blinds or wiping off the doorknobs. Cassia, especially, really liked the extra chores. I could bring that one back out and then add the cooking schedule to that.

So hopefully, with a little more organization, a little more focus, and a little more fun, 2010 will be a fabulous year. It will be the year when Greyson reaches a more rational age (4) and when Linus will be the only whirlwind toddler. If I can only keep the older ones acting more like older ones and less like toddlers, lol, we'll be Golden. And hopefully, I will find time to blog.


Vanessa said...

I heartily support the Helping Schedule. I've always done everything because it's faster and easier that way, and the result is that my daughter is turning 11 next month and has no idea how to do anything around the house - at all! She can't even make a sandwich for herself! And it's not her fault, it's mine. So at our house, 2010 is going to be the Year of Learning What You Should Already Know. Wheee.

G said...

I so could have written this post! I blog on a more or less maybe regular basis, but I have so much wasted time on my hands each day... I could be crocheting the scarf Elf wants, or letting Fairy help make dinner.... I don't want to raise kids that can't do anything because I won't let them!