Enough Already!

I do not know what it is. I do not know if it is the holiday pressure to be a great parent at this time of year or if it is the feeling that I get from the lack of holiday spirit because of said pressure. Whatever it is I find myself utterly dreading this time of year. Personally, I think life just finally caught up to me and I have way too much on my mind to get into the spirit of things, although I will still do my best for the sake of my children.  If is something I must work on.

A lack of holiday cheer has definitely added to my ability to have as much patience as I normally have. I finally cracked. Okay, not really. I am sure that would be a gross mess and nobody wants to see that sort of thing. I just had it. A lack of sleep and a complete and utter inability to keep on top of my children’s messes threw me over the edge. Okay, I know, not really over the edge but I think you get my point.

Everywhere I turn in my tiny little home my children are creating a mess. They do it while laughing too. Really?! Are they laughing at the mess they are making or laughing at the idea I will have to clean it up?  In all honesty I do know they are laughing because they are happy and having fun. I do not fault them for that. I do enjoy their happy voices.  I just do not enjoy the disaster that is always left behind.

So began my “get the house organized to save mommy’s sanity” project. I had to start with some clean rooms. So I swept everything that was on the floor in the bedrooms (there are benefits to a hard floor home) and put all of it I the living. Yay! Instant clean rooms. Of course, my living room was a compete disaster.

The next day I started organizing and going through all of it. Two things happened. The kitchen then became a disaster and every time I turned my back on the living room disaster all my efforts thus far became undone. I owe that to my son who enjoys dumping things out. Really?!

By day three I was exhausted and not getting anywhere. So I turned my attention to the kitchen. I spent all morning on a project designed to keep that room organized and clean. Yay for a clean kitchen.  Now off to my living room.

I don’t know if my living counts as a living room. It is a room with chairs, and on that particular day a huge pile of stuff. Three or four bags later of trash and an equal amount of donations my living room was finally clean. I felt good. I felt my patience retiring. I felt success and hope that I had not been there a few days before.

I don’t really know if there is much to the point of my sharing this, except that I know we all have those moments. We all break down, lose patience, get tired, frustrated, and so forth. These are not bad feelings to have. We need them to get us moving and to inspire us to grow or make changes in our lives. We cannot just bury them and pretend they will go away because they will surface at some point. We must acknowledge them. We cannot become better people until we do. And no this is not an excuse for bad people to use when trying to justify abusing others or doing things that are just wrong.

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My dream home

In the small city where I reside there is one business location where modular homes are for viewing. I enjoy visiting this place. Why? Well, because I don’t have to get permission to go in and view a handful of brand new homes.  Every once in awhile I go there to dream. I call them my mini dream houses.

Every once in awhile an employee will ask if I need help and then they assure me I am fine to dream as much and as often as I would like. So, I keep going back.

i have learned a few things about the type of home that would work for me. You see, I want a functional home. I want a home that is more than just pretty but can serve me well in the best way possible. My dream home has to have a good layout. A functional floor plan is key to a good home.

My dream home would have a sitting room and a family room-out of line of sight from each other. My home needs to have a large kitchen (that could take up a whole post). I enjoy the idea of all or most of the bedroom doors opening up to the family room. I would rather a large closet than a large bathroom. Really! What is the point of a huge master bathroom that is as large as a bedroom? So much floor space is wasted. Give me a nice shower but please spare me the extra floor space.

That extra floor space can be better served in my laundry room. No, not so more clothes can sit on my floor. I have recently discovered the concept of having dressers in the laundry room instead of the bedrooms. You see, dressers in the bedroom are pointless with children. I spend so much time folding clothes, taking piles to their dressers and then they just take everything out to leave on the floor. A huge waste of my time on so many levels. Even my oldest fails to put clothes back in her drawers. I discovered this idea when I got fed up with my laundry situation.

I easily keep up with washing and folding clothes but those clothes take a long time to get back into the bedroom dressers. So, I put a dresser in my laundry room. There is not much room, and it blocks a small part of my washing machine, but laundry has become much easier  clothes get folded and go directly to the dresser  no more clothes on the floor. So, my dream home would have a laundry room large enough for all of the dressers.

Most of my dream home would be very simple and have what most homes have but I would have what I call a snozzle room. It sounds silly but I got the idea from my son’s last school. My son loved the room-a room with sensory items in it.

My son inspires most ideas for my dream home. I need to have built in high shelves and lockable cupboards throughout the house. My kitchen would have to be somewhat closed off to him as well with half doors and whatnot.

I have to admit that I dream of a very functional bathroom that is easy for the care of my son. Yeah, I have ideas of that too.

Anyway, I dream. I dream of a functional home. I dream and I enjoy dreaming.  It is okay to dream, as long as I don’t forget to come out of the clouds.

 

 

My tiny unclean home

Every once in awhile I tend to want to just throw absolutely everything out. To just get rid of it all. I am so tired of picking everything up. I am tired of everything getting thrown on the floor as soon as I pick it up. I spent a good portion of yesterday getting my kitchen organized and clean-sure doesn’t look like it now. Today I did the same for the living room. Same thing-doesn’t look like I touched it in weeks. Granted, it isn’t that it is a large mess it just looks like it because my house is so small. But why do I even bother to have a clean house or to even attempt to clean it while children are awake?

I often wonder if there is something wrong with me.  Why can’t I keep my house clean? I must be a horrible housekeeper! Why do I even try? However, I realize those are not very positive thoughts so I gather my energy and get to work. I keep trying because I desire good. I desire peace of mind. I desire that my children at least get a minute of a clean house every once in awhile so that maybe their memories will not be just on the idea that I failed to clean well.

I have to admit that I also envision myself in a larger home. A home where there is a nice living room free of children’s mess and a family room that can be a huge mess all of the time. That room, in my dreams, is also out of sight from the living room. Get the idea?

the great thing about my house is that I rarely have visitors. That works well because I don’t even have a couch. Which I sometimes enjoy because that means I do not have to clean out under the couch cushions-because I don’t even have a vacuum. Yeah-poor me.

The benfit of my house is that there are no carpets. I got rid of the rugs-they were a pain. When it does come time to cleaning I just sweep everything into a large pile. That works well for a few benefits. The whole mess gets put into the middle of the room and the rest of the room looks clean. Want to get a room clean real quickly? Just sweep everything into the next room you need to clean. Tah dah, room clean in a minute.

I do have to remember though that it is okay to not have things perfect. Messes are a part of life. Having a home that gets cleaned and messed up often does not really mean I am a horrible housekeeper-it just means we live in our house.

Bathroom Medicine Cabinets.

Bathroom Medicine Cabinets.

I don’t know who deemed the bathroom cabinet be for medicine, but I have to wonder about the real purpose.  In my home it holds the toothbrushes. Why? Well, I will just tell you why-after all that is the point of me starting out with this paragraph.

About a year ago I used to keep medicine I that cabinet above the bathroom sink. You know the kind: mirror on the door and a once open a few shelves for bathroom related items.

About a year ago, the same time as my last mention of it, my second to youngest got a hold of some medicine. As I was walking in the bathroom she was walking out of it saying, “yuck.” A quick call to poison control, followed by several minutes of waiting since their lines were busy, and I learned she would be okay. By then my oldest was crying and begging me to take her to the ER because she thought her younger sister would die….

Let me interject here: I don’t know about other parents but when you have to call poison control you feel like the worst parent in the world. Then they ask for information and you somehow think they will send police over to remove you of your parental duties-because obviously you are not a good parent because, well, that is how you feel.

Okay, back to the story. My daughter had no ill effects. She was fine. The medicine was gone and that meant no more medicine in the cabinet…until one day in a hurry I put my son’s medicine bottle in there when I was in a hurry.

Yeah, I learned my lesson, again, when this time my youngest climbed into the sink, opened the cabinet and somehow took the child safety lid off the medicine. A new bottle of medicine dumped-no she did not swallow any.

I know I am not alone in my experience. I do learn though from these incidents–I hope. All medicine these days are in a basket high up–along with the toothpaste (my children like to make messes).

Today I was reminded why I do put them high up as I caught my youngest in the cabinet again. All she found were toothbrushes.

My point in sharing this all is because things happen in life and we can beat ourselves up or learn and adapt. Should I teach my kids to stay out of the cabinet? Of course, but I am also not going to keep dangerous things in there for them to get a hold of when I am not looking.

Kids get creative and often innocently get into trouble. Hopefully we can do everything to prevent tragic accidents, but sadly sometimes things still happen.

Anyway, bathroom cabinets are great for non medicine things when you have young children around. They are excellent for holding, or hiding other things. Oh, who am I kidding, you can’t hide anything from children.

Seriously?!

Really? Why? Whatever! Exactly! That is how my days go. Any time I sit the children climb on top of me. Any time I walk away they come running and screaming behind me. My sons bus driver and bus aide laugh every day at how my children run after me as if I am going to abandon them. Where do they think I am going? Do they not recognize they were doing just fine before they realized I was gone?

I could help myself feel better by saying that it is wonderful to be loved.  Of course it is. I love that they love me, but I am also trying to teach them independence.  I don’t seek to be away from them or whatnot. I take my job as a parent seriously. Part of wanting children was to teach them and help them become decent human beings–and have lots of fun doing so.

Speaking of fun–that is the “exactly” part–but being a parent can be fun. It is great to play hide and seek even if I have to work up the energy to do so. I absolutely love seeing how long it takes for them to find me. Talk about some alone time. It usually does not work though as I believe they can sense where I am. I think as they get older that sense leaves because my oldest takes the longest time finding me.

There are also the “whatever” moments.  The moments where I just get tired of telling them to stop whatever they are doing. How many times do I have to tell them to stop slashing or drinking the bath water? It doesn’t work-ever. I have to eventually tell myself to give up and just get them out. Getting them out creates screaming so then I argue with myself on getting them out and dealing with screaming or letting them splash and continue having fun. Yeah, whatever.

My absolute all time phrase that helps any time of day, even the bad ones is: “oh well.”  Oh well. It is very powerful. Powerful enough to bring me back to reality and figure out what is really important. It provides a way for me to recognize what really matters and what does not. It also provides a way for me to  back off from beating myself up and give myself some credit for what I hope I am doing right as a parent. An “oh well” is what we all need, or maybe a “so what.”  If you are trying then I think that is good. Give yourself a break for your mistakes and try to do better next time.

Graduating

A few months ago my son was let go from his physical therapist. A few months before that his speech therapist let him go as well.  It was not because he made so much progress that he no longer needed services but because he is so slow with progress there is nothing more they can do. In all honesty I did not mind.  Most of what they did with him were every day things for me to do with him.  I also was fine with it because I live in a small city where there is not enough pediatric therapists to handle the demand and need.

About six months ago my oldest child started therapies.  I could not believe I had missed her needing help for so long, but was grateful to get her started. This week she retested and graduated out of physical therapy.

Graduating from physical therapy means you have made enough progress to catch up to your peers.  She caught up to her peers. It did not come easily. It required daily exercises (often forgotten or put off for the end of the day) and commitment. Her exercises were difficult but she persisted. I reminded her she would need to continue in some capacity at home so as not to lose what she gained, but she gave me no opposition to the idea.

As I think about it I have opposite feelings toward each situation. One I am just relieved because I needed things taken off my plate (of which I have to reassure myself is not bad) along with knowing he just does not make progress quickly; the other I am excited because of the progress.

This is the life though. They still have occupational therapy each week. I can do that.

 

Sweet Support

I recently had some dental work done. In order to accomplish the task I had to take one of my children with me. My sweet three year old. She came willingly. She even brought along her small backpack filled with toys that she felt were special.

When we were led to the room where my teeth would be worked on she promptly took a seat in nearby. She grabbed a magazine and handed it to me. At that moment I was seated and the work began there was no reading that magazine. From where I lay in the dentist chair I could not see her, but I could hear her.

She was quiet most of the time but every once in awhile she spoke up. She made sure the dentist knew her name. She joked with him and filled him in on her happenings. At one point I heard her talking about reading the magazine. At another point she did get her toys out even though she did not really play with them. However it was the other stuff she did that brought out her cuteness and sweetness.

About half-way through the work I heard my daughter tell me, “you are doing good Mom. I love you.” Although I couldn’t smile my heart was warned. Everyone else in the room gushed at the adorableness that just came out from that little girl. Before long she was standing by my side trying get a glimpse at what was going on. She didn’t say anything except one, “I love you.”  When I put my arm to help prevent her from getting to close to the dentist she put her hand out and began rubbing my arm to reassure me that all was well.

I couldn’t ask for a better experience that day. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter. Her actions made me contemplate my parenting and reassured me that I was not doing a bad job. I knew that she was learning such kindness and compassion because it is taught in our home and what we do as a family. She was learning and she reminded me just how beautiful a sweet child can be. Proud mommy moment? Sure. Why not? She did good and she showed love.