Finding Blessings in the Chaos

This morning I woke up feeling blessed.  I had one little curled up next to me in bed, and another curled up next to us in her toddler bed.  I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how amazing it is that God chose me to be their momma.  I reached over and rubbed the biggest little’s back, and kissed the littlest little’s head, and just took it in.

Fast forward thirty minutes.  I was in the kitchen trying to get everyone breakfast, being pulled in every direction.  The sun was shining in the window, a toy fell on the floor, a little brother was bugging a big sister.  “Moooooom!” was being yelled every ten seconds.  Some of that magic from earlier this morning started fading away.

M didn’t like the oatmeal with the strawberries, so I made scrambled eggs, that sat on the table untouched.  B threw his eggs all over the dining room and smeared strawberry juice all over the kitchen floor.  Some more of that magic from earlier this morning started fading away.

It’s so easy to feel so blessed in the early, quiet, peaceful hours of the day, but what I really need to work on, is feeling blessed in the midst of it.

Don’t get me wrong, there is not one second ever that I am not thrilled to be their momma, but there are seconds when I want to pull my hair out and scream.  There are seconds when they push me to the very edge of sanity.  And it is in those seconds that I want to be able to stop, look at them, and embrace the blessing of being their momma.

I can’t guarantee that I won’t lose my patience, or raise my voice.  What I can guarantee is that I will be trying my hardest to find the blessings in the chaos.

So, mommas, I want you to join me.  When you are feeling down and defeated.  When your children are pushing you.  When you think you might just snap if you hear “Mooooom!” one more time.  Find a blessing.  Remember why in the early, quiet, peaceful moments of the day it is so wonderful.  Remember that God gave you this amazing job of bringing up these amazing little people.  And feel blessed.

Our Journey in Home Pre-schooling

I am certainly not an expert, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  It wasn’t until recently that homeschooling crossed my radar, so I am still learning, and researching, but I thought pre-school would be a good place to start.  We still don’t know if it will go beyond that.  We don’t even know for sure that we won’t send our oldest to pre-k next year.  In all honesty, this will probably sound insane to a lot of people, but I am going to follow my children’s lead.  If they show interest in going to public school, I will send them.  If they show interest in homeschooling, I will homeschool.

For now though, I will share our journey, as much as possible, in case anyone else has this on their radar.

For the time being, I am flying by the seat of my pants.  Our daughter is (in 8 days) 3 years old, so we are using a lot of crafts, books, and hands on learning.  I honestly don’t know what children are supposed to learn when they are three, but what I do know is that my daughter is a sponge.  She soaks in information, and wants more.  She is always asking questions.  She is curious about everything, and forgets nothing.

After doing some research (aka Pinterest) I decided to stick with a theme of the week, and incorporate learning letters into it.  Some weeks are dedicated solely to letters, others are more about the theme.  We’re only on week 2, so I may tweak some things here and there as we move along.

We also aren’t really following a schedule at the moment.  Instead, we are adding learning into every day life.  My main goal, for now, is for her to learn through play.  I want it to be fun for her, not strict.  I never want her to stop being curious about everything.

M is loving it so far.  She has been calling me “mommy teacher” and refers to our dining room as “school”.

And, in case anyone is wondering, yes, I was hesitant at first in fear that she wouldn’t get enough socialization, but for now we get that at MOPS, and mommy and me playgroup, and at the playground.  Soon she will, hopefully, be starting Sunday school and sports, so I think she will be okay.

So, follow us on this new journey.  I will share more regarding the themes and activities with pictures, but as I said before, most of my inspiration came from Pinterest.

Are you a homeschooling mom?  Were you homeschooled?  I would love to hear from you!  I am so interested in the thought of it, but always get so overwhelmed, it would be wonderful to hear your first hand thoughts!

Making the Change

For the first (almost) two years of motherhood, I was a working mom.  I worked full time, Monday through Friday.  Luckily, my mom, and other family members, watched Madeline, and I was able to see her on my lunch break every day, but after a while, that just wasn’t enough for me anymore.

I felt like I was missing everything.  My girl was growing so, so fast, and I spent half of her life sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen.  This broke my heart.  My husband and I decided that it was time to change that.  We decided that it would benefit all of us to be home with Madeline.  We decided that we would figure out how to make it work on one income.

I just knew, in my heart, that this was what I needed to do.  I was not, in any way, passionate about my job.  There was never a time in my life where I felt like I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, until I had Madeline.  The second I held her I knew that the exact reason I was put on this earth was to be a mom.

Once we found out I was pregnant with Blake, we knew this was the perfect time to make the change.

My last day of work was June 20, 2014.

I remember thinking about how much time I would have.  The house would be clean.  The laundry would be done.  I would make animal shaped pancakes every morning, and special lunches.  We would take afternoon naps.  Are you laughing yet?  Why do we alway have the idea that things will be easy before we actually try them?  Easy, it is not.  Rewarding?  That would depend on your definition of “reward”.  Worth it? 100%.  Hard? More than you could believe.

It was a big adjustment.  It still is an adjustment, but I am definitely feeling more confident in my day to day life.  My house is definitely not clean.  Laundry tends to stay in baskets, and our sink is often full, even though we have a dishwasher.  There are toys, and books, and dustbunnies on the floor.  There are handprints on the windows.  Some days I’m lucky if I get out of my pajamas before lunch.  My days often consist of changing diapers in between meeting the needs of a screaming child.  BUT, When Blake said his first word, crawled, sat up, took his first steps, tried peas for the first time, blew a kiss, clapped his hands, rolled over… I was there.

Now, there are definitely things about this stay at home life that make me question my sanity at times.  There are days that I feel like I’m stuck in the movie Groundhog Day.  I load and unload the dishwasher over and over and over.  I wipe noses, change diapers, get little people food, attempt to clean the house, get dinner ready.  I don’t ever leave “work”.  I don’t get raises, or bonuses, or even paid for the matter.  Not in money anyway.  I get kisses, and snuggles, and laughter.  Amidst the insanity, there are things that fill my heart with joy.

Another huge adjustment was cutting back to one income.  It was the scariest part, because the world mostly revolves around money.  You have to pay your bills, and eat, and there are all these expectations of things you need, and things you have to see, and just… things. But, after figuring out what day care for two children would cost us, we wouldn’t have had the extra income anyway, so that made the decision a bit easier.  Although, there are still days when I have to remind myself of that fact.

We don’t always have a ton of money left over after the bills are paid.  We don’t have cable.  We rarely go out to eat.  But, we also don’t care.

Some days I am sad that I didn’t get to be home with Madeline from the beginning, but I like that I got to experience motherhood both ways.  It makes me certain that I am doing what is best for our family now.  Because in the end, that’s the only thing that really matters.