Howdy, folks! I will be honest, there have been thoughts of deleting my blog simply because I get inspired more times to write than I have time for. So weeks pass and I hold on to the inspiration realizing it may be yet another week before I'll find time. For me, to sit down and write always takes away from something or someone around here. I've tried so very hard to find the right time to where it doesn't, but with the schedule my two youngest keep and my oldest with her school, I really have been disappointed to not find my afternoon free like I used to. Obviously I will not delete my blog, I just hope to find it standing when days do free up a bit & I find time to write. And I would not trade my afternoons now with a drooling, laughing, climbing, into everything little boy, that has captured his mama's heart!
Many of you know, in June my husband and I will be celebrating our seven year anniversary. Over the past seven years there have been alot I have done wrong & wished I could do over--but the good news is, I have learned a couple things! I certainly don't have it perfectly right, and for the pros ask someone like my mom who has journeyed almost 25 years with my daddy. Here's what I have learned!
You do not catch up on the laundry & dishes. It's true. Quit running yourself skinny. My whole goal for the past seven years was to go to bed with a clean house. This meant no dishes in the sink as well. If I had been on my feet alllll day long cooking, cleaning and the kitchen was dirty after supper then I cleaned the kitchen one more time that evening. I literally whipped myself on the back working myself to the bone. I'd do loads and loads of laundry at a time. By the time night came around, I'd fall on the bed absolutely exhausted. I lived to work and worked to live "happily." The ugly truth is this, I wanted the house at a standard of clean before I went to bed that sacrificed everyone else who lived here. In my own way, I felt like I was doing everyone a favor. Isn't everyone happier waking up to a clean slate like me? I looked forward to waking up and walking into a clean kitchen and picked up living room. It took me 6 years to realize how short lived my happiness was! A few clean hours in the morning before I began whipping myself again to keep things up to par.......for what? I've had to really do a priority check this past year.
Am I suggesting letting your house go and live how you want? YES! That's exactly what I mean.
Just kidding. Once I realized that dishes never go away and neither does laundry, so quit trying to get to the bottom, things started turning around for me. I now limit myself to dishes once a day. I put on a load & fold one, once a day. And usually my 'once a day' dishes is not after supper. Lauren cleans off the table after supper and then it's family time. I used to never have time for family time. How sad is that? Usually when I go to bed now there is dishes in the sink--and laundry in the laundry room---exactly where dishes and laundry are supposed to be at. Doing this 'once a day' routine keeps me caught up & frees me up for the kids & hubby. Once in awhile my sweet hubby or little Lauren will offer to do after supper dishes just to be nice and I always accept this as a gift...not a standard of clean.
Also, believe it or not, this is my first year to use my crock pot like my right hand. My new favorite thing is throwing my supper in it that morning (maybe in the middle of doing my once a day dishes) and forgetting about it. Once 4 something or 5 rolls around, all I do for supper is set out the forks and tell the fam to gather. Easy clean up and it usually carries over for the kids and I's lunch the next day. Obviously I can't have it that easy for supper everyday, but I do try to put one or two crock pot meals on my weekly grocery list. I have a few keepers on my recipe board on Pinterest. If you're not on there, ask me, I'd LOVE to pass my favorite EASY ones along.
Last but not least, quiet time....ahhh, one I have struggled with this for so many years! I have written countless posts of how important it is for Queen bee to be drawing her nectar so she can provide the right amount of provision for her buzzing little ones. Morning after morning I'll drag out of bed to go feed an eighth month old boy who, I could almost swear, his metabolisms speeding up. And I when I walk back to bed the thought of staying up and starting my morning off with quiet time before the girls awake always haunts me. Morning after morning choosing to catch another hour of sleep instead....guilt for not having the self will. Here's what I have to say now about this! God knows I need rest---He knows I am weary---He knows what stage of life I am in with the babies---no condemnation. What makes it wrong is when I don't make time for Him all day. I have fallen short there too. Lately I have been getting up super early with bubby, then walking back to bed to catch a little more sleep, then I wake up to the girls, make their breakfast, pour my coffee and then make myself sit down at the table with my bible and devotion. The girls are sitting there eating away and sometimes ask me to read out loud or Lauren takes it upon herself to carry the conversation and starts reading her bible out loud. I swallow my selfishness and listen to her then carry on reading to myself. Once the girls start their morning chores, I have been going into my room and praying before Bub is up again that morning. I have to make myself still yet accomplish this but I won't go into detail of how much better my mornings are. It profits everyone in the house, that's for sure. Make time for God, even if it's not first thing in the morning, let your children see you put Him first. Still waiting for this to become second nature for me but I will say the condemnation is gone. He knows the stage you are in with children---don't feel guilty for needing sleep, but do feel guilty if you simply realize "I couldn't make time for you any this month...."
Have a lovely month of April and get outside and enjoy this sunshine while we can still breathe out there! Surprise your kids today---let em' skip a hated chore just because. Go swing with them just for a moment. Eat a Popsicle on the porch with them. Offer to hold them just because. Do something out of the ordinary! Surprise yourself. :-)