And boy, could I use a clean slate.
This past week was a rough one. No one reason in particular, but it seemed like every day I had less and less motivation to get anything done (despite beautiful sunny weather), the kids each had a day or two when the emotions and/or the sass were out of control, and we all just seemed to be on one another's last nerves quite regularly.
I think sometime in the last couple of weeks I got caught up in being (selfishly) depressed over Steve being gone and I lost sight of the fact that I am the one setting the tone for this household. If I decide to be lazy and not wash the breakfast dishes while the kids are at school, they notice. If I am wearing my cranky pants all week, they notice. If I am busy, happy, and keep a smile on my face, they notice. I need to make more of an effort to show the kids that I am OK, because I really am. Hopefully they will follow suit.
So I have some goals that I'd like to focus on this week. Nothing major, but I think if I keep some of these simple ideas in mind every day I will set a better example - and a better tone - for all of us.
- Early to bed, early to rise. I can have everyone up, dressed, fed and ready to catch the bus on time and with minimal nagging if I get myself out of bed by 6 a.m. This one is tough for me because I am a night owl and dragging myself out of bed in the morning is difficult. Shoot, getting to bed before 11 is difficult, but I'm willing to make a go of it if it means easier mornings.
- A daily to-do list. I am a list person. I even love the physical act of writing the list. Each day I will create a to-do list including tasks to be completed while the kids are at school, and separate chore lists for Sam and Rachel to complete when they get home. Rachel loves lists. Sam doesn't know it yet, but he does, too.
- Weekly menu plans. This is something I used to do regularly but have gotten away from. The weekly menu is all in my head which is a bad place for it to be because things tend to get lost there. A written plan will leave a portion of my brain to concentrate on other things and will also give the kids a chance to choose what they would like to help me cook. They are both learning to do more in the kitchen which is awesome because I appreciate the help and they both love to do it.
- Focus. I need to spend more time in prayer. In the evenings I need to reflect on the day, give thanks for all I am blessed with, and pray for my husband and children. In the mornings I need to start my day with a little one-on-one time with God - something a little deeper than, "Please Lord, help me get my ass out of bed before I have to hit the snooze button again."
- Maintenance. When the living room is tidy, keep it that way. When the dining room table is cleared off, keep it that way. When the laundry is caught up, keep it that way. It only takes a few minutes here and there to maintain order. When there is order we feel less like the walls are closing in on us. If the walls aren't closing in on us we're less likely to want to kill each other. And I can tell you that in the midst of a long Michigan winter, not wanting to kill the people you love is a good thing.