I am not one that puts a crazy amount of pressure on Mother's Day.
I'm totally fine telling my family what I want and what I would like to do.
I typically like the day to be fairly simple.
Church, food, relax.
Last year (2014) quickly took over as my worst Mother's Day ever.
It beat out 2002 by a landslide.
A trip down memory lane...
In 2002, Matt and I (7 months pregnant) took Daisy (11 months) on the Afton Princess Mother's Day boat cruise down the St. Croix River.
My mom kept saying, "Leave Daisy with me! You guys go and have a good time!".
I said, "No...it's Mother's Day, I want Daisy to be with me!".
Famous last words.
Apparently a group of people were late in getting to the cruise, so they decided to wait, making the rest of the people that did show up on time, suffer. They departed 45 minutes late. Which meant that we ate 45 minutes late, and the cruise ended 45 minutes late.
For the average cruiser, this time delay wasn't a problem.
For us, there were some consequences.
Daisy had just learned how to run.
We had a hungry, tired, running 11 month old on that cruise for about an hour too long.
We nicknamed her "The Afton Princess" for the better part of that year.
Matt and I are not super relaxed in situations like that, so it was not the best day.
We did laugh about it later. And still do.
Last year was a totally different situation.
My three kids, on any given day, are normally so good to me.
Lucy will give me a manicure, Daisy will scratch my back, MJ will be thoughtful with his words.
Really good kids.
On Mother's Day, something happened where it was almost like they couldn't stand the fact that I had a day about me.
It was the strangest thing.
The morning started out just fine.
We got home from church, and I was preparing a soup (that Matt and I love), a salad, and some bread for a simple lunch.
My parents would be coming over shortly.
No one offered to help.
My Love Language is Acts of Service, which means I feel loved when my family members ask me,
"Is there anything I can do to help, Mom?"
Over the course of the next hour,
one child was flopping around on the floor asking why they couldn't see if friends could play. ("because all your friends are celebrating their mothers today, Sweetie"...was my sarcastic response...I hate it when I get sarcastic)
Two family members were sitting on the couch watching TV while holding an iProduct.
One child was nowhere to be found.
So, I was crabby.
My parents came over and we sat down to the lunch I prepared all by myself.
One precious child looked me in the eyes and said,
"I wish we could have just gone out to eat so that we wouldn't have to eat this soup".
I stared back at that precious child, got up, and left the room.
Matt found me upstairs curled up in a ball crying over the selfish children that I had raised.
Seriously, on any other day, they don't act like that!
My bedroom is above the kitchen and after my family enjoyed lunch without me,
my mom said to my kids, "let's clean up the kitchen".
Another one of my precious kids said, "I don't know how".
Oh...mark my words...my kids will never utter those words again!
I won't go into the rest of the gory details,
but let's just say, Matt and I had a meeting at about 7 o'clock that evening,
and our kids lives have not been the same since.
We attributed their ungrateful/entitled attitudes to:
1. too much media
2. not enough chores
Matt and I brainstormed ways to resolve those issues.
We came up with our Media Rules, which I go over once a month with the kids.
We also introduced a Chore Chart, which basically means that my kids will never again say that they don't know how to clean a kitchen, clean a bathroom, sweep, vacuum, dust, poop duty, take out the garbage, sort laundry, and help prepare meals.
The reason they won't be able to say that they don't know how to do these things is because they have done these things every day/week for an entire year.
And they will continue to do these things around the house as long as they would like to live in this house.
We definitely have more time on our hands because we homeschool.
But, I am still planning on Daisy completing her chores every day/week next year even though she'll be at high school every day. She may just have to do more of her chores on Saturday's.
I love my kids.
But I refuse to send an ungrateful, selfish, entitled kid out into this world (or into my basement).
There is work to do, there is time to manage, and there is fun to be had.
All things in moderation.
I hope you have an amazing Mother's Day!
I hope you feel loved and appreciated for all you do!
And, if you don't, it may just be the start of something awesome.
"Parents of tweens and teens need to hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be proactive and effective in training our children to face the snares of adolescence."
Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston
I'm in bed, sipping throat coat tea, with a hot rice bag on my feet, water on my night table, and two advil in my tummy.
The girls and I came down with some sort of yuck this week that you would not wish on your worst enemy.
We are on Day 4 and this beast is showing no sign of a surrender!
I leave you with my new favorite quote (above). I texted it to Matt last week while he was traveling and asked him to read it through a couple of times and to let me know what he thought. I totally expected him to say, "that is awesome...what a dream!". But, instead he said, "sounds like you wrote it...lol". Another gentle reminder of how different we are. I'm thankful for our differences because when we work through those differences, they cause us each to grow.
I have "simplify" on my mind as I lay here helpless. Hoping to share more on that next week.
I'm out of here...stay healthy and have a wonderful Easter!
"She knew if she kept it simple, Stone House would be just what people would want to get away for a rest." A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
Once school has been taught, and the laundry is washed, the kids have been driven here and there, mouths have been fed, chores have been managed, groceries have been bought, and media minutes have been counted (ugh)...I am left with a bit of time to do some things I really love. Of course I'm talking about sewing, crocheting, cooking, and reading.
This week I scheduled two 4-hour shifts in my sewing room, and the kids were so sweet about making sure that I got that time. I definitely need to block off the calendar more often.
I'm working on some goodies for my Etsy shop. I've got to pull out what's left of the winter items and add in some new items for spring. I'm hoping to have the shop updated this weekend. I sent out a survey to my girlfriends and got some great feedback on what to put back in my shop. Now I need to schedule in a photo shoot.
I made some top knot head bands (top photo), some key/coin bags, and some wristlets. I'm also hoping to work on some new flower pins.
I crochet while I sit and help the kids with math, and also during movies. Though, I think this really bothers MJ because he is so serious about his movies and if he notices I haven't looked up in a while, he'll say, "Mom, you missed it!", and rewind so I can see all the details.
My alarm still goes off at 5:30am...though I tend to snooze till 6am. I wish I wouldn't do that, but the kids just stay up so late these days and they're so chatty at night. I only manage to get in about 10 minutes of reading in bed before I pass out. But, once I'm up, I grab my phone and headphones, pick a podcast, and walk for 30 minutes while curling my 3 pound weights. Works for me until I can get outside and run.
We spent last weekend down in Rochester where Lucy swam on the State relay team in 4 events. Smoothies every day, two movies (Insurgent and Cinderella), and Qwirkle (which we bought while we were down there because I forgot to pack games). Lucy mostly hung out with friends in the hotel during her down time, but Matt and I really enjoyed playing Qwirkle. It's a game that I have managed to beat him at every time. I'm only gloating because once he masters this thing, I will probably never see another win. He's that good.
Well, I went and committed to the Whole30. Have you heard of this? The idea is from the book It Starts with Food, which I've mentioned a couple of times. A friend and I were doing a little winter challenge, of sorts, to eat a little better. Basically, all our other friends were in some tropical location, and we said, "if we're stuck in Minnesota all winter, we may as well be skinny!". And by skinny, we mean healthy. Neither of us are over weight, but we're both 40, and that's a whole new alligator to wrestle. We were noticing that the pounds were instantly attaching whenever we enjoyed our donuts and tortillas and chocolates. So, I proposed that we do 3 simple things:
1. Portion control...basically just put less on your plate than you did before and no seconds.
2. Substitute one meal a day with a smoothie or fresh juice.
3. No sweets!
This was going pretty well for a week and a half and we had some gentle results to show for it. Then, her cousin (in San Diego) mentioned the Whole30, and Natalie mentioned it to me. We were all in. A 3-way texting friendship was formed, the date was set, and today is Day 12. Meat, veggies, fruit and fat (avocado, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, olives). That's what we eat. No sweets/sugar, no dairy of any kind, no grains of any kind, and nothing processed. This plan is basically "about creating life-long behaviors designed to always move you in the direction of 'more healthy'."
Basically, I drink 10 cups of water a day, I drink my coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon (photo above) or black (in a pinch), and then I eat meat, lots of veggies, and fruit (which I prefer in smoothies unless it's a banana). In a pinch, I eat a LaraBar (one a day max is allowed).
My two favorite meals that I have been eating every day are:
2. egg roll salad (it's just the inside of my egg roll recipe minus the brown sugar) + 1/2 avocado or olives.
I eat those two meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's strange, I know. And yes, I'm trying to get in some other awesome veggies, but it is what it is. My kids are sick and tired of smelling sauerkraut in the house, but I had no idea how important fermented veggies are in our diets. I can't tell you why they're important, but if you read the book, or do a Google search, you could find out.
Reading...of course I'm fitting reading in to all the nooks and cranny's of my day, but those nooks and cranny's have not been in abundance lately. So, my stack is getting rather large.
Harry Potter book 5 by J.K. Rowling (Daisy asked me to read this series a couple of years ago...I'm trying...it's so long)
And Lucy is just finishing a series (that she loves) called The Mother Daughter Book Club. I really want to read that series. Each book is a year in time and they all read a classic. It gives you behind the scenes information about the authors and makes you totally want to read those classics. Lucy has yet to pick up one of the classics that they mention, but I've got my fingers crossed.
My Blog...a little place to journal about the things that I love. What are those things??? I love sewing, cooking, reading, early mornings, living on a budget, chai tea and iced coffee (seasonally), running 3 miles (well, kind of), paper and pencil, being home, road trips, traveling, chocolate, my high school sweetheart husband and our 3 kids (Daisy 14, Lucy 13, MJ 11), family and friends, homeschooling, NYC, my faith, MN, all 4 seasons, decluttering/organizing...