We all know I'm not one for only showing the "pretty" side of parenthood. Being a parent to two kids is extremely demanding and the incredible rewards of joy, love, and sheer delight are often matched with exhaustion, emotional duress, and goldfish crumbs.
There is nothing I love more than mothering Madelyn and Davis. But I have let it take a toll on loving myself and I'm hoping to put a stop to that in 2013.
So I started doing five things that don't benefit anyone but me. They are selfish, time consuming, and for the most part not at all productive. But I think they are important, so here they are.
1. Exercising. I'm setting aside 20 minutes at least three times a week to exercise. I have Matt watch Davis and Madelyn comes and does the workout with me. Usually she just twirls around in her tutu but sometimes she tries the moves. It's fun, and I think it's important for her to learn that we need to take care of our bodies so that we can be "strong and healthy" as she likes to say.
2. My mom's group. For years I have wanted to join some sort of mom's community but as a working mother there just are not many opportunities available that don't take place during the daytime. Our church has blessed me beyond measure with a mom's bible study every other Wednesday night. It's an amazing group of sweet, smart, and hilarious Christian moms and joining has been invaluable for me, especially since most of my best friends don't just live down the road.
3. Personal care. This will sound ridiculous (because it is), but sometimes I don't even take the time to put on lipstick because I'm running around like a crazy person (exhibit a: the above picture). And really, it's amazing what doing this one things will do for your confidence. Aside from that I'm making time to do my nails, lighting a candle at night while I do my face/teeth routine to make it a bit more enjoyable, and instituting a once-weekly bubble bath night. Oh, and I got a haircut. I'm calling it my chic mom do. 4. Making the spaces where I spend the most time pretty. I used some birthday money I received to buy somepretties for our kitchen that I had been lusting after for way too long and they make me happy every time I see them. Money well spent. 5. I schedule our cleaning people on the same day I get paid. It's a bit Pavlovian but it develops a very conscious work/reward mental connection.
I wanted to do a quick post about healthy snacks for kiddos, mostly because it's something that is important to me but also because I think it's something moms struggle with.
In our house, the kids want to eat all.the.time. and if I'm not prepared with something I'm quickly being turned on, and it isn't pretty.
So here are a few no-fail snack options that my kids love. I don't buy "junk" food so it isn't even an option. If they get something out of a box it's almost always Annie's bunnies and that is usually for my comfort more than theirs (i.e. a roadtrip or while shopping at Target- two places I do not want to deal with a fussy child). They also get treats on the weekends, at school, or when they are with their grandparents. I'm not super strict- I want them to live- but I do want to make sure 90% of what they eat helps their little bodies and doesn't hinder them.
1. Sliced almonds. This is not an obvious answer, but it's a great one. I discovered one day while baking that my kids love these and I make sure we always have them on hand. These are great car snacks too because they don't make a lot of crumbs.
2. String cheese. Any cheese really. I joke with Madelyn that one day when she turns into a piece of cheese she'll have to live in the refridgerator. She thinks this is hilarious.
3. Lara bars. These are delicious and are literally just fruit and nuts. No preservatives, no artificial coloring, nothing.
4. Fruit fruit fruit. Apple sticks (thinly sliced apples cut up like little french fries), strawberries, bananas, anything. My kids would eat fruit all day long if I let them.
5. Roasted sunflower seeds with dried cranberries. Again, random, but healthy and delicious!
And just so you know that I'm human, I'll tell you that we spent Monday afternoon having treats at Dunkin Donuts to celebrate the start of a good week at Madelyn's school. I think we can all agree that sugar, in small doses, just does you good every now and then ;)
Christmas did our family Good, which is how I will explain the complete lack of recent posts. We holed up in the house together, many days never even changing out of our pajamas, cuddled, watched movies, played, napped together, and loved.every.minute.
Honestly, I often feel like I'm at a place where I only have time to play with the kids/do projects on the house/hang with my husband/cook and not time to do all of those things and then blog about them. And I'm realizing more and more that the kiddos are getting so big so fast I don't want to do anything except soak them up every day.
I'm making an effort to just be with them when I can instead of trying to constantly multitask, which means that when they go down at 8 p.m. every night I'm in go mode cleaning up, planning the next day, making Matt's lunch (a new effort for 2013 to try and make his mornings a little easier), doing laundry, etc etc. And with my phone there are enough distractions as it is. I don't want to look back and feel like I missed my babies being little because I was too busy doing things online.
So I'm releasing myself from the blog for the time being. I'll post when I have time, or if there is something I want to write about, but I feel like if I can let it go for now I'll feel less guilty for not tending to it regularly.
And it fits well with my word for 2013: deliberate. I want to be deliberate with my time, my actions, my words. I want to be thoughtful and present in the kind of wife I am to Matt, the kind of friend I am, and in who I am to myself as well. I'm carving time out for me this year, which I haven't done a good job of in the past. And in balancing all of this on top of my job, something just has to give.
I know this is a short season. When my kids get bigger I may have more time, but right now they need me- a less hurried, distracted version of me. So I'm clearing my plate.
So here's to 2013. Here's to a less clean house, an unorganized playroom, piles of laundry, and lots of time with my babies instead. I can't wait to see what's in store for us :)