Surviving or Thriving

Being a parent is exhausting.  Usually at the end of the day, if my sanity is still somewhat intact, my kids basic needs are met and they managed to not kill each other, I would have considered it a success.  However, I have been thinking alot about that.  Is parenthood simply just surviving the day?  I recently heard a talk that inspired me to go from being a surviving mom to a thriving mom (especially in terms of the Faith I wish to pass on to my children). 

I have started to feel as if I’m doing just enough to get by…but I want to do more than that.  I don’t want to be “good enough.”  I want to be “excellent” – in my mothering, in my vocation as a wife and as a disciple of Christ. 

Here are a few things I have decided to work on:

1. Bring my kids to at least 2 daily Masses a week.  The only reason Mary has learned to say “please” is because everyday I make her repeatedly say it if she wants something.  What makes me think she is going to behave on Sunday if she only experiences it once a week?

2. Look for community events where my kids can socially interact with other kids.  Today we went to the library and it was wonderful!  I can never get Mary to color for longer than 5 minutes at home but when she was around others doing the same thing she stayed there for almost 30 minutes making beautiful works of art!  She really impressed me with her behavior and focus!

3. Constantly research activities that will help my children continue to develop in all areas of their lives.  They grow so fast and are hungry for new ways to exert their independence or learn new things.  I need to make sure I foster that growth. 

Sometimes the idea of getting the kids dressed, their bags packed, and loading them in the car to go to a place where timeout is not readily available is daunting.  At times this prevents me from going anywhere. In order to thrive I need to accept that it might be difficult, but to suck it up and let my family explore how we are all growing together.  Worst case scenario – my kids throw a fit at the given venue and we have to leave.  Best case scenario – they learn and have fun experiencing new things! 

I pray this is the beginning of my new surviving to thriving movement.

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Random

Below are just some things that have taken place (in no particular order) in the past month:

1. Luke can shift his weight from foot to foot while standing and takes a few steps with assistance!  It is so neat watching him progress so well!

2. Mary started gymnastics.  She loved the trampoline activities.  She had a blast but it is quite exhausting for momma!

3. I need to teach Mary to whisper.  I was at church with my family when Mary started yelling, “I tee-tee. I tee-tee, momma!”  So I rushed her to the back to the bathroom where she refused to sit on the pot.  Potty training has proved to be quite an interesting task.

4. Luke can mimic some actions and sounds.  He can say “ma ma ma ma” and “da da da da.”  When Matt and I go “woo” he throws his hands in the air like he’s riding a roller coaster.  It’s pretty precious.

5. Mary has learned how to take off her diaper…she likes to run around the house naked.  I wish she could be potty trained already because I could see her just poppin a squat anywhere in our house when not wearing a diaper.  She’s my free spirited child!

6. Mary gets SUPER jealous when Luke’s therapist comes over with all her cool toys and gadgets for Luke and he gets most of the attention.  It’ easy to say that Mary likes attention (undivided attention!)

7. Mary has really gotten into singing.  It is the cutest thing when kids start singing and dancing!

8. When we go for walks Mary will tell the other people on the walking trails or sidewalks to “STOP!”  I’m not sure if she thinks the sidewalk belongs to her but it is pretty funny.

Raising kids is like being in a perpetual comedy show.  They bring me such joy!

A New Beginning

It has been awhile since we’ve updated but all that is going to change.  As of the end of May, I am no longer a working mom…I am now a full-time stay-at-home mom!  I hope that I will find more time to write blogs and update on what’s going on in our lives.

I LOVED my job as a high school religion teacher and will miss my students so much.  I was initially scared to be home all day with my two toddlers since for the past five years I have been surrounded by about 400 students everyday.  Going from hundreds to two is quite the adjustment.  I am looking forward to not only witnessing the growth and progress of my children but also myself.

I’m sure being at home all day is going to present many precious moments but also challenging ones.  Every stage of our lives introduces new ways to grow.  I know God will continue to mold me into a holy and godly woman, mother, and wife, but I pray that I will be open to His work in me.