While we have school going at some level all year, I appreciate the opportunity for evaluation and goal-setting that comes with the start of a “new” year. In our family, this usually means evaluation and goal-setting for me as much or more than for the Blessings. That is certainly true this year, perhaps to a greater degree than usual.
I thought I’d share some adjustments that I/we are making. Perhaps they’ll encourage or challenge you, or bless you in the knowledge that you’re not alone in this or that.
I think I have neglected to share my new habit of considering the internet, for the most part, turned “off” during the day. I do take a little online time during Siesta, and there are other reasons for exceptions, but for the most part, I’ve made the internet off limits for me while Jonathan is gone to work. Why? Because I need to be with my children. That sounds cliché’ when I look at the words in type. But I had gotten to the point where I hid in my room from my children most of the day, considering them intrusions rather than Blessings, being irritated with them for bothering me, and just not BEing with them. That is not the mom that I want to be, the mom God wants me to be, the mom my Blessings need. The internet was not the culprit, I was. But the internet was my enabler and the Father convicted me that I needed to change my habits. So, since mid-summer, I’ve been having a lot more face-to-face time with our Blessings!
A Developing Routine
I’ve realized that with six children officially doing school, we are in need of more structure to our days. Several years ago, I tried using a very structured program for scheduling our days, and it didn’t for me. Great program; I just had a hard time hanging on to the fact that it was my tool, not my master… and I turned into Monster Mom. It wasn’t pretty. So we’re working on figuring out a schedule/routine that will be flexible, yet give us some needed structure.
Breakfast and Lunch
During Andrew’s (very physically challenging) pregnancy, the Blessings generally got their own (cold) breakfast and (not necessarily healthy) lunch. Keepin’ it real. It was physically needed for them to do the preparation, but I fell out of the habit of making sure that they had what they needed on hand for healthy, varied meals. Part of our new routine is eating breakfast together as a family, which makes it natural to work toward the goal of providing more nutritious breakfasts. Since I’m more mindful of breakfast planning, it’s relatively easy to remember to plan better for lunches. Not being “stuck” at the computer all day lends itself to actually fixing these meals for my children more often instead of them needing to do it every time. And you know what? I’m enjoying it!
My friend Hope inspired me this summer with her system for Bible memory with her children. In short, after prayerful choosing of a passage, the mom “(reads) the passage three times every day and the children (chime) in as it becomes familiar. … By the end of the month, they have got it!” We’ve been incorporating this into our morning after-breakfast routine, and are loving it. We started in mid-August with Psalm 1 and all the Blessings who can talk have it memorized. We’re working on Ephesians 1 this month (and maybe next), and we need to put some prayer into choosing passages for the rest of the year. Check out Hope’s helpful and inspiring post for more fleshed-out ideas.
There are other adjustments we’re working on making, but this post has gotten long enough. Have a blessed week!