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Thursday, January 02, 2014

How to keep your sanity when your kids are home all day

I homeschool my kids.

That means that my kids are with my pretty much all the time.
This can be a good thing.
It can also be a rough thing.

There are days that everything is running smoothly, the boys are getting along and I am able to get everything done that I need to for their school work, my business and The Porch...and even manage to get some laundry done and a meal here or there.

Then there are those other days.
I'm sure I don't even have to type out what I am talking about.

Another "review day" for school because I didn't get the books we needed at the library yet and the printer isn't working for that map I was supposed to print out.
Sitting at the computer editing and trying to catch up on client emails.
Remembering at 2:00 that we are all out of water bottles at The Porch (which opens at 2:30)
Pulling out the rock solid frozen chicken at 4:30 to try and get dinner by 5, before AJ has to be at his game for 7.
The boys getting so sick of each other that they are bickering over how long each other has been playing that video game.

Ya feel me?
Ok. so we're on the same page.

I know that I didn't invent the word "intentional" or anything, but I have been using it for a pretty long time, and have tried to make it my goal in life to be truly intentional in every single aspect:
being a wife, being a mom, being a friend, being a business owner, being a Christian.

Now, I feel as if the world is totally trendy and everyone is all over the word intentional.
So I have kind of been steering clear of using the word so I wouldn't look like I was trying to keep up.

But it is a pretty stinking good word, and basically if you want to know how to keep your sanity when your kids are home all day, it boils down to that very word.

Being intentional.

To break it down for you in a few simple rules to live by,
I give you the plan A's and the plan B's.

Here are the plan A's

Plan A 
1) Make a schedule (my sister swears by them)
This is particularly helpful if you have young children at home, although it is still helpful for older kids.
Break everything down into half hour increments including rest time, reading time, snack time, even tv time. It gives you something to go by, and almost makes you feel like you can check off your day and allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Plan B
1) Carry on if you have dropped off the schedule
It's gonna happen, and it doesn't mean you are a terrible mom. If this does happen, try and at least get back to one part of it...even if it's a rest time! I like having my kids still have a rest time. Having them in their beds with a book (or legos) is a good way to give them a chance to be alone and regroup for a half an hour...or longer.

Plan A
2) Pick out your clothes the night before
Might seem like a random thing to do, but especially if you have to leave first thing in the morning, the last thing you want to be doing is looking through your closet and your kids closets and trying to find clothes that match! I always pick out my clothes for Sunday on Saturday night. Makes my mornings go much smoother.

Plan B
2) Have an old faithful outfit to fall back on
If you're too tired or just plain forget to pick out an outfit the night before, try and have an outfit that you know fits, you know looks decent and just have it on standby. The last few weeks my fall back  has started with my black yoga pants. That's what I'm talking about!

Plan A
3) Limit technology time
Because of the fact that we have some kind of technology easily accessible almost all the time, this one takes some conscious effort. Keeping a notebook by the computer is an easy way to limit computer time. Make your kids (and you!) write down the time they get on, and then the time that they are finished.  Deciding that during movie time, or game time, you won't even have your phone in the room makes it a lot harder to unconsciously check your phone.
Have certain rooms in the house that are technology free!
Too much technology time for your kids makes them harder to manage...honestly. As easy as it is to just let them be on the iPad, the iPod, the computer, watching tv, playing video games...it just may be giving you more work later in the discipline department!

Plan B
3) Start tomorrow if you blew it today
Maybe you just had a day that was filled with non-human interaction. It's ok.
Telling your kids (if they are old enough to understand you) that you are going to limit it at the beginning of the day will help to keep you accountable. Just keep working at it.

Plan A
4) Don't be too hard on yourself
Really. You're not going to look as good as that other mom you have in your mind as being super mom. And she probably has you as the super mom in her head, so cut yourself a little slack.
The harder you are on yourself, the more depressed you are going to get. The more depressed you get, the less patient, loving and kind towards your kids you become - which is exactly what you probably got depressed about in the first place! See how it's just a vicious cycle? Stop it before it starts!

Plan B
4) Don't be too hard on yourself
No. I'm serious. There is no plan B for this one!
You can not be too hard on yourself! Stop thinking that you are a bad mom, that you've blown it one too many times, that your kids are only going to remember the yelling, impatient, mean mom.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Do you know what that means?
It means the more you think "I'm such a failure . I'm such a terrible mom. I am such a loser..."
the more you become that!
How can we be so stupid sometimes?! Don't we see that?
Stop thinking about all the ways you've blown it in the past, and just move on and try and make tomorrow better than today.
It's ok. Every mom has those days. Every single one.
And if you find a mom who says she hasn't, she's a liar.
And ain't nobody got time to hang out with liars. So get a new friend.

Whatever you have done that made you feel like a failure today? Do the opposite tomorrow.
And kind of go like buck wild, over the top with it.
If you were yelling and crabby all day today?
Be all dancing and giving ice cream and crazy-fun-mom all day tomorrow.
They are much more likely to look back in a few years and remember that awesome day that their mom danced in the kitchen and gave ice cream for lunch, than that time you were grouchy.

So you go ahead super mom.
Be that super mom in your head first.
Be that loving, sweet, crazy, fun mom in your head tonight.
You are going to rock out your day tomorrow, and give your kids a day that will be hard to forget.

And that, my super awesome friend, is a simple little list to help you figure out how to keep your sanity when your kids are home all day.

May want to hold on to this one if you live in New England. School just got cancelled for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. This post. Wish I had a working printer. I would print it out and put it on my wall. (Actually my wall would be covered with your blog posts if I had a working printer) I so needed this one tonight. Like almost to the point of tears as I was reading this. Thank you so much. xo


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