It’s June, almost July. How did we get here so fast? By the end of this month, the twins will be 6 months and we will have lived in Connecticut for a year. It’s insane how quickly life moves.
At the park, a fellow mom said to me, “I’m always amazed that you get outside!” With infant twins in tow, a two-year-old and a four-year-old, I’m honestly amazed myself. I’m not the type of person who’s terribly self-motivated. I’m easily embarrassed when my kids start to tantrum on the playground. I can’t hold two babies at once, and I never do. I admittedly lose my temper as much as my girls do. I don’t sleep through the night ever. Sometimes, I don’t sleep much at all. My SUV isn’t designed for 4 car seats (NO car is) and some days it takes up to a half hour just to get the kids in the car.
A bit of a busy-body, yes. I have a hard time resting my mind or relaxing on the couch with a good show or a book. I’d prefer to sit though, painting, sewing, taking a class on SkillShare or even organizing a box of toddler clothes. But all of these tasks, while productive for my home and for myself, mostly take place inside. That’s what winter brings around these parts.
But it’s summer. And I’m re-learning what seasons are for, and why a seasonal year can create rhythm instead of continuous interruption.
The truth is, the two older girls would throw 5 to 10 temper tantrums a day, if we didn’t go out on 3-4 fun summer outings a week. It’s part of the rhythm now. I have an “adventure bag” made from a really sturdy, over-sized garden tote I found at HomeGoods. My adventure bag can fit an entire picnic including a picnic blanket. I bring a lightweight umbrella stroller for one baby, ergo for the other baby, and the girls walk on their own. You can check out our adventures on my Instagram Highlights, Summer ’18. You’ll see how easy it can be to get out. Being out and coming home is always a different story 🙂
But, we have to grant grace. To ourselves and to our kids. Being over-tired is like 80% of the my daily issues. And probably yours too. We need to identify and forgive those who are tired, and as mothers we need to keep a cool head when we begin to see the signs of a tired child. Easier said than done, I know. And I’ve found sometimes, instead of disciplining my kids in a parking lot or yelling, “Get your shoes on!” for the twelfth time, a quiet way of getting down on my knee and holding a child who needs my help is the answer we need to keep the day good. Having and striving for good days is important to me.
And last, but not least, is when it doesn’t work out, when you go to the 11 o’clock mass with one small child, a toddler and two infants and you feel more embarassed than ever before and decide to leave, that it’s okay to not judge all future outings based on this one time. Maybe we all needed a nap instead. Just do it. Take them out somewhere fun.
And now here’s a new thing I’m trying to do this summer. Celebraing a gratitude list of 5 joyful things, a #Joyful5.
My Joyful Five for May & June:
- Backyard Bouquets. So many our of flowers bloomed in May. When we moved into this house, it was early August. We missed all of the rhododendrons, azaleas, peonies and most of the summer blooms. Towards the late summer we ended up orchestrating a major overhaul of the backyard which resulted in losing a lot of perennials planted by the previous owners, but simplifying our own work. I was hesitant but I believed everyone who said we’d honor the work better by making it ours and manageable versus allowing it to become very overgrown. I’m grateful we invested the money there, even though we both find new things every day that we want to pull, replant and grass over. This year, my spring gardening included our mailbox makeover where I replanted day lilies from the back to the front, a potted apricot drift rose, and a planted fragrant knockout called radsunny. And then 5 annual baskets and 2 planters in the front. Currently, I’m working on creating a butterfly garden for my girls.
- Farm Fridays. We have been taking advantage of the vast farm land and farms here and trying to visit a different farm on each Friday. Sometimes we visit the same one twice in a row, and sometimes we go to the beach. I’m trying to figure out which day is good for a beach outing during the week.
- A Good Cleaning Routine. I’m creating a printout cleaning routine maker, to help you and I get a realistic cleaning routine. There’s something better about creating a routine as opposed to waitning for “emergencies”. Such as, cleaning all the toilets on Tuesdays verses only when company is coming in an hour, and the toilets look like they haven’t been cleaned in months. We deserve to have homes that are livable and the assurance that we can maintain them.
- More Patience, Less Phone Scrolling. Ever since I started using the app Moment, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my patience with my kids. My kids don’t realize when they are interrupting a text conversation or a comment reply on social media. How would they? And although we have family down the coast and I am trying to get an art career ignited, my kids are in my care and when they are, they deserve me at my best. This app has helped me be at my best.
- Creative Time. Slowly, I’m writing a book about homemaking and routine. Which is wild because 10 years ago, I never dreamed that I would feel inclined to celebrate either. But here I am, with pages and pages of journaling prompts and pages that I’ve designed for myself to get myself out of the ruts of being a SAHM. It’s been a very slow process, prompted by my real-life experiences. And looking over, things have changed quite a bit over the span of 4 years. It’s amazing and I feel so blessed to sit down and carve out words and formats for designing something that I feel really good about. That has been a slow process, prompted by real-life needs too. We’ll see if this ever gets anywhere beyong my computer screen.