When school returned three weeks ago, I assumed I would gain time to write, and accomplish a few things on my mummy list, but also a number of things on my ‘Things Sarah wants to accomplish list’.
Oh, how wrong I was!
Two out of the three girls settled back into school life well – and quickly. Our beautiful middle daughter, has found learning difficult, and while we are helping her at home, She also receives learning support at school, Bethy’s self confidence needs a little work, so we have been having lots of chats about how joy comes from within, and no one can make her happy, Bethy has to decide happiness for herself. When she makes the decision to be happy despite the circumstances, she will feel empowered in herself, and confidence will flow. The flow on effect will be closer relationships with her friends from school, she will be less hyper sensitive to the cracks in friendships, she will be able to overlook problems and likely to feel free in herself. Her true self will be happier. While she allows herself to feel insignificant and unimportant, her outcome will be that she is seen as insigniicant and unimportant…and as a mum, i don’t want that for her life. So we are working very hard building her up.
I have recently reread the ‘Love Languages for Children’ book by author Dr Gary Chapman. Bethy’s love language, is definitely ‘quality time’. It does not seem to matter what we do together, it seems that Bethy’s need for one on one time with me is vital to her survival. So I have been trying to ‘create opportunities’ to have that quality time with Bethy in amongst the daily chaos of family life with four kids! Some days, this is much easier than others….but we are getting there.
Between juggling family life, and a new school routine, we have had a number of school functions to attend in the last few weeks – the commencement service, the Parent Information night, the swimming carnival (two pool locations), we also have a new niece, extended family catch ups, an elderly grandparent died, weekly guitar lessons, and trying to keep up to date with the normal household expectations – such as dinner preparation, homework, general cleaning and so on – some of the boring stuff that has to be done!.
Suddenly I feel like I need another holiday – lucky we only have 6 weeks and 3 days to the Easter break (not that I am counting)!
Since my last blog post, I have had to adapt my 3 month meal plan, as I accidentally broke my oven door. It smashed to the ground and the front panel of glass shattered into a billion tiny pieces across my kitchen floor. All I could think about was my plan, the plan to improve our family life, by simplifying it – not adding pressures to the mix. Breaking the oven door has been a challenging issue to deal with, and I am still trying to get it sorted. So along with ‘campaign improve Bethy’s self esteem and confidence’, keeping up with the daily grind, including school routines, I must admit that at this moment – I feel far away from the magical place of ‘simple’, However, I am hopeful and very optimistic! I’m trying to stay positive and believe that there IS a way to fix the door with out having to replace the whole oven! My goal at the moment is to keep plodding along and just make some progress each day.
Sometimes, I find ‘motherhood’ quite a challenging journey, and it can be very hard to keep on top of the household duties. I want more time to play with my kids, more time to plan and take adventures, and just have time to enjoy and really connect with my family. The world seems to spin far too quickly and the insignificant things in life, we deem important, need to be reconsidered and restructured so that we can actually make more time for those really important people in our life. Afterall, life is about people, isn’t it?!
The ‘Love Languages’ book has reminded me to stop and really connect with my kids. Not that I haven’t been connecting with them, but at times I do find it far too easy to get involved in matters that do not concern me. I’m learning to re-prioritize and make sure I properly connect with each of the kids at least once each day. There is no excuse for distant relationships in a family. Family is supposed to be the soft place we can fall into at the end of each day. It is the place where our children need to feel the safest, and if they have no soft place to fall when the world has been harsh, where can they go? Where, and who do they turn too? I know where I want my kids to turn. Family life is the place where a child will learn the skills of taking responsiblity for their words and their actions, they will learn resilience, they will learn conflict resolution, and they will learn emotional and social etiquette. What does emotional and social etiquette mean? Simply put, it means they learn how to have relationships with others. They learn what is socially acceptable, they learn the rules of life. It may not always be pretty, and in amongst family life, a child will and must be corrected, but it comes with the territory of growing children into well balanced, happy and successful adults. Without correction, a child will not learn to live his best life, because they need to be guided and directed. Since rereading the Love Languages book, I have been reminded how important it is to parent each child as an individual. Obviously there are some rules and consequences that apply to all of them, but knowing how each child ticks, even through discipline I can connect with them personally, and bring the best out in them – well, at least I can try!