Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Choosing Fun Over a Meltdown

My husband wishes more often that I would change tactics, throw in some fun, and relax, for the sake of my own emotional state, but I rarely do it. Instead I work 16 to 18 hours per day and still never come close to finishing all there is to do, and then I feel badly about it.

Today could have resulted in a Big Ol' Mommy Meltdown, as we were headed that way and fast . . . The two-year-old has a cold, so is a combination of rambunctious and crabby. One child was friendly but a total clown all during school time. Another child was a stinker during piano lesson. Chris announced he had to work downtown and wouldn't be home for the nice (actually cooking) dinner I had planned. Lunch was late and it was discovered that a slimy, nasty liquid had spilled in the refrigerator and poured down several shelves from top to bottom plus the sugar bowl had been dumped over in my refrigerator already long-overdue for a scrubbing. In the midst of the mayhem, a child shattered a plate on the kitchen floor, necessitating a vacuuming . . . and I vacuumed up a rosary that had just been made a third class relic at the St. Maria Goretti Mass (it was later rescued). And later, 45 minutes before dinner was to be served, I realized that the meat was still frozen rock solid, not having been set out to thaw.

The dishes were overflowing in the kitchen, clean laundry not put away, and bags of groceries left out to be put in the pantry when I decided that we all needed some cheering up (or self-medication with sugar?).

Fun times thanks to Swiss Miss and Mr. Redenbacher!

Kettle corn, hot cocoa, and reading the final chapter of "The Lost World" were the order of this rainy afternoon! (Reality: We ate in the dining room, not to be fancy, but because the kitchen was a tip.)

We have quite enjoyed this book but are glad to be done after a two-month reading so we can start our next family read-aloud: "Water Babies" by Charles Kingsley (1863).

What We're Reading: Besides our family read-aloud, the children are reading "Encounter the Saints" books from Pauline Press (I've been buying them one each monthly), they each in the midst of different books from the "My Name is America" series (available at the library), and they're getting into Roald Dahl.


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  2. My husband and I have been together for such a long time now, that he's really good at noticing when I'm about to go over the edge and into a Mommy Meltdown. And more often than not (when he's home), he's able to snap me out of it by sending me out of the house for an hour or two, putting me in a time-out, or making other suggestions. :) For example, last week I was stressing out because we had CC and two Fall Festivals, school and daily chores, I had a nasty cold, and I had to pack for a 4-day vacation that we were leaving for on Thursday...mid-morning on Monday, I was beginning to spin, so he and I had a talk and he asked, "why are you even bothering with doing school with the kids this week?" I had an "oh yeah" moment (that's right, one of the beauties of homeschooling is that you get to be flexible, especially when one goes year-round like us), and just taking that one thing off my plate was enough to help me relax, "allowed" me to stay in bed for most of a day to kick the cold, and made it so that our vacation was lovely.

    It's so simple, yet we make it so difficult on ourselves. My house is never as clean as I'd like it, we rarely accomplish what I want or plan for schooling, my children aren't always as sweet and well-behaved as I expect, and I'm surely never the patient, gracious mother I'd like to be. And I have to keep telling myself that it's okay...we're a work in progress.

  3. What is the difference between the "Encounter the Saints" books and the Vision books from Ignatius press? We have been reading Saint Benedict: Hero of the Hills this term (taking it intentionally slow as to savor it!) and have loved it. I hadn't heard of the "encounter the saints" books until you mentioned them!

  4. Katie: We have at least one of the Vision Books series and they are excellent. The Vision Books are longer (about 200 pages) and are for ages 9-15, so I read ours as a read-aloud. The Encounter the Saints series are smaller and slimmer (about 100 pages each) with chapters only about 4 pages long. They're decidedly above a "little kid" book but I find them more approachable to hand to my 6- and 8-year-olds for them to read themselves. If my kids chose to, they can read through one of these books in just a few nights. Another excellent children's saints' series is that by Mary Faybean Windeatt by TAN Books.