Tuesday, August 7, 2012

perfect schmerfect

One of the best things about having all four kids home all day during the summer is that I can NOT afford to be a perfectionist. Not on any front, whether it be housekeeping, behavior, or activities. Things will go awry, but it's always an opportunity for one or more of us to learn patience and flexibility. Often that person is me, and summer is the perfect time for me to learn these lessons. The sun is shining, the kids can play outdoors more, and if one day doesn't go perfectly, there are plenty more where that came from. We all have our morning routine that involves a quick clean-up to maintain sanity and sanitation. The older kids have to do 3 jobs each in order to earn screen or outdoor time. If we're headed out for the day, they will also locate shoes, fill water bottles, and pack them with a picnic blanket. They'll help me pack a lunch and grab the swim bag if we will need it as well. Leaving the house with four is still crazy, but it's easier than when I had two. I have my own chores to accomplish each day, but I know that if I don't get to all of them this week, I will get go them the next week. Hopefully, that won't mean that the vacuum sits unused in the kitchen for a week! If we're out somewhere and one of the kids acts up, I don't take it personally anymore. I have learned that staying calm leads to peace being restored much more quickly, and responding with anger fuels the mayhem. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I'm raising people, and it can be a messy process! If circumstances beyond our control threaten to ruin our plans, it's not the disaster it used to be, which was typically a screaming public tantrum, follwed by a hasty retreat to our very messy home and a vow to never go out in public again! Something had to change, and most of the change was my responsibility. My response to a change in plans signals to my kids that it can still be a great day. I'm thankful that we've had enough good days for them to know this is true!

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