Self-care day 8 and 9

We spent a portion of this weekend catching up on cleaning.

I don’t know about anyone else…but, this is a form of self-care for me. Having everything clean and tidied up clears my brain and allows me to relax.

When things are cluttered, I feel anxious. My thoughts can’t stop racing on all the things that need to get done…

But…when everything is clean…I feel more peaceful. I feel more calm. I feel like I can operate from a place of peace and calm. I have found that my outer environment deeply affects my inner environment. And, often times what’s going on in my outer environment can be a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside and vice verse.

I also started reading book this weekend. I’ve loved taking moments here in there to a) get lost in a story, and b) set an example for my kids.

Right now, we have a “Summer Rules” paper up on the fridge. My kids have a list of things they have to do, before they can have tablet or tv time.

Some of them are self-care. Some of them are prepping us to get into our school season. One of the rules is reading for 20 minutes. Kids, they pay attention to what we are doing, as adults. Are we holding ourselves to the same standards?! Are we making ourselves have some self-care, are we making ourselves read and write everyday? Are we spending time cleaning and taking care of our environment?

It’s a lot easier to do what we say, when our actions and our words match up.

So, I’m thankful for creating these habits of self-care, so that I can have the energy to do the things I say my kids should be doing.

More cooking

Being on this full-time travel journey has opened up more opportunities for us to cook, as a family!!

This is a dream that I’ve had for a while. My husband and I have always been too tired to try and get creative with our cooking, or try new things.

Also- I’m SO looking forward to adding cooking into our homeschool curriculum!

The kids had so much fun making homemade ice cream…and of, course loading it up with an insane amount of toppings 🙂

Self-Care Day 2

Today, we were mostly inside. (It still gets hot super quick in the day-and also…we are just around a lot of people, currently…so…social distancing!)

One trigger for me lately has been all of the asking “Can I watch a movie” “Can I be on my tablet?” “I don’t wanna _______.”

A lot of days, I let my obstacles get the best of me…

Well, I can’t ______, because of _____.

1. Am I really going to allow ________ to get in my way?! Really??

2. Am I really about to teach my kids to make excuses for why not to do something that is going to be helpful? Really??

So, today, while my husband and the kids were outside for a few minutes…I wrote out 3 pieces of paper that I feel like will help our house run smoother, and will give clear expectations on when the kids can have their tablet and TV time.

This is self- care for me…because, I need a flexible-structure. My kids need a flexible-structure. Also, too rigid of a schedule just doesn’t work for me. I used to be more rigid when I had one kid, but with each kid…too much structure just stresses me out…I don’t know why..it is the way it is.

So, flexible on the timing, but knowing x,y, and z will happen in a day. This is how we work best.

This structure helps with my kids knowing that when they complete x, y, and z…then, they will get to ______.

It helps them to feel like what they want, or how the day will go is not this obscure scene of events.

It lowers the amount of tantrums in a day.

And in return, lowers every one’s stress levels throughout the day.

Our flexible-structure creates self-care all around.

Has the day been perfect?! Far from it…

But, this really does create an atmosphere of peace, calm, and being able to work through problems in a healthy way throughout the day.

25 Days of Christmas

Every Year, I want to lead up to Christmas, to explain the true reason for celebrating Christmas, with my kids. And every year, I slack off on planning ahead. (Yikes)

Join us, for our first time, taking the 25 Days, leading up to Christmas to learn and celebrate Jesus being the Reason for the Season.

Follow Along, this week to find where we got our Advent Calendar and What Bible Verses we will read on each day, and what conversations we plan on having with our kids.

HIStory: What’s your favorite part of your day? (Part 1)

Most days, I ask everyone in our family a variety of questions. Sometimes, it depends on the day, how many and which ones I ask.

Usually, I start with “What’s your favorite part of today?”

I love hearing my husband and my kids’ responses. I can usually have a guess at what each person will say but sometimes, they surprise me.

And sometimes, they ask me back “What was your favorite part of the day?”

One day, my husband and I were getting ready to pick up our kids from school.

We were scrambling to get ready to head out of town for a weekend to head up to my sister and brother in-law’s house.

It’s become a tradition to head up there in November and go to Silver Dollar City and a festival at a local farm, Sycamore Creek Family Ranch ( https://sycamorecreekfamilyranch.com)

Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.