My life, for quite some time has felt a little out of control. A little bit like I'm in the middle of a tornado with things whizzing and whirling around me and I can't figure out how to get out and take back control. I can't say for sure when all of this happened, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with moving out of our home to live with other relatives (which I did enjoy, but it still wasn't my home), having an unexpected pregnancy occur not long after, feeling sick for about 7 months of the pregnancy and spending a lot of time in kind of daze from meds to prevent constant vomiting, and then giving birth to a child who hardly ever slept and when he did it had nothing to do with normal night/day patterns for far too long. It's sort of easy to lose control in all of that and learn to just get by.
But, really, I'm so tired of just getting by. And frankly, just getting by is getting harder and harder to do.
So, we've made some changes in this house. Not huge, terrible changes. On the surface, they appear to be small changes. But let me tell you. If we can keep this up, it will create some big changes I think - mostly in that I will actually feel as if I have some sort of control back.
First of all, is the diet changes I made. Things are going well on that end. And bonus - I've lost a few pounds!
Second is that I have implemented room time for my three darling children. Every day at 1, up to their room(s) they go. We started towards the end of last week for 10 minutes. My darling son, had a FIT. He did not like it. He still, does not like it. When I say "Room time!" the whining starts. He tells me no. But he gets up there. I put the gate up and today he stayed up there for 35 minutes! (my goal is to work up to an hour). I LOVE this break time. I NEED this break time. Especially with my son, who seems to cause trouble non-stop all day. I need this time to just sit. Well, today I spent 10 minutes cleaning (lunch dishes, laundry). I have decided I will clean for 10 minutes every day, but the rest of that time ... well, it's mine. Mine to do whatever I please. Read. Knit. Watch tv. Blog. Whatever. And I love it. I feel better at the end of the day with that break. I do not feel as stressed or as frustrated or as exhausted. It's a good thing.
We've also added a clean-up time to the day. For 30 minutes everyone has to clean. Why? Because some days all I do (aside from chase the 2 year old) is yell at everyone to clean up and put things away. And I tell dh every day that I never get a chance to actually clean during the day and our house often looks like a dump. So I made a deal with the girls. They clean every day during this clean-up time, and then put toys away before bed and that's all they will hear from me about the cleaning. So far it's working. I am equally surprised at how when I am focused on it, how much I can get done in 30 minutes. It's good. It really is.
My house is still not spotless. There is still clutter everywhere. But I do feel a little bit better about it. It all seems more manageable.
To top it off, we have been reading and reading and reading and reading. Yesterday morning we cracked open book 1 of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Tonight before bed, we finished book 2. My throat is sore from all the reading - although it's a good thing because it's forcing my 8 year old to share the reading with me if she wants to hear the story. She isn't the strongest out-loud reader - she kind of mumbles as she reads, so I think this is great practice for her. And we are all enjoying the stories very much. I have no doubt book 3 will probably be read tomorrow as well! What book(s) will we pick up after Spiderwick though? I am not sure! My 8 year old thinks it's time to do Harry Potter, but I'm not quite ready to tackle that with her yet. I really would prefer her to be a bit older to read it. I've heard a lot of good things about Eragon, (and I have yet to read it) but I'm guessing we're still a few years away from that one too ... so I really need some good suggestions here! If you have any, please share them with us =)