If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that once last June rolled around, new posts became non-existent. I had blogged for almost an entire year, and then everything stopped.
Like many expectant women, first trimester was awful. I was terribly sick again, and my husband spent three months going to work and coming home to do all the cooking, cleaning, and child rearing.
Since the beginning of this month, I have been feeling SO MUCH BETTER. I am still regaining some of my strength and energy, but I am so thankful to feel normal again.
It’s taken me a few weeks to get back into routine. Balancing laundry, meals, precious children, cleaning, piano lessons, serving in ministry, and fellowship time with friends & family takes planning and discipline for me. I’ve had some rough days at home as I search for normalcy again.
Recently, my husband came home from work, and I was able to tell him the boys and I had an excellent day. While there are many things during a day that are completely uncontrollable (a teething toddler, burdens from life’s hard situations, poor weather, etc), I was able to identify a few controllable factors that contributed to our good day.
1. I was in bed before 9:30 the night before. Whether it’s the extra energy surge in the evenings or complete useless dawdling or scrolling of social media, I don’t often to go to bed before 10:15. Waking up rested was a huge blessing to the start of my day.
2. I was up before the children. Thankfully (mostly due to this alarm clock), our children are usually not up before 7:00. Being able to get up before the children was so good for me. I could drink a bit of coffee and spend some time doing what should be most important in my life…reading Scripture and talking with my Lord.
3. When the boys did wake up, my three year old immediately requested to color. I often hesitate at this request because my eighteen month old has not learned to keep crayons, markers, and slick sticks on the paper. Likely because I had energy and patience due to my sleep, I said yes. I sat at the table with the boys and gently (and repeatedly) encouraged my little one to color only on the paper.
4. While the boys colored, I slowly made breakfast. Simple fried eggs, avocado, and fruit. I am not a dietician and I am not a mega health nut. I am not always sure how children react to good foods or to unhealthy foods, but I have learned the mornings tend to go MUCH better if the boys have some version of a healthy breakfast. (And another healthy snack around 10:00.)
5. We played outside. After our late breakfast, we went outside for hours. Our morning started with a walk and watching the garbage man. Then we progressed to drawing with chalk out front. Then we moved to the backyard. The boys looked for worms in the dirt, played in the sandbox, and caught a butterfly. I played too, and I often don’t.
Good days were few and far between this summer, but I’m starting to feel like we have some routine again. I feel like I have had to relearn what helps make a good day.
I have learned that most of the time when my children have rough days and I find them crying, I have to look at myself and wonder what I need to change.
I learned a little bit the other day…when the day went really well.