Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hand, Foot & Mouth

I wrote last week about my mission to become more content in my role as mother and homemaker. Almost as soon as I decided this, my kids came down with a virus. Fevers, rashes, mouth blisters...not fun! A visit to the pediatrician brought a diagnoses of hand, foot and mouth disease. What followed was three days of no eating, no drinking, screaming fits, no sleep, round after round of advil and tylenol, and holding my 2 year old down in order to force feed him liquids. It wasn't fun.

I'm actually happy that, if we had to have this illness permeate our home, it came right after I decided to become more content. My first instinct was to get frustrated. (And believe me, it wasn't always easy to push that frustration down!) But for the most part, I managed to remember that my kids didn't feel well. They needed me. Yes I missed out on several fun mommy gatherings and a Halloween party for the kids. But the important thing was to take care of my children. To nurture them, to comfort them, to let other things fall by the wayside.

I realized that in order to do this, to put them first without being resentful, I needed to refocus my thoughts. I'm constantly telling Stephanie, my 3 year old, to be more mindful. To pay attention to her body so she doesn't run into things. To slow down and listen to what i'm telling her so that she doesn't end up in the bathroom with the dinner plate that she was supposed to be bringing to the sink. (This really happens in our house. Frequently. Her head is often in the clouds.) I needed to do the same thing. To slow down and catch myself exhibiting signs of discontent. Just the simple act of being aware of my huffs and sighs and frustrated feelings helped me to turn them around and not be as aggravated. It's amazing how really slowing down and acknowledging my feelings helped.

Happily, our family is now back to normal. The kids are almost completely healed and I'm going back to my original project of enjoying the ins and outs of everyday life. Stay tuned, next up is how i'm learning to enjoy early mornings.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Becoming Content

I've spent the past few months doing a lot of thinking.

In general, I know that i'm a happy person. I know I have many blessings in my life, and i'm very grateful for those blessings. I have a loving family, a supportive husband, two healthy children, a beautiful home, and most of all I get to live my dream by staying home and raising my kids.

But I find myself acting unhappy. I snap at my children and husband too often. I sigh through my household chores. I find myself looking at the clock waiting for bedtime. Too often I think "I seriously have to prepare another meal for these kids?" And I don't like feeling like this.

In an effort to start acting happier, I re-read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I love that book. I've also been reading blogs by other stay-at-home mom's. And I've come to the conclusion that, while i'm happy, i'm not content. And I want to be!

A big part of becoming content is changing my attitude and the way I think about and approach the job that I am here to do. I've been working hard (and I have a lot more work ahead of me!) to start being content, and I hope to share these things with you. Over the next few weeks I'll be writing about:

Training Myself Not To Yell
Developing A Daily Routine
Streamlining My Meal Plan and Grocery Shopping
Saying No To Outside Obligations
Living In The Moment

And more. I have a lot of ideas, a lot of plans, and I'm excited to start implementing them. I hope you'll follow along on my journey, and feel free to share any of the ways that you've found to be content and happy with the everyday aspects of your life.

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