Archive for 'Amy’s Stuff'
Where has this post come from? I’m writing more from my heart…read this one first if you want…
One of our family mottos…a “Schuff-ism” (since our last name is Schuff…get it? *snort*) is simply, “contributing to the family.” There are 5 of us living under one roof plus a dog. If we all don’t chip in, then one or all of us can become overwhelmed or miserable (and that usually is me! The Mommy!)
Let’s be honest here, us as Moms were not put on this earth to be a slave to our children. We just weren’t. Now if you want to be a slave to your children, please stop reading right now. I will not be offended in the slightest. All Moms are different and we all have to raise our kids in the best possible way…for our kids. Note I didn’t say…for us.
Being your kids’ servant doesn’t serve them at all. It only serves our need to be needed.
Let me explain myself.
Sometimes us as moms, ever the care takers, rear wipers and dinner makers…well…we can be kinda martyrish. Now I know that isn’t a word, martyrish, but I think we should make it a word. Some of us call it something different like, “Independent” or “Self Sufficient”, saying “the kids are too young to do x,y,z, etc” or my favorite…”I like things done a certain way.”
We think that the moment that we have babies, being their servants is all we should be doing, when teaching them to serve is actually our job.
Now, you lovely mommy that has a tiny baby who nurses and is up all night and needs you 24/7…I’m not talking to you. I love you and care for you…but you are in a whole different place right now. I will write something specific for you later. Just know that you do have opportunities to teach your baby but they center around your relationship with your husband. Right now it may feel like you are a slave to your baby and in a sense you are. Please read my post from a last month, right here…this too shall pass. I’ll come back for you later…
Anyway, these tips are specifically geared towards kids 4 and up, right around the time where they can do certain chores unsupervised. My kids are ages 4, 7 and 9. Also, we don’t deal with any behavioral or spectrum disorders that some families do. There…those are my disclaimers.
So when we ask our children to do something for us, a chore or a task, we refer to it as, “contributing to the family.” Like I said, there are 5 of us and a dog living here, that is definitely not as many as some families, but to us, it is a lot.
Here you go…a list of our “Schuff-isms”…
(Now normally in these tip-type posts I guess I’m supposed to put the most important tip last. Well I’ve put it first. That way, if you don’t care to read anything else…ast least you’ve read the most important one!)
1. “I don’t care how you do it, do your best and get it done.”
I know this is going to be the toughest thing for a lot of moms. We were raised to do things a certain way, our husbands were raised to do things a certain way. That by golly is how our kids are going to be raised to do them!!! Yeah…good luck with that one. I’m going to get really practical here…
Take the laundry for example. When my husband and I first got married, I folded the towels differently than he did. He cared about how the towels were folded, so I folded them the way he wanted. I had to learn a totally different skill! Then over the years, we both wised up and now I fold the towels any way I want to. Then the kids started have some more responsibility and the time came that they needed to learn to fold the towels. So I have two decisions, I can teach them the way I do it and make sure they do it my way, or I can teach them the way I do it, and then have them do their very best and watch them get it done.
I choose to allow them to do their very best and however they see fit to get it done…I really don’t care. The towels are not folded how I learned to do it as a child and most often they are stuffed in the cabinets all messy…but folded nonetheless. To cut out even the folding process, the kids throw all our washcloths and handtowels into a bin in the cabinet. There. Done. Now we can go outside and play.
Now if the kids are blatantly skipping over the laundry and I see them doing a half hearted job on purpose, then that is behavior that I address. I haven’t had to do that yet. But really…who likes to do the laundry anyway? Come on…just stick the towels in the cabinet and be done with it!!
The thought of nitpicking my 7 year old on the way he folds the towel? Looking into his auburn colored eyes and long lashes, saying to him, “No Zach, that isn’t the way you do it. Do it THIS way.” Well…I’ve just started to lose the battle for my child’s heart right there. And the thought of going behind him to “fix” the towels that he just spent 20 minutes folding? Well it completely undermines the job that he did and the work he put into it. I am in a sense saying, “What you did was not good enough, therefore your Mom will do it for you.”
So if you find yourself worrying a bit over how the towels are folded, or how the dishwasher is filled, or how the legos are put away, I have a question for you….
Please don’t think that I am being critical or judgmental…I’m just wondering. Why is it a big deal? If you can figure out why it is so important to you, then you’re halfway to feeling less stressed about your child doing his or her chores.
You know what…I’m going to leave it at that. I’ve already written way more than I intended to. I’ll come back another day to share more of our “Schuff-isms”.
Bear with me here…this post has nothing to do with a photo session or photography at all. This goes out to my fellow Mommies…may it encourage them a little bit…
The other day (more like a month ago, but I lose track of time) I had the blessing to watch my two nephews for just a couple hours. I’ve watched my 3 year old nephew countless times, but this was the first time I would be watching his new brother (Mama’s got to get her hair did!!) Of course I jumped at the chance and was excited! No big deal…5 kids in the house…what’s the prob? Ages 9, 7, 4, 3 and 6 weeks. Whew!!!
Just a little background information; when you walk into my house, you are immediately bombarded by noise. Loud children, a barking dog very excited to see company, music either from the radio or the piano. You walk into a small entry way where there isn’t enough room to welcome anyone or take off shoes and there isn’t any room on the hooks to hang a purse since there are jackets (why I have no clue since it’s 90 degrees outside!), numerous leashes for just one dog, and canvas totes filled with extra clothes I never emptied from the times we visited Grammy’s pool, weeks ago.
So you walk through my door and what do you see…life. At least the way we live it. Loud. Chaotic. Loving. Busy. So adding another little guy to the mix? No biggie!
I found something out about myself that day…I haven’t had a newborn in my house in almost 5 years…and it shows. I use both my hands to eat my lunch. I can go potty by myself (most of the time – but I still have to call it “potty”, I am a mom you know). I can walk from room to room without anything in my hands or on my hip. I haven’t folded my 7 or 9 year old’s laundry in months, I can’t tell you when was the last time I emptied the dishwasher.
I’m not saying all this to rub it in all you Mom’s faces with young children. I say all this to explain that
Things. Get. Easier.
Please note I said EASIER…not EASY. Because there is NOTHING easy about being a Mom.
I truly believe that the ages of children 0-5 years old are the toughest years to parent, especially the first 6 months of a baby’s life. In my experience, there is nothing more difficult than managing babies while you are exhausted, overwhelmed and new at the parenting gig.
For example, my kids are getting over colds right now. What is lovely is that they sleep through their stuffy noses, can take cough medicine without screaming about it and even suck on Halls to ease their sore throats. My sister is going through the same thing as me (all the cousins got each other sick apparently!) But she doesn’t have the same luxury of giving her babies cough drops or them even being able to really communicate how sick they feel. We live in two different worlds, but we are both Mommies.
Now I’ve only been a Mom for 9 years, so I don’t know what it is like to have a teenager, but I do know what it is like to have small children and with every year that goes by…things get more relaxed, more fun…just plain easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I need to explain something to you. I have never been more stressed and overwhelmed in my entire career as a Mom. I am a work at home Mom who homeschools her three kids, runs a business, supports a ministry, maintains a home and juggles family and friends. I may be spread a little thin…but what I am dealing with doesn’t come close to what a Mom deals with when she has a baby, a 2 year old and a 4 year old.
I hope this is encouragement for some Mommy out there. If today is a tough day, lots of temper tantrums and food thrown on the floor (by your babies, not you!) then be encouraged…this too shall pass.
You know the cliché saying that all the older and wiser Moms say to young Moms…”enjoy them while they’re little!” Well..It is so true it’s crazy!! Because in a flash, things get easier.
My baby is 4 years old. I am doing everything I possibly can to keep her a baby for as long as I can. Every little milestone she meets brings a tear to my eye because I know she’s becoming more independent. I encourage all my kids to be independent of course, they get their own breakfast and brush their own teeth…but I never force them to do something that is beyond their ages.
So if the weight of being a Mom with young children is on your shoulders today, here’s some advice from a Mom who has been in your shoes.
Take a day off. Put your feet up, turn on “Finding Nemo” and relax. Cuddle your babies and read them stories. Let the food fall to the floor…better yet…put the plate of food on the floor and let them pretend they are puppies while they eat!
Enjoy your babies…because being a Mom is really tough…and it will get easier.
My life as a Mom told by Instagram…
lots of coffee
……a snapshot of my days over here at this adventure we call Schuff School.
Please be patient with me as emails are returned at a snails pace and the blog is neglected. We’ll get our footing soon, but until then….
Candy is fun (we’re eating a lot of it)…but it isn’t about that.
Easter egg hunts are fun (we’re having one today)…but it isn’t about that.
Being with family is fun (we’re having a family brunch)…but it isn’t about that.
The Easter bunny is scary, er…fun…but it isn’t about that.
Today is about celebrating the day that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. He is not dead…He is alive! He is my reason for living, my reason for breathing. He gave His life so I could have one. He did it for you too.
Happy Easter…He is Risen!
…we were here.
School has been on the back burner, the laundry is piled high and we’ve eaten out more than care to admit. Soon though we will be done with installing new floors and we’ll be one step closer to making this little home of ours, my dream house.