Cochrananza

A roller coaster ride that never stops.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Not Up to Snuff

Really, I can’t believe how perfect an example today was of all that I don’t want to be as a parent. In a court of law, my defense would be that I got some bad news this morning and then another bad thing happened too, so on a personal level, I really could have used a day to process some stuff. Unfortunately, as I am on the job all day every day, I had to try NOT to process and keep on keeping on. That just didn’t work. So I was very down and very low-energy, yet everyone continued to need me to be at the top of my game. I failed to break up any fights, or jolly Tim out of his tantrums, or provide enriching learning opportunities, or anything else I usually do that’s positive.  I feel like there has to be a better way to get through days like these than just survive them, but today I’m counting the fact that we DID survive as a victory.

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Catch-22 24/7

Here is a question I ask myself daily: how are you supposed to

  1. do the dishes
  2. cook meals (which create dishes)
  3. do laundry
  4. pay bills and do other admin paperwork
  5. keep the house clean and inventory stocked

when you are also

  1. your kids’ ride everywhere
  2. still in charge of ensuring the safety of your youngest, who needs almost-constant supervision
  3. in charge of taking said toddler to the potty at least one dozen times a day
  4. the parent of 3-4 pathologically active children who need physical outlets on days that are too hot or rainy (almost all of them)
  5. the errand runner, emergency handler, hug-giver, and all-around guru.

????

Trucks Trucks Trucks

Tim had an issue on our long drive today and I had to pull over to address it. In Westminster, there are ever so many truck and tractor and equipment dealerships, and it so happened that the place I pulled in was a truck dealership. Once I got Tim settled again, I asked if he was ready to go home.

Tim: No. I want to live here.

Me: Unfortunately, people can’t live here.

Tim: Then I want to take one home.

Me: Unfortunately, trucks are very expensive.

Tim: Then I want to go get some money from the money store.

I have been wondering lately what little boys did back in the day, before there were trucks to love so passionately. Did they think about other kinds of vehicles that were around in their day? Did they always roll things? What has occupied the minds of little boys throughout the ages? Just can’t help wondering. It seems like the things little girls love have always been around.

Half Hours and Setting Limits

In my ongoing quest to combat perfectionism and chronic late-night attempts to do it all, I have developed this new idea about time that is making a big difference: allotting half-hour chunks for the big stuff. The things that torture me are the more global, strategic, long-term plans I have for my family, each of my children, myself, my marriage, and so on, and it is awfully hard to say, “There! I am finished working on that.” Not only that, but knowing that these brain-fillers are never going to go away and will always be changing and growing and throwing curve balls, “done-ness” is not even a reasonable goal. So I have to find a way to put in time on them, but also be ready to walk away and do all the recharging necessary to get up and do it all again. Clearly, I won’t survive otherwise. This way, matters are getting addressed but I still get to check a box that says “done” at the end of the day. Here is a list of 5 things just off the top of my head that are ongoing projects I want to put time into researching, and there are dozens more.

  1. Books for the kids (at appropriate reading level, challenging, address interests of the moment, acceptable moral content….)
  2. Family activities that take advantage of our area and ages and interests and don’t cost very much.
  3. Music or creative activities for the kids that don’t cost very much but expose them to new and enriching ideas.
  4. The best ways to maintain flow of inventory efficiently and keep costs down.
  5. Meals to try or other food-related strategies to satisfy picky eaters but make them less picky!

I am still working on what exactly gets those half hours and what falls into what category. But it’s a start.

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