Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just Do Something

One of the difficulties of being a stay at home mom, for me, is being self motivated. I don't have a boss coming around the corner to my cubicle every so often to keep me on task. I don't even have a deadline for a project to keep me moving. Everything I do needs done again in five minutes. My husband, Ryan, comes home everyday at about 3:45. This is sometimes a kick in the butt for me. Sometimes I'll notice the clock says 3:10 and think, "Crap! I've got to get something clean before he gets here!" or "Holiness. I need to go brush my teeth." But that's the closest I come to having someone else keep me on track. Mostly, it's up to me to be productive. There may, or may not, have been two days in the not so distant past in which we stayed in our pajamas until lunch time and then proceeded to throw ourselves into the car and drive through Taco Bell, in said pajamas.

Lately, I've been feeling that of all the things I'm not getting done, the thing I've neglected most is educating my two girls. Both Nola and Violet are very good at playing by themselves. This is an awesome skill and one I will continue to encourage. But I've found that I've spent a lot of mornings lately telling them to "Just wait a minute. I'll read to you after I get the kitchen clean" or "Just let me flip this load of laundry then we'll play animals". I need reminded that the reason I stay home is for my girls. Our family has decided that in our situation, me being home is the best thing for Nola and Violet.

I don't stay home to clean the house. I stay home to raise my children.

So I did a really simple thing. On Saturday night, I sat down at my computer and chose a really simple activity for each girl for every day of this week. Just one. I wrote it in my Google Calendar. That way I get a message in my inbox in the morning saying "Reminder: Glue Cheerios to Index Cards" or "Reminder: Sing the Body Parts Song". Some days there is one age appropriate activity for each girl, and some days I chose an activity that they could both do together. Tuesday's activity was going to the Omaha Children's Museum. And Friday we're going clean our big sliding door with shaving cream.

I got lots of my ideas from Pinterest. I stumbled across this blog that is practically an entire curriculum of ideas for children under six. I checked this science book out from the library and I highly recommend it. The projects are very simple and achievable.

My goal was to accomplish just one thing with them every day. I resisted the urge to go all teacher and categorize these activites in search of one activity each of reading, math, social studies, art, and music. I just kept it simple and reminded myself that one thing is better than nothing. Children learn so much just by living life. I just needed to make sure I was taking advantage of every moment I have with them, and being intentional with our short time together. I'll let you know how it goes.

"There will always be worthwhile causes, but not always a two year old in your lap."
Freda Ingle Briggs


  1. I love that someone so delightful and inspiring is so close to me biologically; it's a great source of pride for me. I mostly taught my children through a curriculum known as Walt Disney Movies, but that doesn't mean I don't completely relate to this post. I especially relate to the reassessing of life, i.e., "I didn't stay home to clean my house..." I also love this picture.

    1. Seeing the picture makes me want to stay home with Charity's children!!

  2. Exactly, woman! SO good. I once had someone (young and dumb as I was once) insinuate that they thought my house would be cleaner since all I do is stay home all day. :) I've lived by your motto for years. If the baseboards go undusted (!) for a bike ride or puzzle time, so be it.

    I find an alternating approach works well. Sims wakes up slowly, so he eats breakfast and watches a short show while I clean a bathroom or flip laundry (or surf). Then we do something together like puzzles or coloring. Then play on his own, then together. I usually try to make sure one of those together times is active for both of us. We play circus or wrestling a lot in the winter when we can't get out easily.

    Of course, this is all subject to scrapping on vegetating days, but that's how we usually do it.

    And, isn't Pintrest great? So are you!


  3. I love this. I have done the pjs all day and crap, i have to brush our teeth before Jon gets home....and I have been making the kids more a priority too. I find that if I clean more at night and during nap time I am more focused on them while they are awake. I am also much happier when I am not annoyed that I can't get dishes done cause this adorable little boy can't be without his mama. I am doing preschool twice a week with Lila and two friends and am also leading a ladies bible study. Which make me feel like i do something but also adds to more house craziness and less kid focus (especially Titus) This blog reminded me of the end of a poem : "So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." miss u....whats the name of the blog?

    1. Boolah is what Nolie calls her little security blanket and Beso is kiss in spanish. We're not sure why we say "beso" but we always have!

    2. Nola calls her chickens "Boolah"? I'm sure she has a ton of other blanket though, just a selfish thought probably.

      ps- I wish I had your self-confidence and determination!