Recently in a our Wednesday morning parenting education part of our mommy and me class we talked about parenting books. I find there are moms that find inspiration in parenting books and I think there are moms that find them to not help their situation.
I, myself, find that I need to balance my love of reading parenting books and blogs with trusting my gut and just plain figuring it out myself. If I read too many parenting books I find I sometimes get down on myself for not doing things a certain way or I get too overwhelmed with things I want to try.
Kind of like Pinterest...so fun to look at but all of a sudden you can find yourself "kicking your couch" or feeling low because you don't make the crafts or meals or organize your home just so.
Recently, I started slowly reading the book The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison.
It is a mother's memoir written realizing that as she transitions from the 'zip your jacket here's your sandwich' kind of mothering that she defined herself with for so long to the childless house...she is left wondering how it all ended so quickly.
Her words are so wise.
Here is a one chunk of her book that I resonated with me (I am planning on sharing more).
Katrina says, "It's been quite a few years since I began my day by imagining them first from bed. But now I think it's time for me to visualize again, if only to remind myself to begin each day with the gratitude for what is rather than worrying so much about what still might be. I now know that although each day does indeed afford us an opportunity to start again, the days are numbered after all. Instead of regretting what's over and done with, I want to be glad for life as it is right now, accepting that we are, each one of us, struggling along as best we can to become the people we are meant to be. Instead of mourning the passage of time, I want to live with a sense of abundance in the here and now, knowing that what we have is exactly enough. In stead of wishing that my sons could be somehow other than they are, I want to remind myself to see, every day, what is already good in each of them and to love that. "
I pride myself on fresh starts.
And today the boys were tired from their late bedtime last night.
There were tears and whining as we went from one thing to the next today.
But after making them buckle up and move on to the next thing I gave us all a fresh start.
And they had a good time at each step along our way today.
These days of mothering are long and hard.
And visualizing the day before you embark upon the journey helps me set the tone for the day.
A tone that I know will have a ripple impact upon all of those in my midst.
And though the days are long the years fly by - there is a limited number of fresh starts.
I just read an article titled, "Childhood: 940 Saturdays, and You're Done"
The article itself is decent. But the title in itself is what has stayed with me.
Katrina is correct that
" I now know that although each day does indeed afford us an opportunity to start again, the days are numbered after all."
So today we ventured to the ordinary library where there were extraordinary moments among the books. My moms small town library is amazing.
And I watched my tribe circle up to a table and do an art project.
I took in the other mothers, some with one, two, three, or four.
I smiled at the librarian who maybe took a little too long to get
through the books, but had the best of intentions.
I let go of expectations for free play and less TV at grandmas and got the boys a couple movies to finish off the next few days.
And then, spur of the moment, decided to take them to my mom's work place for lunch - always more work but always worth it.
940 Saturdays...that means only 940 Tuesdays too.
And when any given day gives you whines and protests over each decision you make - choose to stand firm that adventures will happen, fun will be had - give fresh starts as often as you need.
It goes way too fast.