Christmas. Are we in a survival mode? Can we enjoy the season? When my children were young, I learned to make lists. I worked backwards. I’ve posted about the principle before. I ‘Goal Backwards.’
Around December 1st, I imagine going to bed the night of December 25th. I then make a list of things I hoped I would have accomplished, and a list of the feelings and emotions that I hope that my children and family felt throughout the month.
Did they feel loved? Did I show them honor and respect? Did I carve time out of the busy-ness to meet their love languages? Did I help them understand that it really is about Jesus. That it’s always about Jesus. Did we continue to place an emphasis on our family devotions, or were we too busy?
Because their feelings and the spirit inside of our home was, and is, more important than the frantic shopping and decorating and cookie baking, I tried to prioritize carefully.
Some years, NO cookies were baked. It was just too much for me. I would have become grouchy.
Some years, our family newsletter was not finished in time to mail it before Christmas.
Some years, I used paper plates and cups the whole month of December. Especially the three years that I delivered babies in December. Those were also the years of minimal decorations both inside and outside of our home.
If you can handle the gift buying, beautifully decorated house, dozens of assorted cookies, and other traditions, and still walk in love and grace, that’s wonderful!!!!!
I found it very difficult, and had to give myself permission to be me.
Moms, we have to be careful to remember that we matter. Sometimes we just need to treat ourselves the way we would a friend….with patience, love, kindness, and grace.
When I go to bed on the night of December 25th, it will be the thoughts and memories of relationships and love shared that I will cherish.
Moms…be kind to yourself this Christmas season.
I’d love to read how YOU handle the craziness of the season!
Picture of some of my relatives celebrating Thnksgivukkah this year. (Thanksgiving and Chanukah on the same day)
To continue my last post, found here………….
How do we train toddlers?
We show them how to do things over, and over, and over, and over.
We work with them to learn skills over, and over, and over, and over again.
We talk about what we’d like them to learn over, and over…………..you get it.
My toddlers ‘helped’ me clean by dusting baseboards, wiping the front of our kitchen appliance, using a damp sponge to clean vinyl floors, and using a non-electric, wire brush, carpet sweeper on the rugs.
I purchased Corelle dishes so they could help me wash and dry them, set the table, and clear the table, without worrying about broken glass and trips to the ER.
I allowed them to help me cook and bake. They stirred, scraped, mixed, and learned to crack eggs. ( Yes, we ate egg shells No, I didn’t need calcium supplements for many years. LOL)
We worked outside together. We raked leaves and grass, planted flowers and vegetables, harvested vegetables, shoveled snow, and swept our sidewalks regularly.
We added the dirty laundry to the washer together, and then hung it on the wash-line together to dry.
And while we worked together we talked about life. And no, I didn’t decide to train my young children because I loved it and thought that their help could save me time completing tasks around the house. It was a given that having them help really was no help at all.
I had been researching how to raise responsible and responsive children, and the authors of several books that I was reading indicated that it was important to teach children to value working together as a family, and learn how to do many different tasks. I decided to try it.
It was a lot more work than I had anticipated. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!!
My children not only learned how to accomplish tasks, but they seemed to have a better understanding of how important they were to the family unit, and the value of hard work and diligence. They also developed a healthy confidence in their ability to learn new things.
Now, I have a 20 month old granddaughter who LOVES to help me clean, AND I LOVE TO HELP HER LEARN. Ahhhh, the wisdom I’ve gained.
I’d love to read how you work with your toddlers!!
Picture of my granddaughter with the sweeper, minus 1/2 of the handle, to make it JUST the right size. It really works!
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