When boredom strikes

Let them be bored. I’ve heard that so often lately…in this age of electronics and just plain old busyness. So I decided to try it one morning.

S woke up and as usual said “mama what are we going to do today?” It was Saturday, so usually we would have an outing of some kind planned in the morning, and then we’d spend the afternoon around the house, outside, etc. But this time I said “we’re actually going to have a family weekend. We’re going to spend all day today and tomorrow here at home and play inside and out!”

That didn’t go over well. C just turned two so he was oblivious. But S whined and complained. “I’m so bored. There’s nothing to do.” I encouraged her to go to her playroom and pick out a game. Or that we could bring the easel up from the basement and she could paint. Or we could do a puzzle. Or we could read. She stomped off to her room about an hour into the morning.

Then I found a piece of paper slid out under her door.

And she was. She made a few ‘books’ that day. She used her imagination and when given a big chunk of unstructured time, she came up with fun illustrations and words that she asked us to staple together for her later that day.

Having spent time in her kindergarten class, I know how structured her days are. We are a common core state; so much has changed from when I was in kindergarten. Kids move from one activity to another quickly. There is a not a lot of time for free play or socializing apart from the 15 min morning recess and 20 min lunch one. Their days are filled with worksheets, reading books, math puzzles and the like. This reinforced for me the need for more “boredom days” where there is time and space to let the mind wander.

So we’ll be doing more of these days. S may not like it – but especially with summer coming, I think we’ll have plenty of opportunities and she’ll learn to love them.

the balancing act…is there really one?

I’ve had so many people ask me recently…how do you do it all? Like most people, I have multiple roles in my life. Mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee. But recently, with my daughter starting kindergarten, it seems a bit more concentrated on mom and work.

I’ve tried to remain active in the school…taking time off work to help out the teacher, zipping over to help for the 20 min lunch period (those lunch periods are crazy!), volunteering for the classroom holiday parties.  Then there are playdates. Then homework. Then lunches.  All the same stuff that all families go through with their kids in school.

The truth is, I have help. I have a nanny who helps out at home a TON, and let’s face it, she does more for our family than just watch my kids and get my daughter off the bus on days that I’m working outside the home (I work from home a couple of days a week). I also have a pretty involved husband. And the other secret? I feel like I’m always dropping the ball on something. Like when I’m at work, I’m not caught up at home…and when I’m at home, I feel like I missed the mark on something at work.

So I feel like I’m not really balancing at all…more just juggling. And, at times, I feel like I’m just catching the ball that’s closest to hitting the ground.

I guess that’s a bit of what motherhood can feel like, maybe?

Date night

Hubby and I do a pretty good job with our date nights.  We try to go every other week when possible, and it’s something we both look forward to.

This past Friday we went to Flemings, one of our favorites.  A little nicer than we sometimes do, as we were celebrating our 11 year anniversary. It was nice. And, we’ve gotten to the point that although we discussed the kids (when should we start C in preschool? Do we want S to continue learning over this summer between kindergarten and first grade?), we also discussed many other things.

We’ve gotten pretty good at making the time “us time” on date night but it wasn’t always like that. When S was little and we first had our scheduled date nights, we’d spend the evening talking about her. Then gradually as we got used to the concept of heading out without her and using it as time to actually reconnect, we made a conscious effort to use the time to really talk to each other. So much of our day to day adult interactions are coordinating parenting tactics (can you take S up for bath? C didn’t eat well at dinner, let’s see if he will finish his milk before bedtime) that this time really helps.

So this date night, we talked about work, about our parents, about the recent vacation we had just taken, what we’d want to do for our next family vacation, and a bunch of other stuff. And it was nice!

What are your date nights like?

daily prompt – inkling

I think when you have kids, your sense of having “inklings” goes up dramatically. I was always an intuitive person…early on, I learned to listen to my gut. Whether it was fear, dread, or eager anticipation – I could feel it.

Now with kids, that sense is even sharper. Except it doesn’t always manifest itself in my gut – sometimes, it’s just a thought. Whether it’s that strange quiet that descends on the playroom when the kids are out of sight or that quietness that my daughter exhibits when something happens at school, I sort of know when something is up.

I think it comes with having kids. You develop this sixth sort of sense, that guides you. That tells you when your child is about to get sick. That tells you when something made them sad at school. Part of what being a mom is all about!

via Daily Prompt: Inkling


This holiday was a little different for us. C will be 2 at the end of February; S will be 5 1/2 a the same time. The kids were at great ages to enjoy Christmas.  But most importantly, I think I was able to enjoy the holiday more through their eyes.
For example, Santa’s reindeer. S was VERY focused on making sure that the reindeer could find our house. She made reindeer food at a school party; she also had some reindeer food from a gift her Elf on the Shelf brought her. It was SO cute how she took her time sprinkling the food in our backyard.

It was a magical season for me as well. I cried during The Polar Express (I cry easily, but I think it was so just so sweet watching S wide-eyed at the movie). But I think most importantly, though the craziness of Amazon packages and wrapping and hiding – I stopped to enjoy the actual FEEL of the holiday. It was wonderful. 

mom fuel

I think this was my favorite Christmas gift this year. It was from my husband, and I just LOVE it.

mom fuel

Maybe it’s because it represents something I love (coffee). Or because he knows how much I love nice, sturdy, wide mugs. Or, maybe it’s because it was a sort of recognition that moms get EXHAUSTED at times. Whatever the case – I find myself looking to see if it’s clean when searching for a mug in the cabinet.  If not, I can pick from one of the other zillion mugs I have. But this one is a little special to me. 🙂

that stillness

I like this daily prompt. And not just because black is my favorite color to wear; anyone that steps into my closet can quickly tell that’s the case.

It reminds me of nighttime. When all is still. When the kids are safely tucked in their beds, all cozy. When it’s time to get things done…and reflect.

I miss them when they’re sleeping. I see their little toys scattered about as I pick up the house; I see their little shoes in the mudroom where they were tossed off. But as a relax into the black of the night, I have a sense of peace.

That we’ve had another great day…that they’ve grown physically and mentally….that these little wonders are mine to shape and help grow. And I realize again in that darkness, when my thoughts are my own and uninterrupted, how very, very luck we are to have each other.


via Daily Prompt: Black