Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Do It

It pains me to admit this, but I am not a naturally fun mom.  I thought I would be, I planned to be, but I guess my personality is just a little too uptight.  I totally love my kids, and it's not that I ignore them or anything, but I'm just not the mom that has activities planned all the time or anything like that.  And I'm okay with telling them to go watch TV if things are getting too loud.

Recently, my friend Amanda did a post called Eighty-Three Percent.  It was mainly about balancing blogging time and family time, and it's a really good post.  But what got me was the quote she used:
"The home is eighty-three percent of your child's world, and you have only one opportunity to make it of maximum benefit."
-Dr. Howard Hendricks

My kids are 12, 9, and 8.  As they get older, less and less of their world will be home.  That's how it should be, but I can't help but think of what opportunities I've already missed.  Even before Amanda's post, I had decided to try to "do" a little more this summer.  More for me may be less than for a lot of people, but comparison is the death of contentment.  

Part of the plan was a weekly trip to library (we usually go pretty frequently anyway, but more sporadically).  They are all signed up for the summer reading clubs and have been reading more because of it.  That's a good thing.  We will also take advantage of some of the summer activities the library puts on; this past Monday it was a movie and popcorn, which was great since it was 100*.

The other part of my plan was one out-of-the-ordinary fun activity a week.  A couple weeks ago, with all this in mind, I decided it would be fun to tie dye shirts with the kids.  I did some tie dying when I was a teenager, back in the 80s when movies about the Vietnam war were abundant and pseudo-hippiness was cool.  I don't recall it causing any panic attacks back then.

We picked out some colors, I had the shirts, and then they sat there.  It was too hot to do it outside, I was afraid of dye staining everything in the house, yada yada yada.
This morning I bit the bullet and we just did it.  And guess what?  It wasn't that big a deal.  Oh, I panicked a couple times with dye splashing or whatever, but it all turned out in the end.

A fun time was had by all.  And hopefully, that is what they will remember, more than that their mother almost had to take a Valium to get though it.


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

This was a great post, Holly. :) I think a LOT of us moms feel guilty about a lot of things: spending too much time with the kids, not enough time with the kids, not enough time cleaning, etc. etc. I hope you guys are having a really fun summer. :)

Melissa said...

Holly! Yeah! There is actually a mom out there that admits she will put her kids in front of the TV for some quiet time?! Summer time can be an adjustment.... I'm still hoping our routine will gel together.... I laughed when I read that you put off the tie-dye because of the mess. I admit I don't like to cook with my own because it gets too messy....have a great summer!

Country Dreaming said...

Too funny---We don't have children and I really don't know why but...time goes by, the body clock ticks, things happen and boom you are past THE age. Anyway---the neighbor kids are "ours"
they love to see what Ken is up to andwhat might be going on at our house.
I teach so I have "my" kids at school and I enjoy my summer to myself. So I know from where you come.
I did a post recently on summer activities--come check it out. Something might trip your trigger.

Have fun!!!!


FrouFrouBritches said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one! UGH! I always said I'd have the cool house in the neighborhood where all the kids hang out. NOPE! I don't want all of those little hooligans running around my house. I have enough trouble with my own hooligans and taking them all out is like a three ring circus looking for a place to happen. I was a nervous wreck before I got out of the store this morning and I only had two of mine with me. I'm just such a homebody that I'd rather stay home.

Hubby actually made us a schedule last week so we have art time, study/reading/worksheet time/ TV time, etc. and I can't even stick to that.

The t-shirts are GREAT! I'm sure they loved every minute of it! You're an inspiration Holly!!

Nancy said...

I was an uptight mom when my kids were growing up. All I can say is, I'm glad you are doing something about it now. I did a lot of things with them, but I was overprotective and too uptight. Thank God they grew up to be well balanced adults...and hopefully nothing like their mother! lol! Great post, Holly.


Sheryl said...

Same boat...I have six and completely get the uptight, overwhelmed, tv, etc. thing.

Pamela said...

Wonderful post! It sounds like we are a lot alike! I always try to keep myself in check but it is soo hard. I constantly hear myself telling my kids get out of the kitchen and no you cant help because you will crumb or make a mess. I smack myself every time. So what if they make a mess it can always be cleaned up right!? It is just soo hard.

Laurie - Little Blue Chairs said...

Hi Holly- I am right there with you. I am in the midst of summer adjustments. Don't stress yourself too much. Thanks for the honesty.

polwig said...

I am totally a fun mom and do crazy things with my kids but I still feel guilty because I need to good dinner, or clean the kitty litter and not cuddle on the couch with my kids. When we are out and about doing things I feel guilty that we are not reading enough. When we sit and read a lot I feel bad about being at home and not outside. I think it is just being a mom there is no way we can be perfection at all times plus our kids want their own time too not organzed fun all the time.

Andrea in WI said...

You are most certainly not the only one. My husband was recently on "vacation" as a chaperone on a 4-H trip. I was home with the kids by myself. I normally work full time, and this week I decided to take off work. I decided I was not going to say "No" all the time. Sounds like an easy concept, huh? Well, it wasn't as bad as I though it would be and the kids had fun and didn't complain about being bored either. I was letting them stay up a little later than usual and letting them eat frozen fudge bars as snack AND dessert. We did fun things they suggested and I lived through it all! My husband was proud of me and the kids are still telling dad how much fun they had while he was gone.

Melissa said...

"A fun time was had by all. And hopefully, that is what they will remember, more than that their mother almost had to take a Valium to get though it."

Exactly. I always remind myself that too. They will remember more that I took the time to do it than that I stressed about it...