One of my most essential survival tactics in the trenches of motherhood is keeping a sense of humor. I have a post entitled “Laughing Matters” over at What to Expect where I share a true-life story of how I ended up laughing when I probably should have been sniveling.
Here’s a snippet:
Recently, I had the brilliant idea to gather my four kids 7 and under and emerge from our safe hole where face crust and wearing PJs for day clothes is perfectly acceptable and meet a friend for lunch at a mall food court.
I tucked my 4-month-old into a baby carrier, held my 4-year-old and 2-year-old’s hands, and asked my 7-year-old to not skip too far ahead, and entered the real world.
Lunch was not too catastrophic. My patient, generous friend helped out a lot when she wasn’t busy juggling her own two littles.
We sort of caught up with one another in fragmented sentences. “So how was your Christm….Stop poking your sister.”
“It was nice. How was…Watch out! You almost spilled your drink!”
Despite the constant interruptions, I was thinking it was nice to be out and about wearing chic clothes. No matter that I emanated Eau du Breastmilk – I felt almost human.
That is, until things started to get highly harried. Then I started to feel like I was morphing into a mommy monster.
My 7-year-old has a new obsession. Madeline can’t get enough of Star Wars. There were some boys in her homeschooling co-op who were constantly talking about things foreign to her: lightsabers, Yoda, and Jedis. She asked what this Star Wars was all about. We shared our Jedi Master knowledge, and she asked if she could she the movies. We decided we’d allow her to watch the original trilogy as part of her birthday gift this past November. Now Madeline knows why the boys are such devoted fans. A day doesn’t go by when she doesn’t talk about the force, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, or Hans Solo.
One of her aunts bought her this Star Wars t-shirt, and she wore it for my brother (a fellow Star Wars fan). He told her he loved the tee. She loved the Yoda nutcracker he received from my parents.
A few nights ago Madeline decided she’d make her Uncle Josh his own Star Wars t-shirt. Here’s what she came up with:
One of Madeline’s new favorite pastimes is wielding the glowing lightsabers my parents gave her. (As I write this, she’s playing with princess figurines while humming the Star Wars theme.)
When I gave birth to my first boy this past August, a lot of people told me I’d have a whole new world to discover. Funny, I think I’ve already started discovering it with my fiercely independent and confident girl – the same GIRL who had a dinosaur-themed birthday party this year and a pirate one last year. Madeline has never been afraid to like what she likes. I love that about her.
Another one of Madeline’s interests is photography. She’s psyched about a homeschooling photography class she just started. They’re learning all about perspective, which I discovered when perusing photos she had recently captured with my smartphone.
She explained that it’s supposed to look like her little sister and our dog are standing on the booster seat. I got that and thought this was pretty cool.
I didn’t intend to turn this into a Madeline-themed QTs, but this anecdote my babysitter told me about cracked me up. Madeline was performing a magic show for our babysitter who cheered after each trick and told her she was a great magician.
My little skeptic said, “Really? Because I don’t know if I really am a good magician because adults will always tell you your tricks are good just to make you feel better about yourself.”
Perhaps some gentle constructive criticism during her next magic show would be prudent.
A friend of mine invited me to participate in a virtual Bible study and support group. She’s inviting women to read and reflect with her on a daily Scripture passage (no reading assignment on weekends). Since giving birth to Thomas, my prayer life has been haphazard. I need some accountability and since leaving the home isn’t always feasible right now, joining a group like this is just what I need. She’s looking to grow the ministry and have all sorts of Christian women participate, savor the Word, and share how God is working in their lives. If you’re interested in learning more, visit the SHINE Girls blog.
I’m still struggling with homeschooling discernment. This year has been going relatively well, especially considering I gave birth to a new baby at the end of August after 10 weeks of bedrest that restricted some of my planning. We’re trying to keep all of our options open, and I do know my husband is leaning toward sending our oldest two to school next year. This makes me cry – the thought of letting my children go and letting this dream of educating at home go.
But sometimes I want to cry (and do sniffle a bit) because I’m afraid that I’m not teaching my kids enough or that they’d be better off being around teachers who were more well-rested than I am these days. My brain is mush, and my patience isn’t exactly overflowing due to the chronic sleep deprivation. I don’t want to make decisions out of fear. I’m not homeschooling because I’m a nervous helicopter parent. I don’t want to keep my kids close because I’m afraid the big, scary world and the brute bullies who are waiting to tear them apart. Nor do I want to send them off to school because I’m afraid of my suckiness. (Yes, my brain is mush, but I do realize “suckiness” is not a real world.)
I keep reminding myself of the wisdom of Charlotte Mason, when she wrote:
‘The question is not, ‘How much does the youth know?’ when he has finished his education — but how much does he care?”
I get too caught up in measuring exactly what my kids are learning even though I see many problems with mainstream education and memorizing rote facts.
I’m also confused as to how you make a decision when what feels like God’s will for you may be different than the direction your husband is leading you.
I’m not sure the point of this last “take.” I guess I just needed to put some of my feelings down.
Thanks for making it through this chatty, aimless post! Have a good weekend.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!