Monday, March 5, 2012

Stewardship Sunday/Monday

So I crashed on the couch last night, and woke up only long enough to watch the first episode of GCB and hurriedly sweep/mop my kitchen floor during commercial breaks. So my attempt at this entry yesterday was a massive failure. So let's try that again.

I'm currently sipping a mommy drink on the couch next to BestestHusband as he indulges in his Bachelor/Bachelorette addiction. He even reads blogs about the show. This week is the episode where all of the contestants get together on national TV and trash whoever deserves a trashing. So I'm supporting him through the emotionally gripping roller coaster of overly-made-up girls weeping on national TV.

Anyway, today was one of those "zone" mommy days where I feel like I earned a tasty beverage. We were busy, but not too busy. We did fun stuff, but actually got stuff done. And the girls demonstrated behavior that was encouraging for all of my efforts. It's not that I'm gloating that they're better behaved than all the other kids. Because they're not. And that would be violating the rules of the Sorority of Moms. They were just well-behaved for a duration of time today that we were in on public, amongst other kids. Which can be encouraging when you've had multi-month streaks of nuclear meltdowns at the grocery store.

We were at the indoor free gym time at my gym. The girls were running around on the mats and tumble forms. There were a lot of other kids there. There was the inevitable jostling for space, and negotiating multiple children wanting to be in the exact same place at the exact same time. There was some screaming. And some pushing. One kid actually picked up smaller kids and moved them out of his way.

But not my girls today. Today, if they yelled, it was to say "excuse me." They waited for kids to get out of the way. They were tolerant of the littler kids. They didn't freak out when they accidentally got hit or kicked. They were polite and pleasant. 

I was impressed. Why can't they be this way at home?! But it was reinforcement for me. Encouragement that all of the work we do trying to teach manners, self-control, and patience is actually getting somewhere. Oh, we're not there. We're definitely not there yet. We have a long way to go. But I see us heading down the right path. Despite the opinions of some in my mommy network, teaching manners at a young age can be helpful, and they can learn what they mean, and use them without prompting. 

So it makes me feel that maybe I do use my time and energy well, and that it's not always in vain. Because most days, I feel like I'm constantly working on the manners, self-control, and patience. (And also trying to teach them to my kids!) I lament not getting stuff done because of the unending interruptions to referee, redirect, and teach kinder ways to express emotions and impulses. But I also lament trying to do too much and not giving enough time and energy to the kids... Mommy Guilt is a beast.

Thanks be to God for giving us glimmers of hope and encouragement! I definitely need it once in a while!

Ok, so I'm actually supposed to be reporting on how I used my resources from the last week. It was a big week, and I have to dig deep to recall the pertinent details...

Time:  I'm always trying to balance the activity level in the house. Swinging too far in either direction does not make for a good day, but we did OK this week. Monday began our weekly music time at daycare, in preparation for Easter. In conjunction with my dear friend Anne, we're teaching the children songs to sing at the Easter program. My girls love it. The kids at daycare eventually learn the songs and love it too. Monday also held a meeting with other moms at church to plan for Easter events, including an Easter Program and Easter Egg Hunt. I'm psyched. The planning is consuming some time, but for a very good reason, and everyone's excited. Or maybe just I'm excited, and everyone else is being nice... Friday included a nice dinner with people from the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, including the President of our national church body. He's a very interesting guy, and my expectations of him were absolutely met. My favorite quote of the night:  "we need more Lutheran sex." I can't make this stuff up. It was in the context of reversing the declining church attendance in our country. I'd say by the birth rate in our church, we're holding up our end of the deal. Again, this was a rare opportunity, and time well spent. I worked an extra day this week, and the fur tumbleweeds in my house will confirm that fact. And I spent less time on the computer. Still too much, but less than other weeks.

Money:  I must confess to spending more money than usual. I'm in the market for a bathing suit. And I've come to the conclusion that I just need to suck it up and get something that will cover me appropriately and last a while. This does not come cheap when you have my limited shopping availability. (bathing suit shopping with 2 under 3? Sounds like "hell" to me!) And I've learned from BestestHusband that buying a few GOOD things costs the same as buying lots of "good deal" things, with one actually resulting in more wardrobe satisfaction. So I'm trying the theory for a bathing suit and some spring/summer clothes, and we'll see how it goes. My spring/summer wardrobe is mostly pre-children, and in desperate need of updating. But paying that much for a bathing suit was just painful.

Food waste:  I think I did really well here. I honestly can't recall throwing anything out. BestestHusband said the same thing. Of course, I did concoct some interesting meals to use up some ingredients. But we all lived. 

M&M Consumption:  Quite reasonable. Not absent, but reasonable. It doesn't hurt that HeyMama notices if the level of M&Ms in the jar suddenly drops. 

Patience with the kids:  Spotty, but thanks to the grace of God, it was overall ok. I was conscious of multiple events that would frequently get me steaming, but instead I just took a deep breath and kept going. That's not my skill, just a result of my prayers to a God that truly loves my children.

So we keep going, trying to keep growing, hoping to learn from the lessons of the week before and improve for the week ahead. 

How was your week?


  1. "More Lutheran sex" goes along with the ending of one of pastor Ingo's sermons "and that's why Lutherans have great sex". Can't remember what led up to that though!

    Congrats on having a week where progress seems to be made & you wish life could be that normal all the time.

    1. There's always a good rationale for saying it, but it still sounds funny when it's said! Thanks Janice! I know that not all weeks will be like this one, so I'll enjoy it while I can!