>Surviving or Thriving?

>Every so often I step back and evaluate how my journey as a mom is going. One of the big things I like to ask myself is: Am I surviving, or am I thriving? (I evaluate my kids, and ask this same question about how they are doing, but for this post, I want to examine my heart and mind.)

As I have been evaluating myself this last week, my conclusion is this: I’m surviving. The tell tale signs:
  1. I don’t wake my kids up. In fact, if they’ll sleep until 11am, they won’t hear a word from me about it. 8 or 8:30pm is still bedtime, and the more peace I get in the morning, the better off I am.
  2. Breakfast and Lunch are the same meal. Usually cereal. Then we do a little school, then I offer some sort of snack (usually fruit) and beg my children to go have a quiet time. (Who wakes up at 11am and needs a quiet time by 1pm?!)
  3. I would burn down my husband’s bedroom door with my evil stares if I could. Abandoning the household to go hide in your bedroom the moment you walk in the front door is more than infuriating. You want time to yourself? Get up at 4am like I do, instead of letting your alarm go off for an entire hour, therefore throwing off my rhythm and writing time. Yes, I can still hear your alarm when I close my door, and I don’t think it’s fair.
I could add to this list, and complain a lot more about the mess my house is in, the amount of dishes that pile up, the laundry that needs to be hung up and put away, etc. And all of this complaining is a clear indicator that I am surviving parenthood right now. Thankfully, having learned to ask myself this question, I have a few things I know work to get me back on track toward surviving.
1.      Make a schedule. Decide when to wake the kids up (10:45 is not early enough…) get them up, feed them breakfast as it’s own meal, different from lunch, and at a much earlier time.
2.      Following breakfast, we start on school. I always feel better about the day when we have school completed by Noon, can eat lunch, have a 1pm quiet time, and free play for the afternoon.
3.      Turn off the TV. We added cable to our home for a minute, and decided yesterday that the cable goes. Hubby will be making that phone call tonight. It is a waste of time, and it makes it really easy for me to be lazy with the boys. And they’ve morphed into super-monsters that demand to be entertained by the talking box ALL day. Yuck. We’ll go back to our DVD’s and keep them limited at that.
4.      Give up some me time. Like, from 8am to 11am. I still get up at 4am. From 4 to 8, I’m on my own, writing, or wasting time on Facebook, or reading other blogs, or whatever it is I decide to do. That is my time. 4 hours of my own time. The only interruption is when hubby wakes up he has to notify me, and when my coffee cup is empty, I must refill it. I’ve decided that’s good for my circulation though, so getting up to walk to the kitchen is probably a health benefit more than an interruption.
So, it’s 6am. In two hours, I’m going to wake my kids up, and I think I’ll scramble some eggs and peel some oranges for breakfast. The first few days without cable, and waking them up early will be the roughest, but as I reinforce my desire to be intentional as a parent, I will watch my children thrive. And that is what I want far more than teaching them to be lazy.
What do you do to stay on track as a parent? Do you notice that sometimes it’s easy to fall into a “lazy” routine? How do you fix it? Are you thriving, or surviving?

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