02 March 2013

Parenting: Real Life & Staying Sane

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I know I've said it many times before, but I must say it again - life is crazy round these parts!

Just because you see nice cakes and smiley kids, that doesn't mean that our life is easy and 100% fun and happiness.  We have down days, we have tantrums (not just us adults, the kids do too sometimes), a dog that often runs into the house after rolling in the most disgusting things you can imagine - right when it's the worst possible time for her to do it, kids that fight and yell, parents that sometimes feel like that are walking zombies (well, one of us gets the occasional nap), baking flops (which does include the time my oven caught on fire), moments when we think, "what in the world are we doing with this parenting gig?", drink and food spillages CONSTANTLY (like even today someone's cornflakes spilt on the computer while Symon had it in pieces outside on the deck!!!) and more!



Do you kind of get the picture?  I'm not even scratching the surface of the Drake dramas, and we haven't even started on the life outside of the home.  Let me just also say that I relate a lot to Miranda Hart with the awkward situations that I get myself into.

Trust me - blogging for me is all about capturing the good stuff so I can stay sane and remember the lovely things in the midst of chaos.

So, I thought I'd share a few of the things that help me stay sane in the midst of the crazy madness of family life (that I love dearly) and I'd love for you to share some of yours in the comments as well. Anything that helps simplify life and keep the adults sane while growing up great kids (who sometimes drive you up the wall)...



Look after yourself.
If you aren't looking after yourself, how can you look after others?  Sometimes I'm amazed at how parents can become worn out doormats for their family.  How is that going to help anyone in the long run?  Look after yourself people - eat well (don't be a mum that saves the fruit for the kids and not herself), exercise, get at least 7 hours sleep a night if you can, treat yourself occasionally - you are worth it!  Keep your brain active - read, learn and make those brain cells work (but playing Bejeweled doesn't count girls).  Make sure you ask for help - if you don't feel like you are coping, let someone know.  If you are married, make your marriage a big priority.  Book in date nights together, even if it just means watching a movie together at home and eating popcorn.  Marriage is a lot like a garden, left to itself, weeds can come in and things can wither and die.  Work hard to keep your love alive!  Parenting is big - and sometimes you need to call in help, and that's okay.  Most importantly to me - look after your spirit.  That's the priority in my life, well before my soul and body - keeping a daily dialogue with God, reading the Bible and giving my struggles and burdens to Him.   We all make time for what is important to us - every now and then make sure you re-prioritise you life.



Get Skillful with your Time Management.
It's taken me years to sort this out, but multi-tasking has definitely made a big difference in my life. Do you find yourself overwhelmed with the mega pile of washing that needs folding or ironing? Wishing you could just relax and watch a bit of TV instead?  I've made my ironing/folding washing time a fun time where I make myself a nice cup of tea and watch TV while I do it.  Killing two birds with one stone is the way to go people!  With younger children I would make hanging the washing out a time where games would be incorporated while I did it (i.e. mini treasure hunts, singing songs together etc.) - the chores are getting done while a whole lot of fun/learning is going on.  Missing getting time to craft - I found taking my crochet in the car or outside while I watched the kids play solved that problem (although if you are into sewing, you may find this doesn't quite work with sewing machines not fitting in the car, no where to plug it etc.).  We prepare most of our kids lunches in the evening, making the morning rush less stressful.  Team work is important - and thankfully Symon does a tonne to help out (helps make lunches, gets the washing machine going in the morning, gets the kids into the showers at night) and he also has made the kids take responsibility for things as well.  One is in charge of feeding the pets, one always hangs out the washing in the morning, the other gets it in in the afternoon.  Team work rocks!



Skillful time management also means: Hey - something I baked looks awesome, let's take a photo and blog about it!  Now that's what I call skill - and you won't see me blogging about the disaster meals, but believe me, they happen often! 

My horror sago - apparently the most disgusting thing my son had tasted - ever!

Remember to Laugh and have fun.
Sometimes life can be so tough, horrible things can happen and you reach depths that you didn't even know were possible to reach.  Laughter and fun has played a big part in coping with life in our family.  Sometimes you have to choose to make fun, even when you don't feel like it.  Laughter is like medicine - you need it, your family needs it, your marriage needs it.  Decide to bring a bit of laughter or fun into your home - it can be done simply, and have a big impact (our fun family meals have been one way we have done this).

We are so fly!

Keep it Simple and Don't Be Afraid to say No.
Keep life simple - sometimes you need to prune your life a bit and simplify on what is most important. I used to be overwhelmed at everything there was to do, and wondered how I would cope.  I soon realised that life has seasons, and right now probably isn't the best season in my life to try reach all of my lifelong dreams (although I am hoping to do a bit of yarn bombing sometime soon).  You need to decided what is important, and let the other stuff go.  Sometimes that means saying NO - and although it's hard, the best way to think about saying no is realising that you are actually saying YES to something more important.  Maybe you are getting pressured to bake a million cupcakes for your local school gala day while in the middle of a family crisis - saying NO is actually saying YES to making your family a priority and working towards solving the issues.  You can do it!

Anyway - that's all I can think of for now, cause I really need to go to bed and get my 7+ hours sleep.



p.s. You are doing a good job out there people - keep your chins up and hang in there (and no, I don't mean that you have a double chin).  


17 comments:

  1. Love you Kris. Love Miranda. Love that flops in life are universal and no respecter of men. Your a real woman and I like that. xx

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  2. thanks
    I needed that today, today I feel overwhelmed and a bit of a failure. You have made me sit back and put things into perspective.
    So thanks xxx

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  3. Glad to know I'm not alone! lol

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  4. Such a great, relateable post. I love that Miranda has reached your shores too, she is just so funny!

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  5. This is one of the BEST posts I've read in forever.
    You've captured it all for me.

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  6. love it. Also very timely for me too.

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  7. I SO understand all of this!
    And I am absolutely living Miranda, she is the bomb.
    You guys are awesome. Kids old enough to do chores is awesome too ;)

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    1. Yes, she is so clutsy she makes me feel... athletic, poised and not quite so socially inept. Gosh darn she's funny/silly!

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  8. so good PJ
    taking it all in
    holding light for all the families of the world

    love and light

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  9. Great post, wise woman. Cx

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  10. nice to know we are all 'normal' x

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  11. Being new on the 'journey' this was very encouraging and refreshing for me PJ! Bless you heaps

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  12. Yep - how did you know all the thoughts floating around in my head right now missy! Nah love how you keep it real - it's too easy to see other blogs and think they 'have it all together'. I'm reading a great book called 'No More Perfect Mom' by Jill Savage (from Mothering from Scratch) which is really speaking to my heart too. Keep up the honesty - I love it xx

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  13. Great advice! It's very hard to nail down that multi-tasking, but I am really working on it! The big meal preparation days have helped me - where you prepare a bunch of meals in big gallon zip-lock bags and freeze them to use in a crock-pot or to cook later. It makes for one long day of work each month for about 15 days' worth of meals that you don't have to do much prep work for at all! I like your laundry folding/TV time combination and will be trying tonight!

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  14. Summer Day2:27 pm

    Awesome post! Actually... One of the best I've read in a long time!

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  15. You are awesome PJ.
    One of my parenting "heroes", really.

    (LOVE that picture of Symons face with the sago! hahaha)
    xx

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Thanks for your comments... I love hearing from you!!!

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