A dangerous phrase to hear from a two-year-old boy, and an even more dangerous phrase to utter if you are a blogger… because then your thoughts and intentions are all wide out in the open… and you have to follow through. Oh well, I suppose a little accountability never hurt anyone.
So I’ve been learning that there are two toddlers (and a daddy) around here who like life to be predictable. Gone are the days when spontaneity, freedom, saying ‘yes’ to everything, and living on caffeine formed my life motto. Well – I guess the caffeine part still applies. Regardless, we all function better and actually achieve more freedom under structure… even me. So with that in mind, I spent our chaotic summer planning for smoother waters ahead: a “back-to-school” routine for our family that would theoretically make us all happier people. The devastating realization I came to is that it involves saying “no” a LOT.
I think that in order to say “no” well, you have to have a very clear vision of what you’re going to say “yes” to. Because otherwise you live with a lot of guilt and what-ifs, and a handful of relationships that you’re worried “could have been” something, but aren’t. I think I spent my single years saying ‘yes’ to everything partially due to a fear of missing out and regrets. But my children see my saying ‘yes’ to everything as a mountain of expectations that are impossible to fulfill, and we end up with a lot of temper tantrums and arguments.
So, I’m going to try and do something: learn how to say no sometimes, and say yes to a firm but flexible daily schedule that involves time for simple chores…
… much-loved “school time” (typically not in our pajamas…)
… a few playdates (but only on certain days of the week!)…
… and plenty of time for playing, reading, sewing, and keeping the house clean. I’ll let you figure out who does what. 🙂 We did a trial run of our current schedule over the summer and it worked well; we’re now more fully engaged and its working even better.
As a side note, a book I’m currently reading is one I’d highly recommend: The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker.
Now, off for a chit-chat with the little guy on why naps are not going according to schedule… 🙂