A November Picnic

It’s been one of those weeks when I have so many good intentions and then almost nothing works out. As our first week with a lightened schedule (no swimming lessons, completely freeing up our Tuesdays and Thursdays), I thought we’d have so much time and energy to get so much done. Particularly, decorating the apartment for Christmas. As it turned out, however, it was one of my most unproductive weeks ever. I’ve been in a pretty horrible mood and decorating felt like huge chore rather than a source of joy. I’ve had no patience for Caden and his never-ending questions and demands for total explanations about everything imaginable. And even though I’m happy the boys play so well together, I can’t stand how many gigantic messes they make during the day that I always have to clean up alone. I’ve been fed up with myself and my family all week.

Then I woke up yesterday morning and read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom. She wrote about how she’s been trying to “embrace the mess” to spend more time focusing on her kids, investing in their lives rather than worrying about her constant to do list. I can totally relate to this because I often feel like a slave to my to do list. What is supposed to keep me on track during the day, getting regular cleaning and extra projects done on time, has turned into the deciding factor on whether or not I have failed as a person each day. My thoughts are never on investing in my children, but rather what needs to get done no matter what the cost to my boys’ hearts. At any rate, I decided after reading that to try and be more open during the day. Listen to what Caden had to say instead of blowing him off because what he wanted wasn’t part of my master plan for the day. Encourage the boys to help me with my projects instead of always trying to do everything by myself because that’s the most efficient way. I wanted to try and BE with them during the day instead of constantly separating myself and worrying about stuff that really isn’t that important in the long run.

With that more open attitude, we actually had an extremely productive and good day. I wasn’t worrying so much about my actual written down list, I just kept moving and got stuff done without all the procrastination and stress. It was a warmer day (45 degrees!), so the boys helped me make many trips out to our garage and garbage. Caden got his shopping cart and wheeled multiple loads of pumpkins to the dumpster. Shepard helped me carry boxes. They loved it and I accomplished a lot in the process. After the work was done Caden asked if we could go on a picnic at a park. At first I said no because it was already after 11:00 and I had no idea what I could pack for a lunch. But then I remembered my new resolve and figured why not? How often is the weather nice enough for a picnic in November?

So I threw a bunch of food together very quickly and we jumped in the van for the closest park. It was pretty chilly, but we had fun. I’m glad I decided to let go of my plans and enjoy my kids, giving them a nice memory instead of another day of me being frustrated and annoyed. I need to focus on more days like this. A better attitude in general.

I picked up the mail on the way out and Caden received a letter from Santa!

It was filled with confetti. We made quite a mess – oops! Better the park than my living room, though!

He thought it was pretty special. Hopefully Shepard gets a letter today. Though he was so busy picking his fruit snacks out of the rocks he never even noticed Caden opening his.

It was a happy day for us. I wish I could say that more often. Time to start trying a lot harder. Or maybe trying less and just being here. That’s what we all need more than anything.

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