5AM Wake Up Call

image

Just before 5am on a Saturday:

Child 2 woke up having apparently had a dream about bugs in his bed but was too afraid of the dark hallway to come to us so just yells to me from down the hall. Child 4 was nursing to stay asleep and would wake up and clamp down little more each time I tried to call down the hall back to Child 2.

Calling down the hall woke me up enough to realize I needed to pee which was going to be pretty much impossible to do without waking Child 4 up completely.

I make a mental list of pos and cons.

Enter Child 3 not afraid of the dark but shuffling into our bedroom in sobbing that he “missed Blaze”

I have no idea who Blaze is.
For a moment, nobody in our bed is asleep so I risk it and take a trip to the bathroom located, unfortunately, just passed child 2’s bedroom.
He jumps out at me “I have to sleep in your bed”
“You can’t buddy, there’s no room.”
“I can sleep at the bottom”
“No you can’t, go back to your bed” (perhaps I sound cold hearted but he’s 8 and two kids are already in there)
“I can’t. There are bugs in there. I have to find somewhere else to sleep.”
So I pee quickly and try to make a bed on the couch for Child 2 knowing that every second I’m not in bed my chances of getting Child 4 back to sleep diminishes. I can hear Child 3 still crying about his beloved Blaze.

Husband puts Child 3 back into the right bed and sits in his room with him.

Silence.

The sound of Child 2 stomping back up the stairs.

The crushing weight of nearly 30lb child 4 (yes, the baby is nearly 30lbs) on my ribcage signing “baby” which means he wants to watch Baby Signing Time. Not the whole video though, just the first minute on repeat.

I lay in bed, lit with an electronic glow listening to the sounds of Child 4’s favorite show. I try to doze keeping one eye open in case the baby has a sudden impulse to smash me on the head with the iPad. It’s been known to happen.

It’s over. I give up.

So here I am.

Child 3 is asleep.

Child 2 is watching TV.

Child 4 is on my lap watching his video. Yawning. Obnoxious, given the circumstances.

Child 1 slept though the entire thing (all the lights are on in his room but apparently that doesn’t matter)

Husband is asleep.

It’s 5:30 am… I might as well put the kettle on for coffee.

Happy Saturday everyone.

We’ve Got Work to Do.

Finding time to blog has been particularly difficult lately, but posting a picture with a little caption is a bit easier. If you want to keep up to date on what we’re doing in between blog posts please follow me on Instagram for more regular updates.

"I hate learning" homeschool challenge

One of the parenting moments I cherish the most are my talks with Max. I’ve been inviting Max out on a beach walk each day of our vacation and sometimes he takes me up on it.

“Mom, I’m never going to like learning.”

Silence.

“I mean, it’s nice to know stuff and I like the benefits of knowing things but I am never going to like actual learning.”

This is the kid that has basically every Pokemon memorized.  Who while at the aquarium, impressed strangers who overheard him telling me about parrotfish. The kid who enjoys reading and watching shows about trivia, and when I find something out to impress him usually responds with, “I know,” and gives me a fact I didn’t know back. Who tested into a center based gifted program at school and we didn’t even realize he was being tested for it…

… this person hates learning.

If learning is miserable to a kid like this, we’re basically all screwed.

This is my challenge for our homeschool year. After years of school I feel like now we have to go backwards in some ways instead of forward.  Back to the playing, the experimenting, back to the joyful and fun part of learning. And it makes me worry… is it possible to reframe our idea of learning and to find the joy in it?

Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it’s scary to hear that your child hates learning when you are about to be the one responsible for their education. I realized that switching gears from learning by demand to learning out of joy is a little bit of a delicate process.  I don’t want to find myself being just another person who pushes them to the point that they completely lose interest and yet, trusting the process and allowing them to “learn nothing” while exploring their interests is mildly terrifying.

Since summer is winding down and the regular school year is approaching, I am curious to see how the kids will feel when they don’t go back to school with everyone else.
And as my husband is planning his year of teaching ahead, I am thinking about mine.

For the kids, I have two overarching goals for our first homeschool year:

  1. Redefine learning as something enjoyable that never stops.
  2. Reconnect with the outdoors (it’s not just a place you go to get from one building to another).

For myself I have a number of other goals:

  1. Learn to follow their lead.
  2. Manage my expectations.
  3. Learn when to give them a gentle push and when I’m pushing too far.
  4. Create an environment that gives them opportunities to discover new things.
  5. Make time to let them teach me about the things they love (this will involve many Pokemon lessons).
  6. Not go completely insane panic (too often).
  7. Slow down and enjoy our time together.

So while the school year is gearing up, we’re still winding down.

 

 

The Longest Summer Ever Begins.

 

The first official day of our Longest Summer Ever fell on the longest day of the year.

I mentioned in my last post about how we would not be returning to school in the fall and we’re spending the next 6 months or so exploring our interests and getting out to see some cool stuff.

Without the anchor of the school day, things turn into a free-for-all pretty quickly.  And while I normally don’t mind what I call “summer chaos”, I’m very aware that I won’t be packing up that chaos and shipping it off to school in September.

For one thing, electronics are a real problem in our house.  For everyone, not just for the kids. I originally didn’t want to set any strict limits on “screen time”; I don’t really mind the kids being on the computer so long as there’s a bit of balance.

After thinking about how to deal with our electronics issue, I decided that we’d build a loose schedule to follow on the weekdays (and a separate one for weekends).  Having internet “black out” times works better for us than earning time on the computer or even having a set amount of time they’re allowed on the computer.  In the past, those structures caused the kids to be preoccupied with whether or not they’d get to be on the computer and for how long.  This way, they know they’ll get their time and have multiple opportunities to play video games so there’s no need to bargain/discuss/think about it/talk about it. It’s not about punishment or reward; it’s just a thing we do sometimes and not others.

The focus is on creating a few new habits to last us into the fall when Jeff goes back to school but the kids do not.

Since the kids wake up at various times, we decided we’d start our day at 9am. Before that, if the kids would like to be on electronics or play outside in their pjs or lay around in bed a little, that’s fine.

So our “structure” looks a little bit like this:
9:00 begins our unplugged time with breakfast/getting dressed/chores
10-4 is unplugged free time. This is when we’re likely to take a trip out anyway.
4-6 is computer/tv time
6:00 is  dinner
Followed by 1 hour of reading for the entire family
A little more free time if we have time for it and the bedtime routine begins at 8:30.
9:30 lights out.

How’d we do on day 1?

Well, the unplugged time went better than I expected.  Usually, once the electronics are ripped from their white-knuckled-grip the kids do pretty well. The house is exponentially louder… and messier, but the kids do pretty well.

Today we took Marlowe out to see Finding Dory for his first ever movie experience and despite spilling his popcorn and getting folded up in the seat a few times, it was a success.

First movie finding dory

We did ditch the hour of free time (and our bedtimes) to head out with a telescope to a nearby field to see the strawberry moon.

We didn’t get a chance to see the moon until the ride home because the trees were too high, but it didn’t really matter.  We saw Mars and Jupiter, watched bats feast above our heads, chased some fireflies and lay around in the grass looking up at the stars.

Star gazing kids A multifaceted Mama

image
We used the Sky Guide app to help us identify a few planets and stars. Marlowe kept yelling “Mars is coming! Mars is coming!”

Sometimes, you gotta bend the schedule even on day one.

longest summer ever a multifaceted mama

I’m trying to keep my expectations in check, but it was a nice start to our Longest Summer Ever.

Saying Goodbye: A Store That Offered More Than Clothes

 

h2br

10 years ago in March I was about 4 months pregnant and looking for a job.

It’s not that I minded waiting tables, but the 5 am wake up call and smell of bacon was not helping my nausea.

I figured a maternity store might be a good fit (literally and figuratively) so I called up a small maternity boutique and asked if they were hiring.

When I went into the interview I had no idea that this job would mean so much more to me than a paycheck.

On the eve 2016, I worked my very last shift at Hip to be Round. This weekend the store will close it’s doors forever.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen the store through 5 locations, 2 owners, 1 name change and 4 babies of my own. I’ve worked part time and full time both as an associate and a manager.  I’ve seen brands come and go and families grow.

Most of all, while standing outside of the dressing room ready to get another size or color of a pair of pants, I’ve heard stories.

Being a person who loves stories, I’ve listened to them all.  Good stories and sad ones. Women who are excited to be pregnant and women who aren’t.  I’ve caught a woman as she fainted and found a dress for a funeral (she wasn’t pregnant, just swollen). I’ve dressed two men in maternity clothes feeling intensely protective of one of them who had clearly not been dress shopping before. I’ve helped a woman in labor with a nursing bra. I’ve been the neutral party when mother and daughter shopping tension arrises. I’ve brought tissues to the dressing room when reality hits.

I’ve talked to women who are afraid of birth.

I’ve talked to women who have lost their babies.

I’ve talked to women who are infertile.

I’ve talked to women who are surrogates.

I’ve gained pearls of wisdom from a mother of 6.

I’ve given out as much wisdom as I had to offer.

I’ve seen ultrasounds, kept gender secrets, and heard name picks before family members have.

I’ve listened to so many complaints.

I’ve met doulas and midwives and yoga instructors who have all taught me something. I’ve swapped tips with other mothers about sibling rivalry and potty training.  I attended monthly La Leche League meetings for 4 years and learned something new every time.

To say I am thankful for my experience with this little store is an understatement.   I have logged so many hours and learned so much. The women I have worked with have become some of my dearest friends and the customers I have interacted with have offered me so many new perspectives. It is not hyperbole to say that when it comes to motherhood this store helped raise me.

While the day to day of working in a store may not be the most prestigious of jobs I have been unbelievably honored to be a part of what Hip to be Round was.  Hip to be Round was so much more than clothes, it was a safe place for women at such a unique and rare time and I am so lucky to have been a part of that.

 

latchon
Participating in the Big Latch On while working at Hip to be Round.

I Don’t Want to Know What You Think Causes Autism.

baby

Today this article popped up in my facebook feed.
I now suspect I will see it approximately 1,000 more times before the day is done, shared over and over and over again.

Read it if you want but I’ll sum it up for you: researchers found that of 100 kids with autism 16 of them had very high levels of folate at birth, and 15 had high levels of vitamin B12 at birth.

Folate often in the form of folic acid is recommended to pregnant mothers to prevent birth defects in the brain and spine.

The study shows a “plausible” link.

The study has not been peer reviewed.

And yet, if I google “folic acid autism link” I get a laundry list of articles from “news” sites citing this new study. Scroll down a little further and I get this one: Study links folic acid to lower autism risk.

To make matters worse Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shared this article (From Salon.com) on social media. If you’d really like to feel a special kind of rage read the comments (names removed but typos remain):

“autism is from vaccines injections………just like everyone who got bird flu or Swin flu were the only ones who GOT flu shots.”

“This is the kind of thing that happens when people use supplements to get their nutrition instead of healthful unprocessed foods. It isn’t just autism! Our food and water Supplies are tainted and damaging our bodies genetically.”

“Try looking at the levels of mercury our children are forced to eat, breathe, and drink. not to mention all of the other crap poisoning our environment.”

Stop. This is helping nobody, anywhere, so just stop.

Stop.

 

I am so tired of seeing this ridiculous bullshit.

Moms have guilt about everything but you haven’t MET a mom with guilt until you meet a parent who has a child with a disability the cause of which changes by the week.

The guilt is overwhelming.

You took too many vitamins, you vaccinated them on a doctor recommended schedule, you ate out of plastic tupperware, your lettuce wasn’t organic, you didn’t exercise enough, you took medication, you had postpartum depression, you didn’t breastfeed, you caught the flu from a co-worker… The list of things you probably did to screw up your child in one way or another is ENDLESS and when you’ve scheduled your 4th IEP meeting of the year wondering how you’re ever going to make it through the last month of school with your child let alone the next 12 YEARS the last thing you need to read is how your fucking multivitamin put you here.

*whew*

So autism moms (or pregnant moms), I say to you this:

 

You are not responsible for your child’s autism just like you are not responsible for which physical features your child gets from you or your partner.

You didn’t GIVE your child autism.

Your child is perfect. Your child is flawed. Just like we are perfect, and we are flawed.  It’s just that some of our flaws are easily seen and some of them aren’t.

 

Articles like these, a “plausible link” between something an autism aren’t helping the 1 in 68 children diagnosed with autism.  They are not helping families who are looking for guidance on how to support their child with autism. In fact, these click-bait-y articles do more harm than good.

Not only do they add insult to injury because parents who do so much to support their children also feel guilty for having caused it; but now if you’re pregnant do you take your folic acid or not? Prevent spina bifida and risk autism or prevent autism and risk spina bifida?

I’m not suggesting researchers don’t look into the cause of autism.

But until you have actual data that actually means something…

Don’t publish it…. and for God’s sake stop sharing it.

 

Happy Birthday to Me: Weird Juice and Tame Parties.

image

I’m not the type of person who gets concerned about birthdays. I’ve always liked my birthday and getting older doesn’t really bother me.

But it’s also not lost on me that I’m having a very solidly-in-your-30’s birthday and I can’t help but compare it to early 20’s birthdays.

For example: Saturday I had a birthday party for me, an adult, which consisted of 9 kids and a newborn.  It started at 5 and everyone was cleared out by 9. The kitchen was clean and two loads of dishes were done, all the food was put away and we were in bed, face washed, pajamas on by 10:30.  Items left at our home: a baby shoe, a sippy cup and my dad’s cellphone.

I didn’t have too many wild parties in my 20’s (after all I was already a mom by 23) but we can go ahead and say that this was a departure from a typical 20’s birthday party.

As if that wasn’t enough, I’m mildly embarrassed but also bizarrely excited about my birthday present:  A juicer. The I’m-old-now hits just keep coming, because I actually RESEARCHED said juicer.

Next I’ll want a Fitbit.

Oh wait.

Mom with fitbit

But there’s a couple of things… Disclaimers? Explanations? I feel compelled to address:

  1.  I told a friend I was excited about my new present coming and she asked me if I was going to be one of those “weird juicer people”. I guess this goes back to the food being personal thing. So, uh… no. I don’t plan on going on a fast or extolling the virtues of juice or anything like that if that is what it means to be a “weird juicer”. I’m not an expert on health and I really don’t want to pretend to be. I do plan to share an occasional juice recipe (got one already) however, I still have lots of other interests and subjects to talk and write about so I hope this at least keeps me out of the “weird” category.
  2. I’m not having any more kids. I swear it’s related just hear me out.
    For the past 10 years my body has been only kinda mine (and it’s still only kind of mine because I’m breastfeeding).  But basically for 10 years I’ve been pregnant, postpartum, or planning on having another kid in the future… and as we all know pregnancy does some weird stuff to your body. So, I do feel that, tied in with the birthday, I’m reclaiming my body a little bit.  I see now why many mothers get into health and fitness after they are finished having kids… it’s nice to have your body back. That being said the closest I’ve come to “fitness” is calling the gym to cancel our long-neglected membership and eating that cake so I’m not saying I’m doing that, I’m just saying I get it.

Sunday (my actual birthday) was pretty low-key spending time with family and even *gasp* some alone time for me.  Overall, it was really a lovely you’re-old-now birthday.  I’m excited for this year. I’m hoping to continue the path I started in January of being more focused on the people and things that make me happy.  More time with family and friends, writing on this blog, and finding a new rhythm that keeps our family happy. And I think I’m off to a pretty good start.

Going Semi-Vegan.

About a month ago, I’m not really actually sure when, I decided to drastically cut back on meat and dairy. I’m not really the all or nothing type, so I figured I wouldn’t buy, cook or order meat, but if I was occasionally served something made with egg or with cheese, I wouldn’t feel obligated to turn it down…  A sort of flexitarian/vegan kind of thing. In the month or so since, I’ve only had something cooked with meat/egg/dairy a couple of times and I’ve found I’ve pretty much lost the taste for it.

Here’s what I’ve learned and experienced so far:

It’s all about spices. I had thought of vegan food as bland before (What? No cheese?), but I’ve come to find that I actually taste MORE in my vegan meals; there is no cheese or dairy to mask flavor (and make everything taste like, well,cheese). Herbs and spices get a chance to shine so much more.

I don’t miss cheese. Really. This coming from a person who grew up gobbling down Dutch Gouda. I could polish off a wedge of the stuff and then ask someone to pass the Brie. I thought giving up cheese would be the hardest. Perhaps the timing was right, perhaps I’ve begun to think of cheese differently than I did before. But cutting out cheese has been surprisingly easy. I don’t really miss it.

I enjoy cooking more. There’s something about the limitations of a vegan / plant based diet that I’ve found very inspiring. Maybe it’s the ability to enjoy all the ingredients. Since we changed the way we’ve eaten, we’ve had shepherd’s pie, tofu teriyaki scrambled “eggs”, tacos, and soooo many delicious Buddha bowls in a wide array of combinations. Being on a plant based vegan diet has gotten me out of a food rut I had no idea I was in.

I lost weight. I wasn’t sure if I was going to mention it because it really wasn’t the point, but I lost enough that I couldn’t really leave it out. (About 10lbs.) Those cute boyfriend jeans I got in my January Stitch Fix? They don’t fit at all. I’ve gone on plenty of diets before; I know that cutting out large portions of your diet is pretty much always going to result in weight loss…but it also usually results in hunger. The difference this time is that I’m never hungry.

There is a lot of vegan junk food. Like Oreos (what?). Yes, you can be unhealthy and vegan, you can be overweight and vegan. (In fact it’s incredibly easy to do.) I think it all comes down to WHY you’re vegan. If all you care about is animal welfare, it doesn’t matter if you eat an Oreo so long as no animals are hurt during the making of your midnight snack (though I can’t really imagine Oreos without milk). If a plant based diet is what you’re after (more specifically a whole foods plants based diet), then your choices are much more likely to be good ones.

It’s hard to find vegan coffee creamer without sugar. Goes back to that unhealthy vegan stuff. There’s no substitute that compares to coffee with thick, creamy half and half. I guess that was the most difficult adjustment, although I accidentally had some coffee with half and half the other day and didn’t like it.

People automatically think you’re gonna get smug. Food is deeply personal and people react funny to the V word. They assume you’re gonna tell them about chopped up baby chickens or how you’ll out live them by 20 years. And you might. (But only if they ask.)

You do come off as a little smug. I mean, in all honesty, I don’t really care what other people eat, but I didn’t decide to follow a plant based diet for fun either. The truth is, there are simply more reasons not to eat animal products than there are reasons to eat them; so when people as why you don’t eat animals, it’s usually a more complicated answer than they bargained for.

You can love food and be vegan. I love food. A lot. I love all kinds of food. I love barbecue, I love a good burger, and of course I love cheese. They don’t have quite the same appeal now that I don’t eat them often, but that hasn’t changed my love of food.

For now at least, I’m really enjoying my new way of eating and I’ll stick with it.
Have you ever tried going vegan/vegetarian?  What surprised you the most about it?

Parenting Fail. The Highs and Lows of Stay at Home Mom-ing.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I decided to be at home with the kids more.  I knew they needed it and I needed it. In fact, the first month after I quit both jobs confirmed everything I had been thinking and feeling about staying at home.

Let’s call it the honeymoon phase.

The house was cleaner, the laundry more manageable.  I was able to make time for kids and clients. I even blogged more than I expected.  I was definitely nailing this stay at home thing.

Then February. An abrupt ending to my January honeymoon. Each day I felt like at best I was treading water, at worst I had already drowned and couldn’t admit it.  So far, March hasn’t seemed any less chaotic.  The beginning of last week perfectly illustrated the parenting highs and lows.

Sunday was beautiful. Jeff was exhausted after a long night of kids not sleeping (it usually bothers him more than me), and I was determined to exhaust them so we might get a good night sleep.  So I packed the four of them in the car, left Jeff at home to doze, and took them to a beautiful local park, Maymont.

Maymont 1

We hoofed the entire park (Langston on my back) from the Children’s Farm, through the Japanese Gardens, up the beautiful steps to the Italian gardens, past the mansion, to the visitors center and back to the Children’s Farm to say goodbye to the pig before we left. We had a great time, and the kids were happy and exhausted. Sunday was a parenting high.

Maymont 2.JPG

Monday came around. I got the kids off to school, and was getting ready for a catch up day when I went to change Langston’s diaper.  I got distracted by a messed up trash bag and in an instant, Langston flipped off the table. I picked him up to hug him before realizing blood was pouring from his mouth; a bottom tooth was out and dangling, root and all. We rushed off to a somewhat-nearby Pediatric ER (at a hospital which I knew happened to also have a dentistry practice), and I found myself standing there, unshowered and barely dressed, with a busted up baby, a shattered phone (which I had broken on Saturday) held together with scotch tape, and a two year old who was wedging himself between a side table and a waiting room chair.

infant fall lost baby tooth.JPG

WHY WAS I ALLOWED TO HAVE CHILDREN?

It just seems inhumane.

We went home, one tooth down from a set of 6; I was utterly exhausted. This was definitely a parenting low.

Tuesday rolled around and I was determined to redeem the day before. The kids were off from school, so I’d planned a great day at the zoo, a trip to Toys R Us and other fun stuff. Except nobody was excited about the zoo. One child (who will remain nameless) had been particularly sour the past couple of days, and  even stepped it up a few notches… but it wasn’t just him. In fact everyone was so uncooperative, difficult, and just plain nasty that I completely lost it. LOST. IT.  Lost it.  I yelled. Loudly. At my children. About the zoo.  They cried. I cried. It was a mess. Evidently, while trying to balance a growing list of things demanding my attention,  I had been missing some big stuff bothering one of the boys. Parenting really, really low.

We took deep breaths, had a good talk, hugged a lot, and told each other we loved each other a lot. We made pancakes. We went to the zoo. We saw baby animals. We laughed. We had fun. We were on our way back up again.

metro richmond zoo

feed giraffes metro richmond zoo

 

The house is still a mess, and I’m behind on a lot of things (like this very blog).  I’ve got my fingers crossed for a few uneventful days.  In fact, I could use an uneventful month… The reality of stay-at-home/work-at-home parenting has proven to be much bumpier than I expected. So, I’m trying to hold a tight grip on the things that matter while I ride out some of these highs and lows.

Ps. Still doing dishes in the bathroom sink.  Big update coming soon.

Jonas – The Timeline of a Snowstorm Part 1.

winter storm jonas timeline 2016

Monday- Forecasts predict 2 – 18 inches. There are two groups of people: the “I’ll believe it when I see it” folks and the “I’m so excited, I’m going to check the weather every hour” group. (In case you’re wondering, I’m in group B.)

Tuesday- You’re smarter than the average Richmonder. You head to the grocery stores for provisions now instead of waiting until the last minute.  You pat yourself on the back for being so smart because you won’t be in line at the grocery store like everyone else.

Wednesday- Life as usual…except it might snow this weekend. There is a massive online trading market for buying and selling kid-size snow boots, snow bibs and gloves. Current rate for a snow bib, size 7: $15.

Thursday morning- Forecasters are a little more sure of themselves, narrowing it down to 6-12 inches depending on where you look. Will there be sleet? Will it be all snow? Nobody knows, but snow is definitely happening.  A group of people break off from the “I’ll believe it when I see it” group to become “Everybody sucks, stop panicking, why are you going to eat milk sandwiches? Also Richmonders can’t drive.” This group is usually from the north. Regardless, there is no more bread or milk. School is preemptively canceled.

Thursday night- You realize your plan to stock up was ridiculous. There is no cereal. You’re out of milk. You realize there is no such thing as “stocking up” on food when you have kids. If you buy extra groceries, they will eat it in the same amount of time as if you had just bought a regular amount. How did they drink a gallon of milk in two days? You’re not quite sure, but you head to the most expensive grocery store there is to stock up on $6.00 half gallons of milk because you know they’re the only ones who are going to have anything left.

Waiting for Winter Storm Jonas

Friday morning- The snow is supposed to start! The kids wait not-so-patiently for the first flake. Hurry! The snow starts falling! Mimosas for the adults and hot cocoa for the kids! Everyone goes outside. There is coloring and movie watching. Naps are taken. So many naps are taken. You bake stuff. Hurray for a day off of school.

Friday night- Sleet. Depression sets in. There is no group of people who likes sleet. Sleet sucks. The snow was fun though.

winter storm jonas richmond icicle 2016

Saturday morning Cue the sound of children fighting over an iPad. Somebody hits someone else (who probably deserved it).  It’s snowing again, but the ice overnight packed down the 6 inches of snow to about 3 + 1 inch of ice on top. Gross. Now you’re really stuck because ice is way worse than snow. Damn that ice. The only one brave enough to go out is the cat. Probably to get away from the children.

Snowstorm jonas disappointment 2016

Also, you’re out of cereal.

 

Hello 2016.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset
Jumping into 2016

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We definitely did.

While my husband and the kids get excited about Christmas, I get excited about the new year.

Not New Year’s Eve so much as the fresh start in the new year.

I even like New Year’s Resolutions.
I never understood why people were so down about New Year’s Resolutions.  True, they can be a bit cliche, and most people don’t keep them.  But if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s not the New Year or the Resolution’s fault that they don’t work out. It’s us.

Also, why is it that when we fail, we can’t start again?  You stopped going to the gym in February so forget it? Does that mean March doesn’t count? Can we ONLY go to the gym if we start in January?

Anyway, all that being said, I don’t usually set specific resolutions but general goals: Foster a sense of community, be a better friend, be as excited for other people’s successes as I would be for my own, take time to figure out what direction I want to take my career in. It doesn’t mean losing 10lbs is off the list entirely, but setting these kinds of goals have improved my life quite a bit and even if I feel like I could have done better at these things, I don’t feel like I failed.

I also often think of years in terms of themes. Last year was kind of serendipitous… As I went into the year with the goal of figuring out what my next steps were career-wise having no idea I would be making the sudden decision to leave my job in December.

So, for the first time in a long time I’ll be identifying more as a stay at home mom than a working mom. I can’t say that transition isn’t bittersweet and a little scary.

And so it seems as though 2016 is shaping up to be the year of domesticity, but also the year of entrepreneurship. Focusing on how to shape my career around my home life rather than the other way around.

And that is a New Year’s Resolution I can definitely get behind. If I accomplish nothing else but that I’ll feel pretty good.

Losing 10 pounds would also be nice.

 

Do you love or hate New Year’s Resolutions?