Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life Lessons...Sometimes You Just Need to KISS

It is sad to say, but oh so true. Bad things have to happen before one stops and re-evaluates their own life. Thus is the case for me. I have been struggling a lot lately. Not feeling like I was giving my best at anything. Really having a hard time feeling like I have done any good for quite some time. Feeling like I was just doing what I had to do to make it through one more day. All the while I was shuffling my kids from one activity to the next, hollering at them to get their shoes on, put the dogs in their  cage and get in the car. Hurry here, hurry there. Hurry home. Once home, I was exhausted, they were exhausted and we were ALL cranky. Problem is, it was only noon. We still had a WHOLE LOT of day left. End result? An afternoon spent vegging on the couch, me in front of the computer, Nora watching T.V and Reese sleeping. Real productive, let me tell ya!
I think the outragious credit card bill (we put all of our expenses on our credit card and pay it all at the end of the month) was my first wake-up call that life needed to change. Ryan mentioned the amount to me and I took it upon myself to evaluate the expenditures (this in and of itself is NOT something I typically do. Remember, I was a Social Worker by trade. My husband is the accountant =0) ) After looking at it I realized we were spending a ton on outings to play places and eating out. I thought to myself 1) I take my kids to these places EVERY.SINGLE.DAY with the same friends 2) We are eating out entirely way too much. Not only is this expensive and lazy, it is just straight NOT healthy. 3) When doing all of these things, I am indeed providing my kids with entertainment, BUT am I providing them with valuable time spent with me and is doing this making me be the best Mom I can be? Probably NOT.
So what did I do? At first, I kept on going about my business the same as always. I kept going to the playdates, and struggling to make it through the days. I kept putting time for me on the back burner and doing everything that I thought I needed to do to make my kids happy, BUT I changed how we spent money. I took it upon myself to switch to using cash. I gave myself a weekly allowance and said that no matter what, that was what I was going to spend. If I needed to spend more than that, I would discuss it with Ryan (who is the logical spender in our family) before spending the money. Soon I found myself having a great time finding ways to spend less money. BUT you know what my motivation was? Spend less money on food so that I could still have money to go and do all these activities with my kids!
It took several unfortunate things happening to several loved ones around me before I realized what really needed to happen. I needed to SLOW down. I needed to KISS (keep it simple stupid) I needed to prioritize the important things in my life and focus on them. I needed to be the person that I want my daughters to become. I needed to value the time that I have and not take advantage of the fact that I am SOOO fortunate to be able to stay home with them, when, others who would LOVE to stay home with their children are instead forced to put them in childcare. To do these things I had to say good-bye to daily outings and instead get my butt up and provide some fun myself. So that is what I am doing. Starting tomorrow, our schedule is not going to revolve around where we are going and who we are going with. Instead, it is going to revolve around what we are doing with each other and how we can do it so that we are enjoying each other the best we can. If it means we spend the entire day at home in our jammies, then so be it! Afterall, God only gives us one TODAY and I want to go to bed more often feeling like I haven't wasted mine!

On a side note, not to get all churchy, but I thought it was kind of ironic that while I was having this realization in my head that things needed to change, I opened up my daily devotional book, randomly picked a page and this was the scripture. There is NO doubt in my mind that God mustve known how I have been treating my kids lately because this scripture is SOOO fitting:
Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4 31-32


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