Friday, November 7, 2008

Time for Pause

For some reason yesterday, my boys and I never ventured out of the house.  To say we were caught in some supernatural conundrum is an understatement!!  By the end of the day I found myself walking in circles without order or purpose.  It's no wonder the TV was on more than necessary or the house looked like a tornado had passed through it.  

"Do you ever feel like quitting?" I asked my husband when he arrived home.  I think I startled him a bit by my question.  I didn't mean it like it sounded--of course I don't want to quit my beloved job as mother of three.  But there are definitely days when I wish I had a pause button; some miraculous means to halt whatever is going on and breathe deeply for one small moment.  I wish I could pause the disarray to create some sense of order so that something in my life felt like I had control.  

Alas, my day had very little opportunity for pause.  The kids' naps were ill-coordinated.  My workout (saving grace) was choppy as I tended to tears and discontentment.  I fled to the computer to escape, but only found myself more behind and funky when I returned.  What was I expecting?  We were all caged beasts with no chance for socialization or energetic output!

As I strolled back from taking out the garbage last night, I drank in the night air.  It was heavenly.  And there was my answer--in cases of extreme home funkiness, GET OUTSIDE.  Even if we're all still in our pajamas and the kids' footies will get dirty and wet in the grass--LEAVE THE HOUSE.  Man-made luxuries can wait.  We need to get out and enjoy God's creation.  Little boys do better on a diet of dirt, grass, and dew.  

Who says that winter must be spent cooped up?  Can't we bundle past the chill and get some fresh air?  I have no excuse but to make it happen in the coming months.  And daily.


Kat said...

We have those days all too often, too! Actually, it almost seems like the day is split into two parts: before naps/quiet time and after naps/quiet time. We will be fine if we spend the first half of the day inside, but probably need to get outside for the second half. However, even if we get out of the house in the first half of the day, if we don't get out in the afternoon we find ourselves in the same conundrum that you describe, B-Mama! Did that make any sense?

Our biggest obstacle to getting outside is that C often resists leaving home - he's just a homebody, he loves playing and imagining inside, and even if we go outside he would usually much rather just ride his bike in our driveway or dig with trucks in our own yard. He's always been like that, I thought that he would outgrow it, but he hasn't yet and he's 4 1/2!

Courtney said...

My 13 month-old daughter had been sick on and off for the last 5 weeks...thankfully she is okay now! But, those were some mentally trying weeks for me for the same reasons you described. Also, no one was sleeping well due to her not being able to breathe from being sick. As the winter approaches, any thoughts on how to handle this couped up scenario better as the inevitable winter flu, viruses, etc. come back? Obviously preventing them from gettng sick is a good place to start.

Juris Mater said...

B-mama, YES! Story of our lives. PERFECT description of a day spent entirely inside. I feel like a delirious monster whose body is rotting from the inside out. The afternoons in particular, like Kat said.

Thanks also for posting this to help me begin to think about a game plan for the winter months. We have snow suits and snow boots for one thing. And B-mama, I love how you said it doesn't matter that their shoes get wet or their playclothes get dirty--we can't live in the service of our clothes, our clothes should serve our health and well-being.

And Courtney, great question about how to survive the sick days, especially when kids alternate sick days so that sick days become sick months! Wondering the same thing myself. I think I'll try to take the healthy kids into the yard while the sick one is resting. Also, kids who are at least on the mend can still bundle up and ride in the stroller and get fresh air into their lungs without much physical exertion. Another possibility (for those of us whose husbands come home before bedtime) is letting the husband hold down the fort after dinner then at least taking the cooped up kid(s) out for some vigorous exercise, like running back and forth fast until they're refreshed, at the end of the day. Then a warm bath and bedtime. I also like to open the windows and all the shades and have a dance party if we're really truly stuck inside for whatever reason. We call it Phys Ed, and Bella and Bean are becoming quite the cute dancers, shaking their little tailfeathers to party music.

texas mommy said...

You are so right, B-Mama, that getting outside has such an effect on your mood! I try to ensure the boys get outside in the am and the pm, even if it's just going to the mailbox. Everyone has to go. And once we are outside, they usually want to stay outside. Sometimes I am the biggest obstacle (Being literally allergic to the cold) but the alternative of "caged beasts" you described is less appealing than frostbite. So essential is little boy run around time, that I will pull my car our of the garage and have them "ride" bikes or run around in there if it's raining.

Also, my favorite consequence/punishment when Dash starts getting out of control is to have him run around the yard three times (we have a big yard). Rather than send him to his room for time out where he usually comes back even more wound up, he gets out some energy/aggression and gets fresh air. He usually comes back saying he's "so tired" but them keeps running around.

As for keeping healthy during the winter, I have already started tripling the amount of garlic in everything we eat because it is getting to be that time of year. And lots of fruit with Vitamin C.

Jeanne in Tampa said...

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3. Any questions? Please relax.