Is there a time of day when everything falls apart in your home? (Or maybe a few times a day?!!)
I've found, over my almost eight years of motherhood, that a routine or rhythm goes merrily along for some time--then suddenly, what once worked well stops working completely.
I tend to rail against this--getting annoyed and frustrated, but I've discovered over time something incredible:
My kids are trying to show me that something needs to change. If I pay attention and make changes I'll see a gift emerge from what seems like a hardship.
As an example: I wrote this week about what part television plays in my kids' lives. But what I didn't mention (because that post was long enough already) was that a few months ago my children stopped watching videos together as a group.
The reason? It stopped working. What were once the calmest, most reliable, moments of my day--when I could get things done and count on quiet--totally went to pot. Instead I was called to settle arguments, disputes, and bickering during this time.
This distressed me temporarily, but as I thought about it, an idea struck me. And in that idea was a gift.
I decided to try having two of the children watch their videos together, while the other plays. When those two are finished, they go out to play and let the other child watch the same program they just finished.
The result for them? Everyone gets to watch and enjoy their screen time in peace.
The result for me? Because they watch separately, it's almost as though video time has been doubled--though it hasn't. For the kids it's the same amount of screen time, but for me I have twice as long in which to work on projects, housework, or even reading a chapter from a novel.
In other words--it's a win-win!
“Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change,
you love them as they are.”
~ Isabel Allende