Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Complaint Department

I know Lent was quite a while ago, but I wanted to share with you what I tried to give up. I tried to give up complaining. Stop laughing. I really did try. And I really never realized how much I complain. I am blessed to work in a great environment with other Christians and we will call each other on it when the Complaint Department seems overwhelmed. We have a lot of reasons to complain, but we really don't have the right to do it. Unfortunately, things come out of my mouth and then it's too late for me to stop it. But, it's not too late for me to do something about it. So, it started around Lent and every day I've been trying harder to get better at not complaining. The biggest thing I need to not complain about is my kids. Here's the reason - they are KIDS! They are not small adults who have the training and knowledge and understanding of life that a 40-year-old should have. They do stupid stuff every day. They make messes and get lazy and whine and make you late and forget their homework and want every toy known to man and honestly believe that money grows on trees. So, yes, I am guilty of complaining about my kids. But, please, if you're reading this and you see me EVER complain about my kids on Facebook, would you send me a private message and remind me of my mission to stop complaining? I don't mean to judge, but I know a few ladies who spend more time on Facebook telling the world how miserable their children make them than they probably do actually playing with their kids! I can't do that. I can't and every time I do I need to be reminded of the person who is the reason I made the Lenten promise. A friend that I grew up with died in March. She had just passed her 42nd birthday and was the mom of two girls around the same age as mine. Just after she died, I was brushing my little girl's hair and started to cry out of nowhere. Sabrina asked me why and I just couldn't tell her. But the reason was because I realized that this woman would never be able to brush her daughter's hair again. That sweet girl would never stand in the bathroom mirror and cringe as her mom pulled on a knot. She would never feel her mom smooth down her hair and put it in a ponytail. Never mind the major things in life - puberty, boys, the prom, the wedding, becoming a mom - this small daily act was what put me over the edge.
Listen, I know kids can be ungrateful and aggravating and all sorts of difficult, but they are children and, if you think about it honestly, they are what WE make them. Kids don't just come out that way. We teach them values and if they don't have them, we really can't blame them now can we?
But just try to keep in mind the next time you are complaining about your kids - at least you have them. At least you woke up with the breath God put in your lungs and they are safe and with you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer days

I just saw friend and it reminded me of a blog that I've been wanting to write for a really long time. I told her I hadn't seen her in quite a while and she said she was off work today and said "I'm mom today".
Like me, she works but she also volunteers to does a lot of stuff with her kids. She's one of those moms that runs around like a crazy person doing stuff so that she can support her family but still spend time with them.
It made me start thinking of women who don't work outside the home. And it made me start thinking about how blessed they are if they get to spend time with their kids. As I read Facebook posts of people planning their summer activities, I envy them. I don't envy them so much as the freedom
that they have to do whatever they want to do. Now don't get me wrong I love having a job I love being able to support my children. I have an amazing boss and a wonderful working environment. But sometimes I wish I could just take a day and bring my kids somewhere. I wish I could make a summer bucket list or have the day off from work when they have the day off from school.
Sometimes, it's a really difficult thing when you have to work outside the home. In my 10 years as a mother I have been both a work at home mom, a stay at home mom and mom who worked outside the home. Sometimes, I get a bit frustrated by women who complain about how difficult their lives are. They don't go to work (yes, I know being a mom is a job, but you know what I mean); their kids are in school all day and yet they still complain. Or better yet the woman who doesn't go to work, the kids are in school and she either has a mother's helper, a nanny or a husband who does housework!
If you have a husband that cooks or cleans or does laundry or yardwork or takes care of the kids, you're lucky. If you have the time and money to get your hair done every six weeks and get mani/pedis, you're lucky. If you can go out for a girls night or have lunch out with a friend to catch up, you're lucky. Stop telling everyone how bad you have it.
I do applaud all moms no matter if they work outside the home or inside home because I know how hard it is to do both those jobs. I hope as summer creeps along,  you enjoy the time you get to spend with your kids. Be like my friend Patty or my friend Heidi who come up with a list of cool things they want to do over the summer - like a summer bucket list - or Marcia who makes a list of parks her kids need to visit before the end of the summer. Take your kids somewhere just because. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Think about the kids that don't get to do those "bucket" things - the kids that have to go to daycare all summer long and not spend time with their parents. Maybe go crazy and invite a working family's kids over to spend the day with you (I'm not asking for invitations). Bring someone without a bucket to the beach or the pool or the park. Isn't that the whole fun of summer anyway - not being scheduled or worrying about what to do? Unfortunately, we live in a culture where we are so scared to let our kids be free the way we were when we were little that we plan so many activities for them during the school year. Then, when summer comes around, we don't always know what to do. It's okay for kids to be a little bored sometimes - they will figure it out. That is your gift to them. And don't forget, when they're getting on your nerves, it won't be like this for long. You're going to miss this time. Enjoy it. I'm going to work.