Monday, February 1, 2010

A Fresh Month

Pretty much since January 4th, the day the kids went back to school, I have been waiting for February.

I don't think I have to tell my regular readers that January has been challenging, with difficult evenings and left us feeling like absolute parenting rookies. And I didn't even blog about the very painful Friday evening just past which ranks in the 3 lowest parenting days in my life. If I didn't love Husband so much, I would have just walked out the door and let him deal with the whole mess.

If there is one thing that gets me through the rough patches of parenting it's my mantras. The one I have clung to mightily this month is "no phase lasts forever. It only feels like forever." That sums up January.

At the threshold of February I brim full of hope. I am taking cleansing breaths (that's as much yoga as I can handle) and feel full of expectation of the good month that is to come. I mean the Olympics are coming to my town, how can this month be anything but amazing?

And because I have been feeling more than a little sorry for myself, I have written out a list of good things about January:

  1. I had almost no trouble getting the kids to school in the mornings. In some of our tough patches in years gone by, the mornings have been difficult and we have been (a) late or (b) on time only because I had to threaten to duct tape the boy to his seat in the van. There was the odd morning with a tired child and more than odd morning with a tired Mommy, but we had no late slips and only once can I remember arriving at school exasperated.
  2. The after school times were pretty good. This is often a difficult time as I have no hope of reinforcements (i.e. Husband) until 5:30. I think around about 5 p.m. we had some issues quite a few times. But the days I dread are the ones where problems start at 2:45 at school with a backpack hurled in my direction and a tense edict from a tense boy.
  3. The kids started art classes which they love. Sydney really enjoys drawing and has begged for a painting class and I finally found one that fits into our schedule. By some miracle of planet alignment there was a cartooning class for Jackson at the same time at the same place. Creativity is the key to the kingdom in parenting the J Boy. He told me he wants to do this every day.
  4. The kids are taking swimming lessons on Saturdays, which is an experiment in our family calendar. They were supposed to be back-to-back classes, which is challenging as both kids have to wait around for an extra 30 minutes either before or after their lesson. Given our otherwise challenging times in January, this had disaster written all over it. But we experience a scheduling grace, a coup and ABSOLUTE GIFT when a new class at Jackson's level opened up during Sydney's time slot. And had one open spot just for us.
  5. We logged a lot of time at the monkey bars. It has been very satisfying to see our formerly couch-potato Girlie Goo find a sport she loves and is good at. Now, we just need to find something for couch-potato Mommy.
  6. The house is in tolerable share, which is to say it falls short of disaster. My weekly 2 hour session concentrated time spent doing housecleaning and laundry (without checking Facebook) have paid off. Dust bunny colonies have been relegated to closets and under appliances where I am sure they will thrive until the kids are in high school and can drive themselves places.
On top of all this I am mindful that we have jobs, a roof over our heads, good health and do not have to worry about clean water and accessible medical care as do millions in Haiti.

In short, I am blessed.

And as a bonus to my month of February, I woke up to an email from one of my Sisters, she has tickets to a dress rehearsal of the Olympic Opening ceremonies, much coveted, and she is sharing one with me!

Bring it on February!


Ellie said...

"no phase lasts forever. It only feels like forever."

You said this to me once, after a particularly bad patch, and I think about it all the time.

I love how you found good things to say about January, even though it was rough. We beat ourselves up so much - somehow that's easier, at least for me - so it's good stop and pat yourself on the back sometimes.

Here's to a better February!!!


Konnie said...

Ellie, see new post about February! Things are better. Thanks for your comment.