Thank you all for taking the time to leave me a question via the comments and email earlier this week (I wondered if anyone would). You asked really good questions, just the kind of things I'd want to know about you.
From Patricia: "Everything you do looks good and happy. Is there ever any bad, a bad day where you might just lose it, or scream at someone? What is your strength? What is your weakness?"
From Heidi: "What are your toughest challenges in being a mom and how do you get through them?"
What you see and read here are glimpses of parts of my life and how I see it. I've never thought of this blog as a journal. I have days that are so full of difficulty I find it hard to catch my breath. I have difficult moments in almost any day: what household with small children can honestly say they don't? The thought that anyone would think that what I write about makes them feel inadequate is the last thing I would hope for. Many writers and bloggers find relief and comfort in sharing their hardest moments of parenting, and I do enjoy reading those stories. I'm just not inspired to write about that. This blog was started as a space for me to find and focus on the beauty in my life. My deepest hope is to inspire you to look for and create moments of beauty for yourself.
My greatest strength is probably my organizational/analytical side; it drives me to do things like make lunches the night before to make things easier in the morning.
My greatest weakness is probably impatience.
My biggest challenge as a parent right now is resisting the temptation to 'rescue' the boys from their problems, and rob them of that learning experience. That's hard for me.
A general key to a happy household for us is getting enough sleep: I am fairly rigid about bedtime (7 - 7:30pm for the boys). I read books about parenting (yes I'll post about my favorite books soon) that help me understand what is developmentally appropriate, and give me ideas and inspiration for guiding our family through these childhood years. I have a number of emotion coaching type children's books that I go through with the boys. I send them to schools that place a strong emphasis on social and emotional development. Our church has a parenting group led by a parent educator that meets monthly; this group is a source of support and information for us.
I get through the challenging moments by doing my best to get enough sleep - everything is easier to handle when I'm well-rested. Exercise keeps me feeling good, feeling optimistic. I commiserate with friends and my husband. It helps knowing that at the end of the day the kids will be asleep, and I'll get to do something relaxing. Sometimes in a particularly challenging moment I take a long trip to the bathroom with the door locked. I try to recite the pledge of allegiance (in my head, not aloud) before speaking when I'm upset.
Thank you for your questions and for joining me on this ride!