Head Cold Plus Overwhelmed Momma Gets You

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If it’s this overwhelmed, half sick, missing-her-Mr.-because-he-is-out-of-town, still haven’t unpacked from two back to back road trips momma then you get a blog makeover.

I’m not sure why CSS is all I can manage to do when I’m foggy headed. I managed to write one post, announcing the Top Ten List for SUPER Homeschool Blogger over at The Homeschool Post, but that was a whole lotta cut and paste ya’ll.

Me at Midnight

So here I am, at 12:30 in the morning, glaring at you over my cup of hot tea.

Actually, I’m not glaring at you. That’s a webcam shot of me glaring at my children who are still flippin’ awake.

I’m not expecting to actually fall asleep when they do. Noooo, that would be too easy.

My body decided that this week would be a great week to get bursts of energy at the exact moment the children all fall asleep.

I’m glaring at them because they won’t stop talking to me.

With the Mr. gone, they normally get to sleep in our bed, but dang that oldest one is getting big!  I convinced them to camp out in the living room.

I have two over there:

The older two

And one down there:

Baby Girl

And this one, practically in my lap, as usual:

Zombie Fighter

Doggonit, I just realized I let him fall asleep in without a PullUp. Do I cross my fingers or wrestle one on and hope he doesn’t wake up?

So far this week we have had {and for it’s only 1 hour into Thursday}:

  • two broken dishes, one was full of ABC’s and 123′s when it hit the floor – and shattered.
  • one torn sweater, less than 2 weeks old, one of only three items I have ever bought from a high end children’s store
  • one decimated box from Schwan’s (empty), Tader thought it would be nice to give it to Chicken – the very bored Macaw.
  • three Kid’s meals from McD’s with none of the chicken in it.  (okay, so yea, that might have been a blessing in disguise)
  • lots of snot
  • mom was …. um…. ‘hormonal’
  • Lil Man peed in a potted tree. He then told me that a zombie in the schoolroom showed him how to do it.

I’m not complaining though. I’m counting the laughs, because one day, these will be the moments I look back on a laugh my jiggly old backside about.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think I’ll go find me some chocolate and my favorite blanket. Maybe Lil Man will share some couch with me.

 

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On Expectations and Standards

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I have a big issue with expectations.

So does my sweet Mr. Chaos.

I regularly feel out of control about most of my life, and I feel completely incapable of creating an environment {clean home, clean car, organized office, etc.} that would be deemed acceptable or expected of an almost-40 year old woman.

I mean, doesn’t everyone else have it figured out by now?

Geesh, Lisa… get with the game here.

Mr. Chaos doesn’t understand why our kids don’t act like little adults all the time, remember the rules and use basic common sense. I will happily remind him that they are children and need years of repetition, then mumble something about him needing to lower his expectations of them. 

I’m completely willing to adjust my expectations of others, even adults, just not myself. So I’m usually pretty disappointed in everything I’ve done. {While I’m perfectly willing to accept that my children are children, the fact that someone thinks they should do better bothers me, and I determine that they are perfectly normal kids – I am just a parenting failure.}

I have struggled with this long before I had children.

There is a difference, however, between standards and expectations and I need to be reminded of it often.

This time, the reminder came from an unexpected, but wonderfully funny, place: the Homeschooling IRL Podcast from Andy and Kendra Fletcher.

Homeschooling IRL Podcast

 

I discovered Kendra and Andy after I started working at The Homeschool Post. Both their blogs were up for awards and Andy, last year’s Best Dad Blog winner, eventually came on board as our first male contributor! We LOVE having a Dad on our team!

I saw a couple of my friends commenting positively about their new podcast so I thought I’d hop over and give it a listen.

The first one I clicked on was Homeschooling is a BuzzKill.

God knew I needed to hear that one, right then. It was, without a doubt, exactly what I needed to hear that day.

As Kendra joked about her high expectations for their day, she suddenly stopped to make a clarification. There was a difference between high standards and high expectations.

stan·dard noun \ˈstan-dərd\

: a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable standards : ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior
: something that is very good and that is used to make judgments about the quality of other things

ex·pec·ta·tion noun \ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən, ik-\

: a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen
: a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be

Having high standards is a great thing. Having expectations that are too high and unrealistic, can be crushing in your daily life.

For example, we have a standard of HONESTY in our house.  We, or at least I, have an expectation that my children are in fact children and will try and skew a story if they feel the truth is not in their best interest. It’s my job, as mom, to stop the fibs and also to reassure them that telling the truth is always better, always. It’s also my job to speak truth, setting a good example.

I can have a standard of wanting a tidy home, and we can strive to get there. Realistically, my expectations for the daily condition of our home should be hovering somewhere around “rotating areas of awesomeness, dotted with piles of wearable laundry, with no moldy science projects under furniture”. Yea, that’s more attainable.

Tween Dresser

Acknowledging our family standards is important! It would serve me well to list them out somewhere.

Acknowledging that we have a variety of maturity levels in our home, each requiring its own customized level of expected behavior, is also very, very important to all of us. Expecting the tween to make decisions like me is unfair, just as expecting the three-year-old to know how to clean the crock pot is entirely unfair.

Bird Seen Fail

Remember today, my friends, when you find yourself unclogging the toilet again, or pole vaulting over Mt. Laundry to fall into bed, that there is a difference between having low standards and having realistic expectations.

You’re standards are just fine….. your kids are just fine….. your house is just fine…. and you, you’re doing pretty dang fine too. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Reality is real, and we are all living it.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, you still have time to inch those expectations closer to the goal line, give everyone time to grow and appreciate to progress.

When all else fails, grab some coffee, a piece of chocolate {or two}, and take some time with God. His Love, and Grace, and Mercy NEVER FAIL.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Preparing to leave

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

This week, we are busy trying to prepare for our trip to South Carolina.
Once again, we are planning a super early {2am} departure, hoping that the kids will sleep for most of the ride.
I have not forgotten the last trip south, or the three children that stayed awake the entire ride, beginning at 4 am.

Each morning, for the past several days, I have made each of our children a list of tiny chores to do. The list continued with some very basic schoolwork to complete, two group chores, and 3 or 4 things to gather for the suitcases.

My hope has been that things would fall together more peacefully if it was tackled in tiny bites. So far, things have gone smoothly.

The point system, that converts to cold hard cash on Friday, is providing a decent level of motivation.

We have accomplished more schoolwork this week than we normally would have finished by Tuesday and their rooms are half-clean.

I haven’t started panicking yet, or crying. Laundry is in constant rotation through the machines and pet sitters have been arranged.

My prayers each morning for patience and progress are being answered, mostly with a yes.

I have two days left to pack, plan hairdos, mend dresses, and memorize the scripture verse I am reading in the wedding.

I can’t make a full list, it’s too overwhelming. I know God with get us in the van on time. I’m going to rest in that and do my best to not fret.

Do you have any tips or tricks for traveling with kids, or for preparing to travel?

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

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