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Major shift

Posted on: December 12, 2013

The Queensland school holidays are about to begin. I have desperately been looking forward to this. I’m exhausted! Our life revolves around school drop off and pick up times, and the few activities, or errands, we can squeeze in between. Only, some days we can’t do everything in school hours, and we do more running around, to and fro, after school. I’m so grateful that at least Tiernan and Molly can do their own seat belts up, because getting in the car is something we do at least eight times a day.

I’m just looking forward to not going anywhere for a few days!

But I’ve realised something. In my haste to welcome in the school break, I’ve forgotten to prepare myself for having all three kids at home. All the time. Every day. It seems that, you can take any two of my kids and do just about anything with them – go out, stay at home, whatever – and you will have an okay day. There will be some bickering, some silliness, some mess, and some frustration. But you will be fine. It’s not that bad.

However, when all three are together, all day, that’s different. There will be some sweet moments, where everyone either plays nicely together, or nicely apart. But mostly, it will be chaos.

We haven’t done this for a while. And I’m realising I’m just waaaay out of practice. I have forgotten how to just let it all wash over me, and pick up the pieces at the end. I have come to value quiet and tidiness just a little too much. I am quite short in patience lately too.

None of this will wash. If I approach the next six weeks with my current attitudes and priorities, then I predict I will be a blubbering mess by the end of week one.

So today marks the first day of my major shift from ‘Uptight, Borderline Control-Freak Mum’ to ‘Zen Mum’. Obviously this is a continuum, and I don’t expect to make it all the way. I ama teacher. All teachers have Control Freak tendencies. However, my aim is to move along at least a few notches.

Like this:

20131213-061953.jpg

I drew a diagram in DoodleBuddy to illustrate my point. That’s how committed I am.

Of course, I will need strategies. I can’t just decide to be more calm and cool and fun, and expect it to be so. I have to change the way I do things, too.

I will have to let go of all expectations. If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed. So I won’t start the day expecting to get the housework done. Or the groceries. Or dinner cooked. If they don’t happen today, they’ll happen eventually.

Standards of behaviour, dress and cleanliness will have to be lowered, too. I’m not going to argue about silly things like wearing shoes out, or brushing hair, or wearing swimmers 24 hours a day. Who cares, right? As long as everyone showers, or runs under the sprinkler, at least once a week.

Arguments about food won’t happen because there probably won’t be much food in the house to argue about.

Bickering won’t bother me because I won’t get involved. I’ll just let them fight it out and establish their own pecking order. Simple, really.

I won’t step in and take over with cooking and craft activities. I will let them learn from their own mistakes. I won’t care if the results aren’t perfect. I won’t.

I will see the funny side. Of everything. Like when Tiernan knocked that glass off the kitchen bench and it shattered into a million pieces, spreading from our front hall to the bedroom doors. Hilarious!

This list of strategies is not exhaustive, but it at least provides me with somewhere to start. I’m sure we’re in for a very happy holiday.

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