How's that for a loaded title? ;)
To write toddler tales or a personal progress post, twas the question... Until I had an a-ha moment about the two going hand in hand...
Note: These photos have nothing to do with the following stories because once you read it you will learn I had no time for photo ops. Instead I chose these pictures from recent trips to the lake to illustrate a way we have been unplugging to enjoy quality time and recharge our patience and forget about the to dos.
As we were finishing supper one night last week, Halle who spotted my lipstick on the counter, asked if she could put some on. Let me preface this by saying I have gone through one too many chapsticks lately from them being borrowed/taken from my purse/lost/smooshed/eaten/etc. by my children. Why I continue to agree to this, or sometimes not, I don't know... Anyway, with real lipstick (bright red outlast 8 hour lipstick) Halle is usually pretty good at keeping it on her lips, so I confirm her intentions and agree.
I get distracted tidying up from dinner, as she moves up the stairs with the lipstick. When she gets my attention, I see lipstick on her cheeks... Then I see the cracked off tube of lipstick in her hands... As my eyes widen and I move towards the stairs exclaiming "Oh, Halle!" She dramatically claps her hands together smooshing the lipstick between her palms. Then rubs them together and proceeds to slap her face, Kevin Home Alone style, with an evil grin instead of a shocked expression. As I move closer up the stairs, she takes off around the corner stair, only for me to see the scene of lipstick gone wrong. The scene of cracked lipstick leaving my tan carpet stained with red blotches of colour.
I order her straight to the bathroom. And after initially attempting scrubbing with make up remover, I conclude we need the tub. Her face, hands and arms are sure to be stained pink. I start the bath, run to get towels, return to the bathroom, only to find Autumn on the counter eating the stub of remnants from the lipstick tube. Are you kidding me?! Quickly wipe out her mouth. Shaking my head at the unbelievable moments of mayhem that make up my life.
I have to laugh.
I laugh... cause even though this makes a giant mess, even if this creates more work, even if my carpet is left with a red stair because the lipstick spreads everywhere when I try to scrub it... this moment is pretty funny.
Some days I am left in awe of the things that happen in a house with two young girls and two dogs. Sometimes I question if I'm cursed. Sometimes there's one incident after another. But in the grand scheme of things, are these things hard? Trying, maybe...
And it all comes down to patience. Believing and knowing you can roll with it!
Taking a moment to breathe or laugh about the events...
Like when earlier that day, Autumn and Halle were siting at the island when Autumn pooped in her diaper. Secretly she stuck her finger in her diaper, and suddenly whipped it out, covered in poop, right in Halle's face, with a loud exclamation, making Halle jump back in a disgusted surprise. Then we laughed and laughed and laughed. And I dealt with the finger and the bum. Yes, it was gross. Yes, I need my child to stop sticking her fingers in her poop (and probably move on to potty training...} Yes, I talked to her about, in toddler terms, about the inappropriateness of this... but whatever, that moment was hilarious! I'm glad we chose laughter.
Another patience testing poop example (sorry not sorry?) is when I came downstairs that morning to find another lovely surprise from my now 8 month old dog who still, more often than not, has 'accidents' on the floor at night. Okay, I didn't laugh at this one. In all honesty, I'm really loosing it with this dog's testing behaviours. Patience is a constant learning curve in life, especially in parenting. The most positive way I can frame the difficult dog situations are to think of how they make me aware of my patience and attitude in those moments.
So today, I'm sharing some tips that I am taking to consistently grow my patience and to be productive as a busy mama.
1. Waking up earlier.
I have tons of reasons for this. It mostly comes down to more 'me time.' Time for myself where I am disciplined enough to set an alarm and get up when it rings. Time to do something for me. Time for chores. Time to work on my business. Time to start my day ahead of my family.
I'm working at being consistent with this. I'm working at what I do during that time, too. Some days are different then others. Some days, as a stay at home mom, my early morning me time is longer or shorter than others...
So, when I start the day with dog shit & piss on the floor, as infuriating as it is, I simply need to clean it up, attempt to discipline my dog and decide this is not a shitty (pun intended) start to my day.
Instead I have adapted a new habit from Ange Peters/HolFit, someone I love to follow on social media. When I wake up I drink a big glass of water first thing. Hydration - check! Next I choose some uplifting Essential Oils for my diffuser.
I started using Young Living back in June, and am excited to share more about that soon, because I have been digging the EO lifestyle.
This step then flows in to #2...
2. Intently unplug.
This means not lying in bed checking email and/or social media but instead getting up and ignoring my phone until I complete step 1. Starting the day earlier is only effective if you make use of your time wisely. Setting yourself up for success, using your energy smartly to get things done or enjoying alone time without distractions.
Once again, this is all a work in progress for me. I could really use an alarm clock instead of relying on my phone, which makes it tempting to stray off course. Also, sometimes I choose to use my quiet time to work on my business or tasks that require checking email or messages.
These steps continue to flow together which brings me to a way I am trying to balance patience and productivity:
3. Time management & mindfulness.
By eliminating mindless scrolling, waking up to time sucking apps or positivity sucking news, I can replace these things with activities that are productive and/or bring me joy! Unplugging has increased my awareness about what is helpful and beneficial to me personally and professionally and enabled me to recognize and cut out things that take away from this.
I'd really love to dive in to this topic some more on another post :)
All of these steps work together to create a happier, more meaningful flow in my life. Therefore allowing me to maintain more patience throughout the day. When I have started the day off strong by taking time for myself and/or completing tasks, I can feel proud of my productivity. Or, I can remain patient in knowing that I will get to those tasks when I can. Since starting this practice, I can notice a huge shift in my energy and overall content feeling about how life is flowing.
Some days are easier than others. As you can see from my above stories, there are constant events challenging my patience. However, if my day started earlier I think I am better equipped to handle them. Of course, my children don't always sleep well and sometimes I don't start my day early. In these cases I simply choose to be mindful of how I spend my time so that I can remain patience or plan my time for myself, for fun and for productivity. It's all a wonderful balance! As someone who once experienced a lot of anxiety over managing it all, I am feeling hopeful and happy about how these changes have influenced my perspective and actions.
If you found this post helpful, or entertaining ;), stay tuned for more details and toddler tales to come soon.
As always, thanks for reading, especially this looooong one!