Wasted Whining

Untitled design

 

I’d like to whine for just a bit. AND it will probably be wasted. But I’m going for it.

Truth is I’d like to whine about whining.

Please don’t misunderstand where I’m coming from. I’m a mom . . . of three . . . boys. Each boy was “all boy.” Ya’ know what I mean? And I’ve weathered all the stages.

I’ve done what many of you young moms are doing right now. I’ve changed diapers, lots of them. I’ve wiped runny noses, green snotty ones. I’ve been spit on. I’ve sat on the side of the tub waiting for the sound of success. I’ve even had stitches for cuts unintentionally delivered to me by one of the kids. (Hey, it’s a rough world out there in “mommydom.”) I’ve braced against the day of the stubborn will. I’ve happily washed loads of laundry in my own home, and I’ve unhappily washed loads of laundry at the laundry mat. I’ve read between the lines when my beloved child was asking for name brand shoes over the budget friendly countertype. I’ve marked, circled and arrowed a calendar until it looked like a flowchart gone awry. I’ve rearranged my entire week’s activities to transport and show up for any and all sport’s events. I’ve canceled all pending plans in order to sit in an emergency room with a child for no less than 5 hours, on more than one occasion. And I’ve cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, washed, sanitized, deodorized, purified, and edified a two-story house as part of managing “my estate.”

My mother lived 700 miles away; my mother-in-law, 300 miles. I didn’t have help.

As for my friends? They were doing the same thing I was doing.

The same thing you are doing. So, I get it.

But all of the whining in the world won’t change any of it. This is the world you created. The world you dreamed of. Remember? You just wanted to be married and have children.

Whining about it is the same as saying, “I have this really frustrating issue, and I’m, well, just not going to do anything about it.” What?!  We wear our chaos as a badge of courage.

It is not.

It’s wasted whining.

You see, there are thousands, more like millions, of women who have come before you and me who have done all that you are doing (and more) with far less conveniences than you enjoy. It was a good day if they didn’t have to stop everything just to round up the live stock that had scattered all over the country side because one of the kids left the gate open. And we’re upset because the back door was left open while the air conditioner is running.

I’m not saying our life is easy. Heaven’s no. In the “old days,” their chores took longer, but they didn’t have all the activities that we do. We have unparalleled advances, but we have invented ways to fill all the time we saved. So we do have busy lives.

So there’s only three things to do:

  1. give the kids back to the hospital;
  2. curl up in a fetal position;
  3. find answers – the method, the system, the process, the technique, the equipment, the whatever-in-the-world-you-need and start using it!

The point is, perhaps, that we live in a marvelous time. You can access support by phone or skype. You can take a class from the comfort of your home. You can find the information you need to train your children. Husbands are so much more savvy about household responsibilities and open to helping. We really have no excuse to whine.

No one is going to think less of you for being smart enough to find the answer.

I’m suggesting you take answer #3. I feel sorry for the mom (of even one child) who rolls her eyes, sighs, and whines, “I can’t do this!”

These are some of the best years of your life!

3 Reasons NOT to Upcycle

It’s all the rage! And everyone wants to get on board! Upcycling or repurposing. What’s not to love? You can create new home decor, save the planet AND impress your friends. But wait! Let me give you 3 reasons not to upcycle . . . anything.

If you’re a creative type, you can see the potential in just about anything. Anything with a board wider than two inches can be a shelf somewhere. Any long cylinder of any length can host hanging objects of any kind.

If you’re a resourceful sort of person, you just don’t see the point in waste. If it hasn’t rotted, then there’s life left in it.

I get all that. I’ve been known to cover the bottom of a cereal box in scrapbooking paper and use if for a chip clip container.

ball jar projects

So if you’re being enticed by the upcycling/repurposing movement, here are 3 reasons not to give in.

  1.  It can contribute to clutter. By its very nature re-purposing means that you will hang on to an items UNTIL  you find another purpose for it. What we know for sure is that inspiration and needed materials do not materialize at exactly the same moment. You either “feel” like an item could be given another life or you “know” exactly how you want to use it. If you “know” how you want to use the item, the question that remains is do you have time right now to create this new masterpiece? Probably not. Then your item is stored in the “I’ll-get-to-it-someday” pile. The result of either scenario is clutter to be stored somewhere in hopes that you remember to come back to the lofty re-purposing goal.
  2. It can rob you of valuable time. If you are convinced that re-purposing is the way to go, then know that this item waiting for its incarnation, will call your name every time you pass it. At some point you will have a decision to make: will you dig into the remake or will you continue to store it all the while feeling guilty until you finally give in? Is another project really the best use of your time right now? Is this project really necessary to the happiness of your family or just a cute little thingamajig to impress? When you finally work to bring new life to whatever you have re-imagined, how much time will you waste spend on it. You are after all imagining a project for which you only have rough instructions if any at all.
  3. It will cost you. Many upcycling projects are just fun; they are for our pleasure. So let’s be honest, you know this project is going to cost you an unknown number of trips to the store, and the cost of supplies (the remainder of which you will never use). Let’s recap: you are spending money on a creation that is not needed, may not contribute to the value of your life, and has robbed you of valuable time. I’m just sayin’.

If someone in your family is suggesting that you could contribute to the family budget by upcycling, please, by all means, feel free to use these reasons to stop the discussion in its tracks.

If you’re the someone suggesting that you could contribute to the family budget by upcycling, please, by all means, ignore these reasons and pursue your projects with all the satisfaction, creativity and stress-reducing that upcyling and repurposing offers.

Sport Organization for the Home and on the Go

snappa-1454992989

When we talk about organizing for sports, most moms will roll their eyes. If you’ve ever been the mom of a sport’s participant, then you know just how many pieces of equipment even one sport can call for. But if you have multiple kids or even one kid in multiple sports, then the barrage of balls, bats and bags can . . . shall we say, make a mom shout, “Time out!”

I had three boys and a coaching husband ~ enough said!

Rule #1 – Organizing sports equipment is not a team effort.

Why? Two reason:

  • Each person organizes his own equipment and apparel because he is the one using it, and he understands how he needs his paraphernalia to function for his best effort on a team.

Moms, as much as our family needs us, our kid really does have a brain that functions in its own unique way. What works for us may not work for him.

  • It’s his responsibility. We want our kid to develop organizational skills; here’s a great place to start and/or refine those skills.

Rule #2 – The best games are built on the basics.

The crates were hung on nails in our garage wall, making it easy to grab a ball or store a ball on the way in and out of the house. The fiberboard barrel held bats and hockey sticks.

The net bag was kept in the trunk of our car. If you have boys, you know that no matter where you go or for whatever reason (read: it may even be a formal occasion), once you arrive, the first boy out of the car starts running out into an open field or parking lot, and the second boy out of the car emerges, ball in hand, yelling, “Go deep!”

Keeping the organizing basic means everyone is more likely to do his part.

  • For traveling, he used the bag of his choice. Remember we don’t think the way our athlete does, nor do we understand all of what is required. A bag with a plastic pocket inside does allow for sweaty uniforms to be separated from otherwise dry clothing.

Which brings us to Rule #3 – If you play sports, the sports bag should always be packed and ready to go.

Have your player repack his “go-bag” as soon as he gets home, rather than right before he needs to leave for his next game or practice, minus, perhaps, the sweaty, smelly uniform that will need to be washed. Game equipment is really more protected in the sports bag than stored somewhere in the house.

Our society is so mobile and busy, keeping with basic equipment storage makes packing up and heading out the door easy. Why put sports equipment in some storage bin only to have to retrieve it and pack it in a travel bag of some kind? Equipment and apparel for games can be kept and stored in their sports bags ready to go.

Basic storage for home and sports bags for the athlete on the go – sounds like a win-win.