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Plague Parenting

I’ve been with my kids perpetually since March. Which means I have been their sounding board, their punching bag, and their home base. To maintain our family’s equilibrium, and my sanity, I’ve had to get even craftier about my parenting.

Buying them things sometimes brightens the mood. Restricting screen viewing works occasionally. But what I’ve found is very effective is installing a carrot that you can yank whenever they get used to the taste. Bwahahahahah!

My son is just about driving age. So physically learning how to drive is the obvious carrot. Meanwhile, he’s been such a slovenly lay about in the house that I am beginning to twitch every time I see his computer in a new place or his shoes out on the floor. So this is what I decided to do.

I told him to go and get me ten fancy dice, the ones he uses for Dungeons and Dragons stuff. And this is the contract I created for him and me. He needs to pick up his shoes, put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and pick up after himself. Essentially, for every infraction he gets a die taken out of the jar. He can earn them back for thoughtfulness and initiative but so far, he’s not figured out this bonus. This lasts from Monday to Friday night and if there is one die left in the jar, he gets to go driving with Dad.

Eamon’s Ten Dice Jar Rules

There will be 10 dice in the jar at the beginning of the week.

If there are any dice left in the jar by the end of the week, Friday bedtime, Eamon will get some driving practice that weekend.

One Die will be taken out of the jar when one of the following occur:

  • Leaving shoes out of the shoe place

  • Leaving computer, cord, or gaming equipment anywhere but designated spots.

  • Not putting dishes into dishwasher after making them

  • Not making bed on weekdays or when asked

  • Leaving couch a mess

  • Not putting away clothes on the same day as laundry done

  • Not following through with a request within a “timely” fashion especially at dinner time

  • Leaving trash or dishes around sitting spot for longer than a half hour

Dice will be given for initiative taken according to the importance and impressiveness (taking care of your sister, helping in the kitchen without being asked).

Dice will be taken away if super dumb choices are made according to parental discretion.

I agree to these terms…

My son looked at me and said I was so smart.

The first week, he had ten dice in the jar. He ran though them pretty quickly. He had one left. And I warned him, if he runs out, that’s it. He had one left Friday night. The second week I had 8 in the jar. And I post-it-noted his infractions onto the dice in case he wondered what they were for.

Developing good habits, considering the people you live with, and earning a privilege. These are the lessons I am hoping to teach my children. And people tell me they’re good kids. Boundaries for me and for them helps us all not feel resentful while we are trapped in here together. We’ll see if the week to come solidify these habits.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

September Has Arrived

September has arrived. The crickets forewarned me. The temperature dropped a delightful 15 degrees Fahrenheit although the humidity has kept its nasty reign on out region. I look forward to these things.

To the schedule, rhythm, and routine of the school work week so I may advance with my own progress.

To the planning, implementing, and shutting down of the garden workload.

To bringing down the fuzzy rug and turning on the fireplace because it’s cold outside.

To wearing clothing that covers the back of my thighs.September Has Arrived on Shalavee.com

To firepits in the backyard and saying adios to mosquitoes.

To the expansive feeling of Autumn’s cooler weather in my mind and my body.

To finding legitimate footing in my life’s work and moving onward.

My hope for you all is the very same freedoms if you so desire them. Or that you write out what yours are for the coming months. Let’s hope that despite all of this, 2021 blooms with new growth like we never expected.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What Would Make My Life a “Success”

What do you do? The answer to this question implies your worth and productivity to the world. This question is why you stopped going to events where there might be strangers. Because you aren’t certain that there’s an answer you can provide that will bring satisfaction to you and them.

But what if we stopped valuing and judging ourselves on what we do? Gasp. What if we valued ourselves and our presence in this world and instead focused on what a successful life looked like to us not others? What would that look like?What Would Make My Life a “Success”  on Shalavee.com

To spend enough quality time with my kids and eat dinner with them most nights.

To have the time and energy to live a creative life outside of all my musts of parenting and household upkeep.

To be the kind of friend and parent that I want to have.

To honor my skills as a writer and respect my need to pursue that by scheduling regular writing time.What Would Make My Life a “Success”  on Shalavee.com

Three out of four I’m actually doing pretty well at. So I’d say my life is mostly already successful. The trick is to not aim so far ahead of your true life that you miss enjoying living it.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer Simmers Along Slowly

Summer simmers along slowly. My daughter’s mood is much improved since our trip to RI. This sweet little thank you note she gave me while we were there says it all.

Summer Simmers Along Slowly on Shalavee.com

She and her new little cat Sassy get each other wound up and scream and run through the house. The purple stitches will be removed tomorrow from her eye removal two weeks ago.Summer Simmers Along Slowly on Shalavee.com

We have a kinda rhythm going. Sleep and eat and do as we need to. I’ve been planning meals to make it easier on me with Eamon making one per week.

Eamon has had his band over to practice weekly. Our families have agreed to do this. The unnamed band is working on mostly originals which is thrilling. And they get to play video games and board games together and eat pizza. We are still working hard on renovating the studio/garage space.Summer Simmers Along Slowly on Shalavee.com

It has gotten so hot and humid outside that yard-work is prohibitive. But I heard the crickets whisper that the cooler weather is coming. Because I hate Summer. Unless you live with water in your backyard. A pool, lake, or an ocean makes Summer completely lovely. Otherwise, here it’s all grossness all the time with the high humidity.Summer Simmers Along Slowly on Shalavee.com

Work has begun to pick up for my husband which is the answer to our prayers at the end of our governmental Covid-19 assistance. Schools have promised not to open up immediately this Fall. I feel a little twitch with knowing I don’t have the relief of my house back this Fall. Since homeschooling is the very thing I swore I’d never do, it’s fate telling me never say never. Reminding me that it’s up to me to set boundaries and priorities around my creativity.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

As Long as Never Enough Is the Mutter

I waste moments in my day thinking about how lucky other people are. Well of course they can work out for two hours, grab a coffee with a friend, or sit and read for hours, they aren’t parents of small people. I’m comparing my apples to their oranges. One day, I’ll have that time back.

And this just goes to prove my underlying understanding of my life : there’s never enough time, energy, or money to do all the things I want do. So you’d think I’d go ahead and lower my standards to feel better about my life. Nope.

I want to have a clean house, a well-toned body, a beautiful garden, grateful kids, a larger blog following, essays published in well known publications, or even a career.

I’m always working but it’s never enough. Most people can’t believe I do as much as I do. And I wonder what life they see me living. And conversely, there was the awful person who suggested I go get a job. I must be living a life of luxury over here getting my toes painted and who knows what else. People “my age” often are employed.As Long as Never Enough Is the Mutter on Shalavee.com

Sadly, I should be even more infuriated at that stupid comment. Women are always screwed as so many don’t understand the sheer volume of responsibilities we have in our minds to keep up with. But now with the children at home on top of our heads needing us to also be the homework monitor and entertainment manager on top of being laundress, cook, disciplinarian, nursemaid, and person who pays attention to them.

No wonder I feel like I’m not enough. Society has handed me this mental condition and I’ve said, thank you sir, may I have another? Until I can say “enough already”, I will not have enough time left for me. For the house work or the garden much less my own personal creative work or self-care practices. Creating realistic self-expectations is something I need for me and to model for my daughter.

I’m going to sit down and have a long talk with that little niggling voice in the back of my head about what I truly think is enough. Really.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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