Friday, September 19, 2008

How do you simplify your life???

My mother-in-law posted a question to our family website this week - asking us what we all did to help simplify our lives so we would better be able to serve our Savior. I responded to her comment there, but I thought I'd share my thought here with you guys as well:

One thing I've found is to dismiss some of the expected views of what a perfect
mom is. One main one is cooking. My kids and Cory aren't big eaters - Cory would
much rather I just let him have a big bowl of cereal for dinner. Anyway, instead
of putting way too much time into fancy homemade meals every night - I really
have scaled back - BIG TIME with our meals. The kids haven't complained, Cory's
been grateful I don't make a big deal out of eating all the time, and I've had a
little more time to spend with the kids when I could have been slaving over the
hot stove. I also haven't been baking nearly like I used to. Now this has been a
good thing for all of us - because I seemed to be the one who ate most of the
baked goods (not good for my resolve to loose weight) and it took time away from
my kids. So I don't bake many goodies anymore. Sure - we'll do cookies from time
to time - but lots of sweets just aren't being cooked at our house.

also let Gabe help me cook sometimes - stirring things, getting things out of
the cupboard for me. It doesn't necessarily simplify the process - but then at
least I'm multi tasking - I'm getting dinner ready AND spending time teaching

I try to multi task in other ways too. Instead if sitting down and
officially having a lesson about directions (right and left), or colors - I talk
about it when we're driving. We talk about which way we're turning, and what
color the cars or traffic lights are. I try to make each moment I have with them
into some kind of a teaching moment. It's not always successful - but I do know
they pick up on these things even faster than if I was to sit down and have a
school moment and teach them that way. They learn how these concepts work in
their lives.

One thing I've been doing the last several weeks/months is
when I am feeling crazed and like I don't know how I'll get everything done
(which is likely when I'm putting my kids off about fun things and telling them
"maybe later") I try to step back for a second and think of something that my
kids would enjoy doing. Frequently it's a quick trip to the park, a little walk
together, a ranger ride, or getting a treat somewhere. But I try to take a break
and remember that they will only be small for a VERY short time. Sure - my to-do
list is still there when I get back - but it appears more managable, I feel like
I have my kids support because I've taken time for them - and I feel less like a
crazed mom.

I've beent thinking a lot lately about how the time we have
with our children IS service. Every moment we have with them we are serving and
teaching them. Every diaper we change, every mess of toys we pick up, every meal
we make, every story we read - they are all ways we are serving our Heavenly
Father. We are taking care of His most precious children - and THAT is service!
I wish that the church would teach this concept more readily - so that as LDS
women we could quit beating ourselves up because at this stage in our lives we
aren't out and about serving as much as we might be capable of doing when our
kids are out of the home. Yes, serving other outside of our home is also
essential - but if we look at each thing we do as young mothers as service I
believe we'd be more encouraged, more hopeful, and want to serve our children
with all the energy of our hearts.

I'm going to work on simplifying even more and look forward to what others say. I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on this as well!

1 comment:

Tiffany B said...

What no comments! I loved this post. Made me really think.