Friday, May 9, 2014

Seven Quick Takes vol. 88

Joining Jen, who's actual book I can now hold in my actual hands! Woot!


Oh boy. This week. Challenging.

I keep waiting for this whole mom-to-five-kids thing to get easier and, yeah, not easier yet. The week has culminated in today which has been a marathon of yelling and arguing and disciplining. All of which take up so. much. time. By noon I hadn't had time to eat a thing, tried to save our carpet after Nora spilled my coffee which involved a lot of scrubbing, and made a hearty vow that all the toys will be packed up to be given away after the kids are in bed tonight. 
I'm also really fighting the urge to live in this bad mood for the rest of the day and make everyone else's day a misery. Because that would fix everything, clearly!


Sometimes I stop myself on these bad days and think about what my actual goals are and if maybe I'm just lining myself up with unrealistic expectations. The thing is I'm not trying to attain some level of "perfect motherhood" because I know that's ridiculous and there is no such thing. I would like to calmly deal with issues and I would like issues to not take all day to deal with and I would like things to be easy. 

I need to do a better job dealing with things calmly as I am prone to anger as my go-to emotion.
I would like things to be solved quickly because I love efficiency, loathe time-wasting because I like to get stuff done as quickly as possible so I can lounge on the couch while eating bonbons. Personality thing here, mostly. 

But it's the wanting things to be easy thing that makes me think. Because why is it so engrained in us that things be easy? Is it human nature? Is it personal inclination? Is it the culture/society we've grown up in? I assume it's a sweet, complicated combo of all three. But why do I want things to be easy? Why is that my most driving motivation? I mean I can't even remember a time where I didn't have this as my main motivation for most everything. Obviously, I'm striving for holiness, to be close to God. BUT I want it to be easy. Seriously. Why do I think this way? There is absolutely no evidence in the history of Christianity that being close to God = easy life. Nothing. It's not the truth. It's not even the truth is you want to have an interesting life. Think of one interesting person who practiced no faith yet had an inspiring life. Was it all easy? No chance. It drives me bonkers that somehow my mind and heart are geared to this and I can't overcome this pesky desire for easiness. Oh right, it's that personality quirk that I want everything in a timely manner!


This week was one of such boyish parenting dramas it's almost comical. 
A cat at my parent's house had kittens a couple weeks ago and the kittens have lived in the barn since then. I let the older kids out there by themselves which of course, is a recipe for disaster because Luke can't be left alone anywhere for more than five minutes without figuring out a way to destroy something, because it's his superpower apparently. But when I looked out the window to check what they were up to it was Dom who was walking towards the house holding a dead mouse up in the air by the tail. 

If I wasn't so busy shrieking in terror as I ran out the door I woulda instagrammed the crap out of it. 

I then made him wash his hands 1.5 million times.


Dom's response when I asked him what on God's green earth could possibly possess someone to want to touch a horrible dead mouse why he thought he should wave a dead mouse in the air by it's tail, he said "I just thought you'd wanna see it because it's head was bitten off." 



The next day, the same barn, Luke and Dom decided to turn on the hose and aimlessly spray the entire inside of the barn with water. This brilliant thought occurred to them in the approximately five minutes they were at my parents house before Gemma and I caught up with them. They also completely soaked each other. On a day where it was 4 degrees Celsius outside. 

They're no longer allowed near the barn.


By now you're probably asking out loud why I let my children run wild. It's partly because I believe in unsupervised play, partly because I think they should have unstructured time outdoors, and a huge, heaping part because I would like 5 minutes of bloody quiet. And frankly, if I'm not going to let my kids play outside by themselves when we live in the country in the middle of nowhere what is the point of living in the middle of nowhere?

So maybe they're too young/too mischievous for unsupervised play? But it is so exhausting supervising them 24/7. I mean, there's nothing life-threatening around, they're not in danger, but ohhh the trouble they seem to find in seconds. It's a double edged sword. 


I did not mean for these quick takes to take such a sharp nosedive into Whineyville. It was more meant to come across as various tales of the week. So pardon my sass and negativity. 

Here's a highlight of my week!

My copy of Something Other Than God finally arrived and I've been reading it in every spare minute. It's so far so wonderful, and I'm really marvelling at how well Jen has written it. Because if you think about yourself and how you've come to understand things in life from an intellectual standpoint, has that been thrilling? Has it been entertaining? Now, a spiritual conversion of any kind is fascinating and more important than regular intellectual development in my opinion, but crafting an exciting, readable story that is mostly based on intellectual investigation seems a towering feat in my mind. And that's exactly what Jen has done. But I'll save my opinion till I'm finished! 

Hope you all have a blessed Mother's Day weekend, you're in my prayers, especially moms who continue to mourn their precious children.

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  1. Oh Christy, I think you and I could be friends. A love for coffee and unsupervised play (and Jens book), but with kids who can find, or make, trouble in a matter of minutes! I could so relate to your post today. Sounds a lot like my exhausting week.

    1. Ha! Thanks Becky. I think it calls for double shot espressos for both of us.

  2. You look adorable in that selfie! And I am so with you on #2, that is how I feel and how I operate All.The.Time. Thanks for laying it all out there so I know it's not just me!

    1. Thanks Rosemary, hopefully I'll get better at it all one day, but it is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.

  3. Whiney-ville shminey-ville! That dead mouse story made me shudder and get itchy all over. I do not know what I would do if one of the boys brought home any sort of dead animal to show me.

    This might sound terrible, but I love that you share your difficult moments on your blog. It actually makes me feel somewhat normal. I've been in awe of your ability to manage children for a long while, so when you've been real and talked about controlling the anger (my go-to as well), I'm all, " Thank the LORD somebody else has this struggle." Ha... so, your pain actually makes me feel better? Is that what I'm trying to say? Oh. Dear.

    Sooo not what I wanted to convey.

    I admire you for knowing yourself so well that you can examine your actions and figure out the root of the problem, and then articulately share it with the likes of me, so that I can benefit from your wisdom!


    1. Aww, Jessica that's really all so nice. I don't know if I'm doing a great job of it all, but I hope that I'm getting better little by little...year by year...that's probably what this motherhood stuff is all about! Hope you're doing well btw!

  4. I could have written #2. I just want to get everything done super efficiently so I can read/eat/waste time online. Get on board, children!!

    1. I know! My life of luxury is really hampered by all these needy children! Goodness, I'd be so selfish without them...ya know...even more so!

  5. Wow...I can so relate to always wanting everything to be easy. It is such a struggle for me, but I have to fight the constant temptation to take the 'easy" way out for EVERYTHING.

    1. Thanks's a constant struggle. I guess it's really the human condition, I don't think it's easy for any of us. Maybe saints? But probably not even them at the beginning!

  6. Oh gosh, my son sounds like your sons. Frank is 4 and when left to his own devices he is sure to destroy something or go chase random dogs into the woods. I do think that kids need unsupervised play, but I am sure it is the cause of my gray hair.

  7. Hey! You and I both wrote about dead rodents for our QT this week! That's gotta be some kind of... Something?

    Also, I wish I lived in the middle of nowhere. I would totally parent like you do. :)

  8. Gah! I'm in whinyville too right now. My amazing, wonderful, handy, hot husband is giving my gross kitchen a much needed facelift, but the whole process is taking a few weeks because he's doing it after work and on the weekends. Meanwhile my gross kitchen is getting even grosser by the minute and I'm getting really stressed out about the whole thing. I know most of this is hormones, but a good part of it is me wanting my kitchen to be done and pretty already! Spoiled much? Ok, now I'm going to close my computer, quit my whining and declutter/purge because all the STUFF everywhere is driving me nuts too, and that (unlike my kitchen) is in my control. Thanks for the reminder that good things take hard work and time.

  9. That really is the absolute cutest selfie ever :)

    And I don't think you're doing anyone a disservice by allowing unsupervised play - they have to learn somehow, and you're just encouraging independence and creativity while simultaneously giving yourself a little bit of a break ;) Thank goodness you live somewhere where it's POSSIBLE to allow unsupervised play! And imagine how you'll be able to harness that energy when they're a little older - the possibilities are endless :)

  10. I can really relate to what you said about anger being your "go-to emotion" ...I struggle with that too, what really helps me is taking a grown-up time out so I can go journal about my feelings, and deep breathing too! That's just me though...your selfie is so cute! :)

  11. It's not just you! Anger: go-to emotion. Check! Although I'm slowly, s l o w l y learning better. Ease: what I subconsciously aim to get. Check! We have the books In Conversation with God, which are daily meditations throughout the year with Fr. Fernandez, and he's a good kick in the tush when needed (which is often for me...). Sometimes I get a bit freaked out -- is he WATCHING what's happening in my family?!?! How can he be so spot on saying exactly what I need to hear today? Anyway, he has an ongoing theme to remind us that comfort is not what we're supposed to be seeking. So it's probably not just you and I who struggle with this one... Unsupervised, unstructured play that sometimes goes awfully, terribly awry: Check! So you're not alone. Of course, that might not help. :)

    1. Thanks Monica! I think it's one of those emotional issues that takes a lifetime to work on. But I feel that this season of life is especially trying when it comes to anger. I hope to do better, but I feel I fail often. Like hourly basis. But I guess that means an hourly going back to God. I know I need to rely on God more in these situations.

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  13. Yes, to all of it. Unsupervised play seems like a golden unicorn for me. So does simultaneous nap-times. Nap time seems to be my only little day time break that gives me a chance to blog, read, rest, or eat chocolate/icecream/and alll the things but as life would have it this little sanity break has disappeared into unicorn land these past weeks which has awoken a part of me that is not pretty. The struggle is real. And, exhausting and everything else you mentioned above. Prayers for you! And, please pray for me because we only have dos ninos right now! God be with me when we are, God-willingly, blessed with more chiquititos!

  14. No. 2, yes still working on that, debating whether God gave me 5 kids to work on that specifically. Because before I had kids I would have thought I was a very patient, non-angry, easygoing person. Now, not so sure. On the upside it seems I am becoming better at taking the hard route but it is a slow process (too slow for my liking). I could totally see my boys bringing me a headless, dead mouse so it must come with the "boy" territory. Running around outside? Yes, please! That is my favorite thing about visiting my parents in the country, the biggest benefit. They play outside, I drink coffee with mom and look out the window to check on them every so often. Parenting at its finest!

  15. #6! Yes! We live in the country and I love being able to let the boys out back and keep an eye on them from the porch while sitting down for the first moment of the day! But they too always find some nasty/dirty/semi dangerous thing in our yard to play with. Boys...


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