This weekend, I caught a cold which has zapped my energy and patience. Generally, I have a hard time sitting still because I feel like there is always something that needs to be tended to around the house – like feeding the kids, making beds, doing laundry, making meals – you know, the stuff of parenthood. And then, there is the extra stuff that is fun and essential to the kids’ well-being – like fresh air and exercise, which we try to get to each day as well.
I have a bad habit, however, of getting so caught up in what I think that I should be doing for their general well-being that I forget about my own. For example, most mornings I work hard to make them a delicious and nutritious breakfast, but I typically do not eat until much later in the morning after my head starts to hurt and I am grouchy from being so hungry. Sound familiar?
So, this morning, after waking up tired and feeling yucky, I ate some oatmeal and thought about what I wanted to do. Usually, we go outside to ride bikes and talk a walk together, but today, I just wanted to lay down and read my new novel. Since I knew sitting and reading peacefully wasn’t really an option, I decided to sit at the kitchen table, drink coffee, and craft for a while.
I brought out some black pom-poms, purple pipe cleaners, googly eyes, felt and glue. I told the kids that I was going to sit cut out pumpkins. I added that they were welcomed to join me or they could go play.
They joined me, of course, and for about forty-five minutes we crafted happily. I sat with my feet up on the chair across from me while I cut out shapes for them to use. I sipped coffee. We were calm, relaxed, and quiet. It felt good.
Their homemade pumpkin patch is drying on an old sheet that I plan on making into kitchen curtains one of these days.
After completing his spider and pumpkin, Sam wandered off to play with the garbage trucks while Aidan decided to make a garbage truck out of paper. He chose green paper, and I drew the outline of a front-loading garbage truck on it for him to cut out.
After the wheels were glued on it, Aidan cut out some trash while I made three trash cans for him. When everything was made, Aidan leapt off of his chair with his truck and cans and headed to the living room. He set out the cans and drove his truck to collect the garbage from them.
While I cleaned-up the kitchen, I realized that I felt good about my decision to keep the morning low-key for me. Moreover, the kids were happy to spend the time crafting with me.
Win/win. Now, please excuse me – I am off to feed them dinner, put them to bed, and then, I will get some time curled up on the couch with my novel (Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, in case you’re wondering!).