If you need 15 minutes to yourself

I wanted to share a fantastic site that I ran across while searching for something that I needed for my classroom.

I decided to introduce it to the girls today while I was getting some things started for the crockpot. It was a hit!  The twins thoroughly enjoyed it and would have listened much longer.

At www.storylineonline.net, you can choose from select books to be read aloud.  It seems that most are targeted to early elementary aged children.  It was perfect for my kindergarteners.  I even found myself glancing over because the readers and sound effects were impressive.  Although both Henry and I both love curling up and reading to the girls, this was certainly a great use of our fifteen minutes.

So, if you need a little time for yourself and would like for your kids to be engaged in something that will benefit them, I’d recommend it.


For the new momma

DSC00067He whimpers.  He scratches his sheet.  You are wide awake.  You pull yourself up to make sure that he is safe.  You watch him sleep.  You put your hand on his chest to feel him breathe.  He awakens.  You’re already smiling as his eyes meet your gaze.  You think you look terrible.  He thinks that you are beautiful.  You are.

You were up most of the night.  You can’t remember when you last showered.  You really feel gross and anything but amazing.  He rests peacefully in your arms and loves your smell.  To him, it means that he is safe and home.  He’d prefer your scent above all others.

You are tired….the kind of tired that cannot be explained to those who have not experienced it.  The kind of tired that needs no explanation for those who have.

You are now the world to another individual and the weight of that is daunting.  It somehow feels doable if you have those around you who can agree.  So, I want you to know that I agree with you.

Being a momma is the hardest, most tiring, most amazing role in the world.  And YOU are doing it.  Day after day, you’re doing it and you’re doing it well!


Because I am a teacher, I struggle as a mom

6:45 a.m.  “Good morning. Good morning. How are you today?”  These things are said in a kind voice as I make my way down the hallway.  While I feel that it is too early to even be out of bed, we are beginning our day together…these students and I.

I check in, make my way to my room and start to put my things away before the bell rings.  Several students enter to drop off projects.  I compliment them on their creativity and show them where to put them.  It is not quite 7:00.

I glance to the cabinet front and see the bird and nest that my seven year old so lovingly made for me this summer.  I promised that I would keep it up to remind me of her during the day.  The sad truth is that I really don’t have time to think of her during the day.  I think back to the morning conversations with my girls and my son.  “Get up.  You’re going to be late.  You need to wear a jacket.  It is cold outside. Make sure that you don’t forget your backpack. Your 100 day bottle is in your backpack.  Turn in the mission trip money.  Do your best on your test.”  All of this said while frantically rummaging for lunch, grabbing my bag, putting on my coat.  It is always ended with “Gotta go. I’m late.  Love you.”  Then that’s it.  I’m off.

Eight and a half hours later I pick the girls up in carpool.  I’m totally checked out.  I’ve used all my words.  I’ve listened intently to stories, excuses, and explanations. I’ve kept a smile and my teacher voice on all day.  I’ve asked questions, encouraged, mentored, and loved on at least 75 other kids.  I feel all used up, empty of any energy that is required to be what I need to be.  The hard truth is that  I really want to drive in the quiet and have no noise.  The delay of traffic is brutal and each traffic jam causes tension because it takes time away from all that needs to be done at home.  My mind wonders to the things that are ahead of me.  What is for supper?  Did I shift the load of laundry to the dryer?  I wonder how much homework needs to be done.

We arrive and go our separate ways.  Although I really don’t encourage technology, I do nothing to stop the girls from sitting mindlessly in front of “something” for at least an hour.  I begin the work that needs to be done.  Unpack lunchboxes.  Find clothes for the next day.  Start preparing food.

I round everyone up for homework.  We eat together.  Like little robots, they rush off to bath.

“Brush teeth. It’s bedtime, Fred.”   I call out.   Prayers are said.  Lights are out.

Every.single.night.  I go to bed feeling like I haven’t been a good momma.  I suppose this is not a healthy way to look at the day.  This rushed life exhausts me.  I’m sure someone somewhere has all of this figured out.  But it isn’t me today.

I keep telling myself that I was made to thrive, not merely survive.

I got a suggestion from a friend tonight to post scripture throughout my house.  I am going to begin putting that up that tomorrow. I seem to need a constant stream of reminders that God loves me.  He chose me for this.  He has equipped me.  Trust in his strength, not mine.  He has ordained all of my days and I will seek to live them out according to his purpose.  Sometimes that looks messy for me.  Often I complain.  I am working on that.  Tomorrow.

I am a work in progress.