Its been a while since I’ve written an Embrace entry. Its also been a while since I’ve blogged regularly. Life has a way to pull and push us along. The constant pulling and pushing and pulling and pushing can help us lose track of time. And before we know it, its 1 month, 2 months or a whole year later.
Part of my pulling and pushing the last two years has been my education. I’m a huge fan of higher education. Not just college level to get more credentials behind a name, but really life-long learning. After all, some of the smartest and most interesting people are not officially college educated. Rather, they are people who take the time to learn about the things that interest them. They spend a lot of time reading. And they spend time talking to people who share the same opinions as them. And more important, they spend time talking with (not at) people who share different opinions.
I have been to college 3 times now. First to earn my RN, then a MSN and now finally my APRN. Each time has been had its own struggles. As a newly graduated 18 year-old my main struggle was me. I struggled with becoming a responsible adult. I obtained my MSN on a whim. Now looking back I think it was a way to be distracted from the fact we were not getting pregnant. I struggled then with balancing work, life and school. I struggled with an obsession to only get A’s (which I did). Now, as an older student (almost 40), I’ve obtained my APRN. I struggled with managing kids, work, school and a social life. I also had to accept I wasn’t going to get all A’s and that’s OK.
You see, despite the struggles in the end its 100% worth. it I’ve come out with a degree and some added life skills. I’ve gained a sense of accomplishment knowing I after all that hard work and sacrifices, I did it. You see, I accomplished something I set out to do. This confidence is only gained from setting a high goal and achieving it.
Too often I hear people say, they want to get a degree or attend a seminar but they just can’t find a way to make it work. I get it, in some circumstances, it really is an almost impossibility (note ALMOST). I know the struggle. I know how daunting and exhausting it can be to think about it. I know the challenges of adding one more thing into an already jam packed schedule. I also know first-hand how it feels to be working full-time and running the kids everywhere. I know the struggle of attempting to string a few sentences together on a few hours a sleep that sound intelligent.
But what I want to say to you. The overworked, tired and stressed out in a going-nowhere (or at least nowhere you want to be) job, you can do it. Embrace a bit of exhaustion and stress. Embrace the chaos. Embrace the education and accept the responsibility of learning. You can do it. If you want it, you will do it. You see, its 100% manageable. Maybe not always pretty, but its manageable.
If the college route isn’t for you. Continue to learn about the world. Read and explore your library. Find something that interests you and learn about it. Life-learning can make the mundane seem less so. It can open up new doors and new friendships.
Explore what you want in life. Then take that first leap of faith. Know you can do it. I’m here to tell you, IF I can DO IT, YOU can too. Embrace education.
Being a mommie is something young girls dream about. We start pretending we’re mommies with our first dollie. For my daughter, she was a little over 1 when she first pretended to care for her Annie, one of her dollies. Now at 4, she pretends to feed, bath, potty train, scold and discipline her dollies and younger brother. Watching her simplified version of mommiehood, made me wonder, why is so complicated now that I’m older. When DID this natural thing become so complicated? Should it be complicated? Yes, my kids are real and not dollies, but shouldn’t mommiehood be natural?
When I feel stressed out as a parent, it’s because I’ve made it too complicated. Yes, me. Not the kids, not the schedule, not my husband. But me. I’ve over scheduled us or not slept enough or not played enough. I consider myself a pretty relaxed parent. I have things I want done a specific way but mostly I’m relaxed. My kids play, they make a mess, they move on. I enjoy letting them learn about the world by exploring and not reading about it in a book (although there’s a lot of book reading going on too). We giggle and love. My son tackles me and we wrestle on the floor.
My house resembles my laid back approach to parenting. If you stop over unexpected or pretty much anytime for a casual visit, the house will appear “lived in” (you know toys on the floor, jackets on the couch, bathroom in need of scrub, dishes in the sink). It’s not dirty or unnecessarily messy, but its is “lived in”. I’ve got kids and my home reflects this and my parenting style.
I know moms struggle with maintaining a home, being a good mom and being a loving wife. Moms worry about having well-behaved children. They want the house to sparkle. I see moms worry and focus so much on those things, their relationship with their children suffer. They spend so much time trying to make their children “perfect” they’ve taken the child away. They stay up all night cleaning just to be cranky with their spouse and kids. Or, they spend all day cleaning that they’ve barely said one positive word to their children. Don’t get me wrong, all of those desires are noble and good. I mean after all, who wants their kids to be horribly behaved or missed an opportunity to help your husband? No one! But there must be a balance.
Kids thrive on their parents attention. Kind words such as “I’m proud of you” or “You did a great job!” can set a kid up to succeed. But just as easily stated “Later, mommie’s doing dishes” or “Sit down or else” heard too often can leave a child feeling unloved and not needed. Hearing “I’m too busy” too often will result in a child no longer coming to you. You will have achieved what you desired, to be left alone to complete your tasks. And then, what good influence can you possibly have on your child?
What is the answer? Simple, embrace parenthood. Except that kids are kids, they will run, get dirty, be naughty, and cause a mess. They will interrupt you, slow you down and make life a bit more challenging. Sure your child needs to be disciplined, but remember they are children, not little adults. Laugh with them, tickle them, and let them tackle you on the floor. Play with the blocks with them. Because what you’ll get from each other will always outweigh what you’ll get from chores and perfectly behaved children. And, if you stop when they need something, you will never be the last person they will go get for the little or big things in their lives. Embrace parenthood for all the messy chaos and I promise you, life will be good! Now go, hug and love on your children, let those dishes sit for a few a bit!
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1