Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


Not me Monday…..Change your attitude


This week’s Not Me Monday is made possible by Maya Angelou.  But here’s a little back story first.

Towards the end of August, I was really looking forward to school starting up again.  Not so much because I wanted the kids out of the house, I was looking forward to a routine again.  The lazy days  of summer were getting old and boring and I also knew that the boys needed more mental stimulation than I was providing for them.  And OK – there was a part of me that wanted them out of the house.

Labor Day came and the first day of school arrived.  New clothes, fresh haircuts.  My older son started third grade and my little one is in his second year of preschool.  And even though he only goes to school for a few hours three days a week, I was looking froward to getting so much done without interruption.

Well, why is it that things never seem to work out as you imagine?  While we feel into a routine, it was more of morning mayhem and afternoon hell. My older son resisted getting ready in the mornings and soon they were turning into a nag-fest from me.  In addition, for some reason he has turned into an eight-year-old kid.  Where did my sweet little boy go?  Instead, the first day he got off the bus, my sweet little boy had turned into an argumentative, back-talking, no homework doing, sticker!  To add more to my frustration, my younger son gave up his naps and his quiet time completely.  Just a few weeks prior he was still napping, giving me a big chunk of time each afternoon to write or get other work done.

AHHH!!!!  Not even Calgon could have taken me away fast enough.  My dream of being productive had very quickly turned into a nightmare.

My husband and I made some adjustments to our parenting to try to combat the new and undesirable behavior my son was now exhibiting, but we have been disappointed that our changes aren’t really bringing about big changes in him.  While it is getting mildly better, change has not come fast enough, or drastic enough for our liking.

All the while my sons are going through their metamorphoses, I’m starting to spin out of control.  I’m feeling defeated, deflated, exhausted, and I was quickly running out of ideas.  I was falling behind in my work and if you noticed – my blog too.

After talking with a few fellow moms, some friends and my own mom, many told me that the changes the big boy was going through was typical of an eight-year-old.  GREAT!!!  In fact, my mom confessed to me that she doesn’t really like little boys from the ages of about eight until they reach about seventeen.  Wonderful!  So according to her perspective, I’ve got nine years to go until things get better.

About the middle of last week, three and a half weeks in our new found hell (it isn’t that bad, taking some poetic licence here and being dramatic) – it finally sunk in.  I think my friends and my mom were right.  My older son is eight and you know what – he’s good at it.  He’s challenging us, pushing back, trying out more independence.  And while I want him to be a strong man, I am not liking the process to get there.

So the part that finally hit home was and the part that made it a little better was me realizing that this is my life right now.  Going back to school didn’t create opportunities, in fact, it created more problems.  We have crazy schedules, my son is going through a phase that is extra challenging.  My little son is growing too and his changes are affecting me professionally.  And while it took me a little bit to realize what was going on and that this is more of a couple bad days we’re were having, I woke up and changed my attitude.

Maya Angelou says

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” 

And while I’m not giving up on my kids and I will continue to make our lives better and work on our current challenges, I’m not going to be blindsided by it anymore.  I’ve accepted it and I’m dealing with our challenges.

The funny thing is, the morning after I had my revelation and shared with my husband “you know, I think this is more than a phase, I think this is us for now” – – I ran across Maya’s quote.  I had heard it many times before, but when it popped up on a Google search for me was the reinforcement that I needed.  And you know what else?  Ever since I changed my attitude about our current situation…things seem to be getting better.

Has that ever happened to you?  You have a change of attitude and the universe sends you reinforcements to back up your decision or new-found strength?  Share your story with everyone!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you how I’m working around the no nap situation.  My son’s, not mine.

Happy Monday, Everyone!




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Thursdays’ Take – Two things for which I’m most proud…

Happy Thursday Everyone!

As I was lie awake in bed this morning at 3:30AM, catching up on some reading, feeling frustrated that once again I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, and wishing I could get my insomnia under control, I stumbled across an article about creating waste-free lunches for your kids.

For some reason this article created a sense of pride in me.  Maybe because I am happy to report, I am already doing most of the things suggested to reduce waste in my sons’ (and husband’s for that matter) daily lunches.  I work from home, so I don’t need to pack my lunch, but nine times out of ten, I pack three lunches a day.  I’ve taken steps over the years and just last month, I banned all juice boxes from my house and discovered bags like these to help reduce the use of plastic baggies.

Photo Credit 

But as I was thinking and reading this blog, it occurred to me….one of the two things I am most proud of myself is how little trash my family generates.  I know this sounds like a strange thing to be proud of, but for a family of four, we really generate only a tiny bit of trash.  How?  I’ll work on creating a list of how we do it, but they mainly revolve around choosing things that can be recycled, composting and using reusable things over the throw away options (sandwich baggies, juice boxes, paper plates and napkins).  I’ll share this list with you in a future blog.

So – back to my trash….we, my family of four, only have trash picked up at our house once a week.  And we opt for the smaller trash can and usually it isn’t even full.  On the other hand, we have two large recycle cans that get picked up every other week.  Luckily, we live in an area where we can recycle almost everything.

What’s the other thing I’m most proud?

That would be having earned my Master’s Degree.  The decision to get my Master’s was an easy, the two and a half years to get it were tough.  Kids, and more kids (I got pregnant with my younger son about half way through the program), a husband who traveled – A LOT during those years.  It was many late nights and early mornings, but I did it.  And the thing about it was – although the timing of it all was tough, the material wasn’t.  I  always thought the ideas and concepts obtained in a Master’s program were so complex that I’d struggle.  But, you know what…I didn’t.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had to apply myself and I had to work at it, but overall, the material wasn’t overly hard or impossible to grasp.  Hey – I’m pretty smart!

As I continue to write, maybe I can’t limit my list to only two.  I’m proud of many other things too, my kids, my work ethic, my rescuing of too many dogs and cats, my marriage of almost nineteen years….

What are you most proud of?

Happy Day!