Saturday, January 1, 2011

Focus

My mom was one of “those” moms.  You know.  Their the ones that dread the beginning of school, the ones who live for every moment of school vacations, the ones who cringe when “other” moms cheer for school to begin.  She can’t help it.  It’s who she is.  Since childhood, I have wanted nothing more than to be just like her.  To be a mom who LOVES her job.  Last December, my dreams came crashing down around me.  Or so it seemed.

You see, the two weeks of Christmas vacation were pretty much the worst two weeks of my mothering history.  Just a few months before, I had cried my eyes out as I left my tiny six-year-old standing alone in a Kindergarten classroom.  OK, she wasn’t technically alone, but it felt that way.for both of us.  By the end of December, she was not only comfortable, she was settled.  Two weeks away from her routine was not in her plans and she intended on making that perfectly clear.  There’s a reason teachers don’t give out their home phone numbers.  This was it.

As I counted down the days, I cursed the mom that I had become.  This was not the mom who raised me.  This was some “other” mom.  I had no desire to make the most of these days I was just trying to survive the noise level.  Memories were out of the question.  All I could think about was getting her back to school.  My kids deserve better than that.  I just wasn’t sure I could give it to them.

This year as Christmas break draws to a close.  I am reflecting on “that” mom and realizing that maybe she had it all wrong.  After two weeks of Christmas, ice skating, shopping, family traditions, laughter, and very few fits, we are ready for routine.  We have had a blast, but now it is time to get back on schedule.  My longing is not to rid myself of my kids, but to regain the normalcy of life.  Just like at the end of every vacation, I am ready for my own bed.

So what if the difference was simply my focus?  What if instead of longing for school, I long for routine?  While that may seem inconsequential, I believe it is essential.  My focus will affect my attitude and my attitude always affects my parenting.  Today as all three of my kids played “parade” up and down the hall all the while singing the Dreidel Song at the top of their lungs over and over and over again.  I just had to laugh.  My kids are not the issue, it’s my schedule.  Day after day of flying by the seat of your pants will wear a person out both at 2 and at 29.  Routine gives us stability.  It keeps us from completely losing ourselves in the chaos of life.  I will always long for the routine after vacation and I think that’s OK.  Turns out, my mom feels the same way.

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