Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I think I can. I think I can.

It is no secret to those who see me often that I have been in a phenomenal mood for the past few months. 

I can only think that this new found attitude is a result of (1) going to church on a regular basis and (2) attending a weekly Growth Group support group for moms of school-age children.  I don't know exactly why these events make me feel better but I do know that these two events recharge my soul and keep me motivated throughout the week.

Specifically, the moms group has taught me so much about being a better mom.  I cannot pinpoint why this is so helpful.  We are a group of about 15+ moms who get together weekly and discuss a topic of interest.  The group leader selects the topics and usually gets a mom to come in and speak to us about the topic.  We also have small-group discussions about the topic and moms bring in snacks.  I sooooooo look forward to this meeting.  I leave this meeting so full of energy and inspiration.

Most recently we discussed "Joy."  The speaker for Joy, whose children are now in college, could relate to me (and the other moms in the room).  She started off with, "I know you are all dragging.  I know you have lots of gifts to buy.  I know you have lots of obligations.  I know the laundry is piling up.  I know that your kids have been sick and not sleeping through the night.  I can hear your colds and see your tired eyes as I am standing here."  Hello!  Does she spy on us when we are at home because she totally hit the nail on the head.

She led us into a discussion about Joy, the joy of mothering, and a discussion about joy busters.  You know what joy busters are.  Waking up with your kid in the middle of the night is a joy buster.  Chauffeuring the kids to all of their events is a joy buster.  You get what I'm saying?  However, we talked about joy busters and ways to make them more positive or think of them in a more positive light.  Talking with other moms about ways to bring joy to some of our least fun experiences is highly motivating.

This speaker also remind me to "be present" with my children.  "Being present" does not involve browsing facebook while the kids watch tv.  "Being present" involves actually sitting with them and sharing with them and being present with them.  Do you know how "present" I have been with my kids since this mom's discussion?

Another example of "being present":  Lulu, my teen, asked if she could straighten my hair.  This came at a time when I had one million things to do.  Nonetheless, I spent a half hour in the bathroom with her while she straightened my hair.  She loved straightening it and chatted the whole time.  Do you have any teens at home?  Do you know how difficult it is to get them to talk to you?  I feel like this half hour in the bathroom with my teen just chatting away was a mini-miracle.  In the end, I came out with a gorgeous new look {{my husband actually said that it was sexy}} and I had great bonding time with my teen.  None of this would have happened if I was browsing facebook.   

So you see... finding the positive side of joy busters and "being present" are just two great mothering tips I took away from my moms group.

This bring me to the point of my post.  That is, I just came to the realization that moms group is taking a break for the holiday and will not be meeting until mid-January.  UGH!

I feel like an addict... or maybe a person who was just told that their therapist is going away for a month.  I'm more than a little bit apprehensive about how I can function without my moms group.

I'm made a Moms Group Break Survival Plan.  This survival plan involves (1) taking the time that I would be at moms group to browse facebook do something fun and special with my family and (2) reading some of the suggested parenting books that I have not had a chance to read because I have been so busy.

Moms Group Break Survival Plan

Wed, December 21 - Drive through Lights on the Bay with the family.

Thur, December 29 - Go to the movies with the family.  Maybe get a sitter for Baby Bee.  {{Sorry Baby Bee}} 

Wed, Jan 4 - Go to local coffee shop or library to do some reading.

Daily:  Continue to read my parenting books.

The object of my plan is two fold:  (1) create special memories with my family and (2) continue to be inspired through the suggested parenting books.  I really think that I can make it through the break if I have this little plan in mind.

Here is the list of suggested reading from my moms club. 

Note:  The list was created from a little widget creator on goodreads.com.  I'm not sure what will happen if you click on it. Maybe it will link to goodreads.com or amazon - not sure.  

Moms Club Recommendations

I don't know which one to read first.  The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers and 5 Conversations that You Must Have With Your Daughter are calling my name.  I feel a sense of urgency to get these started.  Parenting with Love and Logic will help with all of my kids, not just one.   

Many of you could benefit from Boundaries by Drs. Cloud and Townsend.  It's not just for moms.

What is a joy buster in your life?
How you can make it more positive?

Do you have any suggestions for my
Moms Club Break Survival Plan?


Fairy Grandmother said...

I have to say here that when the children spent the night with me and one was up sick most of the night...well she slept in my arms so I guess I was the one up most...anyway...I did not think of this as a Joybuster...but an opportunity to hold our sweet little one and make her comfortable...of course I don't have to do this on a regular basis and I did not have to go to work the next day.
I thinlk the conversations are nice...you in the bathroom with Lulu reminded me about a day this summer when we just hung out on the pier and floated in the water...she was sooooooo chatty that day...I just loved it! xoxo

Mrs. Bird said...

I am so happy for you, M. I wish I could find a group like that to belong to...I too, need, need, need to go to church. Keep it up!

SusieQ said...

When I was riding around with you when you were young we had the Bible Trivia game.. We spent a lot of hours doing that.. and then there was the Diary of Anne Frank.. hahaha!!! Has Lulu read that yet?

T.J. said...

that sounds like such a wonderful group to be involved in. Girlfriends gathered like that can save the world- or at least each others sanity ;)

Good to read this as I'm struggling with the panic that is Christmas while trying to savor each moment. hard to do.

Mommy 24/7 said...

Ummm...I love Bringing up Boys. However, Have a new Kid by Friday( while highly recommended even by many Christians) is mostly common sense mixed with what I can only call stupidity. He honestly states that if your four year old won't do as told you should LOCK HER OUT OF THE HOUSE until she agrees to your demands. Ummm...no. I'd save that one till the end if I were you. Also, have you seen Soul Surfer? I haven't yet, but plan to this holiday season with the boys. It would be a great movie for you and LULU to watch together and discuss Bethany's faith. Lastly, I know I sent you the link to One Thousand Gifts by Emily VosKamp. She tries to find one thousand things to be thankful for in one year by keeping a journal and it helped her (and me) find the little things to be thankful for even among the craziness of being a mother, wife, etc... I will loan you mine if you are interested.

Wish I were closer so I could join your mom's group- I'm jealous.

Mommy 24/7 said...

Oops...the author's name is Ann VosKamp.

Erin G. said...

Your plan for using your mom group time thru the holidays sounds amazing! Keep us up to date on how each weeks goes for you!