Category Archives: Mom in Me

Multi-Tasking, Be Gone!

You may have noticed I’ve taken a few days off from my brand new project.  I strung together almost a week of posts then took almost as long off.  Really shows a lot of dedication, huh?  Most of the homework I’ve done on blogging indicates that daily or almost daily content is important to building a brand.  With that knowledge, it may seem even more lame that I took a break off so early in my writing.  Afterall, how do I expect to gain any ground on building my readership if I don’t post?  And for the last few days I’ve carried this guilt and embarrassment.

Then I realized, I have no reason to be embarrassed or feel guilt.  The purpose of this journey isn’t to gain readers or build a brand.  Although those items would be an incredible blessing, the reason I added this project to my already overloaded schedule was to help me focus on my writing hobby, my personal growth, and my desire to slow down.  Slowing down takes several forms and is, by far, the most challenging of my goals.  Of course, I didn’t get to this break-neck speed overnight so, likewise, it’s unrealistic to expect the slow-down to happen in any noticeable increments.  What is realistic is to accept what I can do, when I can do it.  And if what I can do is taking a few days off a brand new adventure to focus on family events, that’s perfectly and wonderfully acceptable.  There is no guilt in accomplishing only one goal at a time. When did a single focus become not enough?  When did multi-tasking become the standard?

I look to my children often as a blueprint for how I should be.  If you’re a parent, you know that we often learn more than we teach.  My kids are much more engaging than the average adult I know and will talk with a non-stop stream of verbal deluge until you feel like your ears have fallen off.  Most of the tsunami of ideas that flow freely from their mouth is interesting, articulate, and enjoyable binding you to their every word.  Basically, my boys talk A LOT.  I don’t mind that they talk non-stop, really I don’t.  Unfortunately, my children can do nothing else while they spin their yarns.  NOTHING else.  I’ve grown weary while trying to patiently listen to their diatribe after stepping out of the bath but before getting on pj’s.  I’ve aged days while waiting for the resolution to their lengthy and drawn-out scenarios of what-ifs while in reality I just want them to put on their shoes.  I’ve watched them crawl into their car booster seats, shut their door, walked to the other side of the car, and opened the driver door only to confirm that their monologue took no pause with an absent audience and their belts are still unbuckled.  In each of these instances, nothing else was accomplished.  Nothing was multi-tasked to completion.  No two birds with one stone.  Their only focus was telling their story and, sadly, that focus was met with a mother that encouraged doing something else while speaking – in essence, asking a 4-year-old to multi-task.

His response when asked why he hadn’t buckled his seatbelt, or put on his shoes, or dressed into his pj’s is humbling, “Because I was telling you something important!”

In other words, at 4 years old, he’s too young to understand why we need to work so hard to accomplish so much while being fulfilled so little.  He’s too young to understand why he should speak while tasking.  For him, the joy is not in the destination but in the journey.  There’s time for shoe tying after the story is told.  Pj’s can wait until after his mom hears his hypothesis.  His seatbelt can be clicked after he points out the bird singing.  If you’re 4, or 7, there is no need to rush to accomplish. There is nothing more important than right now.  There simply is no such thing as multi-tasking.

So if you’ve missed me for the last week, I’m so sorry.  I’ve been busy taking things one at a time.  I sincerely hope, though, you haven’t missed me; I hope you haven’t missed me because you’ve been unplugged & unrushed, spending days with those that matter, listening to each story, song, hypothesis, joke, testimony, or need.  Days are short and unfortunately, this too shall pass.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

My Grandma's rings - a reminder of my past, a creation of my future.

My Grandma’s Rings

Every day I wear 3 rings that are beautifully stunning but are not mine.  I mean, they belong to me but they are not mine.  They are my grandma’s.  Unfortunately, my grandmas passed away a decade ago or more.  So as family heirlooms go, these rings now reside in my jewelry box.  I have lots of beautiful rings that could grace my fingers but these are especially gorgeous and here’s why:

  • The rings are from 3 different grandmas – 3 separate and distinct bloodlines that blended together to mold me.  At a glance, these rings worn together immediately remind me from where I came.  A quick view reminds me of loved ones and empowers me.  Although in real life they didn’t get along always (mostly they did but definitely not always), on my finger these rings combine to form a synergy they never know as individuals.  When I look at them or touch them, I feel their power is with me and their protection follows me.
  • Two of the rings are traditionally gorgeous, full of perfect diamonds that catch each ray of light and amplifies it’s brilliance, almost blinding the observer.  The grandmas these diamond beauties represent are my maternal and paternal grandmas.  They were both born in the 20’s, were children of the depression, married men that fought the Nazi’s, were forever changed by their husband’s experience, then birthed children into the first year of the baby boom.  Like the diamonds in their rings, these ladies amplified the brilliance of all those around her, almost blinding the observer.
  • The 3rd ring, is the ring of my maternal great grandma, my mom’s grandma. This one is not filled with diamonds, it is a well-worn thin golden band.  It sits comfortably between to 2 diamond rims, separating them so they each may shine on their own.  Likewise, my great grandma took great pride in letting others shine while she quietly supported their brilliance.  Her family fled Czechoslovakia in the early 1900’s and after a perilous ocean journey finally landed in south Texas where they basically walked to southwestern Oklahoma, settled in, and learned to speak their new home’s language.  There’s a lot more to that story but here’s what I take from it:  SHE WAS TOUGH.  Like herself, her simple ring is the most powerful and has endured the most.  This endurance has added to the ring’s beauty and if you look closely at the ring, you can see the beauty of its youth still held deeply within the edges while the side  that faces the world reflects the weathering that comes with the hard times.  Her face was the same way – the surface weathered with years of anxiety, happiness, labor, and faith but if you looked closely you saw enough youthful beauty to understand what she was before life aged her.

These rings echo my past, ground my present, and shape my future.  These women worked hard, loved harder, and always smiled through any setback. They came from generations that knew an entirely different kind of hard than we do.  They were pioneers.  They overcame odds that I don’t want to imagine.  And they did it with optimism and hope. They did it for me – for a better future.  I honor them daily by remembering their sacrifice and their joy.  If it wasn’t for knowing their stories, I wouldn’t have the same perspective on life.  It’s an honor to wear these rings and be reminded of their grace and their faith.  Family is everything.  I’m thankful for mine.  I wear these rings daily and believe these ladies are with me, watching me, and smiling with pride.  I’m blessed to be their future.

Deuteronomy 4:20

Exit the SuperMom Highway

Exit Now

Yesterday I was visiting with my sister over the phone.  For those of you that don’t know, she lives about 1500 miles away, has 2 small children, is a Thirty-One Consultant and a very active military wife.  Needless to say, she’s as busy (or busier) than I am.  We were discussing goals and she floated past me a fairly lofty goal.  I was so proud of myself that I immediately responded, “No thanks, I’m currently in a phase of lowering the bar on my own expectations!”  She countered with a laugh, “yeah, right! Me too!”

But seriously, I’ve spent a lot of time lately focusing where I say “yes”.  I once heard If you can’t say no, your yes has no power.  Stop and think about that.  Your yes has no power. Your YES has no POWER.  If something has no power, how can it be important?  If it’s not important, why would anyone (or you) care about it?  So, in essence, my inability to say no was robbing myself of one of the most powerful gifts I have! What?

Here’s a confession:  I LOVE Pinterest.  Love. It. But honestly, I see it as a downfall to an already overly self-pressured generation of women.   I’m not speaking with a feminist voice and I definitely feel men (as a collective gender) have traveled light-years in terms of involved parenting and spousal equality.  In fact, most men I know – including my own Prince Charming- often are just as active in soccer Saturday and school functions as us moms.  But I don’t see them accepting self-induced pressure to make sure the birthday party is perfect or the teacher gifts look like something Martha Stewart created or the kids look like they stepped out of a Gap Kids store. So why do the ladies feel the need to be “perfect”? Why aren’t we content with how we are made? I’m not saying we should selfishly roll-over and give only 50% or not strive for excellence.  I think we could be much kinder to ourselves, though, on our own expectations – simply lowering the bar.  Afterall, I don’t think I could be talked out of my homemade birthday cakes and homemade Halloween costumes!  I’ll admit I get a little shot of gratification each time a friend lovingly shakes her head and says, “I don’t know how you do it all”.  But if it’s all at the cost of losing my Power to say YES, I think it’s time to exit the SuperMom highway. I’m now keeping track of the number of “no”s and my “yes”s still far outweigh my “no”s, but I’m trying.  And like everything chronicled here, one step forward is the best I can do today.  And that’s wonderfully, perfectly okay!

Proverbs 18:21