Let’s get practical for a minute here…

OK friends it is not often I get practical here.  Normally I feel inspired to write about heart and soul matters, but you know, sometimes your heart being in the right place just ain’t enough.  I’ve talked in this blog about how I long to be a better friend, wife and Mum.  Well here are a few assorted and very random thoughts on a few ways to how to make that happen…..

I’m only eight years into this parenting gig, and eleven years into this wifey business……and I am the first to admit I don’t have it all together.  After all – didn’t I just confess a few weeks ago that I have had to cold turkey stop baking in order to stop Master Four from eating it morning, noon and night…..BUT – I’ll share a few things I do know….

*  Baby wipes are God’s gift to busy parents.  Not only good for butts, also handy for a quick wipe over the newborn’s head when you’re thinking you should have given him a bath last night but got caught in a splendid episode of ‘House’ instead.  Also good for a quick wipe of bathroom sinks before company comes over – fantastic at erasing toothpaste marks!

*  When you’ve only got the one bambino you tend to plan your day around this poppet.  You can’t do that when you have more than one – otherwise you’ll live a very lonely existence or tend to be available only at very select, random hours of the day to see people.  I’m all for routine and all my babies have been on pretty tight schedules – but there has to be flexibility in that – especially when it comes to seeing friends and being social.

*  Be on time.  It is an integrity thing.  If I make an effort to get my lot clothed, looking ok with most of their breakfast wiped off their face, the baby fed (even if it is a little earlier than normal routine would dictate) and in the car – then I really appreciate it when what I am on time for goes ahead – as per the plan.  You know how I feel if it doesn’t?  It tells me that the other person’s time is more important than my own.  Which is not true I know.  But that is how it makes me feel.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

*  Work backwards.  With getting out of the door for appointments/ meetings etc.  Work backwards – figure out how long it will take you to get there, work out when you need to be in the car but allow an extra ten minutes for that pootastrophe or spew that is bound to happen…..get as much as you can ready in the evening.  Have your baby bag always stocked and at the ready.

*  In summer time ALWAYS have filled water bottles for kids in the fridge – chilled and ready to go for outings.  The one time you don’t have a drink – someone always is ‘dying of thirst’.  Have snacks at the ready too.

*  Think about what you’re having for dinner in the morning…..avoid that whole 4pm ahhhhh feeling…..it helps save money too.  No last minute dashes to get dinner from elsewhere….

*  You know we all have the same hours available to us in a day – how we choose to spend those hours…well…that’s up to us.  You’re in charge of your time.  You know what your priorities are as far as spending time on housework.  I’ve had to learn to not stress out with tidying up before we have guests over…..it is not fair to my kids if I’m turning into grumpy Mummy just because I’m focussed on a tidy house to make a good impression.  BUT I do like to have a tidy house…….solution – invite guests for a time when I know I’ll have some time beforehand to clean and tidy, enlist the help of the Spunky Hunk and have real expectations…Fellowship is about just that – fellowship – not the food or the state of my kitchen floor.

*  Take time to laugh – at yourself and with your family.  Leave the dishes to play the ‘contest’ game that the four year old has just created…..hiding things for you to find….and thankfully wanting you on his team.

*  Pray pray pray.  Worry never changes a thing – but prayer is the thing that moves the hand of God.  Cover your family in prayer.  Engage in prayer while peeling spuds, cleaning baths and ironing.  God gave women the gift of multitasking for a purpose.

*  Charge your batteries – look after you.  You can only run on empty for so long.  For everyone’s sake make YOU a priority.  Lock that bathroom door so you are not followed everywhere.  You know the best thing about this house I live in at the moment……not the dishwasher – first time in married life we’ve had one, and no, not the double insulated windows…..but the lock on my bedroom door and the ensuite……I can actually have a moment to myself!  It is amazing what can’t be heard through two closed doors.

This is turning out to be a long post when I didn’t mean for it to be….and I haven’t even started on the good wifey stuff….

To be continued….