Tuesday, December 1, 2009

sleep, the treadmill and wild things

Here is what's going on in my brain lately (mixed in with some pics of our nutty life)


November was a difficult month for our family. Watts got a bad cold and stopped sleeping well at night. At first i was able to manage getting up 2-3 times a night, but after 3 weeks of severe sleep deprivation it started to show. In addition Bruce was working a lot. He worked until midnight, or even 3:30 am some nights.

During this time I was a wreck...i couldn't hold a conversation with people. I was constantly frustrated with the boys. I don't think i smiled much during that time. I was feeling overwhelmed and hectic. I wanted to drop all commitments and just stay home for the next few years. Bruce and close friends told me that maybe i just needed to get more sleep. Which i think was mostly true...i still felt like i was going, going, going and for no reason (more on this in a second).

The week after Thanksgiving I decided to do a little crying it out with watts. I got 7 hours straight of sleep one night and i woke up feeling like an entirely new woman. I texted friends to apologize for anything i might have done or said in the last few weeks. My brain was suddenly inspired. Sadly it didn't totally "stick" and he is still waking up at least once at night, but i am now very aware of the importance of sleep. =)

bathtime kisses
After being in Indiana with my parents and seeing old friends i was struck by how nice it was to not be busy all the time. The pace of life was so much more relaxed than our days here in Dallas. I talked with one friend who made choices for her family so they could spend more time together. I was inpired by her example.

This past Sunday our pastor (neil tomba, northwest bible church) spoke about "The Treadmill". The point of his sermon was that we make a job out of everything. We complicate the holidays, doing more and more. The reasons we do this, he suggested, was our competitiveness and envy. For me i think it is also my desire to make everyone happy. I say "yes" to too many activities. He also said that by staying on the treadmill we rob ourselves of rest and relationship.

Hearing this sermon helped me solidify my thoughts and recognize what changes i needed to make (realistic ones, not drastic, sleep-deprived decisions). I decided that before i say 'yes' to something or before i spend my time doing something i need to ask myself "Is this necessary?" "Does this help or hurt my family relationships?". We are an outgoing, extroverted bunch, so staying home all day, every day would make us all crazy. BUT i do think i need to choose to stay home more and do less.

by staying home things like this happen...a little people parade

During Thanksgiving I became frustrated with our boys and our parenting of them. I felt that every couple minutes one of my family members was telling me about something one of my boys had done. The boys seemed like out-of-control crazy men and it was exhausting!

Bruce and I had recently sat down and decided that we were going to focus on 3 main rules for our family: 1) respect authority (obey) 2) respect others (be kind to others) 3) take care of the things God gave us.
It helped me focus my attention on these three things. However, I feel like every day i am repeating these 3 rules a billion times. I discipline all day long and, again, it's exhausting.

I feel like when we are with others at a social gathering or at a friend's house to play that my boys completely forget how to behave, despite being told a thousand times...

Then i found a book on my bookshelf "Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys". Whew did i feel better after this. Boys are just WILD! They make crazy choices that make you scratch your head and say "what were you thinking?". This book has a chapter for each stage of development for boys. The stage my boys (2-4 yrs old) are in is the explorer stage. If you have boys check out this book and feel encouraged that you are not alone!!
my rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
my diaper head
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All in all i've recognized that sleep makes everything better. That i do myself and my family a favor by stepping off the "treadmill" of life. And lastly that it's good to provide rules/boundaries of behavior but ultimately boys need to be boys and i need to set realistic expectations to allow them to be the wild things God created them to be!