Grace, Rest, and Poker Chips

Life Hacks Day 10

Yesterday’s post didn’t happen.  And I think when I started the journey of writing for 31 days, I knew that missing a day was a possibility.  I run a business.  I’m raising three kids.  I’m meeting up with friends.  I’m working on spending daily time with the Lord.  We opened a Marketplace.  The kids demand to be fed: three times a day.  ?!

It’s a lot.

So you know what my working mom life hack is today?  Grace.  Rest.  New Mercies.

Yesterday I started to feel all sorts of mom guilt.  It came from a book I finished reading.  It came from a conversation I had.  It came from all sorts of angles.  I know that I tend to run from “mom guilt”.  And then when I feel it coming with it’s claws out and fangs showing, I immediately put my hand up and tell it to go away.  Dismiss it as wrong.

But yesterday, I wanted to dig into that guilt I was feeling.  Was any of it valid?  Are these women I’m reading about and interacting with doing something with their kids and family that I should also be doing?  Not as an exact copy or replica, but as encouragement to be more intentional with the time I have with my kids at home.

As a result of some of that mom guilt, we implemented a new “TV watching routine”.  The kids earn plastic poker chips in exchange for helping me out around the house.  Those chips can then be exchanged for a TV show.  TV will no longer be my default to a crazy day.  {I almost deleted that sentence because it was written so declarative.}  I think what I mean is, TV will no longer be something that I automatically suggest when they are whiny or “in my way”.  If they ask to watch a show, I will tell them they can – in exchange for a chip.  If they’re out of chips?  They need to do something helpful around the house to earn one.

{Right now, I’m sitting in my office typing this as Neil is getting the kids ready for the day.  He turned on Pokemon and Jonah informed him of our new chip system.  I think things are working.}

And to my surprise, they didn’t ask to watch a show all afternoon.  They played with toys.  They had imaginative play.  And I sat on the floor and played with them.  We read books.  We snuggled.  We looked AT each other.

We talked about filling up each other’s Love Buckets – which somehow got translated into Love Buttons.  And for the first time in awhile, I felt like I was building INTO my kids.

So you know what I let go of?  Writing a post for yesterday.  I just couldn’t fit it in.  And when all things were lined up against each other, it felt like the least important of it all.  I’m not going to quit writing each day because Day 9 will forever be missing from the 31 days line up, but I’m also not going to beat myself up about it.  Grace.  Rest.  New Mercies.

Yesterday, I was a good mom.  I chose the better choice: Life Hack #9 and #10.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Erin October 12, 2014, 6:30 pm

    You ARE a good mom. Love this. 😉

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