I got a thought provoking email from MomsRising.org today. It was all about how scary it is to raise a child in the 21st century without adequate family-friendly policies. I took the time to read it and truly ponder the content. It gave me pause and made me think about some of the things that make me nervous about rearing two small children in this day and age.
After giving it some thought, I came up with my own list of concerns. I’m sure there are things I am forgetting, but this is a good starting point: a list of things I can think about, educate myself on, and try to have a hand in changing.
- Global Warming: I’ve been giving a lot of consideration to global warming lately. It’s a very real issue and we, as a culture, have to do something to curb the effects. On a small scale, my family has been implementing small changes in our lives to make less of an impact on the environment. We bought reusable cloth shopping bags, we don’t run the water when washing our hands or brushing teeth, we recycle as much as possible, and we have tried to cut back on the excess packaging and impulse purchases. We can certainly do more, and we will try, but it’s a step in the right direction and we’re trying to do our part.
- Childhood obesity: This is a problem of epidemic proportions. And, fortunately one that is very easily remedied. In our house, my kids eat a balanced diet, they exercise regularly, we limit television and computer time, and we limit juice and fast food intake. Small measures that have a very big impact on the health of my children.
- Child Predators/Abusers: Maybe this has been a problem for decades and the media is just helping to bring these stories to the forefront, but I feel like there are too many acts of violence committed on children these days. Kidnappings, sexual and physical abuse, online predators…it’s scary times and parents have to be extra vigilant.
- School Violence: There is no place for weapons in school. Period. Kids should not have to worry that they might not be safe in any educational institution. Parents need to be involved.
- War and Terrorism: How many of us can say we’ve been the same since September 11th? I know I can’t. I try to take extra time to hold my children tight each and every day.
- Work/Life Balance: I am fortunate. I work for a great institution that promotes a healthy work/life balance – but I know I am the minority. There are too many people without health insurance, too many people who don’t have adequate vacation/sick time, too many people who cannot afford quality childcare. It’s unacceptable. As the greatest nation in the world, we should be doing more for our own.
Try to take some time to think about what worries you in this day and age. Make a list, make some changes, and help make a difference. Whether it is a small scale difference in your own family or a larger difference for an organization or cause – anything will help.
(*From a scrapbook perspective, you can also make a list of things you are concerned about and incorporate it into a journal or a scrapbook page. I recommend recording all of your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and concerns.)
I have many facets to my personality. I am kind-hearted and generous. I will be your friend until the end of time (as long as you don’t commit an egregious act against me or my family). I have a great sense of humor. I love without reservations. I am dedicated, passionate, and I live my life with integrity. I aim to please and I often bite off more than I can chew.
And here I am today. Biting. Lots of biting. But, my plate is full. I am out of bandwidth. I am burning the candle at both ends and I am running out of steam. There are lots of big projects in the works at my D.J. (day job) and I have these ominous deadlines looming large. I can feel myself cracking under the pressure…the pressure to meet deadlines and do a good job. The pressure to please and succeed. The pressure to be the strong, silent type who can do it all. The pressure I primarily put on myself.
Here is where the “difficulty” comes into play. In addition to the loving and the trusting and the giving and the laughing, I also have this unfortunate sector to my personality – I have an extraordinarily difficult time asking for help. And I frequently say “yes” when I should be saying “no.” It’s like my Achille’s heel. So, I often shoulder more than my fair share and cause myself unnecessary angst and pressure in the process. You see, I want to please and I take great pride in any task I undertake. It doesn’t matter if the task is folding laundry, creating a handmade gift, or building a new Web site – I want to do it well, do it in a reasonable time, and not burden anyone else in the process.
But, then I get overwhelmed. And I have a hard time asking for help. And when more tasks get thrown my way, I keep saying “bring it on.” So I keep doing more and more and more. And then my work-life balance gets all out of whack. And, the one that suffers the most is me. Because at the end of the day, my job gets done, and my kids are fed and bathed and loved, and I still try to be the best mother-wife-daughter-friend-coworker I can be. But the things I find the most joy in, I no longer have time for. Nurturing myself and my needs becomes last on my list of things to do. No more scrapbooking or exercising or reflecting or snuggling or reading, or even eating well. Life is in overdrive and there is just this whirlwind of rushing and cramming and chugging. And then the house gets messy. I get overtired. I get resentful. And angry with myself. I crave more balance, more time to recharge and actually enjoy the projects (instead of just being a conveyor belt of activity). However, I am often unable to get out of the cycle because I can’t ask for help. And I often can’t say no.
I really need to work on that. Work on knowing my limits, setting boundaries, and managing expectations – both at work and at home. Ultimately, I think we all operate at our best when we are challenged, yet well rested and centered. Frenetic is not healthy for anyone…
Hello there! I’ve been quietly making a list of scrapbook products that I want to covet in my next trip to my LSS.
- Halloween is right around the corner and I really want to get my hands on some of the new line from Making Memories. The colors are vivid and the line is so versatile and whimsical! Love it!
- My October Jenni Bowlin kit should be here in a few days and I can’t wait! It, as always, looks totally awesome.
- I love the aged, timeless look of the Festive line from My Mind’s Eye. I actually might base my next class on this line (class coming in January).
- I want to get my hands on these books: Life Artist by Ali Edwards and The 2007 Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame.
As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I am ready to hunker down and get creative. How about you? If you are, feel free to share some of your tips and idea with me on my blog or via the contact form on my site! Hope to hear from you soon.
The mums have been planted, the pumpkins have been carved, the hay has been harvested and I am finally ready to embrace autumn. I’m ready for sweatshirts and mulled cider. For fallen leaves and fireplaces. For warm blankets and thick socks.
I’m ready for the splendor of the changing leaves, visiting apple orchards, and cooking in the crock pot. I’m also looking forward to spending more time indoors – creating, crafting, and compiling my memories. I’m looking forward to cuddling, catching up on my reading, and an earlier bedtime.
What are you looking forward to this season?
A couple weeks ago, we got a few packages on the doorstep. One was a surprise from the Binky Fairy (my youngest recently tossed her binkies – hallelujah). And the other was a pink package from “Sharpay” (High School Musical fame). Sharpay wanted to encourage my aforementioned youngest to progress from diapers to underwear and she sent along a pink and yellow Supersuit. Shay LOVED her Supersuit (and the neighborhood kids were baffled as to how we could possibly receive a package from Sharpay).
She wore it to bed that night in the hopes that with her newfound superpowers, she would wake up relatively dry and ready to tackle life in underwear only. Is it wrong that she peed through it the very first night? hahaha. Just a small example of Life Unscripted with a toddler. It’s okay…we think she’s still pretty super.
I am 15. I am in love for the first time. We go on a date to the movies. I get all dressed up in my white jeans and bust out the Bonnie Bell peppermint lip gloss and Love’s Baby Soft to impress him. I order Raisinettes. One falls, unbeknownst to me, while I watch the movie. The credits roll and the movie is over. Lights come on. I have a big brown stain on the butt of my white jeans. Despite the Love’s Baby Soft, I am not very impressive now, am I? I know you are wondering, and yes, we did date for a while – despite the brown out on my jeans.
I tell you this because it is funny (although admittedly painful at the time) and because I will get around to scrapbooking it one of these days. Tip for today: scrapbook the angst of your teenage years. Now that you are older and have lived to see the humor of those previously painful situations, it will make good material for your layouts. You never know, you might help your own child through a Raisinette incident in the future.
Have a great day!
“Monday, hard to wake up
Fill my coffee cup, I’m out the door
Yeah, the freeway’s standing still today
It’s gonna make me late, and thats for sure
I’m running out of gas and out of time
Never gonna make it there by nine”
Honestly, why do Mondays suck so bad?