It never fails; February and March always seem so endlessly mediocre. The softly falling snow has lost its novelty and though the sun (when it does shine through) if kinder she still acts like more of a tease than a true friend. We await spring eagerly.
We have fallen into the trap of filling our days with the same mediocrity. Some days it feels like I do so many activities and chores with the kids only to look at the clock and find we still have 5 hours to go until Mike gets home. I am not the fire whisperer like Mike so we sit bundled under wool and quilts venturing out to make meals, or check the chickens. We read and watch movies and do the odd craft. Next year will be better; we’ll have plenty of seasoned wood and maybe even some snowshoes to break out and into the forest. But this year seems endless.
I have been sliding down a slippery slope into the interweb’s ether. I find not having a car or a place to walk to has been tough so I compensate by socializing online. I go to Pinterest for ideas and recipes and beauty. I go to Facebook for connection and conversation and advice. I read other blogs for all those things. I check my email to keep it all in order.
I have been offered some pretty great things through the blog; book and product reviews, exciting collaborations, sponsors and trades, article submissions, wonderful whole food workshops, and incredible new people and friendships coming into my life. I am thrilled and enlivened by it all, but at the same time it takes away from my home presence. The kids have become whiny and clingy over the past couple of weeks, sensing perhaps, that I am not fully engaged. I hate to admit that they are probably right; those innocent little mirrors showing me my own reflection.
Needless to say, I need to take a step or two back before it consumes me whole. No, no, I am not going to stop writing or connecting (I promised I would write through the discomfort after all), but I will be trimming the fat and setting some boundaries. Today was the first day. I literally unplugged the internet this morning after a quick email check and stayed off until 8pm.
I won’t lie, I missed the old habit of the incessant checking and refreshing that happens throughout the day, but I made it and felt better for it. I was downright jonesing for it at a few points, but I stayed present. Truth be told, I felt more effective, the kids clung less and didn’t even ask to watch a movie. They played with blocks and each other relatively peacefully. I read Half Broken Horses (Mike’s find at the thrift store) and did a soduko or two. We read books together. We sang and Silas danced. We ate crepes and Silas alone ate 5 eggs for breakfast (the ladies were kind enough to lay another 5 to replace those eaten). It was more peaceful and less mind numbing. Even Poppy went to sleep at a decent time and without struggle which hasn’t been happening lately.
The rules so far are that I can do a quick check of messages in the morning for no more than a half hour while Poppy sleeps and Silas snuggles and looks at a book. Then it gets unplugged when we go downstairs for breakfast and stays off until 8pm. There will be exceptions, of course. I will allow myself to search for recipes and tutorials and perhaps a quick check if I am expecting an important email etc. It will be a bit rough to kick it I think, but the soul needs a good lesson in self discipline this time of year. The perfect season of Lent, no? A reminder to reign it in a bit.
Soon enough (but not nearly soon enough) Spring will be calling softly to us and we will answer with eager barefeet and big plans and all of this will be a memory. Until then, if you see me on Facebook during the day please tell me to get lost or at least make me explain myself. This also means I will be even less prompt at returning emails and comments so I apologize in advance for that.
I am still here, but I’m just trying to be a more effective Mama. At the end of the day, the family and home are what matter most. Without them stretching me and taking me to my limits in both love and frustration, what would I write about? How would I grow? It is all about those two fiercely honest faces (not to mention the one sweet beard) up there.
Tell me what boundaries you’ve set for yourself and children.
go gently + be wonderful