Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All the Small Things

It's the holiday season  Christmas time and it seems that most of the world starts to love each other a little more. Sure, there's the crazy stories of people crushing other people in efforts to get the perfect Black Friday sale item, but the stories that come more frequently (and the ones on which I choose to focus), are the stories of goodwill toward men.  

Last week one of the locals here went on his second annual quest to make December 1 "Pay it Forward" Day.  I love that he is trying to make life a little more loving and I definitely participated, but I think we should remember to pay it forward more often than just once a year.  Now, I know for some people, one day of paying it forward is a stretch and making it a specific day gets those people to think outside their comfort zone and do something a little different, but I imagine that all of you reading pay it forward a little more frequently than just once every 365 days.  So, what do you do? 

How do you decide when to do something? Do you pick one specific day a month or do you do it everyday? Or maybe you just do it when the time is right and it hits you that you should do something.  That's generally the way I do it, but I find that I go through spurts of giving, sometimes doing it a lot and sometimes forgetting for days at a time.  I also tend to neglect those times when I might give just a small bit of my time and not consider that as paying it forward.  But, you know what?  Just a simple smile to the mom whose demon spawn child is having a meltdown, might be the best thing you could ever give her that day.  

So today, almost a full week after "Pay It Forward" Day, I challenge you to do a little something for someone else for the next 7 days.  It could be as big as paying for the groceries for the person in front of you or it might be as small holding the door for open for the parent with the stroller.  And you should feel good about whatever you do, because I've been that parent before and I promise ~ holding the door open for me when I'm trying to finagle the stroller through it is one of the best presents you could give me.  

Will you take the Pay It Forward 7 Day Challenge? 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Bathtub Diaries

So this is what it comes down to:  the only time I have to blog is when my child is in the bathtub.  Now, before you go and judge me as a terrible mother because instead of playing with my child, I’m instead blogging, let me make you aware of a few things. 

1.     1. Bath time is one of the very few times during the day when the Monkey has active, independent play.  I’ve try to encourage many small periods of independent play during the day, but she always wants a playmate (Partly because she’s an only child? It’s a theory I’ve considered, at least.).  When we realized over the summer that she plays happily and independently in the bathtub, we ran with it.

2.     2. I'm sitting on the bathroom floor watching her in the tub and I do talk with her.  I’m not that neglectful.

3.     3. Because of the Monkey’s skin condition, she must take a bath every single day (No matter what. Seriously.) and it has to be a MINIMUM of thirty minutes, but forty-five minutes to an hour is really better.  Okay, that’s a long time to be in the bath tub and it gets a little boring. 
Now that you know the full story, feel free to judge away.  (Keep in mind though, that means I can judge you next time…)

Back to my original point though, how is it that the only free time in my day is during bath time? I think it’s time to go back using the system I discovered in Managers of Their Homes by The Maxwells.  I encountered a small amount of criticism from other moms when I first started using it because you literally schedule everything during the course of your day (with the only exception being bathroom breaks).   Those who criticized felt that too much emphasis was placed on the timing of the day and that there was no spontaneity in it.  I found that it worked really well for me because there was a good amount of “found” time in my day this way.  When I originally used the program, I was able to schedule an hour long nap for MYSELF every day, have myself in bed by 10pm (which I love because I function better the next day), and even found time during the day to be a little crafty.  All of those little scheduling perks happened in addition to my regular duties that occur during my day as a domestic goddess and personal assistant to a two year old.

Regardless of where we "find" the time, I think it's important that everyone takes at least a little bit of time for him or herself each day.  Even if we find that time in the bathroom...