Tag Archives: stressed-out

Insane … completely insane

Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

It appears I have something to learn from that.

Either that or accept that I’m completely insane and move on.

After a busy weekend and several late nights, I figured it would do my kids good to sleep for a bit longer this morning. I did attempt to wake them up at the usual time, but they were less than receptive. So I left them alone and got some stuff done around the house.

An hour later, I tried again. This time, they woke up and joined me for breakfast, but not without a whole hell of a lot of screaming and crying and whining about pajama bottoms being on the floor and too far away to reach from the warmth of the bed. (Apparently, my daughter was hot during the night and removed half of her pajamas in her sleep, flinging the unwanted bottoms across the room.)

Long story short, eventually everyone made it to the kitchen, consumed some breakfast then got ready for school/daycare/work.

Throughout the morning fiasco, I questioned why I let them sleep in at all. Every single time I let them sleep late, chaos ensues. The kids are upset, we’re all late, no one wants to cooperate. Some of it can be attributed to not eating breakfast on time. My kids, especially my oldest, can’t function if they’re hungry…and I pay for it—every time.

So I wonder, am I insane? If every time I let them sleep in, I get the same result (screaming, uncooperative children), why do I let them sleep in?

Because I’m insane. You’d think I’d learn from the results. But they are so cute when they’re sleeping. It’s hard to imagine them causing any kind of trouble. I suppose it’s nature’s way of preventing parents from abandoning their young. If they never looked sweet and angelic, we parents, exhausted, worn out and abused, probably wouldn’t hang around too long to care for the little screaming dictators. What do you think? Am I right? Maybe not right, but definitely insane. I’m going to let them sleep in tomorrow.

I’ll let you know how it turns out. (If you don’t hear from me after tomorrow, rest assured I’m enjoying my new padded cell…and the peace and quiet.)

P.S. The winner of the Apple TV from Staples Canada is Daniela Ferrante. Congratulations! I’ll email you.

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Boundaries in an Overconnected World

The title of this book grabbed me. It took hold of all the swirling thoughts and buzzing phones and beeping computers and spun them around in my head until I could only see blurred lines from all the chaotic movement.

What I wanted to do was draw a circle around my brain just inside the vortex of buzzing and beeping and ringing and people vying for my attention and call that my boundary and force all of the noise out.

That’s what I pictured when I read the title of the book.Boundaries cover_a

And that’s what the book is all about. How to draw that line, create that boundary, stop the noise.

Anne Katherine authored another book called Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin, which I now of course have to read because it’s the basis for the concept of boundaries.

And if there’s something I’m not good at, it’s creating and maintaining boundaries.

On page 73, Anne Katherine succinctly describes my biggest issue with boundaries (or lack thereof):

“Yikes! You Mean I Have to Set Each of My Boundaries Myself?

As with any new skill, boundary setting can feel awkward at first. Many of us fear we’ll lose a friend if we set a boundary. But think about the cost to the friendship if you don’t set a boundary. Over time, the friendship is likely to fade anyway if your boundaries continue to be trampled (or if you keep trampling on someone else’s).”

To get to the meat of Boundaries in an Overconnected World, it’s a fantastic read, straightforward, serious and relevant. Though I enjoyed the whole book and all the help it provided as I become better able to establish boundaries, I was particularly interested in Chapter 10: Protecting Your Children.

As my kids get older (and spend more time online), I’m going to have to start thinking about the boundaries for them. As Anne Katherine says in her book, “Children and teens are so accustomed to computers and life online that we grownups can easily feel that they are way beyond our own capacity with electronic media. They probably are. But we still have better judgment and a clearer idea of how a chain of events can become dangerous.”

Chapter 10 provides great tips and tools for parents to help their children develop boundaries for their online activities. But beyond that, Anne Katherine really gets to the heart of the “connection” issue. Boundaries in a digital world are as much about setting rules and guidelines as they are about creating real connection with each other. She states in chapter 10: “Working closely with your children around Internet use automatically strengthens family intimacy boundaries.”

And, as a parent, what I want most is for my kids to be involved and understand why we set boundaries, and for them to know that, no matter what they encounter in the great big digital world, they can always come to me and their dad and we will help them.

For those without children, Boundaries in an Overconnected World also covers personal information boundaries, online dating, chat rooms, work boundaries and many other useful topics including what to do if you can’t set boundaries for yourself.

It’s a very well-written book with lots of helpful information. Given how busy life tends to get and the fact that my blog’s name is based on how much Life Takes Over, becoming more clear on boundaries by reading this book is going to be very useful.

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Title: Boundaries in an Overconnected World: Setting Limits to Preserve Your Focus, Privacy, Relationships, and Sanity
Author: Anne Katherine
ISBN: 978-1-60868-190-7

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I received a review copy of Boundaries in an Overconnected World. The opinions above are entirely my own. I received no compensation for my review.

Sometimes we have to laugh

The last two days at our house have been…rough. Not worse than usual, mind you, but rough just the same.

Both my kids are potty trained…and have been for quite some time.

So pee and poop accidents are jarring to say the least.

Yet, yesterday and again today, I was jarred.

The morning started out as usual. Two kids shaken from sleep, grumpy and unwilling to comply. A happy, morning-person mommy (the things we do for our kids) snuggling and tickling and whispering soft encouragement into their little ears and hearts (not that it seemed to help, but maybe it did—we’ll never know).

Eventually, they were both up and eating breakfast. And all was moving along according to plan.

Then the pee hit the floor. Quite literally. Continue reading

Where did all the fun go?

When did our world (and by “our” I mean “my”), get all hung up on little things and stressed out?

Some time ago, my daughter was doing her homework at the kitchen table while I made dinner. My son wanted to join the homework fun, too. I offered him colouring books, writing activities, puzzles, etc., none of which caught his attention. Then I pulled out a game/puzzle exercise a friend had given me for my son. It had belonged to her son when he was younger and had been sent to him from his relatives in Germany.

I laid it out on the kitchen table and read the instructions. There were, of course, English instructions, but some of it was literal translation and a bit of German crept in. So, to make things fun, I used a German accent when I read the instructions out loud.

Both my kids dissolved into a laughing mess. Continue reading

Taking it too far

I went too far. My little guy was trying to put honey on his toast, a task he has been bugging to do on his own for a week now. But one that I have been intercepting and doing myself—mainly because the honey jar was too full and heavy for him to manage without a sticky disaster.

So, this morning, with the jar only half full, I allowed it. He managed to tip the jar and get the honey flowing, but he held the jar too close to his toast and got honey all over the mouth of the jar and the lid.

He did successfully get honey only on his toast and nowhere else. (YAY Little Brother!)

But when he tipped the jar back upright, honey trailed across the table, all over his hand, and down the side of the jar.

Not a big deal. At least, I don’t think it’s a big deal now. Billy Bee Liquid Bear Honey

But at 7:00 a.m. this morning, with two kids still needing to eat breakfast, get ready for school, and get out the door by 7:30 a.m., the honey mess was one sticky situation that I had not worked into my morning plan to get us out the door on time.

So, I kinda lost it.

Here’s what transpired:

I took the honey jar from him (perhaps “snatched” is a better word) and I told him he was making a mess and he couldn’t have honey anymore because it was too much work to clean up the disaster he had made.

He crossed his arms on the table and put his little head down on his arms.

He looked crushed, sad, defeated, hurt, and shamed.

I did that to him.

Not a proud moment looking back on it. And, even in the moment, I knew it was not my best mommy moment.

We all make mistakes. We are all under pressure to get things done and done on time. I do my best to build extra time into our mornings so that we don’t have to rush and so that episodes like this one don’t have to happen. But sometimes we slip. I slipped. I hit snooze one time too many and created an environment of rush rush rush. And all it got me was this aching guilt that I hurt my son’s feelings. (OK, I got 10 extra minutes of sleep, too, but so what? His feelings are more important.)

So, what do I do now?

When I see him tonight, I will apologize to him and explain, in simple terms, that Mommy shouldn’t have said what she said about no more honey for him. And I will tell him that Mommy thinks that he did a good job getting the honey on his toast, and that if he keeps practising, he’ll be able to do it perfectly in no time. Then I will hug him and play with him for a bit before I start to make dinner and set in motion the evening routine.

Have you ever done or said something to your child that you regretted and wished you could take back?

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The end…

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

(Thanks to On the Homefront for bringing this quote to my attention. It’s fitting this week.)

Last week of school. Field trips, appreciation lunches, end-of-year meetings for school council and planning meetings for church, end-of-year barbecues for all the stuff my kids are involved in, finally nice enough weather to get outside and garden, go to the splash pad, the pool, visit with friends, enjoy the parks. Plus deadlines at work (full-time) and extra meetings at the part-time job. It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I miss sleep. Continue reading

Best laid plans

What is it with Murphy? This law of his really is the pits.

It happens to everyone. I know I’m not special. But why is it that whenever you plan something, or things need to go a certain way, something always happens to throw a wrench in it?

Take this week, for example. I run a conference for the company I work for. The conference is this Wednesday. I need to be in the office the two days leading up to the conference to make sure everything for the day of the conference is done, the handouts are printed and delivered, the banners and posters arrive and are correct, the name tags are ready, etc., etc.

But guess what? Continue reading