Annoying Little Things

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You know those times when someone in your family (husband, child, whoever) just can’t seem to do that one thing right? And you start to feel the frustration and annoyance rising just thinking about it?

I’m talking about little things, like which side of the sink to put the dirty dishes (why on earth would you put them on the “clean” side?), or the way the books get stacked horizontally on the bookshelf (everyone knows they should be standing upright, no?!).

(Or the pronunciation of “mischievous”, “realtor” and “height”… and the correct use of apostrophes. Yep, that’s me, maybe a little OCD, I admit.)

Just the little things that annoy you every. single. time.

Now, a question: Have you ever tried (I mean, really tried) to look past the annoying and frustrating to find something pleasing and beautiful?

Just because you may think that, OF COURSE, the books should be standing vertically (and in order from tallest to shortest, please!), doesn’t mean that someone else cares at all about the books.

Maybe they care about how the shoes are placed by the door, or how their shirts are organized on the shelf, or the way the lawn is mowed.

Maybe, by doing things differently than the way you would do them, your child is letting his creativity or eye for detail show through, and your husband is telling you what really matters to him. That’s a beautiful thing!

But, all too often, we think that our way is the best way.

And we overlook the fact that their opinions matter too.

My point is that everyone has their little habits and things that matter to them, and just because you all happen to share a house and, possibly, a last name, doesn’t mean everyone should do things the same way (or.. your way).

Accepting others’ “faults” and looking for their gifts can make your life a LOT less stressful. A challenge, yes, but probably worth the effort.

And maybe it will help you see a few things that you do that are annoying to everyone else around you as well.

My goal this week: Focus on the good I see, and let the little things slide. And smile!

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If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)
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Thoughts on Parenting Books | Simple Mom

I just made my own mozzarella cheese! It turned out pretty good, so that’s definitely happening again… I’ll share more about it in the future.

Moving on… today’s topic: the unnecessary stress parenting books can give a new (or seasoned) mother, and why learning more about different parenting styles and ideologies is not always best for a parent or kids.

Actually, I was more than a little lost when I started writing this post (or thinking about writing it, since I didn’t have so much as a letter typed yet)… One of those days.

But then I got my daily update from Simple Mom and… problem solved.

Sarah Dunning Park shared her thoughts on parenting books yesterday and the effects they can have on actual parenting. And she included one of her poems on motherhood from her new book!

If you’ve ever had a concern about your child and started a week-long search for a solution or reason or advice you could actually do something with, asking everyone you know for their opinion an expertise, combing through book after book on parenting methods (and, if you’re like me… lots of internet searches and a few Kindle purchases), and still not been satisfied…. you need to read this post. I know I did!

Here’s a little piece from Sarah’s post:

I’d start with a simple question — is my baby supposed to be acting this way? — and somehow it would turn into an epic quest to find the One Right Answer, which I was certain must be found somewhere in the impressive stack of parenting books on my bedside table.
 
I was spending way too much time poring over these books — time that I could have spent finding my own way to mother her, or, I don’t know, catching up on my sleep.
 

Head over to Simple Mom to read more!

Happy mothering!

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Making Our Values Real – Part Three

Image courtesy of healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here

In discovering our primary value/priority for our lives, we must realize that we can set all the goals we want but they are futile without this:

Life is NOW.

Not in a week, a month, a year… Our lives are happening NOW, as we speak.

We can set a goal to lose 20 pounds by June, or plan a schedule to ease us into eating healthier (less starch this week, more water next week, etc.), or decide that we will create a more peaceful home next month, or start making our home more fun-filled once our youngest turns 3, or whatever….

But what we need to realize is that our life doesn’t start in June or next month or when the youngest is 3.

Our lives are happening NOW.

So, instead of making plans, goals, decisions for the future, make them for now.

Decide TODAY that you will eat healthier TODAY. Light a candle or get rid of junk to make your home more peaceful TODAY. Play a game with your children and laugh together TODAY.

Make it happen… TODAY.

How we spend our moments is how we spend our lives.

– Paul Brandt

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I hope you enjoyed this mini-series about building our lives around our most valued qualities. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Would you like to see more series like this? Any requests or ideas for future topics?

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Making Our Values Real – Part Two

(Continued from last week’s post…)

Now that we’ve discovered what our most desired characteristic for our home is, what do we do about it, what do we do WITH it?

We tailor our lives around THAT quality.

Last week I mentioned that mine is peace.

So how do I create that peace in our home? How do I make our lives more peaceful?

It’s all in the little decisions we make from day to day.

What can I do to make our home more peaceful?

Well, in a physical aspect, many things, actually: I can declutter, play soft music, decorate in a cozy style that says “come on in and relax” to anyone who happens to enter our door, cook good meals that the entire family can enjoy together, keep our home relatively tidy (the decluttering would help with this, minimizing stuff to clean up in the first place), keep our home free from expensive breakables so our children can play and live freely without any stuffiness… and the list goes on and on.

Now this may sound complicated. It’s not.

We just have to decide to do it.

You don’t have to take a course or buy a product.

You just have to change your mind.

-Steven Pressfield
 

But it goes further than creating a peaceful, comfortable home physically. What about our actual lives, our daily activities, the over-all flow of our days?

We put our purpose first.

For me: Peace comes first.

After that, it’s all in the application…

If I plan a playdate on Monday, coffee with my mother-in-law Tuesday, a doctor’s appointment Wednesday and so on… will our lives be peaceful? No, we will be constantly leaving the house, rushing here and there, and still trying to live normal, peacful lives at home, cook meals, make sure we’re home on time for the kids’ naps, etc. The stress would ruin all the good that might come from all these appointments. If I spread them out and, say, only plan something for 2 or 3 days per week, our lives will run smoother and be quieter, hence more peaceful.

Will me cleaning the entire house from top to bottom in a week cultivate peace? No, so I don’t do it in a week. Rather, I spread my deep cleaning out over the entire year so that I NEVER have to do any spring/fall cleaning that would take away from our peaceful home, even if only for a week.

Will rushing off to town for a last minute lunch ingredient cultivate peace? No, I would have to wake the baby from her nap, race to town and back and then frantically throw a meal together probably over the noise of a crying child (or two). NOT worth it… I’ll substitute with another ingredient I already have.

You get the picture.

But, this is me. I tend to like staying at home and taking life slowly. Obviously, not everyone is like me, so you may find comfort in having a busy, full schedule. Nothing at all wrong with that – every woman and family has different characteristics and values.

So, that quality that you deeply desire for your family, that characteristic that you want your lives built around?

Make sure that always comes first.

Find something you’re passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it.
-Julia Child
 

(Find Part 3 here)

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Some Links for You

Just a couple of links to great reads from the past week… Enjoy!

How My Definition of Professional Motherhood Has Changed | Steady Mom

3 Truths of Personal Growth | Simple Mom

Have any related links to share with other moms? Feel free to post them in the comment section!