grumpiness and a gorgeous autumn day
Ever have those mornings where there's a general aura of grumpiness going around? Maybe not in your home, but it occasionally happens in our home. I think it usually relates to one sort of stress or another when it comes from me or my husband, and when it comes from one of the kids, I can oftentimes correlate it to not enough sleep or some sort of little sickness (a cold or something) making it's way through our home. Either way, the reality is that sometimes grumpiness takes a bit of a hold on us. And if we're not careful, it can ruin the entire day! And homeschool is nearly impossible to do with grumpiness kicking around.
If my children are having a tough time, I've found a couple of things help us:
• Read together. Something about snuggling up and reading a book does wonders! I'm not sure if it's the extra snuggles or diverting attention to something different, but it really does work.
• Be understanding. Children are people too. And they have feelings and things they are trying to work though. It's unreasonable for me or any other adult to think that children don't have feelings or even occasionally have reason to be upset about something. With that said, I try not to feed into the bad mood by giving them permission. I like to sit down and listen then talk to them and try to see the world from their point-of-view. Empathy goes a long way, doesn't it?
• Pray together. Sometimes when the day is just not going right, we have an extra prayer. I sometimes overhear Matthew praying by himself when the day is going a little "off". "Heavenly Father, please help us get along and be happy and feel of thy Spirit." Praying makes all of the difference in the world. Something about that humble act of acknowledging we need God's help to get through something transforms the feeling in our home. And of course when one of the boys offers the prayer I feel like they have an extra close connection with heaven, and we're all back to feeling happy and cheerful in no time.
And then there's me. What can I do when I'm not feeling my best? A while back I read these words, and they resonated with me--especially in my role as a mother:
"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wow. Those words. The weight of that responsibility is real! And yet, it's in my control, so I can be at peace. The reality is that I decide the climate of our home...not uncontrollable circumstances, or strangers or anything else. Me. I notice this is magnified with homeschool because I'm not only the mother, I am also the teacher. And I carry with me into our classroom the attitude that I started the morning. If I'm feeling a bit impatient or annoyed or put upon, our school goes miserably! However, if I'm in the right mindset and heart, my boys can feel it, and there isn't anything that can stop us from having an awesome day. Prayer is the thing that changes my heart to the way I want it to be.
Here's a few more pictures and a couple little videos from our adventuring today! My goodness I love what I do. And I love the company I have all day, everyday. xo