We've decided that it must suck to be the only boy in a family of girls. 4Daddy remembers being the lone boy with two sisters (until his younger brothers were born many years later) and being a young boy very well. His insight has helped me immeasurably; meaning that I'm able to refrain from strangling 4B because I have a window into his world and because I know this, too, shall pass. We're trying a few new things with him that seem to be working. More on that later.
I'm cooking up a few posts for the new year, but progress has been slow with all the kids home, 4B's neediness, and a sick 4D. I'll get to them; I promise.
In years' past, I've rattled off lists of resolutions as long as my arm. Sticking to some but not most. So, I've decided to enter this year of 2012 with just one: take care of myself.
Taking care of myself includes the following things:
- getting healthy (e.g., cutting out artificial and going natural again, exercising, drinking my water, tackling my anemia),
- having more fun with my babies (taking time to love being with them and not just caring for them),
- saying NO a LOT more (I absolutely love, love, LOVE to help and volunteer; that, however, comes at a cost to my family, my nerves, and my sanity; less is going to have to be more, or just less, but less it will be)
- spending more time with 4Daddy (meaning that we can no longer tolerate being ships passing in the night, nothing but child-wranglers, and just co-parent roommates; we are real autonomous adults, and it's okay for us to act like it!),
- working harder and smarter at making my children independent so that I'm not so needed and harried and maid-y and waitress-y and grumpy,
- saying yes to and accepting more help (there are others out there, believe it or not, who know how and are willing to write social stories and create behavioral supports for 4A, to help 4B be a boy and burn off his boy energy, to listen to and enjoy 4C's constant enthusiasm, and to wrangle and wipe 4D; imagine that!; I can say yes when they offer, and I can even....gasp!....ask for it when I need it!), and
- increasing my spiritual life (this is a subject for a later post).
Taking care of myself does not include the following things:
- trying to make people happy (my children, my friends, my parents, my spouse, those I volunteer with),
- taking care of others when they could do it themselves (honestly, it is easier and less of a hassle for me to shake up and hang the damn wet towel that's on the bedroom floor, but all four of my children have working arms and legs; I AM NOT A MAID!),
- giving up what I need for the sake of someone else's happiness (now, this doesn't mean that I can't put others before myself; I still intend on doing that, BUT I have needs, too, and if they aren't met, I don't have anything left to give anybody else. As my dear friend, Ms. Paula told me, "Everyone's making withdrawals, Hollie. Who's making deposits?"), and
- saying yes when I really mean no (no, actually, I don't feel like wiping your ass because you're 8 and you have to do it yourself; no, I don't feel like going to that PTA meeting because I'd rather watch a movie with my husband; no, I don't want to help you find the DSi stylus because it's not mine and I didn't use it last; no, I really don't want to put together another event or craft or activity because I'm tapped out--more on this in the new year, I promise!.)
2011 has been a wonderful year, full of all the things life should be about: love, loss, illness, health, fun, drudgery, family togetherness, sadness, bliss, and TIME! 2012 will hold, I pray, even more of that, for me and you, I hope. I determine to get better at being me and enjoying the time that I have, using it more wisely and being more grateful for it in each moment of my days.