Tag Archives: activity

Learn By Watching Our Kids

Sometimes we learn the most by watching our kids.. in the craziness of this pandemic, I have 3 kids that are just living life as kids.  

The amount of schoolwork that I should be doing with my 3 kids is overwhelming.  I get daily emails from all their teachers along with all their  special assignments.  I’m addition, I’m working from home. There is no way I could keep up with all that is sent home.  My situation is like millions of others.. 

I know I wrote before about how I tried to do it all in the beginning couple weeks of distance learning… completely unrealistic for anyone that’s trying to have 3 kids at home and work full time.  So then we figured out a plan and we started just doing what was required. And this works for us.  And instead my kids just spend time being kids.  The activities that my kids are creating on their own is definitely rewarding for them.

 I do not organize a lot of “ organized “ fun. I don’t make them play games or have something planned every minute of the day. We don’t do a million pinterest crafts that I would ended up being more frustrated with than when I started.  I don’t make them play math games with their vegetables and fruits.  All of those things are great, but they always add extra stress that I can handle right now.  And I have learned the spontaneous activities usually turn out to be the best for us. 

Instead they figure out of their own what they spend their day doing.. some days they might hang out in their rooms more and other days they are making homemade chocolate cake at 9 am.  My daughter’s have found crafts and painting supplies and ordered them off amazon by themselves.  

So I think what I have realized is how independent my kids are these days… They do their schoolwork and chores and then the rest of the day is their’s to do what they want.  They make their own lunch most days. Even my 9 year old has learned to make his own ramen noodles. 

I walked outside last week and each kid was doing their own thing activity.   Amber ( my oldest) was bleaching designs on her sweatpants, Claire ( my

Middle) was making a wooden hamster cage, and nolan ( my youngest) was sanding sticks with the electric sander.  Each kid was just happy doing what they wanted.  

Even though we are all together all the time… 24 hours a day.. We really don’t spend that much time together.  We come together for a dinner, a movie night, a game through the week.. but otherwise I let my kids use their own creativity and make a lot of their own decisions.  

I’ve noticed so much the last few weeks that I haven’t seen in such a long time.  They are finding new things to do and they are actually hanging out together.  It’s almost strange at times.  They haven’t complained about not going places or running constantly.  They haven’t even asked to go to target, probably knowing the answer would be no right now.  

I know this time has been really hard on me. I miss my friends and my co workers.  I’m trying to navigate each day the best that I can.  But then I see how my kids are coping and they seem happy and content.  With all the craziness in the world right now, these kids are just enjoying being kids.  

-snarky 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

What Are Your Hobbies?

What are your hobbies?  I have hated that question since I was in school.  I have no hobbies…How do you start doing things you for you?

Last Spring, I decided that I needed to do something for myself. I needed to start getting back into things.. And by things I mean, hobbies, activities, or something that I loved.  I was married for over 13 years, you have kids, and then you stop doing things that you love.   I think we all experience that part of life even with being divorced or not. Having kids is great, but you have to give up many things in the process. I stayed home with my children for many years, so over time I forgot the things that I loved. Or I would feel guilty for wanting to do them.. Yes, the mom guilt.

I love music.. I love concerts…I love working out.. I love golf.  I started to think about all the things that I had really enjoyed in life and had not enjoyed in so long.  It had been years since I had done a lot for myself.  Or even put myself first.

I had golfed after college and even did my internship at a golf resort, but after having kids I had not done it in years. I had missed it.  Being outside with friends and a few drinks in the summer felt so heavenly.   I knew a friend that was in a women’s golf league and so I decided to join. I did not have a partner and I only knew a few people in the league, this was way out of my comfort league.  I usually gravitate towards smaller groups and people that I know.  I was scared to death… what if my partner was a golf pro, what if she wasn’t fun, what if she didn’t sneak drinks on the course… All these things were going through my head.  I like to know what to expect and this was all new…I am a woman in her 40’s that is freaking out about meeting new people.  Yep, just like high school it never changes.

Well I did it, I joined the league and somehow I got placed with a partner that was just recently divorced with kids.  All of my fears were put aside the moment I meant her.. I mean she suck “truly’s into her golf bag.  A girl after my own heart!  We really suck at playing golf, but we have so much fun. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and this was it.   I mean sometimes its pretty much dark before we get off the course..haha.  We golfed each week and could talk about our divorce, frustrations, dating, etc.. we became great friends.  I can not tell you how great it felt to do something again that I am doing for myself and that I love.

Every Tuesday from May through September I golf in a women’s league.  This is what I do for myself. Yes, I do golf league even when I have my kids. I am not a bad mom for not spending every moment with my kids and I have learned that you do need to put yourself first at times.

It just think its important to start doing things, activities,  hobbies, etc. for yourself.  Find the one that you love or might learn to love.. And do it.  You might have to start from scratch and find something you enjoy..might be something completely different than the old you. Lets face it, you are different.

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

It’s Ok To Take A Time Out

I used to have my kids in every activity and was involved with so many volunteer projects….  and then I decided to take a time out.I would make sure we attended every school and church event.  I would volunteer for every activity or fundraiser that the school sponsored.   And then I do not know what happened, but my thinking changed. I was tired of doing all those things.. I was tired of running constantly.  I was just tired.

I was doing those things because I felt I had to…. That was what a good mom does, you run your ass off morning until night.. It was crazy because running my ass off does not make me a good mom.  It makes me a crazy crabby bitchy mom.  I  do not know when this started where you have to be involved in everything to be a good parent or to feel like you are, but it is insane.   I loved to volunteer in my kids classrooms, but I did not love baking cupcakes, or being on the PTA, or collecting box tops. And I hate selling coupon books for fundraisers.. (that’s a whole other topic)

Now…Don’t get me wrong, I do think kids need to be in activities and we all need to volunteer in some capacity for school, however you do not need to do it all.   I know this was my own fault, I signed my kids up for all these activities and I signed myself up for all volunteer shifts.    I wanted to sit and watch TV with my kids. I wanted to do nothing some nights.  I wanted to just enjoy being with them.  I wanted to not be a stressed out crazy lady from running from activity to activity.

So, I stopped signing them up for every activity.  I stopped volunteering for opportunities that I didn’t feel passionate about. And I stopped attending every fundraiser.  I started asking my kids what they wanted to do and what they enjoyed the most.  I would ask if they were ok if we skipped a fundraiser or a school event.  Might seem selfish, but it made our entire family a lot happier and less stressed.  My kids have now each found the one activity or sport that they as passionate about and that works.  I  did not want to spend their entire childhood years feeling rushed…

As a parent you feel overwhelmed at times with all the activities that you children can participate in now.  But the truth is you don’t have to feel pressure to do it all.   A couple weeks ago someone was talking about about constantly running from church, to soccer, to drama club one night and I said why don’t you just let them skip?   And she said, “ what you that teach them?” What would that teach them…haha.. I laughed and said, “that we are human and we can’t do it all and some days you just need to stop and say no”.  That if I am tired and wore out, then I am sure my kids are also.

It’s Monday morning and my teenager has a migraine and stomach ache..she is begging to stay home and I believe that kids need down time.  They need time to do nothing and be kids. I believe that my kids need days to stay home.  They need days to do nothing and to “veg” out.   They need that time to unwind just like adults do.  If adults can take time to binge watch a series on Netflix, then I am sure my kids do too.

So yes, I do let my 8th grader stay home if she needs a day to regroup.  Kids have an amazing amount of stress and expectations put on them these days.   From school academics, to fundraisers, to mission trips, to athletics, to volunteering, religion class, to babysitting…. they are trying to do it all and they are still just kids.

I let my son skip soccer if he is had a bad day at school.  I let my daughter take a night off from religion class if she needs to decompress from the middle school drama.  And I do not think twice about it.. I do not think by letting my kids take that time for themselves, that it sets a bad example.  I think it shows that at times, we all have days where we just need to recharge.  Or we just need a time out.

I so appreciate that my kids can come to me and tell me when they feel overloaded or stressed.. I think it is so important that they know when they need a break.  I appreciate that they can tell me when they do not want to do something and just want to stay home.  I so appreciate their honesty over anything else.

Snarky Divorced Gal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Learn To Make No Plans

We made no plans and it was such a great weekend. The temperature was -15 below zero this morning. The kids and I laid in bed and did nothing for hours. We had breakfast at 11am because It’s what we wanted to do….

After I was recently divorced, I felt that when I had my kids I had to spend every minute with them and entertain them all the time. I would have the entire weekend planned with activities and events. We would visit family, friends, go to a waterpark, MOA, shopping, etc… I was exhausted with planning events and taking them everywhere. My daughter finally said “ Can’t we just stay home” and I didn’t understand why she would want to stay home. It took me over a year to realize that my kids could care less about going places. They just wanted to spend time at home. They wanted to hang out, watch movies, play video games, have sleepovers, and destroy the living room with Doritos. They wanted to sleep in until 11 or stay up until midnight. They wanted to be comfortable and be a kid.

I am a planner and I LOVE to plan my day. I plan everything in my day…and this killed me to just have days where we didn’t plan anything or let the day plan itself. This was very hard for me because I had complete mom guilt from the divorce and I wanted them to enjoy all of our time together. I thought I needed to make up for the time that I was not with them. It took me along time to realize that my kids were the same kids as before my divorce… They wanted to be themselves, be comfortable, and didn’t need all the extras. So, I realized that I could go to the gym, I could clean the house, paint my bathroom, go for a walk with a friend, or just have leftovers for dinner. We didn’t need to have some extravagant weekend planned. And it also meant that I couldn’t plan every activity or weekend. I had to let them make choices and tell me what they wanted. This is a very hard thing for a planner..so hard.

And now I LOVE these days or weekends.. Sometimes we skip activities or church just because I want too. Going out to eat is one of their favorite things to do together. At first, I thought it was nuts and a waste of money. However, I realized this was one thing that we all enjoyed to do together and it was uninterrupted. They couldn’t escape sitting with each other at a restaurant and we had to talk. Their other favorite activity is going to Target. Yes, my kids love to go to target. They like to all go together and walk around…So on Fridays, I pick them up from school and we go to Starbucks and Target. Not to Zoo or a waterpark, but Target..seriously Target.

I let me kids plan their day.. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like a house party and I do have some control, but I let them have friends over and spend time doing what they want. It is still hard for me at times.. I come up with these great ideas…and they just don’t want to do them.

Snarky divorced gal (snarkydivorcedgal.com)

Create A Memory Space

Creating A Memory Space

I have always been sentimental since childhood and have kept various memory boxes throughout the years. Twenty one years ago I attended my first workshop and was introduced the concept of creating a mindful or intentional “Memory Space”.  That weekend gave me clarity about why I felt the deep desire to keep certain items around me and why I derived such comfort and pleasure from them.

As you can imagine I have had many over the years and they tend to change or rotate at various times. I know most of us are extremely busy, life today moves at a much faster clip and we don’t always take the time to mindfully create a space that is just for “Us”. I’m sure some of you might even say to yourself, who has the time or space.

From personal experience, I can share that it is so worth the time and it can take as little as 10 minutes or it can be an ongoing process that evolves as you do.

The most important part of creating your space in my opinion is making it an intentional activity and not seeing it as another “thing” you have to do.

There is no wrong way to create your Memory Space as it is a very personal practice and will be different for everyone. During this time in my life I have several all representing different aspects of what is important to me and what I want to create intentions for. By no means am I saying you need to have several, however I really believe having a space dedicated to what brings your heart joy will add richness to your days.  Examples…one for memories concerning your children or one for memories concerning family or people close to your heart.

Based on your preference, these can be created in a ‘public’ place in your home or office where it is seen by all or it can be completely personal and tucked away in a place for your eyes only.

You may want to create this as your sanctuary, a place to pray, set an intention, meditate, or simply gaze at the objects that bring you joy.

Someone once told me that ”a memory space is a place of non-ordinary reality held within ordinary reality.’

Now don’t get overwhelmed in thinking it needs to be in the perfect place or a certain size. It can be large or as small as your night stand, it could even be located inside a cabinet or a closet.

For those who have one or may know a little about them, as your might be aware, there are many types and ways of doing this. I suggest that those interested in learning more to do research. There is a plethora of information out there.

My intention is, for those of you new to this concept; to make it as simple and enjoyable as possible. It is something I love and really wanted to share as my first blog.

So let’s begin!

  1. Find a space in your home that feels most comfortable and that you will want to spend time at or at least, that you will be able to see every day.
  2. Be in a peaceful mindset as you de-clutter, clean and prepare the surface.
  3. Find a cloth, scarf, or any type of covering that feels special or is symbolic to you.
  4. Set your intention and or purpose for the space – some examples could be that you want to honor loved ones who have passed on, recall moments of joy that you have had or simply just have a space to put your favorite things. It can also be a combination of any and all of the above.
  5. Give thanks and gratitude as you place each object in the space.

Some suggestions for object you might want to consider;

  • A candle
  • Stones or shells that hold special memories.
  • Personal items that have meaning to you.
  • Crystals – always a favorite
  • Artwork, either your own or loved ones, favorite postcards or anything visual that inspires you.
  • Photographs of family, friends, beloved ones, places you either been or want to travel too.
  • Statues and or talismans any symbol that represents peace and tranquility.
  • Flowers, plants or any living thing like a fish. A fish is a symbol of prosperity.
  • Any special texts, words of wisdom or your favorite book.

Always remember that this is YOUR Space, trust that your intuition will guide you to create exactly what is needed in this moment. When you spend time or gaze upon your Memory Space, honor who you are and how far you have come.

Wishing you all that your heart desires!

Kirsten

Questions or Comments kirsten@fortunatopartners.com