I am very excited each day to have a little personal time for myself. Sometimes, that is very hard to accomplish in the midst of being a wife and mother and working outside of the home. There are days I do miss being a stay-at-home mom but most of my longing has to do with the hours I can spend cooking and baking. I find it hard to spend hours on end with my daughter and have enough activities planned to keep her occupied and educated in the process. I am very thankful I can afford daycare so she can be in the company of other children and she can also receive a modified school experience.
Her daycare teaches the kids the months of the year, days of the week, some Spanish and sign language, numbers, etc. While I know I can teach her many of these things too, the one thing I can’t provide is the school-like atmosphere. I think that element is crucial to prepare her for kindergarten, especially since she is a chatterbox like me and she needs to learn to focus around others.
Thankfully, many of our good qualities are rubbing off on our daughter. She is inquisitive and thoughtful in her actions. She has an adventurous spirit and is developing a distinct like and dislike for foods. (Side note: We were in old Gilbert last night to try out the food truck experience and she enjoyed Liberty Biscuit’s Woodson sandwich; it’s a biscuit with nutella and peanut butter. Talk about the perfect kid dinner right there!).
I have a lot of fun enjoying her running commentary when we explore model homes. She embraces the experience very well; last time even a little too much as she brazenly plucked a potted flower out of its container. We tucked it gently back into the dirt, quickly entered the home, and hoped no one noticed.
As she grows up, I think we will enjoy even more seeing her personality develop, although I really hope she’s not a messy teenager. I don’t handle clutter all that well and it’s something I struggle with on a weekly basis.
The other day at work I printed out a Disaster Preparedness/Principles of Self Sufficiency that I want to utilize to help me keep clutter to a minimum in my life. I don’t agree 100% with the suggestions the authors made like “Eliminate television from your life”….NOT going to happen. I will do many things in this world to try and live a simpler life but getting rid of our t.v. is not one of them.
Here are some of the principles that I do agree with:
-Buy things that will last, even if they cost more.
-Learn to quit wasting things. Be a good steward of all that God provides.
-Teach your children [and yourself] that they are not obligated to give information to a stranger. You don’t have to answer questions [not even to a government official] that are none of their business.
-Sell or give away things you do not use or need. Consider giving away or selling 50% of your ‘stuff'[i.e. the non-essentials]. Simplify and streamline your life, lifestyle, and possession.
In embracing a simpler lifestyle, I want a home that is small enough that I can clean it top to bottom in no more than 2 hours. I have embraced the notion of a smaller yard so long as I can still make some sort of outdoor retreat out of it. I enjoy spending time outside and at work, even in 102 degree weather, I can usually be found eating my lunch outside.
I have worked in numerous places before that lack windows (particularly when I was deployed to Iraq during my Marine Corps career) and now, I constantly desire to be outside for at least some portion of my day. I love the feeling of getting some fresh air and just the quiet feeling of being outside.
For this reason, it is incredibly important that when we buy a home it has good natural light. That is one of my top priorities. I don’t want to feel like I live in a dungeon, which is a big factor in why I shy away from older homes. I don’t want to find out later that some big beautiful window I want can’t be put into the home for structural reasons. Just give me a new (or newer) home with up-to-date lighting, plumbing, and energy-efficient windows.
I enjoyed many of the homes this past weekend for the sheer fact that many had sufficient lighting in every room and some rooms had beautiful windows. I think it’s important that a home feels as though it could suit oneself and one’s family; homes are the backdrop for so many family experiences, so you have to enjoy where you live. If it’s not perfect, you have to make it perfect!