Very often, the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups - playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Routines

Last night I realized that I had roughly twenty-four hours to publish a January post, and since I've been intending for the last month to do a "New Year's" post, I figured now was about the last chance I get for that before February hits.  This isn't a post about New Year's resolutions because I didn't make any this year.  In fact, I rarely do - or I rarely would admit to making one.  Private resolutions are much safer than those made publicly.  Publicly-made resolutions come with outside accountability.  Not that accountability isn't a good thing - it is.  I need it most of the time, at least on some level.  But sometimes, I don't want it.

Anyway, no resolutions this year, and I'll tell you why - this year has enough changes of its own.  To start, January has been my first full month of full-time stay-at-home mommyhood.  My last day at my job was way back on December 15 - I can hardly believe it has been that long already.  Between the Christmas holidays and a lot of stuff that went on in January, I'd say I'm just starting to figure out what I need to do to stay productive and motivated at home.  Me giving up work means Oliver gave up daycare - he's adjusted well to that I think, but I might be underestimating what effect losing his Tuesday and Thursday playmate might really be having on him.

I have lots of ideas of how I want this stay-at-home life to look like for me and Oliver, but so far it is only part way there.  There's potential for a lot of resolutions and goals here, but I've already realized that I need to be careful not to get too ambitious.  That's one of the reasons I don't actually like to make resolutions, by the way.  I tend to be too ambitious.  If I keep my "resolutions" to myself, I can adjust them to match what is actually realistic.  I can push myself to do something better, but I don't need to worry about keeping up exactly with some crazy goal like going from exercising 0 times a week to 5 times a week.  (I've tried that one, by the way.  It was before Oliver was born.  Turns out 3 times a week worked, 5 times didn't.)  Sometimes you can't change everything at once.

Which brings me to the next next major change around here.  Potty training.  I'll spare you the details, but just suffice it to say it isn't as bad as I thought, but it isn't a walk in the park either.  So far, Oliver has been making slow, but steady progress, and I've been practicing patience.  Some days are better than others for both of us.  But one thing I had never thought of - I mean really thought of - before we started this process is just how much of a change it is for Oliver too and how hard it is for him to change his habits.  It's a lot of work and a lot of new expectations, and it wears him out some days.  Maybe that's why he feels the need to argue with me and order me around all day.  He needs some control - but keeping that in check can wear me out too.  You see - this is why all my rosy goals of lots of crafts and outings and games and playing together have not been realistic so far.  We've done some of that, but not as much as I thought we would.  We just can't change everything at once.

As if all that is not enough, we are preparing for the biggest change around here in 3 years - Oliver's brother is due the first week of April.  So, we are reaching the point where we are really preparing for him to arrive.  When he gets here, everything will change.  And we can hardly wait.