100 Ways for Your Kids to Use Their Mind, So You Don't Lose Yours
It’s 4 days into summer break and I’m already starting to pull my hair out. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond blessed to be home with my kids. I remember my cubicle days where I would pray to be home and spend more time with them. The Lord answered my prayers and now I have the privilege of building my coaching business from home and teaching college a few hours per week during the school year.
Answered prayers are amazing, but they do come with challenges that you can’t really prepare yourself for; like how to have patience when your kids say they’re bored before 9am. Or, how to keep your kids quiet when your husband sleeps during the day. Or, how to give your kids an amazing summer while living on a budget.
This whole work from home and raising 4 kids thing is more than just finding balance. It’s finding a rhythm. And with each changing season and school year, a new rhythm needs to be made. Now that we are starting summer, I’m working hard to find a rhythm that blesses both my kids and my business. It’s way harder than it may seem, but not impossible. I could just leave you with a list, but instead I’m also going to share 3 things I’m working on this summer to thrive instead of just survive.
1. Cultivating Patience
By nature I’m a very impatient person. I want things my way and I want them now. My kids can glaringly see my lack of patience and that makes me sad. I want them to know that mommy isn’t perfect, but I don’t ever want them to think that they are a burden or chore for me. Sometimes my lack of patience may give them that thought. This summer I’m working hard to be patient while we compose our new rhythm and find a routine that fits for our family. Ephesians 4:2 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
2. Throwing out perfection
Having a business online exposes me to a lot of social media. I am in the trenches on a daily basis and it can become a comparison trap. Sometimes I get sucked into articles with well-meaning intentions that offer advice for how to parent, manage my business or feed my family. The advice may be great, but I have to remember that it won’t always work for me. As a Christian coach, I do business different. As an adoptive mom, I do parenting different. As a health coach and allergy mama, I feed my family different. What works for me won’t work for everyone and I have to remember that it’s ok to be different. As long as I’m living to glorify God, the rest of the details are up to me to design and fit into the rhythm of my family. No more perfect moms!
3. Giving grace
God freely gives us grace. It is undeserved but so needed. He gives it with no expectations in return. He gives grace because He loves us. I want to reflect that to my children. I want them to see the grace of God in my parenting and in the way I love them. It’s a struggle to always give grace, especially when I see their beautiful artwork on the couch instead of on the paper. Or I find pee on the toilet seat, after I sit down. Or, the mounds of crumbs on the floor after a meal that could feed another child. I have to remember that they are kids. I can have expectations for them but the depth of my expectations should not exceed the depth of the grace I’m prepared to give.
Will you join me this summer in thriving instead of just surviving? Our kids need rules and structure. But, they also need grace-filled, imperfect, forgiving mamas that reflect the image of their Creator.
This is why I created the list of 100 ways for your child to use their mind so you don’t lose yours.
I’m not an arts and crafts kind of person, so to come up with a craft for my kids to do everyday was out of the question. I also don’t have unlimited funds, so to come up with places to go everyday was also out of the question. I wanted to come up with an endless list of ways for my kids to just think outside of the box while I get a little work done. My goal is to get 1-2 uninterrupted hours each day to write and plan out my content.
Directions – Print out the activities. You can have your kids color them, laminate them or glue them to popsicle sticks. Get creative.
When you need to get some work done, have your kids choose several of the activities to complete. Give them a time limit or required time to spend on each activity before they can come ask you for something or tell you they are bored. If you choose, offer a reward for completing activities (i.e. screen time, a treat, points towards something, choosing dinner) and ask them to tell you about their experience. There are a few blank spaces for you and your family to come up with your own activities. Be creative and share your new ideas in my group.
So, here it goes, no email needed. Click here —> 100 Ways List
I would love to keep in contact with you to offer encouragement and check in periodically to see how your summer is going. Submit your email below to keep in touch and take a peek at my sidebar to follow my social media account. I would love to hear from you and support you on your journey towards a stronger faith, family and body.