Weekend links and some Earth Day activities from PBS Kids


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The importance of downtime: why taking a break matters.

sock knitting and coffee drinking = my idea of heaven on earth | SimpleKids.netThe following post originally appeared in July 2011.

The importance of downtime has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  I am currently having about four medical appointments a week (don’t worry, the baby and I are doing fine, this is just a precaution) and those busy days are making the “off” days a real treasure.

A recent conversation with a stressed-out friend, the emails in my in-box from exhausted parents wondering how to disconnect, and my own desire to turn inward during this third trimester of pregnancy have all served to remind me of the value of taking time to recharge – the genuine need for a mental and physical break.

As I’m entering my 38th week of pregnancy, I find myself experiencing bursts of energy.  My first instinct is to use this extra energy to take care of things around the house, but experience has taught me that this is not the time to re-arrange the closets, weed the garden, or strip and wax the kitchen floor. No, this is the time to rest and save my energy for the work that lies ahead of me – the work of birth and the early days of life with a newborn.

However, the late days of pregnancy are not the only season of life when rest is important and women in the third trimester aren’t the one people who need downtime.  Many of us need to give ourselves permission to “time out.”

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Living guilt free through the messy seasons of life by embracing the 80/20 rule

Embrace the mess. Parenting guilt free. | SimpleKids.net
A few years ago, when I shared here on the blog that I was feeling overwhelmed by pregnancy, life with small children, and trying to get through the solo parenting season at our house that is income tax time, a kind reader gently reminded me of the 80/20 rule.

To paraphrase, she basically said that it was okay that things were a little bit crazy at my house 20% of the time, because the other 80% things were normal.  The majority of the time, things are fine around here.  When I realized that she was right, I was able to let go of the guilt.

A messy season of life won’t define their entire childhood.

Things around here haven’t been up to my ideal lately.  It has been a bit chaotic, if you want to know the truth.  This is a busy time of year for my family, a season I know is coming every year, but one that often finds me a little on the frazzled side by the end of it, clinging loosely to our rhythm and routines but mostly just letting things go and focusing only on the essentials.

In the meantime,  there are paper plates on my table, we’ve had cereal for dinner more than I care to think about, and the last time we went to the library I’m pretty sure we checked out more children’s videos than books (and we won’t even mention the Netflix marathons).

We’re in “survival” mode right now.  And I don’t feel guilty for doing what I need to do to get through it.

At the end of the day we’re happy and we’re healthy, and that is enough.

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Weekend Links


Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

“It’s never too late to start being the mother I always hoped to be.” – Meditations for Mothers of Toddlers, Beth Wilson Saavedra

In the garden: April update


Did you hear that?  The collective sigh of happiness from those of us finally getting to experience Spring?  Or maybe the whoops of excitement from a certain mama who was practically turning joyous cartwheels after the last snowflake melted? At last!  (My apologies to those of you who just received another fresh batch of the white stuff while I’m gloating about our weather).

It is still very quiet around here, but if one looks closely signs of warmer days and green, growing things are there.

Our family is excited to garden this year.  This will be the first spring in quite some time when I haven’t been pregnant or had a brand new baby, so I’m especially eager to get out there and see what we can do with this little back yard space of ours.

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