Rhythm In Our Lives

I've just begun reading a book for a review given to me by MOPS. At the end of each chapter there are reflective questions to answer. I thought its be fun to answer them here and get a dialogue going... Then if you'd like, you can get the book and be inspired to be a better mom too!

The book is split into 3 sections, so this is one of three posts I'll do, aside from the review itself.

Hula Hoops:
Your Life Has a Rhythm

1. How does the idea of living into a better rhythm excite and motivate me?
It inspires me to know that while I'm trying this or that, I am learning and growing. I am molding myself into a better mom... The mom my children need me to be. I know in my head that the hard days will all offer a payout in the end... Breakthrough. But that doesn't make it any less painless. I know that if I have confidence in my parenting and mothering, my children will also be more confident and secure. My groove is the pace I set for us.

How does this idea of living into a rhythm make me feel nervous or uncertain?
Mostly in it's consistency. If we develop a schedule or routine, it's up to ME to maintain it. If I dont, then our groove is thrown off. That is extremely evident in temper tantrums, crankiness and disobedience. I know we need to have wiggle room and we can't have every minute predetermined, but overall, kids need structure, discipline and consistency. And its exhausting.

Teeter Totter:
Moving Beyond the Competition to Connection

1. What idea do you hope to put into practice for your family?
Something I was talking about with a friend today, actually.  We were talking about how scared we are that when our boys are teenagers, they will shut us out and not want to talk to us anymore.  A way to possibly curve this is to encourage open communication starting NOW.  Yes, my eldest is only (almost) 3, but if we start now maybe it'll be habitual, normal and natural.  We can start at the dinner table, "how was your day", "what did you learn in school".  Of course we need to alter these questions and conversations as they get older in order to keep it flowing.  Always open ended questions!  This is something I'd like to incorporate into our daily routine.  

2.  What does not work for your rhythm and why?
Mostly we're really "go-with-the-flow" kind of people and my children have adapted to that method.  Jonas is a little less relaxed, but he's getting the hang of it.  Like I said before, we need to have wiggle room... plans changes.  We try to keep a schedule with no strict times... things just happen in an order, but not according to any particular time. So lunch can be at noon or at 1 on any given day... and it's ok, as long as if right after lunch comes a nap.  More like a check list than a timed schedule.  It works for us... keeping strict times would probably stress me out too much. 

Two or More Players:
We All Need Help

1. Where can you find connection in your chaos?
I definitely find time to connect on a daily basis.  I do not feel alone in this mothering journey... any more.  There was a short time when I did.  But now I actively seek out people to become friends with.  Since moving to Miami, I have made numerous "mom friends" that I can call up, meet at a park, go to their house or just have lunch.  It has made this move and my life so much more enjoyable!  
Believe it or not, another reason I don't feel so lonely is because of my blog.  I have "met" so many wonderful moms who are just like me... struggling, learning and loving.  We encourage each other through sweet comments and chat on twitter.  I don't even know where most of them live, have never heard their voices, but I'm glad to have them to connect with!
I also have a best friend that is a mom and we chat almost every day.  We vent, joke, cry, encourage and uplift each other.  Even though we live hundreds of miles apart, she helps me find my way through the chaos of motherhood on a daily basis... and I'm so grateful to have that. 

2.  Where do you find this idea impossible?
In the book, she makes note that basically if dinner isn't served because you needed a time to chat with a friend, that's ok.  While I can see that at moments of near break-down it's ok, it shouldn't be habitual.  If that were the case, it'd be happening on a weekly basis.  I'd much rather be chatting it up with a gal pal than slaving over a stove with screaming children at my feet!  But I don't think my husband would appreciate that very much.  There is a time for these connections to take place, but not if it means neglecting basic responsibilities. 

Discovering Your Gifts and Talents

1.  What is one gift/skill I know I've received?
I know that I am a gifted leader and communicator.  I think I lost sight of that for a little while, but it's becoming more clear in my life.  I remember that in high school, I was in student council for all four years.  I was the school's soloist on many occasions.  I gave speeches and sang in front roomfuls of people!  I was not afraid.  This is a gift... definitely.  
I have recently put this gift to good use by developing a local chapter of MOPS here in Miami.  I initially had no intentions of being the coordinator, but as time passed, I kinda walked into the role rather easily.  I feel both proud and humbled to be able to lead a MOPS group and I know that God has developed me for this role.  I pray that our little group continues to grow and begins to make an impact on moms across Miami. 

2.  What is one gift/skill I definitely do not have?
I do not have the skill of being hospitable.  I would like to... really, I would, but it just doesn't come easily to me.  And it's not really something I enjoy doing (how bad does that sound).  When I try to do something sweet for someone else, I feel like it's a chore... and I always feel like it's not good enough or pretty enough.
Which leads me to the second skill I suck at... crafting.  I know it sounds stupid!  But seriously, they go hand-in-hand.  If I give someone something, I want it to be cute... but it never is.  I have the craft skills of a 3rd grader... a flunky 3rd grader.  Pinterest is killing me by the way... just flaunting all of my inadequacies all over the place!  But I still try in these two areas... I want to grow and learn.