The Things Learned

"How sweet the silent backward tracings!

The wanderings as in dreams----the meditation of old times resumed----their loves, joys, persons, voyages."----Walt Whitman

Thinking about everything that we have faced in the outgoing year, I can't help but be thankful for all of it. I have had the opportunity to be so many things and watch my children learn and grow. I have helped them through the stresses of being home all the time and found that it is not as bad as I thought it would be to stay home.

Do I like it? Absolutely not, but I am doing what I need to do.

This year has made all of us either stronger or weaker. It has brought us together or pulled us apart. At least none of us got arrested, right?! Either way, its over and now we can move on with the lessons that it has taught us. Whatever that may be; Maybe you found out how much energy your children actually have (as if you didn't already know that), maybe you found out how annoying your spouse can be, or how annoying you can be to your spouse and not take a trip to jail.

So here is a few things that I had to learn, be it the hard or easy way, it was learned:

1. Self love makes me a better mother.

I learned that when I wasn't taking care of myself and my needs, I was not caring for my family properly. Something as simple as taking a walk to pick up the little guy from school, was enough to make me breathe and relax. I hate when I would hear that a shower is self care for a mother. That's a negative, a shower is a shower and a necessity. Self love turned out to be something as simple as telling my kids, "mommy needs her time" and reading a book, while doing a face mask, and having a glass of wine. Self love came in the form of watching the sun set, walking to get the mail, and most importantly, NOT ALLOWING THE NEGATIVE TO BRING ME DOWN.

2. It is ok to only make sandwiches three nights in a row, because you just don't feel like cooking!

As I tell my kids quite often, "the law just says I have to feed and shelter you, they don't tell me what I have to feed you." I do cook for them and thankfully they are all eager to learn how to cook also. There are just those days, when mommy is tired. I am blessed in the fact that my husband is understanding and pushes me to relax, more than I push myself to. He doesn't expect me to cook and clean every single night, but he does expect me to take care of myself. Which sometimes, looks like chilling on the couch, watching cartoons and making sandwiches. Every so often I will make some ramen noodles also, on those nights I'm feeling exceptionally adventurous.

3. Children want attention, as much as a needy SO does!

I am not meaning this in a derogatory way, but it does sound that way. They just want us to be there. They want us to take an interest, even if it is a forced interest, in what they hold to be important. I now know how to build 5 different worlds in Minecraft, I know how much makeup it takes to make a tween girl happy with herself (even though she knows she doesn't need it), and I have also realized how little time I have left with the oldest one, how stupid he really thinks girls are, and how big his dreams are. I realized how completely and utterly strong my children are, all three of them. How grown up they have become, because their dad and I don't hold regular jobs. We have expected so much responsibility out of them and they have stepped up to the plate.

4. When there is no longer tension and stress in the marriage, the children thrive more.

This is one that was learned the hard way. I never wanted to believe that it was us as parents, that was causing our children to not do good in school. Is it completely our fault? Absolutely not, but we do play a massive role in the type of people they are to become. Once we got our act together, they again, began to thrive. Yes they are resilient and yes they are going to learn from us, but what lessons do I really want them to learn? Do I want them to say "Because of my parents, I am where I am today. I am the person I am today." in a genuine loving and prideful way or in a resentful, blaming us for their problems way? Those are the things I didn't think of until now!

5. You are never to old to get into a Nerf gun war.

Now I know that this one is probably a cliche lesson, but who knew that Nerf Gun wars could be so fun? Its all about how childlike you are going to allow yourself to be. Grab that Nerf gun and start a war with your kids, get down on the ground and play barbies, play that video game with them, you can't imagine the laughter that will ensue from that little act of your time with them. Come to find out, my daughter enjoyed shooting her Nerf gun, a little too much.

6. Toilet paper and bread are more than a necessity for the apocalypse!

This one kinda speaks for itself. So I won't go into too much detail, however, I did learn that baby wipes are flipping awesome in a pinch. The perks of being married to a Service member!!!!

"Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind;

In the primal sympathy

Which having been must ever be;

In the soothing thoughts that spring

Out of human suffering;

In the faith that looks through death,

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." ----William Wordsworth

For this the final post of 2020, I want us to all reflect, not on the year, but on what was learned. Not on the pain of the loss, but on the joy of knowing we had a part in it all. The coming together and the way we all tried to make a difference. Blessings from The Life of Stratton, to all of you. We are so excited for the coming year!!!!!!

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