“Who’s in Control Here?!?”

29 01 2014

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My heart and mind want to be in this space, but I am prioritizing a bit differently these days. I am in the midst of my third week back in the classroom, working 1/2 time. We have set up systems at home to allow for smooth mornings for Matt as he gets the boys ready and off to school on his own.

But….illness happens. The unexpected creeps in.

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“Kids will be kids” and exert their opinions and desires.

Sometimes the best laid plans can’t lead to the “control” we hoped for or envisioned.

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In other unexpected ways, we are learning to hold onto what matters and let go of things we once deemed VITAL. I am an avid blog reader. It is a priority to me and a routine that actually awakens my mind and leads to more creativity and thoughtfulness. But….my blog reader has over 500 entries waiting to be read.  It sits untouched.  The upstairs playroom? The one that is a nightly clean-up MUST DO?!? Let’s just say I have stepped on one too many LEGOS as of late. I find it almost impossible to open the cabinet to access the printer due to puzzles in progress. And…..I have just let it be. It’s a big step for this Type A girl.  Some nights, the meals I planned or the recipes that catch my eye in Bon Appetit have to be put on the back burner.  Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.

It has lead me to think a lot about control vs management. As a teacher, I want control in the classroom. I seek an environment where students listen and get their work done.  I hope everyone values keeping our classroom neat and tidy. But more so?!? I truly desire a place where ideas can be shared, risks taken in learning and relationships nurtured. And all of those desires are more about management. Creating expectations, setting up systems to allow for growth, learning and independence.

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At home I think it is much the same. Even though I hope I have the perfectly controlled, quiet and behaved boys…it will not come from putting them in lock down mode. Something or someone always escapes. A shrill scream. A loud “NO!!!!!!” Battling wills. I have been wondering what “management” looks like as a parent more and more these days.  Sometimes it might mean holding to weekly traditions and prioritizing family time—–Friday night movie night, game night or making park visits a priority when the sun finally peeks out.

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Other times it means “enforcing” the rules.

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I certainly don’t have the answers and find myself negotiating decisions, picking and choosing day by day.  In my classroom, as at home, it means taking on A project or ONE new behavior or skill to practice each day.  It has meant lots of list making.  Lots of communicating and making sure “everyone is on the same page”.  Sometimes it means Mommy at the end of her rope, yelling.  Other times, we manage to get it right, let something go and focus on what really matters.

It might just be like survival of the fittest.  Eventually, over time, you sift down to what really matters and let the “extras” fall away.  I get worked up over letting go of those commitments, relationships and expectations which feel so important.  But for now, I’m trying to loosen my grip, “managing” and releasing the need to do it all.

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Any advice?  

Do you struggle with a need for control, to have it all together?!  

How do you balance the many balls you juggle in your daily life?  

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2 responses

29 01 2014
Amy

Remember Shauna’s mantra… present over perfect, quality over quantity, relationship over rushing, people over pressure, meaning over mania. Applies not just at Christmas. Remembering these 5 principles have helped me juggle my tasks and roles and helped me to “let go” where I needed to. Hang in there, Christine! You’re not alone in how you feel.

29 01 2014
Kerry Gough

Loving your Post. Macho

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