Thursday, May 19, 2011

Too Many Rights Can Make A Wrong

It has been over two weeks since I wrote in my blog!  I started this blog with such good intentions, I just have so many things on my never ending to do list that blogging keeps getting pushed to the bottom.  Which actually brings me to the point of this post.  We've all heard the saying: Two wrongs don't make a right.  Well, I've come up with a new saying:  Too many rights can make a wrong.  Let me explain.  I have a teaching credential and a license as a speech therapist.  I could have a job but a long time ago, Eric and I decided that my skills, time and effort would be better spend at home, spending time with our boys and being actively involved in their school and extra curricular activities.  So, I'm a stay-at-home mom.  What I've found, though, is that over the years I continually take on more "jobs" and have less and less time to actually spend with my boys.  Right now I am on the PTA board, I am the hospitality chair for the PTA, I am room mom for two classes, I volunteer each week in both classes, I am a den leader, cub scout treasurer, as well as cub scout membership and registration coordinator. I am doing all of the right things, but I am doing so many of them that It's actually turned into the wrong thing for my kids.  I am doing so many things FOR my boys that I never actually have time to spend WITH my boys.  My time is spent creating lessons and den activities for the cub scouts, going to the scout store to buy belt loops and arrow points, volunteering backstage at the rehearsals and performances of the school variety show, coordinating volunteers for the school carnival, writing and requesting donations for the raffle baskets, buying items for the baskets, creating the baskets, requesting food for teacher appreciation luncheon, buying drinks and paper goods for said luncheon, putting the luncheon together, coordinating gifts and treats for teacher appreciation week, coordinating volunteers for the fourth grade fiesta, buying sombreros and tablecloths for the fiesta, planning field trips, on and on and on...I think you get the idea.  All of these things are good and need to be done...but they don't all need to be done by me.  When my boys get home from school, I'm still working on other projects as well as trying to do the regular household stuff like laundry, dinner and cleaning.  So, everything I've taken on and everything I'm doing in the name of being a "good stay-at-home mom"  has sort of backfired on me.  Because (1) I rarely stay at home and (2)  I'm not being much of a mom.
So, I have vowed to not take on as much during the next school year and I've tasked those around me to hold me to my word.  Yes, I will still be involved in my boy's school and after school activities but when they come home from school I want to be able to spend that time WITH them not just do things FOR them. 
In my life, I want to make two things right and their names are John and Robert.  I don't want to spend all of my time doing all of the good and right things only to find, one day, that I've lost my time with them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We All Have A "But"

Ok, I know it goes without saying that we all have a butt, however, I realized recently that we also all have a "but".   Let me explain:  A "but" is when you say a, seemingly, innocent or innocuous statement and then change the entire meaning of what you say with a "but".   The "buts" in our house are really getting to be a problem.  Let me start with mine.  Eric or the boys will bring up something they want to do, such as camping, or go to Legoland or take a certain summer vacation.  I will say something like, "Oh that sounds like fun, BUT __________ (fill in the blank)."  I'll inevitably change the meaning of "oh that sounds like fun" by tacking on "but we don't really have time for that" or "that's a little too far away for a weekend trip"  or "I think it will be too expensive". 

Eric's "but" is "I'm sorry I'm late, BUT..."there was a lot of traffic", "a last minute meeting came up","I decided to go surfing with the guys".  You get the picture.

John, my ten year old with Kabuki Syndrome, also has a "but".  Part of his syndrome is that he has almost no verbal filter: he says what he thinks, when he thinks it.  Yesterday at the pool, a toddler started fussing.  John's response was, "why doesn't that mom take care of her baby so it will stop crying!"  When I asked John why he felt the need to say that out loud, he said, "I knew I shouldn't say it...BUT it was true".   We hear that a lot from John, "I knew I shouldn't say it...BUT..."I wanted to" or "that kid was too loud" etc...

Finally, there's Robert's "but"  Robert can get so wrapped up in an activity that he doesn't want to be pulled away from it for anything.  Often when we call Robert or try to get his attention he doesn't answer.  When we finally go hunt him down somewhere in the house he will say, "I heard you BUT...I was still working on this lego thing" or "I was in the middle of a chapter" or "I was playing a game".

As a speech therapist I had to learn the parts of speech in great detail.  Of course, most of you already know that the word but is a conjunction (conjunction junction, what's your function).  However, different conjunctions are used for different reasons.  But is used to show opposite or conflicting ideas.  The conjunction so  is used to show result.   I understand that sometimes "buts" are necessary, however, often, a "but" is just an excuse. So, my family is going to work on decreasing our "buts". Instead of using a word that implies opposition or a conflict of ideas we're going to use a word that shows results!   We are going to replace our "buts" with a "so".  I will try to say, "Oh, that sounds like fun SO lets do it!"  John is going to say, "I knew I shouldn't say it SO I didn't!"  Robert's new response will be, "I heard you SO I came running!"  Eric's new mantra will be, "I'm sorry I'm late SO I brought you flowers!"  :-)

Yes, I know that all of that is just in my fantasy world of the perfect family BUT I do think we all need to be a little more aware of our words and what we are actually saying and expressing with those words.  If something sounds like fun...then let it be fun!  Don't damper the meaning of the words by being contrary.

At the beginning of this post,  I said that we all have one. 

 So...what's your "BUT"?  :-)