So, holidays seem to naturally have families take a step back and think more deeply about family, traditions and what’s truly important to each and every one of us in this fascinating place and time we call life. This year seems to be even more so, considering the economic wabble going on across the country… and world for that matter. Many of us sit even further back to realize what the holidays *really* mean and what we really *want* them to mean for our child(ren).
I, for one, can say that every ounce of me does not want to cut a single thing back when it comes to my children. Who doesn’t want to give and give and give. Skies the limit when our children are involved, right? That said, this gradual economic awareness that hovers of us puts us in reality check and we realize we have everything we could ever need right here and right now. I find that this current global status has actually been a phenomenal reality-check for me and my relationships with family. I think each of us has uniquely benefited from this crazy turn of events that who would have thought the over-the-head-hovering doom of economic downfall could be a good thing??? But it has!
Several months back, I’d say during the summer, we noticed things changing immediately. Of course, the most obvious for most were the gas price hikes and the cost of food. At that point, many us started pinching pennies…. looking for ways to cut back, but not really feel like we were. Looking for the free stuff to do and discounts at every corner…
It was at this point in time that some real sole searching happened for me. Why is it that we must always ‘do’? As Americans it the things happening around us that seem to define our lives and relationships, but never what really ‘is’. Why don’t we slow down in life and just ‘be’? It’s very very easy to get caught up in the rigor of societal push and not step back, way back, and just ‘be’. And…. what amazing things can transpire from just ‘being’!
One thing I have taken up (and my mother teases about this one… ) is cooking and baking. I have never been that ‘domestic’ in my role as housewife. I feel I’m pretty good in my ‘mommy role’ and even not to shabby in my ‘wife’ role…. my ‘housewife role’ was not all that bad, but honestly…. needed a bit of work! ; ) Cooking and baking as been wondrous over the last several months.
So of course the first thing I noticed was how much we could save by eating at home 95% of the time, and how much I could save clipping coupons and buying for all of our meals. (This actually becomes quite a game as to how much I can save each week at the grocery store using deals, discounts and coupons!) But then you get past the monetary aspect and realize…. we are so much happier and healthier! Cheerful and pleasant…. relationships have grown and souls fed and nurtured. It’s quite an amazing thing what can happen from taking the time to “feed your family”.
Ok, so of course, beyond that, taking the time to just ‘be’ instead of ‘do’, we’ve really come to find that just being with each other despite what’s going on is a wonderful place to be! It’s so easy to say “hey this ‘x’ event is happening this weekend, it sounds like so much fun, let’s go!”…. Ok, so you go, spend more than half your day gone. Maybe spent a ton of money out on this outing, and it was fun, but your so over the top exhausted to realize what the ‘fun’ part of the day was. The kids are pooped and need to go to bed, and you are feeling so frustrated because they are complaining about their current state of mind and body, but you are feeling like maybe they had absolutely no appreciation for everything you did that day. All in all, you can look back at it later and say ‘yes that was really fun’…. but for now you all are feeling like hanging each other…. not literal terms of course.
The other day my husband was sitting on the couch watching TV. Not one of my most favorite past times, but I joined him to chat about something other. The baby was with us and we were both totally amused by his desire to bounce back and forth between the two of us. (I truly feel he was thrilled to have us both in the same spot at the same time that he could bounce between us and ‘be’ thoroughly absorbed with and by us! I mean, how often does that happen?!) So, we sit, enjoy this exchange and our daughter comes in, and man what she does not do for a snuggle! She just loves to pile up on top of someone, and here mommy and daddy are sitting together in the same moment! Time flitters on and our oldest is finally realizing that he’s alone and it’s pretty quiet. He’s probably pulling himself out of a Bionicle YouTube video daze to realize what everyone’s up to. And he’s really funny too. He is 6 1/2 years old and some random point in life where he’s starting to think he’s too old for snuggling, but still really loves it (and of course needs it!), but probably would never initiate it!
He gets that sweet little look on his face and climbs up onto the pile… And there we sit. Not a ton is being said, but time goes on (and on!) and all you feel is warm and fuzzy all over. Not enough of this happens in daily life! It’s so very easy to get so caught up in the societal ‘do’ way of life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the autopilot we tend to randomly find ourselves in. It takes a lot to not panic that dinner has not started cooking yet and that inevitable need for sleep is looming! Takes real courage and commitment to *stop* and rethink if you are ‘doing’ or ‘being’ in your life and your relationships.
Now that kinda statement sounds like I’m patting myself on the back or something. But really not at all meant to be like that at all. I’m a perfectionist at heart, but really truly have not perfected this mentality 100%. Well, I guess I could say I believe in it whole-heartedly, but fail to practice it with the same conviction. I often find myself, reminding myself to slow down…. “smell the roses”… you know that saying! So I guess my ramblings is to encourage others to do the same!
This economic situation is tough and stressful on SO many people right now. And that stress is literally killing people. Not a great thing. Managing and dealing with stress is vital to us as parents…. feeding the kids obviously just as vital…. but stress to the point of death, a bit further catastrophe. These times are forcing us to focus on what truly is important in our lives. It should and could help us take that deep step back and focus on strengthening our families and our relationships.
Off my soap box now just to say that I find this to be a very important focus for Nakita Baby. Not only do I create cloth baby carriers and precious keepsakes, but I intend to try my hardest to share with you my ideas an inspirations to building stronger families. Now, I’m of a “take’em or leave’em” philosophy. Not everything is for everyone, and that’s obviously up to each family to decide. But I hope that what I share with you helps build your family stronger, happy and healthier….. with those souls fully fed!
G’nite for now….