Screen-free simplicity 📚
Just a few friendly reminders:
•Kids like books
•Modeling reading creates readers
•Used books are cheap
•Library and hand-me-down books are free
•Books can be in every room of the house
•Reading to kids strengthens bonds
•Books build vocabulary
•Screens distract from reading
•Kids love hearing you read, no matter how good of a reader you think you are
What are you currently reading?
New Year’s Resolutions don't work.
Know what does? Taking the whole month of January to reflect on the previous year and then slowly figuring out everything I want/need/deserve in the upcoming year in the areas of:
THEN setting my goals for the year.
People, this has changed my life. I had always put my goals first and ALL of those goals were related to my career (teaching) or my health (to stay alive to teach).
But when I began sitting down to write about my hopes, I ended up with so many things to look forward to that I clearly saw that teaching is just my career instead of my life.
This has actually made me an even better teacher because I'm now happier, more efficient, and more balanced.
Friends, I want you to bring some @leonie_dawson into your life. Go buy My Shining Year on Amazon or at Target and fill it out. Take one of her courses and do the homework. Or at least follow her on here for some authentic as f* fresh air.
Who's joining me on the #myshiningyear bus?
Done is better than perfect.
I never posted this adorable picture of Nouarie because at the time I thought it wasn't good enough.
Since then I’ve gotten better about controlling that little perfectionist voice.
And since then she’s gotten better at standing and can now pick the books up to “read” them by telling stories based on pictures.
Friends, do you have that annoying inner voice, too? If so, push her aside and push through. It’s worth it. You are worth it. Whatever you are creating it worth it.
What are you not sharing with the world because you want it to be perfect?
Who else has too many toys in their house? I need to go through ours again.
If you're looking for inspiration to purge your kids' stuff and just have a more peaceful family this year, I reccomend "Simplicity Parenting."
In case you're too busy, here are a few of the main points:
•Pay attention for signs of sensory overload and respond by simplifying
•Reduce toys, clutter, lights, and noise at home
•Use routines to create a family rhythm
•Clear schedules to create plenty of unstructured time
•Limit screentime (my favorite!)
•Keep adult stress, like the news,away from kids
The book also talks a little about decreasing the number of books in the house, but I think keeping them stored in a nice library with a few accessible is wonderful.
Teachers, know we make routines at school? I think it totally helps me, and the rest of my family, to have some simple ones at home, even during breaks and maternity leave.
So, back to this toy purging business. Send help! I have a mountain to tackle...again.
Book: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
Do you believe you’re in control of the happiness in your home?
I’d read a lot about it, but it’s finally starting to sink in. Maybe it’s old age. Maybe it’s two kids. Maybe it’s just the right amount of coffee.
I believe it, and I’m trying my best.
Here’s a bit of what’s working right now just in case you want to steal an idea or two:
•Replacing negative self-talk, complaints, and worries by repeating “I have so much to be grateful for” in my head
•Censoring the media I consume
•Separating my time instead of trying to integrate it (multitask)
•Keeping clutter under control
•Getting enough sleep
•Dance parties with Nouarie
•Lighting a candle
•Actually saying our home is a happy place
•Covering Noutin and Nouarie with so many kisses and tickles that they uncontrollably belly laugh every day
What do you do to keep your home happy?
Hey, teacher friends! Happy reminder for you as you head back to work from break:
Your students are not your kids. You already have your own kids, nieces, nephews, friend’s kids, pets, even and possibly future kids (cute baby pic to encourage you to make one). I hope you spent a lot of time with your kids over break!
Your students have their own families, too. (Stop. Don’t “but” me. I taught foster youth at a residential school. I’ll win.)
Remember, you are a teacher when you are at work, so teach, teach, teach. Then, go home to mom, mom, mom or whatever else fills your heart up with love.
PS I am writing this because I wish someone had explained it to me years ago, even though I am now a perfectly happy older mama.
PPS If you want help drawing this line and letting go of guilt, you should take my course You Before School.
PPPS This applies to all working mamas! Work hard. Love your kids harder. Love you all!
Best Day: Noutin’s birth on September 3rd
Worst Day: Nouarie’s heel surgery on August 30th
Births You Celebrated: Noutin and our friend Charlotte
Deaths You Grieved: My Great Uncle Ed (100!) and my former student Lazaro
Momentous Events: Nouarie holding Noutin and her learning to use the potty
Scariest Thing that Happened: My dad’s new pacemaker poking a hole in his heart (he’s recovered now)
Most Exciting Thing: Finding out I was pregnant
A little excerpt from my 2019 reflection in 2020 My Shining Year Life Goals Workbook by @leonie_dawson .
This is my third year spending January writing life goals in one of her workbooks instead of a resolution. I love it.
I also love Nouarie’s smiley face. She had so many firsts this year, but it’s all kinda a blur. A few of you warned me this would happen while pregnant and after the birth of baby number two.
I used to keep a daily journal. I fell behind in it and gave up. I keep telling myself I’m catch it up. Maybe I’ll jump back in. Maybe I’ll sit and go through my stories and catch it up. It’s important. Maybe I’ll set aside time for it.
Anyone else feel like you just want the world to pause long enough for you to capture a time capsule?
Why does time seem so much faster this time?
Noutin’s already 4 months. He’s bigger than his sister was at 6 months. Scroll down to see who-wore it-best.
Maybe it’s because our whole world didn’t stop when he was born. It couldn’t. Nouarie kept us going.
I went back through old pictures today. He’s super into chewing on his hands and laughing right now. So was she. Her giggle sounded different and sounds like her little voice. His hands are bigger and he drools more.
He lights up when he sees familiar faces, especially mine. So did she.
When she was 4 months, it hit me that she a fun little human to go on adventures with. He is a happy little human.
I’m looking forward to all of our family’s adventures together.
PS New and future mamas, grandmas, dads, grandpas, aunties, uncles, and everyone else, take more videos. I wish I had more videos of Nouarie’s little laughs and smiles.
"Self-efficacy is really the final frontier for women"
Yesterday, I read about this in a book I'm re-reading and can't get the idea out of my head.
In case you need a vocab refresher like I did: self-efficacy is confidence in your skills to control your motivation, behavior, and environment.
Ladies, so many of us often feel so out of control in relation to:
Right? When we feel out of control, we don’t speak up and then get even more stressed out. That’s me!
Get this, Kathy Korman Frey claims that we begin to lose confidence in ourselves as teenagers and then begin putting others first; soon after, our lives become so busy that we never even think about it.
Aah! How true is this?! I thought it was just me! I thought it was just from too many messages like "help people at all times." (Girls Scouts, sound familiar?)
We can fix it though! The researcher says we build self-efficacy by:
•Doing things well to built mastery
•Finding role models and mentors
•Listening to, and believing, positive messages
•Recognizing and controlling negative patterns and thoughts
I’m so intrigued and motivated to learn more about this to help myself and others. I can see areas where I feel like I have a strong start and areas where I have some work to do.
Positive messages is one I want to work on right away. I’m going to stop follow my negative accounts and look for some more positive ones. Any suggestions?
Quote: Frey as quoted in Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
I used to love just watching Nouaire play with her dolls. This is even better.
We’re slowly getting this family-of-four thing down.
I'm a teacher, mama, and mentor. I created the You Before School e-course and more. I'm here to encourage and share self-efficacy skills for women.