A Balancing Act

I made it through week one back from break.  I'm not saying I came away without scratches, bumps and bruises.  I am also not saying I did it all willingly.  But that just fuels a conversation starter when talking to kids about employment.  "Kids...responsibility is showing up even when you're not feeling it...like me, this morning."  😉😂  #BeGenuine.

By Friday morning (when I had to get the boys ready and to school and get myself to an early class), I thought, "I have to quit.  I can NOT do this anymore."  But, after 4 classes full of really cooperative and very precious teens (and supportive teachers!), I knew I could not quit.

I actually did pretty stinking phenomenally well.  I managed to serve about 25 students, get the most pressing elements of my documentation done, got bills paid and groceries picked up and got myself and my children home safe before the winter weather hit.  (Seriously though.  It was 60 degrees one day this week and 20 the next.  All said, we got about 4 inches of snow.  This weather! 😱)

I am grateful for 2 cozy days off without any commitments beyond dishes, laundry and the usual.  As always, I am just trying to focus on the beauty and the gratitudes around me, no matter the circumstances...forgiving the failures and celebrating the successes.

And speaking of successes.  I was talking to a class about future budgeting and finances.  They had a bag of skittles to represent a monthly budget (Thank you, Terence!) and had to make decisions on how to spend their skittles for various real-life demands (housing, transportation, health insurance, child care, etc.).  We talked about priorities, and I explained balancing values like this:

You have to choose where to be snooty.  You can not be snooty in every area of budgeting.  For example, I am snooty in technology, because I am a desperate, working mother.  I am not one of these "screen-time controlling" parents.  (Perhaps that makes me a bad parent, but by the time I get home from work, I am just exhausted and needy for some free time...likely to nap!  I am grateful for opportunities to keep them busy, and technology does just that. So...yeah...we own just about every gaming device known to man, and we subscribe to pretty much all the streaming services.  That's the benefit and downfall of being in a two-working-parents family.).

I am medium snooty on transportation.  I like having the independent freedom of driving my own car.  But I am NOT snooty about what I drive.  I buy cheap and get it paid off as quickly as I can.

I am not snooty, at all, about food.  We very rarely go out to eat (even fast food).  I do not care to go to a sit-down restaurant with 4 kids.  For one, I would have to spend about $100 for one meal.  Second, two of them are a little exhausting to entertain in a sit-down, sit-still affair.  (That makes 3 of us!)  However, that does not mean we don't eat well.  We eat-well cheaply, and I get to express my creative nature in the kitchen.  Last week, for example, I decided to plan a "Winter Break's End Celebratory meal."  I scrolled through my "YUM!" Pinterest board and found these awesome, easy (not too many ingredients required) recipes for Parmesan-Crusted Salmon and Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.  I ordered what I didn't have on my Wal-Mart pickup app, and voila...we had a fancy meal to celebrate the end of break.  (Of course, I made burgers and potatoes for the pickier eaters among us, too.)

That's what I call success...and balance.  After all, Dr. Seuss said it himself, "Life is a Balancing Act."

I know one thing for sure, all this working makes me appreciate the weekends all the more...much more than I ever experienced as a stay-home mom.  I revel in the break.  And without the restful balance to all the activity during the week, I would not survive.  Of course, around here, restful balance means spending an hour or two out in 20 degrees and falling snow, shoveling 4 inches of snow...but, the balance is in not having to entertain, instruct and people, not having to sit still, not having to drive...and besides, when a mother is home all day snowed in with 4 kids, she tends to be desperately motivated to ensure the drive is clean and ready to get the Dad back inside.  No excuses, old man, get your (bad word) home!

And speaking of the snow...I'll be keeping my eye on the roads and school closings, because, around here, you never know when you might get an extra day to work from home in your home-made pajamies.  Just one of the benefits of living in the proud state of Missouri.

Happy Sunday, my friends.  I hope you all have a blessed week!