I went out of town last weekend to the Homeschool Moms' Winter Summit. Yes, I missed Hannah's first birthday, and no, I didn't feel guilty. :) She didn't even know it was her birthday, we celebrated Sunday, and I came home with ideas and plans to be a better wife and mother.
Since I know you didn't attend, I want to share a few things that I learned. Also, I'm hoping that by typing them out, I will help solidify these ideas in my mind, making it more likely that I will implement them and continue to do so.
Here are my top three "take home action steps:"
- Ask John his top priority for me every day. I had heard this idea before, but I forgot about it. As the speaker Lindsey Lambert said, if I get this one thing done everyday, it will bless John and show him how important he is to me even if I don't get anything else done that day. *
- Speak John's love language. I need to make a point to spend quality time with John since I think that's his love language (according to Gary Chapman's book). This one will be hard because I crave time to myself, but it's important that I spend time with John.
- Plan family nights. I think this idea will be fun. I'm not sure yet how I will implement it, but I think I'll start with one night a month. We'll have something fun and easy for supper, maybe a yummy dessert, and then do something together as a family. I'm going to add this to my yearly goals.
Here are a few other things I learned this weekend:
- Women were created to be relational life-givers. It is part of my job to work on our marriage. John's job is to provide for and protect our family while my job is more about the relationships inside our family. Of course, he needs to work on our marriage, too, but God made women more relational, so it comes more naturally to us.
- The number one thing, the top priority, in homeschooling is your marriage. The best thing we can teach our children is how important a good marriage is, and how to have a good marriage.
- It's important to have one-on-one time with each child weekly. That will be a hard one with five children, but we need to make it a priority. It doesn't have to be anything special, just time.
- We have to let people out of our "cage of expectations." When people meet our expectations, we aren't grateful because we expected it. When they don't meet our expectation, we are disappointed and upset. It's a lose-lose position that we need to get rid of.
- Children need more grace and less law.
- Incorporate more laughter and be more playful.
- Study our children's gifts and build them up.
- Have the youngest child who is capable do the chore.
- Have children do more around the house. My children aren't looking forward to this one!
I took a bunch of notes, and I ordered several CDs of sessions that I had to miss because I can't be in two places at one time. :) I look forward to seeing my marriage and my relationships with my children improve as I implement these ideas.
*In case you're wondering what John said his top priority for my day is, he said that he wants me to have some time to myself every day. Isn't that sweet? And it shows how well he knows me. I already have nap time/play time in place most days, but I need to think about how to get some time alone the other days.