Thursday, February 19, 2015
I'm a perfectionist. I'm a full blood, to the bone, hard core perfectionist....and it is ruining my family.
Or at least it feels like that some days. Having this trait at times can be helpful, but when it comes to being a wife and mom, I feel it can be destructive. Since being a wife and a mom is pretty much the majority of who I am I find myself hating this part of me more often than not these days. I've struggled with pushing this part of myself aside and letting go of the little things only to find myself right back where I started in a vicious cycle of trying to get better only to fail time and time again. I've prayed about it and pleaded with God to take it from me but have come to realize I have to accept that this is who I am and find a new way to push forward and do life better in spite of my shortcomings.
So how do post it notes tie into all of this you ask? LOL I'm getting there. I was sitting late last night knitting up some monster pants (those of you who know me well know exactly what I'm talking about here, LOL) as the rest of my family was sleeping. I had just finished watching a few episodes of Chasing Life on ABC Family on Demand. I recently saw some commercials for this show and decided to watch it from the beginning. The main character, April Carver, has been diagnosed with Leukemia and the show is about her and her family's journey through her illness. As I shut the TV off my mind was still swirling around about how young the character is. About how life can throw a curve ball at any minute when you least expect it. About how extremely blessed I am at this very moment in my life to have 4 healthy, amazing children and one incredibly awesome husband and how I shouldn't take one second of that for granted. My mind wandered to the "what ifs"....as any of you moms and dads out there can understand. What if one of my kids got diagnosed with Leukemia tomorrow, what if the bus crashes on the way home, what if a mad man walks into one of their schools, what if I die before they are fully grown, what if, what if....the list goes on and on. What if today was the last day I had with any one of them.... what would be their memory of me if I was gone and what words would be in their minds about how I feel about them? What is the long term legacy I'm leaving for them? What am I doing every day to build them up and tell them how great I think they are? Do they know? Do they know that of all the people in the whole world, I truly feel like I have been blessed with the best 5 people on earth to be my family? Do I tell them that enough? What are they hearing from me every day? .
You see, as a perfectionist, criticism comes a whole lot easier than praise. In my mind and in my heart I'm screaming how wonderful I think they are, but out of my mouth is coming a whole different message. In the busy-ness of life I'm barking orders and getting frustrated at every turn when they aren't doing exactly what I think they should be doing at the exact moment I think they should be doing it. I'm a broken record of, "chew with your mouth closed", "turn off your lights", "clean your rooms", "make your beds", "don't run in the house", etc., etc. The list here goes on and on too.... some things I've spewed out of my mouth have been darn right mean and destructive and I'm not proud of how I have handled situations like lying, back talking, sassiness, disrespect, and other harder issues that occur. As a parent, I am the farthest thing from perfect that I could possibly be. As a perfectionist you can see how this would be a problem, LOL. I live in daily frustration with myself for not being able to figure this whole parenting thing out. There's got to be a black and white way to do this, right? WRONG! So wrong....there isn't even a black and white way to do parenting in one family. Every child is different and unique and what works for one may not work for another....even though they share the same blood. We learned this lesson very early on with our first 2 kids and have been reminded of it often throughout our parenting journey. The even harder part is, sometimes what works this week for one of the kids won't even work next week for that same kid!
As parents, we are constantly being pushed to change and adapt to whatever our kids are throwing at us and at times that can be downright exhausting, right? We get worn down and tired and end up trying to survive the moments as they come up instead of taking the time to make a lasting change. Well, in all my quiet time last night I realized something.... as a perfectionist I've been focusing on the wrong things. I've been so concerned about my kids being "perfect" - perfect manners, fully respectful, disciplined, obedient, sweet, loving, kind, etc... and how their lack of those things means I'm failing as a mother....that our daily routine was becoming a repetitious record of "don't do this" and "stop doing that". Sure, they are kids and are going to do knuckle headed things and they are going to have their mouthy phases and they are going to ignore me and drive me crazy!!....but they are perfectly and wonderfully made and are exactly how God created them to be. Instead of focusing on all of the things they aren't doing right and making them feel defeated every day, I wanted so badly to figure out a way to be their biggest cheerleader because I feel like my true feelings about them were getting lost in the "barking". I think I have some amazing kids that don't realize I think they are amazing. I wanted to find a way to fill them with words of praise and be a source of encouragement in their lives every day, in spite of whatever choices they make that aren't "perfect".
Now don't get me wrong, as I reread what I've written so far I realize I'm making myself out to be this horrendously mean and terrible mother, LOL, which is how I feel about myself at times but realize that comes from my perfectionism and tearing myself down for every mistake I make (which are a LOT). I didn't just realize last night that my kids are perfect the way they are, it's just one of those moments where you stop and put everything into perspective and a new light is shed on a situation you have been struggling with.....which in my case is my worry that the balance of "the don't do that's" and the "you are awesome's" was being tipped in the wrong direction....which brings us to the post it notes. (FINALLY, LOL) ....
The saving grace of brightly colored squares and a God who hasn't given up on me yet and put an exciting plan in my head while I sat in the quiet of my house last night. It's a plan to build my family up with the ABC's of praise and encouragement on post it notes. I just started last night and so far the response has been pretty awesome. My plan is to sit each night after everyone goes to bed and come up with 3 unique words, in alphabetical order, for all 5 people in my family. Not only do my children need to hear my words of encouragement, but my husband does too. I need to be a source of light and life to my family to help them understand their worth and potential. This morning my family woke to find these words on post it notes at their spot at the kitchen table:
My husband: Admirable, Brave, Charming
Caleb: Achiever, Brilliant, Cool
Maylie: Ambitious, Beautiful, Creative
Brinley: Affectionate, Bubbly, Cute
Adilynn: Adorable, Bright, Caring
I could barely go to sleep I was so excited about this morning. Words and thoughts for the next few letters running through my mind and wanting to make a whole list before bed. My husband and I wake at 5 a.m. I get a quick workout in while he has his quiet time reading his bible and drinking his coffee and then we switch. I come into the kitchen for my quiet time to read my bible and drink my coffee while he gets his workout in. When I came into the kitchen, wouldn't you have guessed...there was an orange sticky note on my placemat too....my hubby started my ABC's with: Admirable, Bold, Christian. It wasn't my intention to get a list started in return, but it was a very pleasant surprise and made my morning brighter too.
My son was already excitedly asking if I was going to do D-E and F tomorrow and was worried he would miss some letters over the weekend while him and his dad are camping with the Boy Scouts. I assured him I would not do it over the weekend but would probably just make it a Monday through Friday thing so nobody misses out. (I also plan to keep a journal of the words I use so as I go through the alphabet over and over I can make sure I'm not repeating the same words for the same person over and over.) The mood in our house this morning was already lighter and the smiles on my kids faces as they read the words I wrote for them was priceless. Don't get me wrong, I will still push for good manners, respect, obedience, honesty, integrity, hard work and all the things I thought were important before. But now as the moments come up that I need to correct them for heading down the wrong path in the wrong direction, they will also have those words of praise and affirmation floating around in their heads. They will know that even though I need to correct them for the moment, my love is unconditional. No matter how many times I need to tell them to flush the toilet or eat over their plates, they will also know I think they are awesome, brilliant, courageous, delightful, exciting, fun, great, happy, imaginative, joyful, kind, loving, magnificent, nice, outstanding, perfect, quaint, remarkable, sweet, terrific, unique, valuable, wonderful, x-cellent, youthful and zestful anyway. :0) I want the words I truly feel about them to be etched into their hearts every morning as they read them off of the brightly colored squares of sticky paper. :0)
Who wants to join my ABC's of praise and encouragement challenge? 3 words a day to cover the 26 letters of the alphabet. In just a little over a week your family will have 26 positive words describing how you feel about them. (And think of the new vocabulary they'll learn when you need to start getting creative, LOL). I would love to know if anyone else will try this and the change it brings in your house. I'm excited to see my family being lifted up and encouraged and have a feeling we will be going through the alphabet over and over and over....even if I have to repeat words. Brightly colored post it notes saved my family...how about yours?
Friday, January 9, 2015
So here we are, 2015 already. Where has the time gone? I have decided I'm a terrible blogger. Being a mother of 4, running my own Etsy shop and currently deciding to take on getting my certification to teach knitting and crochet all while getting a job teaching said crafts at our local Michaels store has left me very little time to be on the computer these days. I have very little time left to think, much less put words to paper (or typing them out in this case), to keep my wonderful and loyal fans "in the loop." ;0) There has been so much that has happened since my last blog post there would be no way to catch up now, so we start fresh with the new year. It is definitely on my list of goals for the year to try to at least post 2 blog posts a month this year. I have so many new things to share!!
The problem with keeping up with a blog for me is exactly as the cartoon states, I have the dangerous tendency to sit and continuously crochet or knit. I pretty much spend every free moment (which isn't much with a family of 6 in case you were wondering), creating, designing and stitching. Lately I have been kept super busy with orders for Monster Pants. Have you seen these things?
They are super cute and I can see the draw to them. I only started stitching them because my sister found a picture of them and said she would love a pair for her youngest. I had no idea what I was going to get him for his 1st birthday as he is baby 4 of 4 and really didn't need a whole lot. I decided to stitch up this pair of knit monster pants for him and have been busy making them ever since. Throw in the holidays and several waves of company in between and that leaves me with ZERO time to blog.
So, all this to say, if I ever go missing again for long periods of time from keeping you in the loop, it's just because I'm taking the few minutes of free time I have found and am furiously knitting or crocheting projects of some kind or another. I don't think that will happen again, though. I have some really great ideas for upcoming blog posts. Taking these certification courses has been fantastic and I am learning all sorts of new and fun tips and tricks to share with all of my followers. Who knew after so many years of doing a craft you could learn so many new things? I have really been amazed! (You can teach an old dog new tricks! LOL).I plan to have the first of these blog posts typed up and ready to share in the next week or 2, so make sure you stay tuned.
In the meantime, Happy Stitching!! Hopefully you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years! :0)
If you are interested in purchasing the monster pants pictured above make sure you check out the listing in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/217715849/knit-monster-pants-custom-order-listing?ref=shop_home_active_1
Thursday, November 6, 2014
In our house, it has been a tradition then when you turn 4 you can pick whatever colors you want and Mama will make you a blanket. You can even help pick out the pattern. My baby girl knew her time was coming and so she had been telling me for months and months what colors she wanted and what blanket she wanted Mama to make her. I figured for hers, instead of waiting until after she turned 4, I would have it stitched up in time for her 4th b-day since she was so confident in her color choices. They never changed!! She was persistent and insistent. LOL
I had gotten quite a few S@HS orders over the last few weeks, so it slowed my progress on her blanket down quite a bit. I missed having it to her on her b-day by ONE DAY!! DARN!! I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning the day before her birthday trying to finish and finally gave up and went to bed. 5:00 comes way too early and I'm way too old to be functioning on that little sleep. I thought I might quickly finish it throughout the day and give it to her by cartoon time that night, but as birthdays go, there are too many extra activities going on to fit in sitting and crocheting. So, I had to work on it after she went to bed. It was still a late night, but I had it done by midnight. I guess technically that means I had it done by her b-day, but my goal had been for HER to have it on her b-day and I missed that by a few hours. I wasn't about to wake her up at midnight to give it to her. I'm not that crazy!
I wrapped it up and sitting at her spot at the kitchen table when she woke up. She was very happy to "FINALLY" have her blanket (as she told me). LOL Sorry girl, these things take time!!
I'm very happy that each of my babies have a little something special from me. I went away for a weekend last fall and when I left I told my older kiddos that if they missed me when I was gone they could wrap the blankets around them like I was sitting with them and giving them a big hug. (I NEVER leave them, so it was sort of a big deal for me to not be home for a few days). To this day my kids remember me telling them that. Sometimes they'll pull their blankets out at night and one of them will say, Mama, I'm wrapping the blanket around me like you are giving me a BIG hug right now. :0) That makes my heart happy that it means as much to them as it means to me. I am thankful that all 4 now have their own Mama hug to wrap up in. :0)
(However, now my husband would like to know when I'm going to make HIM a blanket. He only started asking like 10 years ago....guess I should probably add that to my project list, LOL).
Do you have any family traditions that go hand in hand with knitting or crocheting? Or with any crafts really? We have a Christmas one I'll share coming up in the next few months that is not crochet or knitting related!! SHOCKING! I know!! :0) I'm interested to see what other crafters do to mix their skills with making family memories. :0)
Don't forget to find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stayathomestitchings
If you like the blanket in the pic, check out the Rainbows and Hearts Blanket crochet pattern by Bethany Scofield at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-and-hearts-blanket
Thursday, September 25, 2014
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
1. Promotion Description: Stay@Home Stitchings Giveaway' ("Sweepstakes"). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Stay@Home Stitchings("Sponsor"), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
2. Eligibility: Open worldwide to those who are 18 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the "Promotion Entities"), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.
3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted within 1 hour by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by a Facebook message about 2 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively "the Prize Claim Documents"). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.
4. Prizes: - Prize determined per contest. Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV(approximate retail value) of the prize represents Sponsor's good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items. Prize will be awarded and/or delivered by Sponsor. Sponsor is not responsible for lost or damaged items during delivery. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.
5. Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the entrant. Any attempt by an entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void that entrant's Entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor's database clock will be the official time keeper for this Sweepstakes.
6. Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, certain of their personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner's list. All personal information submitted as part of the Sweepstakes may be shared by and between the Promotion Entities, and each of the Promotion Entities will use such information in accordance with their respective independent online privacy policies.
7. Limitation of Liability: Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misdirected or lost mail, or any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay of operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating downloading materials in the Sweepstakes. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, then Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. In such event, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, perform the random drawing from among all eligible Entries received prior to or after such cancellation, suspension, or modification. In the event of a dispute concerning who registered online to participate in the Sweepstakes, the registration will be declared to have been made by the authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, education institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. A potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the email address. If a dispute cannot be resolved to Sponsor's satisfaction, the entry will be deemed ineligible.
8. Sponsor: The Sweepstakes is sponsored by Stay@Home Stitchings
9. Facebook Disclaimer: By entering, Entrants understand that they are providing their information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
My new knitting designer name: Mad Natural.
LOL Fun little chart to start your Sunday with. What is your knitting designer name? Share below and for today only, BOGO!! From now until midnight CST today, Sept 21, share your knitting designer name in the comments below and receive a coupon code to buy one dishcloth pattern and get one of my dishcloth patterns of your choice for free!! After you comment I will send you a coupon code for my etsy shop: www.stayathomestitchings.etsy.com to purchase whichever dishcloth pattern you would like, and receive another dishcloth pattern for free! Or just use the code to receive $2.00 off whatever other pattern you would like! :0)
Happy Stitching- from Mad Natural. :0)
Make sure to click this link to enter:
This will bring you to the giveaway page where you will have 3 ways to enter to win a $10 Gift Card to Stay@Home Stitchings Etsy shop. Check out our store: www.stayathomestitchings.etsy.com
to pick what you want to purchase when you win. Christmas is sneaking up on us. What better way to start than with $10 off?!! Don't give the same old gifts this year, check out our shop for some new and unique ideas you won't find anywhere else. :0)
Make sure to share this info with all your friends. We will only select a winner if we reach 500 fans by midnight Sept 23.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
For anyone who isn't aware, Stay@Home Stitchings Donates 10% of all sales revenue to charity, either in a monetary donation or in finished stitched items. For the month of September, 10% of any purchase you make in our shop will be sent in a monetary donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This includes all purchases through Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy sites (check links below). Please help us support a great cause while starting your Christmas shopping a little early! :0) Get unique finished gift items or find the perfect pattern to start stitching in time to create your own personal Christmas gifts. Thank you for your continued support of Stay@Home Stitchings !!
Happy Stitching!! :0)