we are attempting a year-round school schedule this year, which meant no school for the entire month of december. this will also give us a month off when the baby arrives in march, though it means a wee shorter summer break. so far, this schedule has been perfect for us.
december was quiet & peaceful, a contrast to the hurriedness of previous years. it was a month of intentionality, focus, and rest. so often, i am torn between my roles as homemaker, teacher, and mother. i can spend all day with my kids and feel like i was never really with them. this month i tried to say "yes" to them as often as possible. this meant saying yes to most of their whims, which mostly meant baking, reading, and crafting. and we all needed a month of just that. we limited errands, did almost no christmas shopping, i disengaged almost entirely from social media & email, and focused on the joyful peace of the advent season.
josh was around for the whole month (except for a four day mini-tour), & he even joined in on many of our crafty & culinary adventures. this month i caught him saying things like, "i had no idea--I LOVE ARTS & CRAFTS!" and "i think i'd like to try embroidery, too! (if you can find me some cool scandinavian folk art designs to stitch)" and "i don't know what happened, but i just spent $80 on craft supplies at collage; the kids and i are going to make christmas ornaments!" this same man was found adding the finishing touches to said christmas ornaments and our gingerbread house (which we made with our friends the aylwards and their six beautiful daughters!) even after the kids were in bed, & spent enough time in the kitchen to earn his own (manly) apron.
somehow the things i learned about a more restful, focused approach to our days set a new tone for us, a new standard for myself. i am carrying these lessons into a new year, taking a more restful approach to the days, & continuing to be more present with my kids. this means less multi-tasking, being truly available to my children in the present moment. surprisingly, even with this mindset, we are still finishing our school lessons, i am still getting meals on the table, mostly keeping the house in order, and spending more time sitting down to stitch. it is a lovely thing to not feel frazzled.