So I had my first class last night. Anna, James, and I met our friends for dinner at the church hall (which was lovely - I didn't have to cook - and yummy to boot) then safely tucked the kiddies away in the children's program. I was a little nervous about leaving them - not for fear of them being safe or having fun - but rather of what would come out of their little mouths - and if they would behave.
Apparently they had a wonderful time - and acted like well mannered children - and each created a "Belt of Truth" as part of the program. They proudly wore them home (James underneath his shirt) and explained as only a five year old and three year old can that they could not, under any circumstances, tell a lie while wearing it.
Oh, how I wish those blue paper belts could become a permanent part of their wardrobes... but seriously, I think they got the underlying message. (No pun intended.)
And while they were off having fun, creating Belts of Truth and going on adventures throughout the church halls, I was off learning a lot about myself and our family dynamics.
I quickly realized that the journey I'm beginning to take is so much more than a simple guide to getting our family organized. It's more than figuring out who is responsible for picking up the dirty socks or taking out the trash. It's more than scheduling and prioritizing.
It's about our family goals. How we want to live. What it will take for our family to function as a unit.
One of our first tasks is to come up with a family mission statement. Something so obvious, but so completely overlooked in our home.
We stopped to consider our homes like a business. And every business has a mission statement. Something they strive to achieve. A common goal to work towards.
I'm working on that right now. On what exactly our family goals should be. I know some things that should incorporated on a larger scale - such as honor God, honor one another, respect each other - as well as some things on a smaller scale - such as achieve a place that is warm and welcoming, positive, and balanced.
Deonne and I talked about that concept last night after the kids were all squeaky clean and tucked into bed. About how we need to lead as example, involve the kids more, give them more independence, and work together. (Which is something I realize I'll have to really work at - letting go, letting the kids do things themselves - releasing some of my Type-A tendencies - and not trying to control so much.)
It was so positive, on so many levels. One - we actually took the time to sit down and talk to each other, rather than settle into our respective dents in the couches and nod off to bad TV, greatly improving our communication. Two - it was nice to talk about our family as a team, rather than sighing and complaining about so-and-so's bad behavior and how we'd work to mitigate it.
Another thing that I really liked about the class - I realized I'm not the only one who is struggling with trying to raise a family. I'm not the only one who is frustrated at times with sassy and strong-willed children. I'm not the only one who feels very unprepared to tackle the most important job I've ever been blessed, or challenged, with - the job of mother.
And I'm looking forward to learning from my fellow classmates, women from all walks of life with children at all ages and stages, how to be the best mom and family manager I possibly can.
And when we get our family mission statement hammered out - I'm going to post it here - in big fat letters - so I can refer to it. Daily.