Friday, February 25, 2011

Stay Tuned ....

Yes, I've taken a bit of a break. The family and I traveled from sunny Florida to snowy New York to visit family. We are back and I'm working on my blog updates. Stay tuned and I should have them up this weekend! Thanks to my devoted blog fans~

All the best,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Skill Day: Being Normal

I're thinking, "being normal is a skill?"

Well, sort of! If you recall, last week I wrote about being normal and that there are several different ways researchers classify families as normal.

While being normal isn't really a skill, remembering that all families are different IS a skill. It's so easy to talk with our friends and start second-guessing our lives. A simple, innocuous question may lead to questioning our decisions and choices for our families. Sometimes it's hard to remember that we are all different. And being different is good! We don't need to be just like someone else.

So, whether you homeschool or send your children to school...whether you work or stay at home...whether you are Episcopalian or non-denominational...whether you have six children or none...whether you are married or divorced...all are okay. We all need to live the lives we have and be normal in our own way.

This week, as you talk to your friends and move about in your world, work on NOT comparing your life to someone else's. Just listen and talk and enjoy the friendships. You'll be happy you did.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Being an Enterprising Family

One of my favorite authors, Christina Katz, posts a blog about writing. This week she discussed what it means to be enterprising in our careers and encouraged readers to blog about what the word 'enterprising' means to us. To that end, I'm creating this special entry to the blog about being an enterprising family.

For me, the word enterprising denotes being ACTIVE. It means seeking new information to make what we are doing even better. It means going above and beyond the minimum required of us to really shine at what we are doing. It means creativity at its best...thinking about our problems and solutions in a different way, communicating in new and different ways, and considering life from a new perspective. Enterprising means hard work, but also fruitful labor.

Whew! Sounds like a lot, now that I've typed it all. Since my area of expertise is the family, let's connect all those ideas back to our families.

Earlier this week I posted about the different ways families can be normal. So often we trudge along our normal life as if on a rail. We don't deviate from doing things the way we always have (and perhaps the way our family has done things for generations!).

If we decide to be enterprising in our family, we can do several fun and exciting things. We can seek new knowledge about families by reading books, magazines, and blogs. We can implement new rituals. These serve important family functions and are so fun. For instance, Valentine's Day is coming up. Do you have a special ritual for celebrating this with your children or spouse? If not, create something fun - make heart shaped pancakes for dinner or build a chocolate truffle tower!

Being enterprising also means solving problems in a new way. So often, we rely on those old patterns for problem solving. Next time a problem pops enterprising! Go to the library and find some books that may help you. Ask different people than usual for their counsel. It doesn't mean you have to DO what they say, but they will provide you with a new way to look at things.

Bottom be enterprising in our family is to get out of our ruts and be proactive.
Leave some comments telling me how YOU are being enterprising in your family!

All the best~

Monday, February 7, 2011

Honey, Are We Normal??

After several decades of living, I've decided that having an abnormal family is remarkably normal. While some lucky few had the typical "Leave it to Beaver" upbringing, most of us did not. Yet, most of us also turned out surprisingly healthy. We live and love well. Most moms I know are GREAT moms and are generally happy in their marriage. Yet, in conversations with friends, the idea of being normal still comes up. So, I thought I'd address that here.

If you've poked around the blog, you know that definitions are important to me. I believe that by defining our terms, we have a greater chance of being on the same page, or really understanding each other.

That said, when most of my friends ask if what they are going through is normal, I think they mean "do other people go through this, too?" Now, there are certain things I can't answer about being normal. My youngest is doing something funky and I'm not sure if it's "normal" (what most other kids do).

When it comes to communicating in a family, however, researchers have identified four perspectives of "normal":

• Asymptomatic Family Functioning (no major symptoms of psychopathology; no serial killers, schizophrenia, etc.)
• As average (typical or fit common patterns; we know this from researching families and reporting the findings)
• As optimal (positive or ideal; this is what I'll be talking about a lot here)
• Normal family processes (life stages and events that most families go through; this changes generationally; we'll talk about this a lot here, too)

So you see, there are several ways we can view normal. I hope it reassures you to know that most of us fit at least one of these perspectives! Obviously, there are lots of ways to be a normal family.

On that note, I hope you enjoy your normal family this week...whatever your version of normal is!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Talking in Sick Times

Well, the flu has hit our happy little family. We ALL have it. Son #1 has been out of school for three days and all Mommy and Daddy want to do is sleep. Very little housework, cooking...or blogging...going on here!

This makes me realize, though, that communication is always important. As my DH and I drag ourselves around the house, avoiding the same space, I was sad to find out yesterday afternoon that I didn't know how he was feeling. No, I didn't feel much like asking. And I'd venture to say he didn't feel like asking me, either. But we believe that we are called to put others first. Even when we are sick. So, we care for our kids and each other.

When I was trying to sleep off the flu yesterday morning in bed (it was DH's turn to flu-sleep in the living room), DH unloaded clean dishes and loaded more...even though HE was sick. That communicates a lot to me. And not just that we were out of spoons for jello! He loves me, even when he's sick and we aren't talking much.

This morning I took time to ask him how I could help him, even though I was nauseated and wanted to go rest. He was freezing, so I brought in the warm blankets for him from the dryer.

Nope, we aren't always great at this when we are sick. But thinking, and writing, about the ways we can communicate well when we are sick reminds me how important it is to practice the skills when we are well so they come easier when we are sick.

I hope the flu passes you by this season. If not, get lots of rest and remember to ask your spouse how you can help!

All the best to you,