Playing at the playground. Making crafts. Hanging out with siblings. Playing pretend. Exploring science museums.
At the same time, they weren’t sure what to do with their free time and they didn’t want to fill it with more schoolwork.
I know that “they” say boredom is good for kids. And I am sure it can be. But that doesn’t mean that a bored teen is going to suddenly find new interests and passions simply because they were left to be bored.
Sometimes it takes more effort than that. And that is where I found myself.
At home with bored tweens. And they weren’t finding their passions through boredom.
I do. In fact, I used to send snail mail all. of. the. time.
I was OVERLY organized about this. I had a planner that had pockets for card storage each month. This meant I could purchase cards months ahead of time and they would be ready to sign and send.
My Gema (grandmother) and I used to laugh about my organized mailing habits because she received her birthday card on October 29 even though I was in the hospital after having a baby on October 28. (I mailed it in the morning before I went into labor)
I think that was the final birthday card that I ever sent on time. Or at all. Ever again.
Motherhood completely disrupted my overly organized methods in all areas, including my ability to recognize special occasions. I just couldn’t keep up with cards every month anymore.
But I missed sending cards!
I enjoy writing notes of encouragement to the people who are important to me so I became determined to find a solution to my disorganization.
Then it hit me…MOTHERS DAY!
Instead of keeping up with birthdays, anniversaries, and other events all year long, I could send letters to ALL of the people once a year.
February is the month of love and there are easy ways to shower love on your family as we celebrate Valentines Day. Even beyond Valentines Day, there are so many other great ways to connect as a family this month.
A huge shift has taken place in our household over the last two years and every now and then it hits me like a ton of bricks.
One of those hits occurred last summer when I bought an annual pass to our local science center. My kids have always loved it there but we hadn’t purchased an annual pass for almost two years. It seemed like it would be a fun thing to do again.
The first time we used it, we decided to visit a “new to us” museum. Within the hour, I could read the boredom on my kids’ faces. Sure, they had fun for a bit, but my 13-year-old was clearly forcing it and my boys were done quickly.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
We have outgrown science centers as a family.
It probably shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did. After all, I planned this particular trip to the science center when my oldest child was busy doing other things. I guess I didn’t realize how quickly the younger set would be bored.
Science centers have been a part of my kids’ childhood for over a decade.
It’s already four o’clock and I haven’t eaten lunch. This isn’t normal for me.
I pause and think about it and realize that my stomach is in knots. No wonder I haven’t eaten. There is an ache in my stomach making me feel ill, but I am fairly certain that I am not sick. It’s not that kind of ache.
It is the sort of ache I get when I am stressed, so I start to think about it.
Am I stressed?
I can’t think of any particular stressor at the moment. Typically the root causes of this type of ache are the kids’ schedules, work, or homeschooling. But as I mentally think through my list, I can’t identify any deadlines or projects that are weighing on my mind.
I start to think about my schedule for the next day and the knot in my stomach tightens. This time, I feel seriously ill.
Then it hits me. I am avoiding any thoughts about one particular event on the calendar tomorrow.
My oldest child is taking her driver’s test.
And despite my brain’s refusal to think about it, my stomach is in knots.