At night, when the homework is done, and the kids are in their pajamas and ready to turn in for the night, we like to hygge. (I know I have mentioned it before, but for reference, you can read my post on it here.) Sometimes it is hard though. I know the kids love it, but sometimes it is hard to tear myself from whatever I am doing, and prolong bedtime even a little bit, when I am so tired and longing for my bed. Every time I send the children to bed when they have requested we hygge, I feel so bad, and then it eats at me, and I end up getting less done anyway, so I might as well have just hygged with them. It is a conundrum that I have been pondering for quite some time now, actually.
Yesterday while perusing Amazon, looking for suitable birthday gifts for Faye, I stumbled across several books written for the express purpose of hyggelig. I decided I would buy one for my kindle and read it so I could up my game. The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg. I wanted to focus on this now, specifically because the holidays are coming and I want to up my cozy-childhood-memory-game for the kids.
I have always sought after the Norman Rockwell type of life. Just very cozy, nostalgic, and connected with people. Which makes complete sense why I have been so drawn to hygge! This book, though, has been absolutely fantastic! I have been reading it while rocking Vince to sleep during the day, and I have been absolutely enthralled. It isn't really teaching anything new, but there are some insights that I have been drawing from it that are just making me be able to re-evaluate my life, and organize it the way my soul has been longing for me to do. My house has been a disaster lately, and when I look at the mess I shudder and go do something else because it is overwhelming and I just don't want to deal with it. And so the mess gets bigger. And the vicious cycle spirals down until I am drowning in a sea of dirty dishes and laundry. Which makes me feel like I don't have time to play with my kids, and then the guilt eats at me because I feel like I should be more present with them and do more to help them in school, and emotionally, and... and... and...
So, while I was ignoring the mess and feeding the baby last night, I read a passage that changed everything. I mean everything!
"When we hygge we make a conscious decision to find joy in the simple things... It's about surrounding ourselves with everything we love and treasuring the moment... We intentionally enjoy the domestic and personal aspects of life, rather than rushing through them just to make it through the day's tasks."
And right there, the light bulb went on. I have been going through my day resenting the messes that I feel like I am forever cleaning up. I grumble about having to clean the bathroom again, after the kids swear up and down that they cleaned it, even though the evidence clearly screams otherwise. I am tired of teaching Keith every week how to wash the pee off the toilet when he claims that he doesn't ever get any on the toilet, or that he already cleaned it up. And the girls' clothes that carpet their floor, despite my constant vigilance of trying to keep it cleaned up! Ugh! It is so hard!
Now, though, that is not what I see or think. I see this gorgeous house that is exactly what we prayed for and looked for, for nearly 3 years. I see how blessed we are to live here, and have all the conveniences that make life easier. But more than that, I see the opportunity I have here. I am so blessed and lucky to stay home with the kids. I have this rare situation where I can devote all of my time to them, and help them have an easier time of things. I can make this house a real home. A place of safety and joy and comfort. I can create an ambiance that is welcoming and warm and calming. When I clean, it isn't just picking up messes for ungrateful little slob monsters, it is helping the house be ready for them to get home from school and welcome them. It is creating an area where I can feel available to spend the time with them that both of us crave. And when the house is already clean, it is a lot easier to help them pick up their stuff because they can clearly see that theirs is the only mess around.
I have begun today, and already I have noticed a whole lot less stress in my life. Granted it hasn't even been 24 hours, but it has been less, and I have been able to clean, and I have been able to play with the kids, and help them with homework, and there seems to be so much less clutter in the house and in our lives. It is fantastic!
I jumped on the trampoline with Beth for a while, until I remembered that our lunch was probably burning on the stove. It wasn't. It was close, but it wasn't quite burned yet. After lunch she and I read stories. Vince woke up and he chased us around on the floor as we flew about, putting things away. I learned that it is time to pull out the baby gate. I didn't think I would need to quite so soon, but that boy is everywhere and I had to run and pull him away from the top of the stairs three times today! But then I got to rock him in my arms, watching his eyes flutter as he fought sleep. I got to just sit, doing nothing but gazing at him as he lay in my arms, so comfortable and happy. I got to create the ultimate hygge for that little boy. It was glorious. And then both he and Beth were asleep and I had 5 whole minutes to myself before the carpool showed up. The big kids got home from school and we visited about how their day went. We then sat down and did their math homework. They played while I cooked dinner. Then we did the spelling words and reading portion of the homework. And then they got ready for bed. Never has it flowed so smoothly before, and I think half of the reason is because of my tranquility, and half because of the hygge. I am sold on this idea, I tell you. Sold! And so proud of my Danish heritage right now. Bring on the snow and the cold winter temperatures, I am ready for it!
Also, the kids got hair cuts. All of them. It was completely spontaneous, and the girls love their hair. Keith, not so much. I think it just takes him a while to get used to things sometimes. At one point in time, though, all 3 of those kids had the same hair.
It was amazing. And year to date, his is my favorite hair style he has ever had. I think we are going to do it like this from now on. But the boy has so much hair! It was more than the girls' hair combined!
But he sure is handsome now!
And Vince is cute in the kitchen sink bathtub.
That is all.