Today, I'm starting a new series that I'm kind of excited about and kind of nervous about. See, I love my blog and blogging. I love all the craftiness I get to display and skills I get to use. I love that I get to challenge myself, have a business, earn a little income and so many other things. It suits me really well.
There is one downside, especially when you name your blog "The Real Thing with the Coake Family." When blogging, it is really easy to only share what you want to with your readers. Which is a really great thing in most ways. However, as a reader, and trust me I read tons of blogs, it is so easy to be sucked into thinking that the person's blog whom you are reading has it all together, that their life is perfect and all neatly tied up, just like the gorgeous pictures and projects on the blog.
The thing is that for most any blogger you will meet, that is just not the case. We shove piles of toys or accumulated stuff out of the way to take that shot. We actually clean the table in order to show you our new centerpiece. It doesn't normally look like that. It normally looks....well normal and real, not fake and magazine glossy.
That is where this new series comes into play. I want to make sure that here at "The Real Thing with the Coake Family" we are keeping it REAL. I'm not a fake person by nature. I am generally a person that what you see is what you get and I mean what I say. I want that to shine through here. I don't want to be magazine glossy and perfect because that is just to damn hard and stressful (Yay, I swear quite a bit more in real life, but I usually keep it clean here so this can be a family thing, but now you know the truth). Yes, I will clean the table before I get pictures of my latest creation. Yep, I'm still going to shove the kids toys out of the way to get the picture I need, but you will know the truth, you will see the before shot here, you will see pictures of what the playroom, kid's room or dare I go there, even my room look like on a normal basis.
In this monthly post/series, I'm going to show the reality. I will take a picture of the mess before the glossy magazine (or the best photography I can get) pictures. I will share things with you that are part of my real life. Yes, I will still keep plenty private because I don't want to share EVERYTHING with you. I like you all, but not quite that much, and you wouldn't want to hear EVERYTHING either. lol!
Since this is a new series, I don't have any before pictures for you this month. Though I am working to get in the habit of taking some for next month.
This month, I wanted to share a bit of our REAL life something with which we are struggling. My kids are totally overtired and cranky and I am soooo sick of it! They started this new habit about a month ago. I have two girls who share a room. They are 10 (though she would want you to know she is almost 11) and 6. They are best friends. I love that! I do not love that they love to stay up late and 'party.' Their version of a party is to stay up late and talk and tell stories and such. It is really rather cute.
However about a month ago, they started consistently staying up late and nothing that we have tried to get them to sleep has worked. My children are not those kind of children that can function well and be pleasant on small amounts of sleep (do such children really exist?). They are so cranyky. They fall apart at the smallest things and require so much re-direction and correction. They are so tired it is as though they need someone to hold their hand and walk them through the day. I kept thinking that they would be so tired they would just go to sleep and the cycle would be over, but thus far that hasn't happened. It doesn't seem to matter if I let them sleep in a little or make them get up early...they are still up until 10 - 11 pm! I have had enough.
Mr. T has been out of town for a great portion of the last month and I finally snapped last week. I WANT MY CHILDREN BACK!! As I have talked about before, I am good and coming up with consequences but not so good at enforcing them. (Kid's Command Central - Parenting Battleplan) Well this time I didn't even come up with a consequence so I wasn't good at enforcing it (since there wasn't one). Last week, when I found them awake at 10:30 yet again, I finally came up with a consequence.
Now, they need to ask for permission to stay up late. I feel so mean writing this out because I know it is a normal part of sharing a room to stay up and chat, but I just need them to became human again instead of little whiny children. If we find them up late without permission, they will have to fall asleep in separate rooms (meaning one has to fall asleep in our bed), I think for 5 days, though that may end up being too long and too harsh. I'm on day 3 of this now. Because we have had other things going on, they have been up later than normal and are still really cranky. I am so sick of whiny, tired children! We homeschool and start back to school on Tuesday. So, they will be going to bed on time and in separate rooms until then. Here's hoping it works! I need my girls to be able to function and be coherent on Tuesday. Fingers crossed!!!
The other thing I wanted to share this month, is another thing I have really been struggling with. I'm really going to guess that I am not the only who struggles with this. I have been blogging consistently for 11 months now. It has changed our lives. Believe it or not, even though I post 3 days a week (not 5-7 like lots of bloggers). This blog still takes a lot of time. I read somewhere that for each post you see, assume that at least 5 hours went into that post. I would completely agree with that. I think Mr. T added up my hours and I am spending between 20 and 25 hours a week blogging. That is in addition to homeschooling, being a Daisy leader, teaching a P.E. class at our co-op and just normal life. Mr. T has had to take on additional responsibilities (which he is not terrible pleased about) and all kinds of things are falling through the cracks.
Now before I go farther. I totally love blogging...it fills a void and a need for me. That is why I continue. It is also currently generating a small amount of income for our family with the potential for that income to increase. We need that. Anyway, I have really been struggling because one of the biggest things that has been dropped (other than the number of hours I sleep) is the cleaning around the house. My house is tidy, but not clean. I hate cleaning, so it is really easy to just say I will get to it later and never get to it. My house is bugging me because it is kind of nasty (not really, but it feels like it to me).
It is also always that thing nagging me..."You're not cleaning," "Your house is disgusting," "You should be keeping up," "You should be cleaning," "You should be superwoman...able to do it all." They are what my life coach calls, the gremlins in your mind. They are they forever taunting me. The thing is...now I realize that this may come as a total shock to some of you, but bare with me....I'm not Super Woman! I can't do it all! I can't be it all! OK....you still with me or did you faint? I know I'm being silly, but I really struggle with feeling badly that I'm not doing it all and being it all. What I am trying to tell those gremlins is that I have to pursue the things that I see as being important and that are fulfilling to me.
When I'm 100 and on my death bed, I'm certain I'm not going to look back and wish I had cleaned more (unless the health department makes a surprise inspection ;-)). I bet I will wish that I had spent more time playing with my kids and enjoying the moments that I have with them now while they are at home. I bet if I don't pursue this blog thing, I will regret it and wonder what it could have been, what it could have been for me and for our family. So, I am working to do just that. Spend some more time playing with my kids rather than continuously telling them I have too many things to do. I'm working to pursue this blog thing and see where it can take me. My house is not clean, I'm working to be OK with that and to figure out something that can work for me to do a little bit more than I do and keep it a little bit more clean than it is. It is very much so a work in progress and I really have very few answers. Deep breath now. Repeat, "I am not Super Woman." Whew!
Well, there you have it...no photos this month. If you are still with me and reading this, I'm going to guess that you didn't mind and that maybe, hopefully, you enjoyed my new series. I'm also hoping that you don't think I'm totally crazy because it feels a bit vulnerable to write all of that for you all to see. I am, however, totally committed to making sure that the REAL is in this blog because to me that is what life is about...being real, being yourself, being comfortable in your skin and being able to accept yourself in that space and place. It is a work in progress that will never be finished.
Tell me, do you have any tired cranky children in your house? If so, I wish I could treat you to a Starbucks and we could whine to each other about it for a few minutes. Do you struggle with balancing things between all your commitments and responsibilities? How do you fit it all in? Are you the Real Super Woman? If so, I totally need to meet you...once again, I would suggest we meet at Starbucks and chat for a bit. :-)
Thanks so much for joining me this month. I really appreciate it!
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